Barbados is an island nation surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean. It was named after the bearded fig trees that are prevalent on the island. The locals on this island paradise are called Bajans or Barbadians and the celebrated singer Rihanna is the most popular Bajan who was born and raised in its capital. If you’re planning to visit Barbados, then you’ll be pleased to know that there are a plethora of things to do and places to go on this Caribbean Island. Here are the top 12 things to do and places to go that will make you fall in love with Barbados even more.
1. Explore the Historic Town of Bridgetown
Although it has been almost 200 years since Bridgetown became a city, many still refer to this capital as a town because of the quaint and relaxed vibe that one gets as they pave its historic streets. From history and gastronomy to nature and festivities, there is definitely something in Bridgetown that will satisfy everyone who visits. To make the most out of what this beautiful island country has to offer, you must first appreciate its rich history by visiting the historic sites in Bridgetown. Make time to explore the George Washington House, National Heroes Gallery and Museum of Parliament, The Garrison, and more. Then explore its pristine beaches, experience its vibrant nightlife, and go on an exciting gastronomic journey around town.
2. Retreat at Barbados Boardwalk by the Sea
There were some environmental concerns amid the creation of the Barbados Boardwalk but after everything was tackled and agreed upon, it then easily became one of the favorite retreats on the island. The boardwalk features a flat and well-maintained path complete with seats where hikers and joggers can take a retreat in between jogs or walks. Aside from the amazing ocean view, you can also enjoy the beautiful path as it is surrounded by plentiful trees, bushes, and flowers. The panoramic view of the boardwalk offers a plethora of photo opportunities that tourists can take advantage of to remind them of this island paradise once they get home after their memorable vacation. With its solid and reliable structure that was set deep into the sand and stable granite rocks as support, the Barbados Boardwalk is something that everyone can enjoy for a long time.
3. Have an Underground Excursion at Harrison’s Cave Eco-Adventure Park
Immerse yourself in the underground nature of Harrison’s Cave and marvel at the magnificent stalactite and stalagmite formations to witness a breathtaking wonder like no other. Taking a tram tour is the best way to explore the cave as it can take you through its exciting subterranean passage. See the cave’s most spectacular tunnels and caverns as well as the 50-meter-high Great Hall which is a sight to behold. Indeed, Harrison’s Cave offers a wonderful experience that you definitely should not miss when in Barbados. Nothing compares to the primal appeal of a beautiful cave and this subterranean passage in the heart of the island is one that never disappoints.
4. Take a Historic Distillery Tour at The Mount Gay Distillery
Whether you’re an avid drinker or just a mere traveler, The Mount Gay Distillery is a great place to be while on the island. It is the world’s oldest commercial distillery for rum and their Mount Gay Eclipse rum is definitely worth a shot or two! This concoction is the distillery’s oldest and most prominent rum that features a very distinctive flavor that you’ll never forget. If you’re into cocktails, you will be pleased to know that The Mount Gay Distillery also offers a wide selection of cocktail options for you. When it comes to drinking and having fun while on the island, The Mount Gay Distillery is a place that will definitely deliver. On top of that, they also offer a tour where you can learn their history and appreciate their heritage. After all, The Mount Gay Distillery is more than just rum, it is an experience.
5. Embark on a Gastronomic Journey at the Oistins Friday Fish Fry
Friday is the best day of the week when you’re in Barbados because it means that you can go to Oistins and indulge in their fish fry in the middle of a lively party where everyone on the island flocks and enjoys a great time. Don’t miss out on the fun by visiting Oistins on this day and feast on the freshest fish and lobsters that you can ever find. Oistins is a coastal area and an active fishing town that works to its advantage. For those who are visiting Barbados for the first time, going to Oistins on a Friday is like a ceremony that should be performed to celebrate your stay on the island.
6. Be Enchanted at The Flora of Hunte’s Gardens
Dubbed “The most enchanting place on Earth,” Hunte’s Gardens is a serene place where you can be calm, tranquil, and happy with nature. Be enchanted with the garden’s picturesque landscape and walk its gorgeous paths surrounded by rare varieties of flora. Hunte’s Gardens was named after Anthony Hunte, a local and owner of the garden. The owner’s love for nature and horticulture reverberates in this garden where he poured his love to showcase a beautiful display that will leave every visitor in awe. While enjoying the view, you can relax in one of the garden’s nooks and have a few refreshments and even perhaps talk to the owner himself. As most guests would attest, Hunte has a lot of fascinating stories to tell and his love for people is one of the main reasons why he remains to be the most beloved horticulturist in Barbados.
7. Soak in the Healing Waters at Bathsheba Beach
Legend has it that the waters of Bathsheba contain minerals that can restore one’s health. Many people may not believe in legends but seeing how breathtakingly beautiful this beach is, they will surely believe that Bathsheba Beach is a great place to keep warm while in Barbados. It even has shallow inshore pools where little kids can safely swim while taking shelter under a huge boulder. If you’re an avid surfer, make sure that you bring your surfboard with you as this beach is also known for its steady big waves that are all yours for the taking.
8. Walk in the White Sands at Pebble’s Beach
Located on the southwestern coast of this lovely island is Pebble’s Beach which boasts turquoise waters and powdery white sand. Indeed, Pebble’s Beach is a beautiful paradise and there’s more to this location that you would definitely love. If you wake up early at sunrise to visit the beach, you will be rewarded with a majestic view of horses bathing in its crystal-clear waters. They are the racehorses on the nearby racetrack and bathing on the beach is like a ritual for these horses and their grooms. Imagine the wonderful opportunity to take amazing photos of the lovely horses bathing on the beach with the beautiful colors of the sunrise as its backdrop.
9. Get Onboard the Barbados Concorde
The Concorde is the world’s fastest passenger plane and although it is unlikely that anyone can cross the Atlantic with this supersonic airliner again, you can still get onboard this legendary aircraft in Barbados. At Grantley Adams International Airport in Christ Church Parish rests the British Airways G-BOAE Concorde where visitors can get onboard the legendary aircraft. Aside from the in-flight experience inside the Concorde, there will also be a presentation for all the guests to learn more about this magnificent invention.
10. Visit the Ruins of the Regal Farley Hill House
The Farley Hill House was once regarded as the most impressive mansion on the island until it caught fire in 1965. It was even used in the film Island in the Sun (1957) which was a major box office success. Aside from its regal beauty, the mansion is also historic as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II herself opened the Farley Hill National Park in honor of the mansion in 1966, which was the same year that Barbados acquired its independence. Although in ruins, the mansion still has its charm, and it is tucked away in a beautiful forest where you can enjoy the amazing view of the Atlantic coast from a distance.
11. Have a Turtle and Shipwreck Snorkel Adventure on a Catamaran
Leaving Barbados without seeing the tropical marine wildlife underwater is something that you should avoid when traveling to this island. And there is no better way to see this spectacular marine wildlife than onboard a comfortable catamaran. It’s a good thing that there are many catamaran boat tours offered on the island which typically boast glass bottom boats, onboard washrooms, and excellent bars. Barbados is the ‘Shipwreck Capital of the Caribbean’, so make sure to snorkel to see some of the shipwrecks as well.
12. Book an Atlantis Submarine Tour at Night
If you’re traveling to Barbados with little kids, then the Atlantis Submarine Day Tour is definitely something that you and your family should experience. For a couple or group of adults, the Atlantis Submarine Night tour would be best. The submarine uses high-powered spotlights that will allow its guests to see the beauty of the deep sea at night in the most unique way possible. It is one of the most highly recommended activities for families visiting the island and for good reasons.