Barbados is home to stunning natural beauty and a unique style of Caribbean culture you won’t find anywhere else. We rounded up a few ways you might not expect to experience the best of the island’s landscapes and people.
Divi Southwinds Beach Resort is the perfect home base for your exploration of the island. Centrally located on the St. Lawrence Gap in Bridgetown, it’s easy to rent a car and experience Barbados firsthand. The island is only 21 miles (34km) long and 14 miles (23km) wide, and many vacationers choose to see it all in a single day, returning to Divi Southwinds by nightfall. If you’d rather take your time, however, the island will reward you with breathtaking views and rich cultural experiences.
#1 Bathsheba Beach
Bathsheba is a striking white-sand beach located along the East Coast, scattered with rock formations that seem to be boulders—but are actually the only remnants of an ancient coral reef that eroded long ago. The view is dramatic and unforgettable. Enjoy a picnic on the grass at Bathsheba Park, and walk along the beach for truly incredible photo opportunities.
#2 Oistins Fish Fry
Tourists and locals alike flock to Oistins Fish Fry every Friday night, just a short drive from Divi Southwinds. Flying fish is a Bajan tradition, and you’ll find plenty of it here, as well as a huge range of other local fish. All of the fish platters have generous portions and come highly recommended, although you’ll want to arrive early—the lines for food can get long! You’ll be able to shop for local handicrafts in nearby stalls, however, and maybe even enjoy a breathtaking sunset from the pier.
#3 Farley Hill National Park
Farley Hill is an out-of-the-way spot toward the northern tip of the island with an impressive view overlooking the inland forests all the way to the northeastern coastline. Mahogany trees, native to the Caribbean but overharvested on other islands, are a protected species on Barbados, and this park has an entire grove of them. Farley Hill is also home to the beautiful ruins of a mansion destroyed by fire in 1965—now a backdrop for evening concerts and other events.
#4 St. Nicholas Abbey
St. Nicholas Abbey is a former sugar cane plantation that was recently renovated into an active rum distillery. Tour the house and the grounds for a fascinating glimpse into architectural history as well as many Barbadian artifacts from the 17th century onward. The rum production facility is also open to the public—St. Nicholas Abbey prides itself on using traditional small-batch “pot still” distillation methods. Visitors can also view the bourbon oak casks used in the aging process. Make sure to leave time for a rum tasting and a pleasant meal outdoors at the on-site café.
Barbados is full of hidden gems, and we’ve barely scratched the surface. Where are your favorite off-the-beaten-path spots on the island?