Bottom Bay Beach (Image: Bigstock)
Fun in the Sun | Barbados
If you have a warm weather vacation in mind, Barbados should be near the top of your list if not at the very top. Like a few other islands in this southern vacation wonderland, it is the Caribbean with an English twist: sun, sand, and water sports whilst in a unique culture with friendly native peoples and a safe environment. Expect horse racing, cricket and afternoon tea liberally sprinkled with dinners of local seafood dishes with a spicy flair, island rum, and wind surfing.
Cruise, Hotel, Rental or Resort?
Many cruises visit this island so plan to either jam a lot of sights into one day or just head to one of the many spectacular beaches. Beaches on the Atlantic side (east) tend to be rougher and windier, perfect for wind surfing and surfing. Beaches on the western side tend to be calmer so great for snorkeling and swimming. You’ll find the vast number of hotels, resorts, and private rentals there as well as the capital of this independent British Commonwealth nation, Bridgetown, and two other popular spots: Holetown and Speightstown.
While there are many hotels and resort complexes, there are not as many all-inclusive vacation spots as one might think in such a popular holiday destination so if this is your vacation of choice, book well in advance. There are private home and villa rentals to suit most budgets if you want to buy and cook for yourself on your vacation. Warning: food is expensive as are most other commodities here as the majority of items must be imported. Whatever accommodation route you take, it is best to use the services of a travel professional even when dealing with a rental agency or at the very least, read the fine print. Your vacation dollars are precious, and who wants to arrive on the island to find your rental condo has been double-booked? No upgrades here from a rental agency, and good luck with equivalent accommodation when most places are booked up at least a year in advance. Having a travel professional on your side in a vacation snafu is a good thing!
Eastern Coast for Surfing (Image: Bigstock)
Rent a Car or Take a Guided Day Tour (Image: Paxabay)
Morgan Lewis Windmill (Image: Bigstock)
Excellent golfing opportunities (Image: Pixabay)
Things to Do in Barbados
So, what is there to do on this small island? Lots!! Here’s a list of possibilities:
- Water sports as mentioned: surf, swim, snorkel, scuba dive, or sail;
- Relax in the sun on the beach or by a pool;
- Explore the island with a guided tour;
- Or rent a car and do your own exploring (buses, another option, are inexpensive);
- Shop the high-end designer names in Holetown boutiques (Barbados is duty-free);
- Visit local gardens such as Hunte’s Gardens and stroll pathways through local and exotic plants to the tune of soft classical music in the background, or
- Enjoy the Andromeda Botanic Gardens, an organic paradise of flora and fauna owned and run by the Barbados National Trust;
- Stroll through colorful wildlife in its natural environment at the Barbados Wildlife Preserve (dangerous animals are present too but caged);
- Explore Harrison’s Cave by tram with a guide explaining the natural wonders found deep below the earth; or
- Explore the ocean floor and a local shipwreck with all the beauty and color of underwater sea creatures and plants on a submarine tour;
- Shop the Cheapside Market in Bridgetown on Thursday through Saturday;
- Hit the nightlife: dine, dance, and rock to the rhythm of Barbados sounds at the Oistins Friday Night Fish Fry;
- Explore historic sites such as the Morgan Lewis Windmill, Arlington House Museum, St. Nicholas Abbey, George Washington House & Museum, and more;
- Golf at Apes Hill, Rockley Golf & Country Club or the Barbados Golf Club;
- Catch a local game of cricket or place a bet at the horse races.
This is not an exhaustive list but gives you a glimpse of how active you can be during your visit – or not. And two pluses that must be mentioned for the North American traveler: you can ditch the ever-present bottled water necessary in most Caribbean islands as Barbados drinking water is filtered naturally by the coral substrata, and number two point – simple but important to unilingual folks, English is spoken here. It may be accented due to the rich English/African heritage but that adds to the flavor of this must-see Caribbean tropical paradise.
Feature image of Bathsheba beach courtesy of Bigstock.
See wildlife or tropical gardens (Image: Pixabay)
Food with a mix of English, French and Indian flair, spicy and delicious. (Image: Pixabay)
Visit beautiful gardens. (Image:Bigstock)
Capture the view with local art. (Image:Pixabay)