5 Must-Visit Caribbean Locations Full of Pirate Lore
Ashlan and Philippe Cousteau's picks for the best locations in the Caribbean to experience pirate lore and legend.
On Travel Channel’s Caribbean Pirate Treasure, husband-wife duo Philippe and Ashlan Cousteau grab their scuba gear and explore the once pirate-infested waters of the Caribbean and beyond. And sure, they’re on the hunt for treasure, but these two know a thing or two about where to grab a drink, take in a sunset or experience history firsthand.
Whether you’re looking to get into the treasure hunting game or just wanting a swashbuckling good time, Ashlan and Philippe recommend visiting these five locations in the Caribbean with pirate connections – no pegleg or parrot required. Savvy?
Catch all-new episodes of Caribbean Pirate Treasure every Wednesday at 10|9c.
Fort Barrington, Antigua
Numerous pirates docked at Antigua, so there’s plenty of living history to see. Take a hike up to the top of Fort Barrington where you can see archaeological remains of a gun emplacement and get a view of the battlefield where the pirate Prince Rupert once fought.
Fort George Cay, Turks and Caicos Islands
The tiny island of Fort George Cay between Pine Cay and Parrot Cay, was once home to a small British fort in the 1800s. Due to the high rate of piracy in the area, the fort and loyalist plantations of the island were protected by large cannons, the remains of which can be found beneath a few feet of clear water. You can almost hear the ghost echoes of the cannonballs firing at the threatening pirates. (It would be a great snorkel location, too.)
Cayman Brac Caves, Cayman Islands
The Cayman Islands remained uninhabited, populated only by turtles, alligators and lizards, until the 1660s. The first people who attempted to settle on Little Cayman soon fled after being attacked by pirates. Indeed, privateers and pirates were active in the area for many years, using the Islands as a base from which to attack the galleons bound for Europe, laden with gold and silver from the New World.
Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard, was a notorious pirate who operated in the waters around the Cayman Islands. According to legend, this infamous pirate still has hidden treasure buried in the recesses of a Cayman Brac cave.
Pirate Week Festival, Cayman Islands
The Cayman Islands hosts the annual Pirates Week Festival, complete with a mock pirate “invasion” from the sea. Two old-time sailing vessels loaded with pirates make a surprise landing at the bowl-shaped Georgetown Harbor, with the pirates eventually capturing the governor. Thousands of people line the streets to watch the spectacle; it’s good-natured fun with a new twist every year.
Sail on a Pirate Ship, St. Lucia
All aboard Black Magic! On this replica of the 16th century square-rigged galleon pirate ship, kids can experience what it would be like to be a real pirate of the Caribbean: From dressing up and firing the black powder cannons to swinging from the yardarms and walking the plank, there’s no better activity for the seafaring swashbucklers in your family.
Bonus: Visit Pigeon Island National Park, a 44-acre island reserve that features an interpretive center, military ruins, beaches, a pub and more.