As a tourist destination, Barbados offers a variety of activities, in which persons can engage, on their vacation. These include anything from parties to cruises; from lazing around and enjoying the scenery, to going on island adventures. Here are some of the best things you can do in Barbados, to help you plan your vacation perfectly.
Visit the Soup Bowl
So named because of its foamy surf, the Soup Bowl is the ideal beach for surfing. In fact, the waves at this popular location have been dubbed the best in the world. Catch a wave or two on your visit here, but, do so only if you are a great swimmer. The ideal times to visit the Soup Bowl, for surfing purposes, are between the months of August and March, but you can visit the area at any time of the year, because it is a beautiful place for a picnic.
Experience the Oistins Fish Fry
There is probably no better place to be on Friday and Saturday Nights than at the Oistins Fish fry. But don’t be misled by the name Fish Fry because there is much more to Oistins, on the weekend, than good food and drink.
From as early as 6:00 pm, droves of tourists can be seen making their way, mainly by public transport, to Oistins for dinner. There are joined by hundreds of locals, and by 7:00 pm the place is jam-packed. Those who stay for the after dinner show are treated to the finest display of dancing, indoors and under the stars, to “back-in-time,” calypso, soca and reggae music. Then there is the show on the expansive stage where, on any night, patrons are treated to local artists and visitors singing Karaōke, doing acrobatics, “wukking-up,” modeling, playing the steel pan, and all kinds of impromptu performances. And there is always a Michael Jackson imitator on hand.
Experience the Crop Over Festival
Barbadians, at home and overseas, look forward, every year, to the Crop Over Festival which begins in June and runs until the first Monday in August, Grand Kadooment Day. The festival which is held under the auspices of the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) seeks to show off the best that Barbados has to offer, in a smörgåsbord of cultural disciplines.
Most of the attention is focused on the Calypso and Soca competitions which are certain to feature such big names as Red Plastic Bag, The Mighty Gabby, John King, Classic, Biggie Irie, L’il Rick and TC. So there is great interest in Calypso tents, Costume bands, Soca on the Hill, Sweet Soca, Party Monarch, Tune of the Crop, Pan on the Sand, Foreday Morning Jam and the big jump up on Kadooment Day.
Visit the Mount Gay Rum Visitor’s Centre
The Mount Gay Rum Distillery is one of the oldest in the world; and, according to aficionados, it produces the best rum in the world. A tour of the facilities provides the opportunity to learn about the history of rum in Barbados. It also allows visitors a rare opportunity, not only to get a close look at the intricacies of the rum production process, but to taste the variety of rums as well.
Experience the Barbados Wildlife Reserve
The Barbados Wildlife reserve is known as the animal kingdom of Barbados. Some of the birds, and animals at the reserve are caged, while others roam freely in their natural environment. While browsing in the Reserve you will be able to interact with the Barbados Green Monkey and a variety of birds, snakes, iguanas and armadillos.
Visit Harrison’s Cave
A tour of the Barbados is not complete unless one visits Harrison’s Cave, the most popular natural attraction on the island. The cave which was cut out of the limestone thousands of years ago, by the natural flow of calcium enriched water, was rediscovered in 1975, but was not open to the public until 1981. Access to the Cave is by electrically powered trams only. The 45-minute tour introduces visitors to spectacular formations of stalactites, stalagmites, limestone ceilings and configurations dubbed “the Rotunda”, “the Altar” and “the Village.”
Go on an Island Tour
There is so much to see and experience on this lovely island, and so many different ways to do so. You can take in the island’s natural beauty on board an island safari bus; go on a tour of that part of Bridgetown which was recently designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, or even hop aboard the Old Bajan Bus for an exciting cultural experience. However, if you so desire, you can hire a taxi and explore the island.
Take a Tour of a Plantation House
If you are interested in learning about the history and architecture of the old plantation houses in the Caribbean, Barbados should be your first stop. Besides the Great House known as Nicholas Abbey, in St. Peter and the one at Drax Hall, St. George, both of which date back to the 17th century, there are many more which are in a remarkably good state of repair and are regularly open for viewing by the public. The Plantation Great Houses are a treasury of examples of Jacobean, Georgian and Victorian architecture.
Experience Underwater Life via the Atlantis Submarine
Do you want to get up close to the underwater life of Barbados without getting wet? Then hop aboard a submarine. The Atlantis Submarine is one of the best ways to experience underwater life in Barbados. Whether you choose the daytime dive or the romantic night dive, it will be an experience like no other.
Experience the Beach Extravaganza Dinner Show
Every week, at Harbour Lights, on Bay Street, patrons are treated to a once-in-a– lifetime cultural extravaganza. Enjoy a sumptuous barbeque, with lots of Bajan delicacies, while witnessing costumed dancers, fire eaters and stilt walkers perform for your entertainment. Other cultural acts include the shaggy bear, the limbo queen, and of course, music by the tuk band. The fee, for this great event, covers dinner, drinks and transportation to and from your hotel.
Take a Catamaran Tour
Catamaran tours in Barbados are very popular, especially those all-inclusive packages that allow you to experience a range of activities. Not only can you lounge around and relax, but you can also snorkel and scuba dive with the turtles.
Experience Horse Racing at the Garrison Savannah
Horse racing in Barbados had its origins, in 1845, at the Garrison Savannah, when the British soldiers were stationed there. The sport has advanced, by leaps and bounds, to a point where the Garrison is now among the most popular racing venues in the Caribbean. The Sandy Lane Gold cup, which takes place on the first Saturday in March, is the most prestigious event on the racing calendar; it is followed by Barbados’ version of the Triple Crown: The Banks Barbados Guineas, The Pinnacle Feeds Midsummer Creole Classic and the Barbados Derby.
Visit a Botanic Garden
Want to get close to nature and the floral delights Barbados have to offer? Then the Botanic Gardens are the places to visit. Among the most popular are Andromeda Gardens, The Flower Forest and Hunte’s Nurseries in St. Joseph and Orchid World in St. George.
Experience a Sunrise or Sunset on the Coast
There is no greater place to experience a sunset or a sunrise than in the Caribbean, especially in Barbados. Sunsets are best seen on the south and west coasts while sunrises are, ideally, viewed from the east coast.
Go to the Beach!
Barbados has always been known for the white and sandy beauty of its beaches. No matter where you are on the island you are never very far from a beach. Among the most popular places, to go for a swim, are Brandon’s and Browne’s Beach in St. Michael, Accra, Dover and Enterprise in Christ Church, Bath in St. John and Mullins in St. Peter. For snorkeling, scuba diving, jet skiing and other water sports, the South Coast is the best bet. The East coast is ideal for surfing.
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© Photo 4 taken from Carnival.com
© Photo 5 taken from Caribvacationguide.com
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