our amazing caves
As an island composed of limestone, Barbuda has many caves and sink holes to explore. There are various sites that are accessible to visitors but the easiest and closest to the village is at Two Foot Bay, and most of the day tours will take you here. A local guide is essential when visiting some of the harder to reach caves as many require specialist equipment, or local knowledge and experience of caving, and some of the caves cannot be visited at all without permission from the Barbuda Council. A taxi guide can do a walking tour and all of them can give you the information you need.
Two Foot Bay
The caves here run along the sea cliffs and are interesting and full of history. A visitor might see evidence of bats, crabs, huge iguanas, tropicbirds and other interesting flaura and fauna. Barbudans have camped in the caves for centuries and have given them names, such as ‘The Fridge’, which as its name suggests – is cool and breezy. Inside Indian Cave it is possible to see drawings (petroglyphs) left by the original inhabitants of Barbuda, the Arawak or the Siboney. Visit our history pages to learn more about these people.
Three and half miles north-east of Codrington is Darby Cave, a spectacular sink hole in the middle of the Highlands. It is well worth the long walk (45 minutes) to see the huge deep hole suddenly appear in front of you and wonder how it got there – the tops of tall palm trees are suddenly at eye level! Darby Sink Hole is over three hundred feet in diameter and around seventy feet deep. One side of the hole has been greatly undercut and stalactites up to eight feet long have formed under the overhang. The vegetation resembles a mini rainforest with palms, ferns, and lianas. On recent visits we startled two deer and found land turtles on the way. Local people know this area well and can show you the route.
Dark Cave is two miles to the south of Darby Cave. The cave has a narrow entrance leading to a vast cavern containing pools of water, which were probably a water source for Amerindian inhabitants as artefacts have been found nearby. Dark Cave is the habitat for a rare species of amphipod, the blind shrimp, as well as several species of bats.
What we find when we go to the caves…
Barbudans use their magnificent caves to this day for camping, holiday events and other regular activities such as daily hunting and fishing. Sophia Perdikaris’ report below states ‘Barbudans have been able to maintain a relationship to their environment that is unparalleled.The ‘living off the land’ activities as seen at the caves are an excellent example of this’.
Studies of Barbuda’s caves and sink holes have been carried out over the years, including the discovery in 1998 of an extinct Great White Shark’s tooth at Darby Cave. You can read the studies here.