Look, there’s no beating around the bush here – I’m in LOVE with Barbados. It’s an island that is as charming as it is beautiful. There really is so much to do on this wonderful Caribbean Island so don’t be fooled into thinking it’s just a “lounging by the pool” or sun-bather’s dream destination. The culture, food, natural history and the people make Barbados a perfect island to get a delicious taste of Caribbean life. Take a look at some of my favourite things to do when you visit.
1.) Swim with turtles
I stayed at The Club Hotel in Barbados who organise special tours (on the hotels boat) to the stomping grounds of these gentle giants. Take a swim, stroke and even get to feed them as they swim so elegantly (unlike me) in the Caribbean Sea.
2.) Find a secret beach
There are no private beaches in Barbados. Not one! Every single beach has to be publicly accessible so that everyone can enjoy the beauty of its magical coastline. I love this ethos and I wish other countries would follow suit. One great thing about this legislation is that you can literally ‘discover’ your own little piece of paradise. Each morning I visited this little cove beach, 30 minutes walk from The Club Hotel, it was pristine, with no one there except a few friendly starfish to keep me company! 🙂
3.) Explore Animal Flower Cave
Situated in the northern tip of the island, Animal Flower Cave is a great place to start your exploration of the wilder and more dramatic east coast of Barbados. Take a trip underground and head within the caves for this dramatic view into the Atlantic Ocean. Just be careful with your step… I ended up dropping my rum punch on the steps down… urghhh! 😉
4.) Sail the Caribbean Sea
Grab yourself an intimate afternoon on a catamaran. I chose to experience this on The Calabaza Barbados. Group numbers were small (between 6-8 people) and we even got our own tracker to spot all the wildlife in the Caribbean Sea. A great way to explore the shores, especially if you’re a wildlife fanatic like me!
5.) See a piece of Scotland… in the Caribbean!
Yes, you read that correctly! English settlers that first came to Barbados thought that the east coast of Barbados looked identical to Scotland. Head up into the hilly north of the island and you can judge this for yourself.
6.) Spend an evening at Oistins Fish Fry
Oisitns Fish Fry is a local hangout for visitors and local residents alike – definitely a perfect place to spend a Friday evening. Choose some delicious food, watch residents playing dominoes and even listen to the Caribbean beats that fill the stage. A perfect place to end a Friday night on the Island
7.) Try eating ‘dolphin’
Actually, it’s Mahi-Mahi but locals refer to this fish as dolphin. A tasty treat that’s very popular in the Southern Caribbean. Pair it up with some fried plantains and a little Bajan Pepper Sauce! Yum! 🙂
8.) Head into the lush rainforests
About 40 minutes north of the capital city, Bridgetown, are some of Barbados’s most beautiful forests. Take a drive and head straight for this beautifully lush landscape. It’s a perfect place to go if you like a little hike! P.S.: There are no poisonous snakes or spiders to worry about so explore to your heart’s content
9.) Meet the army! 🙂
This was a random meeting. On my way to the forest, I came across there two local army guys that were patrolling the route. The guy on the left looks particularly grumpy.. mainly because the soldier on the right really wanted me to take his photo and the one on the left didn’t. He definitely put on this menacing look on purpose as they were actually really friendly in person! 🙂
10.) Go to Bethesda Beach
On the east coast of the Island is Bethesda Beach. An unspoilt rocky terrain that is shaped by the Atlantic Ocean. Head for a drive down the coast and explore the area (along with some local rum houses that line the roads).
11.) Eat delicious fish bites
A local speciality, these fish bites are the bomb! I scoffed this whole basked in a matter of seconds (okay, maybe minutes). They’re all made fresh made each morning and produced locally.
12.) Discover Speightstown
One of the larger towns in Barbados, Speightstown is a great place to spend a morning exploring some of the history of the beautiful Island. I headed into the Museum of Barbados in the centre of the town… swiftly followed by a massive ice-cream. Somehow, in my sugar haze, I managed to get myself totally lost which actually turned out to be a great way to discover the town.
13.) Head To St. Nicholas Abbey
St Nicholas Abbey is one of Barbados’s best kept homes and rum distilleries. I swear I was blind-drunk after leaving this place – their rum punch is just too delicious. The amount of photos I had to straighten while editing is testament to this!
Just like any paradise island, Barbados has plenty of opportunities to chill-out. Grab yourself a cocktail, rub on that sunblock and run down to the beach!