Top 10 Things To Do In Barbados
One of the highlights of visiting the Barbados Wildlife Reserve in Speightstown, St. Peter’s parish is getting to interact with animals up close. The park is the home of numerous tropical birds, brocket deer and iguanas, but its most notable residents are the red-footed tortoises that freely wander down the reserve paths, as well as the sticky-fingered green monkeys (previous guests have mentioned the monkeys’ tendency to grab whatever is in your hands and make a run for it).
Visiting the Gun Hill Signal Station is only worth an hour of your time at most, but it’s an hour well spent. The 360-degree view is mindblowing, stretching over the parish of St. George, but you might be stymied by the entry fee. Though it’s less than $5 USD, some travelers feel this is too much to pay for such a short sightseeing trip. There is a small snack bar and gift shop inside, if you want to stretch out your trip even longer.
Named for its sea anemones, Animal Flower Cave is the island’s only accessible sea cave, located under the North Point cliffs in the parish of St. Lucy. Although it’s not as popular as Harrison’s Cave or beaches like Foul or Bottom Bay, you might want to make the jaunt from your hotel area to spend at least an hour exploring the caves and possibly swimming in its rock pools.
A writer tells: “The scenery around the Animal Flower Caves is spectacular. It makes a nice place for a picnic lunch on a warm day.” A previous visitor writes into with: “Be sure to check out the views once leaving the caves — they are spectacular. We would have missed them if not for the taxi driver showing us where to go.” In other words, bringing your camera is a must. You should also wear comfortable, sturdy shoes to better navigate the rocks. And possibly tote a few (Barbadian) dollars — there are a handful of craft stalls selling souvenirs near the cliffs.
You can visit the cave anytime, but its best to go when the sun’s shining. Climbing or swimming in the area can be dangerous at night.
Duty-free shops are a dime a dozen in the Caribbean, but surprisingly, interactive rum tours aren’t. So why not really learn “where de rum come from” while staying in Barbados? The Mount Gay Rum Company of Bridgetown, Barbados offers tours of its facilities and the chance to witness how the island’s first-class drink is made.
Some travelers say the tour is informative, but boring, so you should have a keen interest in rum-making (not just rum-drinking) to attend. To make the most of the experience, consider splurging for the lunch tour (which also includes transportation to and from your hotel). You can take the Mount Gay Rum Tour on weekdays from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Stop by the gift shop before you head back to the hotel and pick up a few duty-free bottles to cart home. Mount Gay Rum’s official offers further details.
Get over the name, pack a beach bag, and prepare to be amazed — many travelers say Foul Bay is one of the most panoramic beaches in Barbados. This largely undisturbed shore is popular with Bajans but receives little traffic from tourists. As such, you shouldn’t expect many of the usual creature comforts of vacation — changing rooms, beach bars and shops are nonexistent — but there’s plenty of undisturbed blanched sand for relaxing.
A opines, “This beach on the south-east coast of Barbados is one of the most beautiful I have seen in my life, and was almost deserted. It’s a little tricky to find (we went as part of an island tour), but I promise you, it’s worth the effort.” Meanwhile, a user states, “It doesn’t have any hotels on it, and it was a great romantic beach. … The surf was a little bit heavy, and to go in the water here you’d better be an OK swimmer (it’s not as calm as the western side of the island).”
Slaves working on Barbados’ sugar plantations in the 1600s used to celebrate the end of the harvest with singing and dancing. Present day Bajans still commemorate that the “Crop’s Over” with a summer party to rival the Caribbean carnivals of Trinidad & Tobago or the U.S. Virgin Islands. Previous travelers say that a special trip to Barbados’ Crop Over Festival isn’t necessary, because if you’re visiting the island in summer there’s no way to miss the two-month event.
The real activity picks up in July, when island residents and visitors lime through the Bridgetown streets to Queens Park. All day (and night) parties continue throughout the month, as do calypso band competitions and food fairs. Crop Over ends with the Grand Kandooment, a colossus street parade with lively calypso, colorful costumes and spirited dancing.
All this spirited revelry is free to enjoy, but you’ll want to bring spending money for the food fairs.
Lots of travelers recommend you forget about the swanky white-tablecloth eateries come the weekend, when the smells of barbecued chicken and flying fish waft from southern Barbados and the Oistins Fish Fry. The outdoor street fair features plenty of good reggae and flowing rum, and the food helpings are large and inexpensive.
#2 Bottom Bay (Rated 4.3)
The sweet shoreline of Bottom Bay is probably the best on Barbados, and unfortunately, one of the most crowded. Like other eastern Barbados beaches, Bottom Bay’s waves can sometimes be too large and foamy for weak swimmers or children. And if you want to experience the beach at its best, travelers suggest you visit in the morning before the area cliffs hide Bottom Bay in the shadows.
It’s Barbados’ relative isolation in the Atlantic Ocean that creates its awesome surfing waves. They says, “A wave can travel nearly three thousand miles in the open ocean, undisturbed by sandbars, reefs or land, before it breaks here — on an unlikely little island shaped like a teardrop, off the radar of all but the most devoted surfers.” The Soup Bowl, one of the island’s most famous breakers, is a phenomenon that occurs on Barbados’ east coast at Bathsheba Beach. Labeled one of the best waves in the world, Soup Bowl regularly lures hard-core surfers to the island.
You shouldn’t tackle the enormous swells at Bathsheba unless you’re a truly proficient swimmer and surfer. But a day trip to witness the Soup Bowl in all its glory could still be worth it. A vacationer tells that he and his party “watched about a dozen experienced surfers take turns riding waves, sometimes two at a time, just off the coast… Just across the parking access, there is the Surf Bowl Café. Great place to watch and have a beer even if the weather is bad.” It’s also a very scenic spot with several mushroom-like rocks jutting out of the sand and water, so bring your camera.
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Article sourced from US News Travel
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