Barbados is so much more than a cruise stop. It totally deserves its own trip. Most islands have a few things to do and then it’s beach time, but Barbados is unique. We spent a week there and had no trouble filling our days with activities.
I will mention, a lot of these things we did in one day because during our trip, a tropical storm hit. We were panicked because one, we’re from the mountains what on earth is a tropical storm?! Two, we had to squeeze our to-do list into less time.
No biggie, Terrvette Tours & Taxi absolutely took care of us and getting our bucket list itinerary fit into one days time. You literally tell them what you want to do, and they take care of the rest, charging an hourly rate. They also provide airport services to and from your hotel. Oh, and did I mention they give you free rum punch?!
Although our time was cut short, I promise there is enough things to do on this small island for however long you choose to stay. Check below for our favorite things to do in Barbados.
1. Animal Flower Cave
Where the Caribbean meets the Atlantic, Animal Flower Cave is perched north of the island in the parish of Saint Lucy. There’s three things to do when visiting, you can go above the cave which offers stunning views of cliffs being torn away slowly by the waves. You can eat and drink at the restaurant, which also offers great ocean views. Or lastly, you can go down into the cave and have a swim!
We didn’t bring our swim suits but still went down and got our feet wet inside the cave. Boy, was the view worth going down the steep stairs. Don’t be scared to step on the edge of the cave and get a good view of the ocean down below. It really is a sight to see. Sometimes, especially in the winter, the waves can be too strong for people to swim in the cave, but most of the time it’s open and completely safe.
The cave is actually owned by a family in Barbados and with every generation, something new is added. The restaurant is said to be the current owners focus.
2. Swim with Sea Turtles and Shipwrecks
This was our favorite day in Barbados, by far.
We booked a ride with Silver Moon Barbados for a catamaran tour, lunch, and swimming with the Green Sea Turtles and shipwrecks. It did not disappoint! The lunch was buffet style, the bar was unlimited, and the staff was so nice and informative. They would point at buildings as we rode by and explain what they were, such as the infamous Mount Gay Distillery. They also anchor near a quiet beach, easy to swim to from the boat.
As for the snorkeling, there are a lot of fish swimming around you, as well as the turtles. If I remember correctly, they made two stops to snorkel. The Green Sea Turtle is endangered so it’s important to be responsible while encountering them. The staff is really good at making sure people and animals are safe. Although, they do bite if you get right in front of them! Turtles can’t see directly in front of them, and since the staff feeds them to keep them around, they will think you have food and won’t hesitate to bite! (we did not get bit)
3. Drink Rum Punch
From when you arrive at the airport you are given a glass of rum punch (not kidding). Our taxi drivers had some, the catamaran tour had it, the grocery store had it…. you have to have it!
Not only do they mix some sort of sweet and delicious punch to their island-made rum, but they usually add some spices like nutmeg to the mix *chefs kiss*. It’s basically impossible to leave Barbados without trying it. Although, I recommend trying a few because some people have their own unique recipes.
4. Go to Saint Lawrence Gap
The Saint Lawrence Gap is a fun little area. It’s for day time or night time. It’s a strip of restaurants, shops, and hotels right on the beach. All made for tourist, but still a good time. We visited Barbados during hurricane season, so we got to experience the Gap from more of a locals perspective because well, there were almost no tourists! We met a lot of drunken friends up and down this street.
We stayed at a three star hotel called the Rostrevor Hotel during our stay on the Saint Lawrence Gap. We loved it! It was simple and had everything we needed. Also, we took care of a stray cat in the area during the tropical storm. I know, we are not suppose to because they will keep returning to the hotel, but c’mon, it was a flipping hurricane outside! We named her Lola.
5. Barbados Wildlife Reserve
If you’re anything like me, you always make animals apart of the itinerary. I always find sanctuaries or I will simply take a hike (or swim) in hopes a wild animal will cross my path.
Barbados Wildlife Reserve has the best of both worlds. These are wild animals, going about their business as they would anywhere else, but some animals like monkeys are fed and cared for like any sanctuary would care for them. All you have to do to see these animals is take a walk through the reserve. There’s a clean, easy path through the forest to follow. Another option is coming in the afternoon to watch them feed the monkeys (and their babies), we were alone on our visit and the employee let us feed the monkeys our self’s! Their little hand touching yours, *tear*, so cute! Like any monkey, they are not shy and very mischievous, make sure you don’t have anything on you they can grab.
Bathsheba is actually a small village dating back to 1640, but is famous for Bathsheba beach. This is not a beach for relaxing, but for surfing and stunning scenery. The beach is made of rocks and pebbles, so bring shoes and don’t plan on laying out or swimming. Bathsheba has these large rock formations in the middle of the ocean, that have brought visitors all the way to the east side of the island just for a picture. I promise it’s worth the trip.
7. Explore Bridgetown
I wish we had more time to explore the islands capital, but unfortunately we just got to drive through it several times.
Bridgetown has a lot of history, and is well worth a day exploring. One place to mention is George Washington’s house. Barbados is the only country outside of the United States that George Washington visited, and you can tour the house he stayed in. Take your time, shop a little, grab some lunch, go to the beach, make a day of it. Bridgetown is a good place to see the average Barbadians day, and to see the how the locals spend their time.
8. Go to a Rum Distillery
This is another thing we missed out on due to the tropical storm, but it was highly raved about by locals.
Barbados is typically referred to as the birthplace of rum, so you won’t regret learning about the rums made in the country. There are two main distilleries on the island, Mount Gay and Foursquare. Mount Gay is probably the most recognized and popular one, because they sell it in countries around the globe! I remember always seeing Mount Gay Rum when we lived in a tiny mountain town in the middle of Colorado.
You can find the different tours they offer here on their website. For Foursquare, you just show up and guide yourself through the distillery.
9. The Beach
Barbados has some of the best beaches I’ve ever seen. There is a trick to finding good beaches in the Caribbean, though.
The seaweed in the Caribbean comes from the Atlantic Ocean, so most every beach facing the Atlantic will have at least some seaweed. This includes Barbados’ beaches on the south, east, and north. There’s a little thing called the Platinum Coast in Barbados that is on the west side of the island which means, no seaweed! Here, you will have no worries finding the beach of your dreams.
Another plus, all beaches in Barbados are public so you can literally pop a squat right in front of the Sandals resort, if that’s where you want to spend your day. Several resorts in the past have tried to buy beaches along Barbados’ coast, but the government is very firm on leaving them all public. So enjoy!
10. Morgan Lewis Windmill
Morgan Lewis Windmill is one of the two last working sugar cane windmills in the world. It’s made of egg and coral dust because in the 18th century there was no cement to build.
It’s now a beautifully decorated museum owned by Barbados National Trust, that runs one Sunday every month during the crop season. It’s a great place to take pictures and learn a little bit of history about the plantation.
11. Cherry Tree Hill
Hear ye, hear ye, all instagramers.
Look no further for an amazing post. Cherry Tree Hill is an overlook of the island and ocean, offering stunning views and easy to capture beauty. Barbados is a very flat country so any place with higher elevation, it’s easy to basically see the whole island. Honestly, it would be the perfect place for a little picnic, if it wasn’t right next to the road.
It’s just a quick stop for a picture, but it’s so worth going out of your way for, I had to add it to my list.
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