Sometimes it seems that all the best beaches in the Caribbean are taken by big hotel-resorts. That all those white sand and turquoise water beaches can only be enjoyed with another 50 tourists around, partially drunk, lying on the hammock and with the music as loud as possible. Fortunately, that’s not true and you still can find places where the big tourism industry hasn’t arrived yet. This is the case of the island of Barbuda where there are plenty of hiking opportunities.
The little sister of Antigua, Barbuda, has been out of the radar for quite some time and still is. Inaccurate marine charts have made up to 200 boats to crash into the reef and sink in the last century, keeping also the sailors away from the island. There are only 1,500 people living here, most of them in the only town of the island Codrington
For the adventurous, the west coast is a single 11-mile long beach only accessible by boat or by walking all the way around from the south end. Carrying food for 3 days, 10 liters of water, my beloved Garmin GPS device, camping and cooking gear, I set off to explore the west coast on my own. I had already done something similar in Mexico and Martinique so I knew what I was in for.
HIKING ON THE BEACH THE WEST COAST OF BARBUDA
WHAT WE LIKED THE MOST
- The pureness of the place. Crystal clear water and fine white sand in a totally unspoiled beach.
- The possibility of spotting leatherback turtles.
WHAT WE DIDN’T LIKE THAT MUCH
- Mosquitoes! There were 2 hours around sunrise and sunset when I couldn’t get out of my mosquito net.
EQUIPMENT CHECK LIST
Without any doubt I can say it was the most beautiful beach I’ve ever been to. Crystal clear water, fine white sand, calm seas and the best thing: an absolutely wild place. I met zero people during the 3 days / 2 nights I walked on the beach.
Also, during this time of the year, between June and September, it’s when the leatherback turtles come out of the water at night to lay their eggs on the sand. The west coast of Barbuda, being the sand very flat and with no lights around, is a great place for the turtles to lay their eggs. I spotted numerous turtle tracks, about 50 of them, but unfortunately no turtles during the 2 nights I went out looking for them.
You need at least 3 days / 2 nights to walk the whole coast and come back. It’s a wonderful place to stay longer but you need to bring all the water you need with you.
During the summer (june to september) is the turtle season, but also when there are more chances of rain.
Check and confirm the boat schedule to Barbuda as it doesn’t operate every day. You can start walking from where the boat drops you off.
Bring absolutely everything you need from Antigua, as you won’t find anything available at the beach. There are a couple of lodges but they were closed when we were there.
If you like adventure and you are searching for your favourite untouched beach in the Caribbean, you must come to Barbuda.
Although hiking on the beach with a heavy backpack can be hard work, you will be rewarded with miles of empty beaches that will make you think you are in a dream. An who knows, you might get lucky and spot a leatherback turtle.
Location: Barbuda. Antigua & Barbuda. West Indies.
Price: 100 USD return ticket (boat transfer from St Johns, Antigua)
Useful Notes: Bring absolutely everything you need for the trip. There is no place on the beach where you can buy food or get water.