Home to famed singer Rihanna and Mount Gay Rum (the rum that invented rum), this surprisingly large island with a British heritage offers endless amounts of fun and adventure both on land and below the water. Our corporate Communications Specialist, Alyssa Smith recently experienced the island for herself and we followed along to find out what makes Barbados so special.
1. ENDLESS ACTIVITIES
Whether you’re longing for leisurely days lounging beachside or seeking a thrilling new adventure, there’s something for everyone on Barbados. Delicious food, lush landscapes, friendly faces and striking landmarks you have to see to believe, are in abundance on this island. Fun for the whole family or romantic island bliss for two lovebirds, Barbados checks all the boxes for a perfect Caribbean paradise.
2. MONKEYS GALORE
They are everywhere, and they are adorable! Originally brought to the island 350 years ago from West Africa as pets, these quick-moving mammals are a joy to watch in their natural habitat. While you can see Green Monkeys anywhere on the island, the best place to catch a closer look is at the Barbados Wildlife Reserve, where not only can you see hundreds of monkeys doing what they do best – monkeying around, but you can also watch as unique species of deer, tortoises, peacocks, caimans, iguanas and more roam freely throughout the 4-acre forest. Insider tip: arrive a little before 2 p.m. so you don’t miss feeding time, where all the animals gather to grub out. For details, visit www.barbadoswildlifereserve.com.
3. BEAUTIFUL BEACHES
Warm sand, turquoise water and sunny skies are always on the menu on Barbados! With more than 70 miles of both pink and white sand beaches, there’s a shore for every occasion. Check out Bathsheba for the coolest rock formations, Browne’s Beach for stellar snorkeling and Dover Beach for the ultimate in relaxation, located right on Divi Southwinds’ property.
4. FOODIE HEAVEN
If you’re a culinary connoisseur, a gastronomy guru or just a traveler who loves to chow down, Barbados is the island for you. Stop by Divi Southwind’s on-site restaurant, pureocean to savor award-winning Executive Chef Henderson Butcher’s perfectly fried flying fish and rich macaroni pie, both local delicacies you have to try. And if you want to experience the island’s best fusion of food, entertainment and culture, stop by Oistins Bay Gardens for the famed Oistins Fish Fry every Friday night. Oistins is open every night of the week, but the seafood market really comes alive Friday nights with sizzling seafood, energetic music and a bustling crowd of locals and tourists ready to devour the most authentic Barbadian dishes. The locals swear by Pat’s Place & Uncle George’s, but be sure to arrive early to avoid long lines.
5. STELLAR SURFING (FOR ALL SKILL LEVELS)
If you think surfing is not for you, think again! Barry’s Surf Shop will have you shredding waves like a pro in no time. Open to all skill levels, a beginner surfing lesson with Barry’s includes a quick beachside class to learn how to properly stand up on the board, and then you’re off. With a stand up success rate of 99%, you’re bound to discover why the sport is so addictive, and who knows, maybe you’ll find out you missed your true calling in life! To book your lesson, visit www.surfing-barbados.com.
6. SWIM WITH TURTLES
Dive into an underwater world where turtles, fish and colorful sea creatures abound. Climb aboard Tiami’s 60-ft catamaran to spend the day snorkeling and swimming side-by-side with turtles and a variety of exotic fish, a truly once-in-a-lifetime experience. Back on the boat, enjoy a fully stocked bar, delicious snacks and a full lunch, all served up by an attentive, upbeat crew. To book your tour, visit tiamicatamarancruises.com.
7. HARBOUR LIGHTS BARBADOS
Think dinner and a movie, but a million times better! Harbour Lights Barbados’ Beach Extravaganza Dinner Show is a must while on the island, happening on Mondays and Wednesdays only. Enjoy a night full of lively entertainment from bands, dancers, stilt walkers, acrobats and even a fire performer. Add great music, an upbeat party environment with dancing and balloons, flowing drinks and a traditional Bajan style BBQ, and you’ve got an ideal night out on Barbados. For more details, visit
8. ST. NICHOLAS ABBEY
What do you get when you mix history with rum? The St. Nicholas Abbey! No, it’s not an actual abbey, but it is filled with 350 years of history and Barbados’ finest aged rum, just waiting to be sipped. Originally a sugarcane plantation, this now museum, working rum distillery and plantation home has a cafe, tropical birds, vibrant gardens, mahogany forests, tropical gullies, a steam mill, a courtyard and more, all on its 400-acre property. For more details, visit www.stnicholasabbey.com.
9. COOL CAVES
Prepare for a journey far below the ground into mystical caverns to explore the island’s most popular attraction, Harrison’s Cave. This natural wonder features fascinating grottos, dripping stalactite formations that look like glistening chandeliers, huge echoing caverns and underground waterfalls. Marvel at the formations as you wind through the caves by tram or book the Eco-Adventure Tour where you get down and dirty to discover the caves by foot, and sometimes by hand and knee, for even more excitement. For more details, visit www.harrisonscave.com. Another sweet spot to visit is the Animal Flower Cave, the island’s only accessible sea cave, located on the north side of Barbados. Named for its many sea anemones, this is a popular destination for locals and tourists thanks to its spectacular views, a natural swimming pool inside the cave and a restaurant overlooking the crashing waves.
10. LUSH LANDSCAPES
No matter where you look, you’re bound to find abundant greenery, majestic towering trees and vibrant flowers, and there’s no shortage of sanctuaries dedicated to preserving the island’s flora and fauna. Bask in the natural beauty with a scenic drive up Cherry Tree Hill or a stop at the ever-popular Flower Forest, Hunte’s Garden or Andromeda Botanic Gardens. For more details, visit flowerforestbarbados.com, huntesgardensbarbados.com and andromedabarbados.com. You can also book a full-day island excursion with Glory Tours to uncover even more of the island’s remarkable sights. For tour details, visit www.glorytours.org.