Any dreams or visions that I ever had about the beauty of the beaches in Barbuda were far exceeded by my actual first sight of them just a few months ago.
Soothing crystal-clear seas and virgin white sands are virtually everywhere in the Caribbean, of course. Here, though, there was an added crispness to the scene; an unspoiled purity that spoke in varied measures to Barbuda’s relative isolation over the years, the dedication of the Barbudan people toward preserving their natural environment, and the razing of the island last September by Hurricane Irma.
As anywhere else severely impacted by a natural disaster, Mother Nature’s comeback was outpacing that of man at the time of our visit, eight months post-Irma. Soon enough, though, development will return here, and on a larger scale than ever imagined here before.
This makes me long to return to Barbuda very soon; to soak up more of her beaches and other natural wonders just in case some of her innocence gets lost just as the island is found by the masses.
How We Got There
If you do decide to visit now, day trips from Antigua, like the one we enjoyed back in May, are a great way to get a nice intro to the island. Purchase your ferry tickets at the Barbuda Express kiosk on the waterfront in St. Johns, Antigua. While there, inquire with the rep about securing a rental car. Dennica, the rep from whom we purchased our ferry tickets, hooked us up with a Toyota RAV 4 for the day at a cost of EC$120 (roughly US$44).
Where To Stay
Stayover options are becoming increasingly more available as Barbuda’s recovery continues. At the time of our visit in May, several guesthouses were operational, Timbuk One among them.
Located in Codrington, Timbuk One was the only restaurant/bar that we found open on the morning we arrived. It wasn’t lacking for amenities, though. Air-conditioning, ice-cold drinks, satellite TV, Wi-fi, great breakfast, and even slot machines were all on offer there.
In terms of rooms, Timbuk One offers seven hostel-style guest rooms and one studio apartment. Visit Timbuk One on Airbnb for more.
In December 2018, the guest accommodation options in Antigua’s sister island will get a major boost with the reopening of Barbuda Cottages and Uncle Roddy’s Restaurant. A collection of eco-friendly rental homes sitting right along the same shoreline as the famed Princess Diana Beach, this place definitely appears ideal to our uncommon travel sensibilities.