When most people think of Barbados they probably think of sunshine, sandy beaches and crystal clear water. While Barbados does have all these things, there are so many more reasons to visit Barbados. Whether looking for sunshine, beaches, natural beauty, great food, rum, history or culture, you will find it all and more in Barbados. There are many great things to do on this Caribbean island, so I’ve narrowed down the list to the 8 best things to do in Barbados:
1) Enjoy the Beach
You can’t visit Barbados without checking out one of the island’s beautiful beaches. There are many great beaches depending on what you are looking for – whether swimming, snorkeling, surfing or just relaxing and enjoying the beautiful views. Spend the day at a beach or better yet stay at one of the many Barbados villas on the beach. My picks for the top beaches in Barbados include the following:
Carlisle Bay is one of the best beaches in Barbados with soft white sand and clear calm water. This beach offers many types of activities including water sports, shipwreck diving, glass bottom boat trips and much more. You can even snorkel from the beach to see sea turtles and a shipwreck.
Dover Beach is a long, white, soft, sandy beach with plenty of beach chairs, umbrellas and water sports. Conveniently located at the end of St. Lawrence Gap, Dover Beach is close to many hotels, bars, restaurants and shops.
Accra/Rockley Beach is a popular white sand beach with clear blue water. Make sure to stop by Tiki Bar, a great beach bar serving tasty food, including its famous homemade burgers, and plenty of cheap drinks.
With soft pink sand, Crane Beach is considered one of the island’s most beautiful beaches. The waves are somewhat rough for swimmers but perfect for body surfing and boogie boarding.
Bathsheba Beach has large dramatic rock formations that make it a photographer’s dream. This beach is generally not safe for swimming, but it is a good spot to watch surfers riding the large waves.
2) Take a Catamaran Cruise
Lounging on a catamaran is a great way to relax and see the beautiful island of Barbados. You can take either a day cruise and enjoy lunch on the boat or a sunset cruise. There are many companies offering cruises with both large boats and more intimate cruises.
3) Snorkel with Sea Turtles
One of the best things to do in Barbados is snorkeling with the sea turtles. Many catamaran cruises include a stop for snorkeling with sea turtles or you can snorkel from some beaches. Watching these graceful creatures swim in the water, mere inches away from you, is an incredible bucket list experience.
4) Explore Harrison’s Cave
Harrison’s Cave is one of the island’s most beautiful natural wonders so it is no surprise that it is also one of its most popular tourist attractions.
Located in the central uplands, Harrison’s Cave is a large cave system naturally formed over time by water erosion through the limestone rock. The calcium-rich water that runs through the caves has formed breathtaking stalactites and stalagmites formations. Inside the cave, is a stunning display of stalactites and stalagmites, caverns, tunnels, streams, waterfalls and pools.
The best way to explore the cave is to take a tram tour. These guided tram tours provide visitors with the history and other information about the caves and make a few stops for a closer look and photo opportunities.
5) Visit St. Nicholas Abbey
Despite the name, St. Nicholas Abbey has no religious connection – it is a restored plantation house, museum and rum distillery. Built in the 1600s, St Nicholas Abbey is one of only three Jacobean mansions in the Western Hemisphere, so you will get a glimpse of what Barbados looked like centuries ago.
There is an entrance fee, which includes a guided tour and a free drink. If you enjoy rum, purchase some of the famous St. Nicholas Abbey Rum.
I also recommend checking out Cherry Tree Hill, an avenue of mahogany trees offering a beautiful view of the island’s east coast cliffs.
6) Eat and party at Oistins Fish Fry
Oistins Fish Fry is the place to be on Friday night. Locals and tourists flock to Oistins Fish Fry for a fun casual evening of delicious food, drinking, dancing and music. Friday is the most lively night but you can also visit the fish fry on Saturday night.
Held on a beach on Barbados’ south coast, Oistins Fish Fry consists of shacks selling various types of freshly cooked fish, grilled or fried. There is also a fish market and vendors selling various arts and crafts.
7) Stroll Around Bridgetown
Bridgetown is very walkable and you can explore most of the attractions by foot. To learn more about the history and culture of the island, stop by the The Barbados Museum & Historical Society, which is housed in the former British Military Prison and located at the Garrison. For duty free shopping, head to the numerous stores on Broad Street.
8) Do a Rum Tour
No trip to Barbados would be complete without some rum! Barbados is well known for its rum, especially Mount Gay Rum. This rum has been produced on Barbados since 1703 making it the oldest existing brand of rum in the world.
The Mount Gay distillery located in Bridgetown offers various excellent tours where you can learn about the history of rum production in Barbados and see how rum is made. Some tours also include the opportunity to sample the famous rum along the way.
These are my top things to do in Barbados. Have you ever been to Barbados? What were your favorite things to see and do?