This year has been obviously different, but Kati and I love to get away for a long weekend. Barbados is a great destination. At less than 4 hours from Miami, and with so much to do, think about Barbados next time you are looking for a winter getaway. Barbados island is only 166 square miles of exquisiteness and culture. Located east of the Caribbean Sea, Mount Hillaby, the highest point, serves as a stunning viewpoint with spectacular views.
If you’re looking for the ultimate island experience away from the harsh, gloomy winter weather this Christmas, try the shimmering stretches of sand in Barbados. In these Islands, you’ll find breathe taking corals splashed on the east coast and endless clean, shimmering beaches on the western shores. Barbados is more than just a mass of infinite beach waters; it’s filled with exotic flora and fauna, majestic colonial buildings, bridges, and famous statues of famous plantation owners in Bridgetown.
Barbados is 80 percent coral limestone, unlike its neighboring islands, mostly made of volcanic ruins. The coral stones formed the country’s famous ruins strikingly curved into an intricate underground wonder of sorts (limestone rock) known as Harrison’s Cave. The underground cave system developed over time by water erosion, forming a long underway of striking limestone that shimmers all through the day.
Why Visit Barbados Islands?
Barbados is a truly fascinating and enchanting destination you wouldn’t want to miss this holiday season. Besides site seeing in the capital city of Bridgetown, surfing, and swimming in Carlisle Bay or Bathsheba Bay, you will also get to indulge your taste buds with the freshly made island dishes doused in rum, sensational tropical fruits including coconut wine, and the famous mouth-watering street fried fish.
Accommodations vary from modest studio apartments to deluxe all-inclusive hotels with posh spas, water sporting activities, heavenly beaches, cozy restaurants, and earthy eateries sprawled across the towns.
Barbados was colonized by the British and is an English-speaking nation with distinct British habits like horse racing, Polo sport, Cricket sporting, and endless high teas.
Top attractions in Barbados; include colonial grandiose plantation buildings, historical sites, caves, botanical gardens, sugar cane plantations, and wildlife.
Popular activities to indulge in include: Deep-sea diving, snorkeling, swimming, fishing, and hiking.
Let’s explore some of the top attractions to visit in Barbados:
Bridgetown is home to a wealth of colonial buildings and attractions. It’s an organized and beautiful town to stroll, do a bit of shopping, visit exquisite botanical gardens, take a quick street meal or find a quiet spot to have brunch on a lazy, slow morning. Everything is easy to get, the atmosphere mostly hot and humid, so folks take life slow and easy. You won’t find a lot of people in a mad rash. It’s the typical tropical life of islanders.
You can start by site-seeing – Parliament buildings are distinctive and easy to recognize by the Victorian-style architecture of heavy stone- coupled with the tall clock visible from miles away. The National Heroes Square is another place to visit, take pictures and enjoy a bit of time admiring the grand Square and mingling with the locals.
Right across Parliament Buildings stands the famous Chamberlain Bridge, with staggering views over the Careenage, or the Constitution River. Watch beautiful yachts docked on the river’s still waters along with the colorful buildings lined neatly on the sidewalk.
If wander further inland, you’ll find other notable attractions, mainly the famous St. Michael’s Cathedral and the Nidhe Israel Synagogue. The century-old buildings contain astonishing architecture along with stoic paintings to admire.
Baobab, Queen’s Park
This is an imposing 1,000-year-old colossal baobab tree spawn on the lawns of Queen’s Park in the heart of Bridgetown. Considered the most decadent tree in the Caribbean region, it takes nearly 15 adults to stretch around the massive trunk’s entire tree circumference! There’s a small sign scribbled with info about the age and heritage of the Baobab tree. Other attractions in the park include beautiful surrounding gardens along with a Bandstand and an art gallery.
Speightstown offers an amazingly realistic depiction of island life, away from Bridgetown’s historic towns and the spruced-up beach resorts. The Pier reveals the locals’ real life, bustling alive with rows of makeshift fishing shacks and run-down architecture from centuries of usage.
Other attractions include the Arlington House Museum exhibitions with 18th-century restored rooms where colonial masters and swashbucklers made slave deals. Stroll further down on the esplanade, which runs an array of enticing rum bars on the northern shore along the ivory-white beaches.
Other Places to Visit in Barbados
The Carlisle Bay Beaches
Located on the edge of Bridgetown is Carlisle Bay. Enjoy a stroll on the stunning pristine blond beaches and clean clear waters swooshing lazily on the shores. If you’re up for a swim, take a dip in the warm water, or float leisurely on the turquoise waters on a rented paddleboard. Alternatively, enjoy the sunny atmosphere and bask in the sun with your eyes shut.
Things to do: Other enticing beaches to check out along the bay include Brownes Beach, and Pebbles Beach. If you’re an early riser, head down at Pebble Beach to watch racehorses taking a splash in the shimmering rising sun. It’s quite a sight to behold!
To get the best of Carlisle Bay, book your hotel stay at the Radisson Aquatica Resort or the Hilton Barbados Resort.
This is a popular spot for surfers, given the tumultuous Atlantic coastal waters splashing against ferocious tides. The surrounding environment offers a dramatic effect for extreme sports driven by powerful oceanic waves hitting the massive ancient coral reefs. If you love wild adrenaline water sports, this is the place to be.
The bay waters are shallow, creating giant white foam popularly known as the “Soup Bowl” in the surfing community. The road to Bathsheba bay descends from a high hill towards the ocean along the seaside.
Crane Beach is neatly tucked in a cove surrounded by high corals on the Atlantic coast. You can either visit the beach to site see or indulge in beach activities like swimming, sunbathing, or taking a stroll on the sprawling soft sand.
You can also check-in for lunch at the luxurious Crane Resort, perched on a cliff above the beach. This is also another great option if you’re looking to stay on a secluded, exclusive resort with all the amenities offered on-site.
Folkestone Marine Park & Museum
Set in Holetown’s outskirts, the Folkestone Marine Park & Museum offers exciting water sporting activities such as snorkeling, diving, underground boat watching, or simply lazing around on the beach. The marine park is home to the Stavronikita, a sunken ship standing at 120 feet above ground a half-mile offshore. The Stavronikitia is a familiar dive site with expert divers and local shops leasing and selling diving kits and arranging for deep-sea diving excursions, paddle boarding, and kayaking.
Other activities you can find on the shore include tennis courts, a children’s playground, picnic tables, and a seaside boardwalk. Visit the Folkestone Museum with exhibitions and aquariums.
Farley Hill National Park
The relics of the prodigious house on Farley Hill built-in 1818 tell a fine living tale in the Victorian era. The house was refurbished in the 1950s as a filming site, but the great hall succumbed to a fatal fire, destroying most of the house’s valuables. The government picked up the property in 1965 and transformed it into the Farley Hill National Park. The 17-acre grounds include an expansive anterior garden with mahogany trees and picnic tables to unwind.
Located in the southern part of Welchman Hall Gully, Harrison’s Cave is a glorious underground work of authentic natural art. It is a magnificent natural wonder of the island.
Filled with spherical spikes, the hidden passages with 50-meter-high Great Hall echoing chambers and peculiar geological formations, formed millions of years ago comprise of mineral deposits and natural deposits around an altar-like space.
Harrison’s Cave is hugely popular with visitors since it’s a “must-see” attraction in the Caribbean Islands. While in the Carrington area, be sure to stop by the wildlife reserve where you see various animals such as the famous green monkey, jackals, and alligators, among many others.
To get to the Cave, you can take a tram and drive through the entire spectacular underground cavern – it’s about a mile-long trip with unmatched geological beauty.
Tour to the Harrison’s Cave goes between $30 BDS and $90 BDS, depending on your expedition specifics. Its approximately 5.22 Miles from Bridgetown city and 9.13 miles from the main airport.
There are several options to reach the Cave, but taking a private car or a taxi is the easiest and most convenient. You’ll spend more money but save on time (ride takes on average 30 minutes). The taxi fare range is between $35.00 BDS to $50.00 BDS.
Oistins Fish Fry
To try out the best of Barbados cuisines, you’ve got to go to Oistins’ Fish Fry, and just as the name suggests, Friday night is a special night to try the local fresh fish off the grill. Fish vendors gather at this place and compete, making a range of fish delicacies with outstanding accompaniments served in the real Caribbean tradition. The area consists of an open plan food court with picnic tables and chairs under makeshift tents by the ocean side.
Make sure to check out the Friday fish night in Bridgetown, Barbados. Dinner activities begin from 6 pm till late into the night.
Mount Gay Distillery Rum Tasting
A vacation in Barbados would not be complete without a visit to the rum distilleries in Bridgetown. Get to Antilles chain the rum-drenched exporting factory and sample the famed Mount Gay rum.
The center offers exhibitions that account for the nearly 300 years of rum production in the country. Tours are reasonable, and the employees who act as guides take you through the refining processes of the famous Mount Gay rum. You also get to walk away with gift hampers from the souvenir shop and take sips of the drink along the way.
Where to Stay in Barbados
There are so many luxurious hotels and apartments to pick from for your vacation in Barbados; it all depends on your tour Itinerary and how long you plan on staying there. Here are some of the best places we picked for you:
Our Final Word
Barbados will leave you craving for more pleasure in the unforgettable Caribbean coastlines. Its resourceful people have upheld high standard traditions fused with comfort and its relaxed way of life is a curious antidote you don’t want to leave. It is an exotic tiny island with amazing soulful hearts.
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