There’s nothing quite like a Caribbean vacation and to be honest, we could all use one right now. Sure you could spend all of your time soaking up the sun on the beaches, but the island has so much more to see and do. The country is full of culture, holding true to British traditions as well as Caribbean and African influences. Before traveling to Barbados, turn to this guide to plan your island vacation.
Best Times to Visit
The best times to visit are between July and November. While this falls during the Caribbean’s hurricane season, they rarely hit the island and you’ll be able to attend one of the Crop Over Festival activities during these months. The temperatures are between the mid-70s and mid-80s year-round.
How to Get Around
You’re best renting a car to get around Barbados. Taxis are really expensive, with the fair being set by the government, so try and stay clear of them.
Where to Stay
This 5-star hotel located in St. James has impressive ground, a free breakfast, four restaurants, amazing amenities, and lavish furnishings. There are also three golf courses, a spa, and a beach on-site. The resort provides cold towels, Evian mists, sorbets, and fresh fruit at the beach.
Cobblers Cove, a 4.5-star hotel, located in St. Peter, is an intimate retreat with just 40 suites with private balconies or terraces with gardens or ocean views, sitting rooms, and bathrooms with walk-in-showers. Some of the complimentary inclusions are swimming with turtles, tennis lessons, and nonmotorized sports equipment rentals. One of the highlights of the hotel is its Camelot Restaurant, which has some of the freshest seafood.
Fairmont Royal Pavilion
This luxurious 4.5-star hotel located in St. James has oceanfront rooms, suites, and villas, a free breakfast, one afternoon tea credit per seven-night stay, twice-weekly yoga classes, swimming with turtles experiences, a fitness center, a tennis court, and nonmotorized water sports equipment. There’s also a freshwater pool, two restaurants, a spa, and a salon with hair, makeup, and nail services.
What to Do
This beach located on Barbados’ east coast, is a dream come true for surfers and photographers. In fact, international surfing competitions are held there. But, it’s not safe to swim in as there are rough waters and rock formations.
If you’re looking for a place to swim, check out Carlisle Bay, located on the southwestern coast of Barbados. The beach has calm waters, ideal for swimming and six shipwrecks which make it great for snorkeling. It’s not uncommon to see rock lobsters, turtles, and fish in the waters.
St. Nicholas Abbey
While there are larger rum distilleries like Mount Gay Rum and West Indies Rum on the island, St. Nicholas Abbey has a historic charm that the others don’t have. This distillery distills its rum in traditional small batches and there is a 350-year-old plantation home on the property that has antiques. There are also gardens and orchards located throughout the property.
What to Eat
Fish is super popular on the island and the national dish of Barbados is flying fish with a side of cou cou. The most popular methods of preparing frying fish are frying, steaming, baking, and pickling.
The other half of the national dish of the island is cou cou and it’s made with cornmeal and okra. It’s best paired with flying fish and it’s similar to polenta or grits.
Bajan Black Cake
This cake is super rich and is made by soaking fruits like cherries and raisins in rum with spices.