Codrington Barbuda is the main town on this small and quiet Caribbean island. Though tourism isn't nearly as popular as it is on Antigua, the town provides all necessities for vacations. It is the main location for Barbuda hotels and the best place to book tours and excursions. Codrington has a distinct Caribbean island feel. Locals are extremely friendly and helpful. The town provides a perfect illustration of daily life on this small and beautiful island.
The history of Barbuda has been closely tied to Antigua for many centuries. After frequent failed attempts at colonizing Codrington and the island by the French and British, a successful British settlement occurred in the mid-seventeenth century. Nearly two decades later, John and Christopher Codrington were awarded a lease of the island for 50 years in exchange for "one fat sheep." Consequentially, the Codrington's were also granted leases affording them more rights to an abundant wreckage situated along the island's reefs. This became the family's foremost settlement.
During the eighteenth century, a trip to Codrington revealed the base from which slave labor was supplied to sugar plantations and successful agriculture practices on Antigua. This saw the riches of Codrington Barbuda rise and fall in balance with Antigua. One of the best things to do in Codrington is tour the historical remnants left behind by the family and their legacy. These sights include the ruins of the Codrington family estate, called Highland House. The Martello fort and tower—once used as a vantage point for both defense and locating reef-bound shipwrecks—is found on the southern coast perched more than fifty feet above sea level.
Today, little more than 1,500 people live on the island with most based in and around Codrington Barbuda. The town is a great base for visiting the Two Foot Bay caves, a group of rare caverns chiseled out of limestone over the centuries by crashing waves. The original island inhabitants once lived in the caves and remnants of their art can be seen along the interior walls. Touring the caves is one of the best things to do in Barbuda, but you'll need transportation to get there. The views overlooking the ocean are striking too so don't forget a camera. Anyone taking a trip to Codrington from Antigua to explore the caves can arrange a fifteen-minute plane ride over or look into the Barbuda Express ferry.
Other things to do in Codrington include a visit to the Codrington Lagoon, home to the Frigate Bird Sanctuary. Visitors can explore the largest known nesting area of five frigate bird species as well as more than 170 other Caribbean bird species. The sanctuary is one of the biggest tourist attractions in both Antigua and Barbuda. Frigate Bird Sanctuary is open every day of the year from sunrise to sunset. The best time to visit is around September to April when nesting season is in full swing. Visitors can buy tickets at the wharf.
Though hotels are limited, there are still several to choose from. Most are based in and around Codrington Barbuda and offer onsite dining. There are a few all inclusive hotels with a distinct Caribbean vibe and a bit of American style. There are also privately owned guesthouses to choose from during a trip to Codrington. The beaches provide endless activities and several things to do in Codrington and the surrounding area. These include historical and geographical tours, snorkeling, scuba diving, windsurfing, and kayaking. Swimming, beach-combing, and sunbathing top the list for visitors heading over to enjoy the nearly secluded coastline.