This island may only be 167 square miles (432.5 square kilometres) in size, but Barbados proves that size really does not matter. It boasts everything from stunning beaches, beautiful weather 365 days a year and a vibrant culture, all of which is difficult to compete with.
Although pulling yourself away from chilling on the beach will be difficult, make sure you do, as Barbados has so much more to offer. Drag yourself away from the sunbed and get exploring – you won’t regret it.
For any animal lover, a trip to the Wildlife Reserve, located in the Saint Peter Parish in the north of the island, is a must. Walk around and fully immerse yourself in the island’s gorgeous flora and fauna. Tortoises, caiman, deer, peacocks and monkeys roam freely around the reserve, so make sure you watch where you step! If you time it right, or opt to do a tour that includes the reserve, make sure you are there for the monkey feeding, which takes place at about 1 pm every day. Watch as monkeys flock from the trees in their dozens, along with their housemates in the reserve, for an up-close-and-personal experience like no other.
Those of a nervous disposition needn’t bother with this one! This small crypt situated at Christ Church Parish Church is famous on the island for its moving coffins, which would fling themselves around the crypt without human intervention. After several coffins holding members of the Chase family somehow moved on their own, a layer of sand was placed on the floor to try and detect footprints and get to the bottom of the mysterious moving coffins. Sooner or later, the crypt was checked again, and the coffins had been flung about once more. Needless to say, the sand was left untouched, and the mystery remains. While The Chase Vault is now free of coffins, its possible ghost stories and sightings make this a fascinating visit for sure.
One of the activities often suggested to visitors in Barbados is a catamaran trip, and with good reason too.
There are plenty of catamaran tours to choose from – including one on an authentic pirate ship – most of which will take you to snorkelling spots where you can swim with sea turtles and visit shipwrecks. Many of them also provide a free bar service and lunch. Whichever tour you do choose, prepare for a fun day at sea.
Top tip: Make sure you take full advantage of the staff on board, as their knowledge of the island is unrivalled. They will also be able to tell you all about the local hotspots!
Located on one of the most stunning stretches of beach on the island, Carlisle Bay, The Boatyard is a private beach club that boasts a number of water sports, a white sandy beach and beautiful water inviting you to dive right in. On arrival, you will be asked to pay $50 BBD, $40 of which gets loaded onto a card to spend at the bar and restaurant throughout the day.
Your sunbed and umbrella are ready for you; all you need to do is pick your spot and spend a day in paradise. For the more adventurous traveller, get stuck into the water sports at The Boatyard, with jet skis, rope swings and water jetpacks.
Visit North Point and Animal Flower Cave
Situated at, you’ve guessed it, the most northerly point of the island, North Point is a scenic spot like none other on the island. Contrary to the calm demeanour of the sea in the south, watch as huge waves characteristic of a storm crash upon the country’s jagged edge.
If the opportunity allows, make a pit stop at Animal Flower Cave, and take a tour with a local guide. The natural cave is open for three weeks out of the month and is accessible only (via a number of steep steps) when the tide is out. Your tour guide will chat fluently about the cave, as well as point out the rock formations and little flower-shaped anemone that inspired the cave’s name. Remember to pack your swimming costume for this one as there is also a small pool in which you can take a dip!
If you ask anyone who has been to Barbados what to do during the weekend, nine times out of 10, someone will suggest taking yourself down to the Oistins Fish Fry. Whilst the Fish Fry is open seven days a week, Friday is the night everyone visits to celebrate the beginning of the weekend and tuck into some incredibly fresh and delicious fish. With a fish market not a stone’s throw from the Fish Fry, it’s a hallmark on the freshness of the food, with everything from local delicacy flying fish through to swordfish, mahi-mahi and lobster on offer. The rum punch is cheap, and the food is tasty. Also, the entertainment is fun, energetic and not to be missed. Make sure this is a pit stop for at least one of the Fridays that you’re there.