Heavily influenced by English colonialism and West African tradition, Barbados is a vacation spot that will leave you refreshed, energized, and more knowledgeable than when you arrived.
The west coast is lined with shimmery golden beaches while the east coast is filled with boulders and adventure. Bridgetown, the capital, is a colonial architectural dream; making Barbados as diverse as it’s people.
Here are 10 absolute musts when in Barbados:
Take In The Historic Sights Of Bridgetown
The capital city of Barbados also boasts a spot on UNESCO’s World Heritage Site list. Take in the stunning neo-Gothic Parliament Buildings, which were built in the Victorian English style. Other historic sites include Chamberlain Bridge, statues of colonial figures and Bridgetown Harbour. When you’re finished learning about the history of Bridgetown, head to Broad Street where you can shop and soak in the vibrant Bajan lifestyle.
St. Nicholas Abbey
Located in green fields east of Moore Hill in northern Barbados; St. Nicholas Abbey is a historical wonder waiting to be discovered. Dating back to the 1600s, this is one of only three heritage sites of its kind in the Western Hemisphere.
St. Nicholas Abbey is the place where sugarcane was first grown and harvested in the fields which surround the house. Although sugarcane is still grown here today; it has become more of a museum and tourist destination. Travelers can walk throughout the house, seeing the beauty of the restored rooms. In addition, you will receive rum punch cocktails and access to panoramic views of the east coast’s cliffs — all included in your entry admission.
Walk The Barbados Boardwalk
This boardwalk is the first of it’s kind in the Caribbean. Walk the entirety of the boardwalk (about 1.2 miles) and take in the beachfront on the southern coastal area of the island. You’ll be amongst walkers, joggers, families, and people who are enjoying their time leisurely. There are rum shacks and bars along the way — keeping things interesting.
Oistins Fish Fry
You can’t come to Barbados and not eat at Oistins Fish Fry. Every Friday and Saturday (with Fridays being the most lit), you can catch Oistins Fish Fry, located on the south coast of the island. You’ll be able to choose from barbecued swordfish, Mahi Mahi and lobster while enjoying the sounds of live bands playing an array of music from reggaeton to Bajan folk. This is the spot where locals and travelers party together — making it a night to remember.
Rum At Mount Gay
Another thing you can’t come to Barbados without doing? Rum tasting at Mount Gay. Rum is the liquor of choice in the Caribbean and Mount Gay is the oldest rum distillery in the world. They’ve been operating in Barbados since 1703. Visit Mount Gay to learn about the history of rum-making in addition to a rum tasting.
Experience Harrison’s Cave
This limestone cave is filled with a flowing stream, deep pools, stalactites, and stalagmites. You’ll be taken through 3 miles of tunnels on an electric tram. The guide often turns off the lights at some point to give you the true feeling of being in a cave.
Deep Diving On A Submarine
With this kind of deep diving; you won’t need lessons, equipment or will you get wet. Ride with Atlantis Submarine and go 150 feet deep into the ocean. This 45-minute journey will expose you to colorful fish, reefs and even shipwrecks!
Treat Yourself To World-Class Dining
There are an array of world-class dining options in Barbados, The Cliff, however, is a restaurant you to indulge in, if not any others on the island. Reservations are expected well in advance and the prices range from early to mid-three figures but it’s completely worth it. Did I mention it’s right on the water?
Swim With Turtles
You’ll be able to swim with hawksbill and leatherback sea turtles in the calm waters of the west coast. No need to worry, these creatures are very friendly and there will be a tour guide to help you every step of the way.
Catch The Sunset On A Cruise
Barbados’ sunsets are amongst the most spectacular in the world. Head to the Deep Water Harbour in Bridgetown and embark on a party boat experience that will sail into the sunset. You’ll be sailing along the west coast while stopping to swim, snorkel or just take in the views. Oh, yea — lunch and drinks will be provided!