The near perfect weather and the pink, sandy beaches of Barbados attract tourists to this culturally rich island. Most of all, you'll love the island's amazing restaurants. But you're not on vacation just to eat. You want some beach, some activity and some fun. You'll find it all here. Although it’s only a mere 166 square miles, Barbados boasts some 60 beaches, all of which are free and open to the public. With an average daily temp of 78 degrees and lots of sunny days, nearly every day is a perfect day to visit! And if having afternoon tea or taking up the sport of cricket interest you, then you’ll appreciate the island’s distinct British flavor. In addition to that, Barbados flaunts its bragging rights as the birthplace of rum so, plan to sample a rum punch or two while you’re there. While most of the resorts, restaurants and island activity are in southern Barbados, the eastern side of the island is gaining a following for its natural landscapes and wicked surf, including one of the best surfing spots in the world – the Soup Bowl. So whether you want great food, great fun or great beaches, Barbados has it all.
Start Planning Your Barbados Vacation
Mapping Out Barbados
St Lawrence Gap is located south of Bridgetown and is a major hub for eating, drinking and shopping. Considered the most sophisticated portion of the island, many visitors remain in this part of the island for their entire stay. But if you want to see a more rural, historic side of Barbados, traveling through the central region of the country allows you to see the natural vegetation Barbados has to offer. Taking a tour up to the northern point will let you see some gorgeous 19th century buildings with overhanging balconies. Many of these homes are being renovated. You’ll also get to see fishing villages with breathtaking views of the Atlantic Ocean.
One Rum Punch, Please
Most Caribbean islands claim being the founding father of rum, but Barbados has the world’s oldest distillery. Mount Gay has been producing rum well before 1703, so they might just have bragging rights to be the birthplace of rum!
To really learn about this sweet treat, take the 45-minute tour in their Bridgetown plant and learn about the rum-making process. The intense process of turning sugar cane into fine rum will give you a whole new appreciation for the alcohol. And to quench your thirst, the tour even includes sampling the rum.
If you're looking for a great souvenir, you can buy a bottle of this famous concoction to take home with you!
Plan to spend an afternoon experiencing Barbados on horseback. You’ll love riding along the shores as the gentle ocean waves roll in. The breathtaking views you’ll see of the ocean and countryside make for memorable moments on your vacation. This is for sure a photo op moment! Can't you see a vacation picture of yourself on a horse with the ocean in the background?
Most tours will take you through lush green trails and down to the beach, where you can ride along the ocean's edge. You'll for sure stop off at some great lookout points with stunning views of Barbados. Saddle up for this journey of the island!
A Sporting Tradition
Barbadians are enthusiastic sportsmen and love a wide variety of sports and activities. And, if you have always wanted to see a Polo Tournament, then plan to see visiting teams take on teams from Barbados. The sport dates back to 1884 in Barbados and has a strong polo club that has made sure this sport is a continued tradition.
The sport delights children as they watch the majestic horses charge up and down the field. And the skill of the players as they strike their mallet and control their horse is amazing to see. The best time to see a tournament is Jan-May, during Polo season. This Barbados tradition makes for a day of family fun!
The tournaments often draw large crowds, but you'll have several sporting facilities to choose from to watch this sport in action.
Tantalizing Turtle Adventure
In 1987, the Barbados Sea Turtle Project began to help keep turtles protected on the island. Because of their efforts, the island now boasts a healthy population of these tantalizing turtles.
So, when you want to explore more on your snorkeling adventure than the brightly colored coral and the vibrant marine life, choose a tour where you get to interact and play with the sea turtles.
These delightful creatures glide through the sea, making it easy for you to interact with them. A trusty guide should be near, too! You’ll love seeing turtles in their natural habitat on your island adventure. Plus, you'll get to take a refreshing swim in the ocean.
Calling All Serious Surfers
Barbados is home to one of the world’s most famous surfing sites, the Soup Bowl. Off the east coast of the island, the Soup Bowl calls only those that are proficient swimmers and skilled surfers.
Even if you aren’t a surfer, taking a day to sit back on the beach and watch the experienced surfers take on the waves is still worth your time. It's fascinating to watch how effortlessly they can glide over the waters.
In November, the Independence Classic Surfing Championship is held here. So, if you want to see the pros in action, plan to check it out on your vacation.
Barbados Quick Facts
English, but the Bajan dialect can be heard around the island.
Barbados dollar is the official dollar, but the US dollar is widely accepted.
110v is available in the majority of the hotels, but some do have 220v.
All U.S. citizens must have a valid passport when traveling to and from Barbados.
Drink only bottled or boiled water, or carbonated (bubbly) drinks in cans or bottles. Avoid tap water, fountain drinks, and ice cubes.
Eastern Standard Time (UTC/GMT -4 hours)
Mid-December through mid-May