A tropical breeze, twinkling steel drums and a cocktail in hand… What could possibly be better than spending a day in the port of Barbados? With stunning beaches, crystal clear waters and an oasis of lush gardens, Barbados is surely the ultimate tropical paradise.
But did you know that there is plenty more to do in port than settling down on a beach? The sun worshippers amongst you may be happy to settle down on the pink hued sands but an adventure waits for those of you with a curious mind!
Read on to find out what else lies in store in this intriguing port of call…
Your first stop should be to see the extensive cave system hidden in Saint Thomas parish. The unusual rock formations underground will amaze you as you travel along via tram to see the wall murals, water carvings and amateur photographer haven. Alternatively, you can walk through the caves instead and wander through the darkness at your own pace. The guides in both options will fill you in on the island’s history and all of their spooky stories!
Top tip: Make sure you bring a camera with a flash so you can light up pictures of the twisted rocks inside the cave!
Just a five-minute drive from Harrington’s Cave is Saint Thomas Flower Forest. This little oasis is a jungle like area of flora and fauna with hummingbirds, stunning plants and even monkeys. It’s well worth the trip to see the jungle like forest and wander through the paths covered in tropical life. At the end of your tour, make sure you stop for a drink and a slice of coconut cake!
Did you know? The Flower Forest has won a certificate of excellence from Trip Advisor for being one of the highest rated and most recommended attractions on the island.
Party In the Capital
Even if you’re visiting at 11 o clock in the morning, there’s a party to be had somewhere in Barbados! The tourist friendly hotspot is full of bars and Caribbean nightlife often spills over into the daytime. St Lawrence Gap is the best place to visit diverse cultures, a wide variety of music and some of the best food vendors in town. Grab a drink and watch bands play, join in the street dancing or simply browse the tropical atmosphere. If you visit during the harvest festival (called Crop Over which runs the 9th -23rd of July) you can even put on some face paint and join in the parade!
Scuba Diving Along Dottin’s Reef
All of the reefs are located on the west side of the island and there are several diving sites to go and see the underwater wonderland. We’d recommend a trip to Dottin’s reef where you can see coral, turtles, tropical fish and barracuda! The seasoned divers amongst you can also venture further afield to see ship wrecks. Nearby Stavronikita is a 365ft Greek freighter that is submerged to form an artificial reef and is home to a huge range of fish and coral.
Top tip: If you can’t dive, why not try snorkelling in the shallows? The Western coastline had very flat waters meaning you can have a look at the ocean life without fighting any strong currents!
Golf On Oceanview Courses
If you’re a keen golfer (or even just an amateur after an interesting afternoon) you should head to one of Barbados’ golf courses. Many of them line the coast line meaning that whilst you take a shot you can still look out at the azure blue waters. Whilst you overlook the stunning panoramic views you may also spot some of the local wildlife. The island is famed for its cheeky green monkeys, mongoose and deer which sometimes make an appearance on the courses!
Did you know? The monkeys really are green! Their fur has brown and olive tones leading them to be known as the “Barbados Green Monkeys”.
Take In Some Architecture
When you walk around Barbados you’ll be surprised to see Anglican churches and a strange mishmash of western buildings amongst the ramshackle Caribbean styles. If you head to the capital of Bridgetown you will find the historic Garrison area full of colonial buildings. Bridgetown also has several good museums (including the Barbados Museum & Historical society), a variety of shops and a selection of great waterfront restaurants.
Did you know? The capital of Bridgetown is actually a UNESCO World Heritage site! It was recognised for its historical significance in 2012.
Mix Up Your Beach Visits
If you really have to take a trip to the beach (and we wouldn’t blame you if you did) then make sure you head to the best of the bunch. Miami beach is your best bet for some peace and quiet as you relax on the sand away from it all. We wouldn’t recommend a visit to Bottom Bay. Whilst it may look fairly picturesque the undercurrent means it’s not safe to swim in the water. And what’s a trip to the Caribbean without a dip in the sea?
See Pirate Castle Ruins
Legend has it that this “castle” was built by wealth acquired when the owner Sam Lord plundered ships. Apparently, he lured the ships to reefs on the coast with lanterns and then stole from the wreckage. What’s now left of this grand property is a hot tourist spot for anyone after an arty photo and a pirate history lesson!
Top tip: There is also a beach just round the corner which is perfect for a picnic and relaxing few hours!
Do you like the sound of any of these trips? How you would like to spend your time if you had 4 hours in Barbados? Have you been before? Let us know in the comments below!