**Even if you are in Barbados for longer than 1 Day, this Itinerary can still be very useful**
Are you on a cruise and only have 8-12 hours to explore the beautiful island of Barbados? Or island hopping? Here is your your perfect itinerary for a FULL day of adventures.
First and foremost, Barbados is one of our absolute favorite islands. The people are nice and helpful, and the island itself is stunning. We always felt safe, all of the beaches are public, and there is such a wide variety of scenery and experiences to take in. Plus, Barbados has an aquifer system which means when you drink from the tap you are drinking clean spring water, which is a huge plus! There are a million reasons that 18+ global billionaires have homes here.
If you know us, you know that we love seeing and doing everything that we possibly can in whatever amount of time that we have. So, we want to help you to do exactly that with our Ultimate One Day Barbados Itinerary.
First off, preparation is crucial. We recommend packing everything the night before so you can be one of the first people off the ship. So, think about what activities you are planning on doing for the day. With this itinerary there are a lot of different activities we cover, from sightseeing, to snorkeling, to going shopping, to cliff jumping, and cave swimming, etc. Also, remember to sync your watch with the SHIP TIME. The ship will leave port at SHIP TIME not local time. Your Phone will sync to local time and you do NOT want your ship to leave you.
Here are some essentials we recommend you bring off the ship with you:
A day bag - backpack or tote bag
Copy of your passports
Snacks & water
Bathing suit (We usually wear ours off the ship with cover-ups)
Towels (if you are on a cruise you can usually check out towels, just make sure to bring them back)
Wallet (some cash, travel credit card, room key)
ID (for driving & for bar access)
Change of clothes
Dry bag for electronics
Zip lock for wet items
Medications (if needed)
Beach excursion portable lock box safe
A watch (so you are not late for SHIP TIME)
Camera gear & extra batteries
Phones & portable charger
We recommend waking up early and eating a hearty breakfast (after all, you did already pay for it), and take some fruit and snacks in your bag for the day. To make the most of your time off the ship, try to be one of the first ones off to pick up your rental car at the port.
Remember: Barbados used to be a British colony. Which means they drive on the left side of the road. Being Americans, we were worried about driving on the other side of the road, but don’t worry, honestly, you get used to it pretty quickly. It just makes the adventure that much more exciting! But be on the lookout for potholes, they can be pretty bad.
If you don’t feel comfortable driving on the left side of the road you can always get a taxi or a private driver for the day, but that option is quite a bit more expensive.
Now that we’ve covered all of the logistics, let’s dive into the fun part… the itinerary!
1. Rhianna’s Childhood Home (~4 minutes from the port)
Let’s start off with going to Rihanna’s Childhood home. (Westbury New Rd, Bridgetown BB11154, Barbados) This is where the pop star grew up and it’s super close to the port. The house is very small and quite the contrast of the lavish lifestyle Rhianna lives these days, but it's worth saying you’ve seen it if you’re into pop culture and music.
2. St. James Parish Church (~15 minutes from Rhianna’s House)
Next, you'll visit St. James Parish Church. (Holetown, Highway 1, Folkestone, Barbados) Founded in 1628, this is the oldest church on the island and is a beautiful piece of history.
3. Folkstone Marine Park (~1 minute from St James Parish)
Now let's go to the west coast. They call the west coast the Platinum Coast because the water is crystal clear and super calm. It’s also where all of the super wealthy have homes. It’s perfect for kayaking, paddleboarding, and swimming. We recommend going to Folkstone Marine Park. They have snorkel equipment available for rent if you don’t have your own, and there is NO FEE for the marine park. We prefer to snorkel and scuba dive but they do have glass bottom boats for you to see the reefs as well. The reef is about one-third of a mile off shore and has an underwater trail that goes around the reef.
4. Fish Pot (~13 minutes from Folkstone Marine Park)
After a morning full of snorkeling and relaxing at the beach, you've probably worked up an appetite. So, head over to the Fish Pot for a nice lunch on the patio overlooking the ocean.
5. Animal Flower Cave (~16 minutes from Fish Pot)
Following a lovely lunch, you’ll head to Animal Flower Cave which is located at the northernmost point of the island. The cave itself is under the North Point Cliffs in St. Lucy parish and is the island's only accessible sea cave. It has amazing views of the ocean and is super romantic. And if you visit between February and April you might get lucky and see humpback whales off the coast. Be sure to bring your water shoes as the floor of the cave is coral and can be rough of your feet. We happened to catch it on a slow day, so we got to enjoy swimming in the cave all by ourselves. Our guide was super sweet and informative, and even offered to take our pictures. While there are no lockers here, we felt totally comfortable leaving our items with our tour guide while we swam. The 7 acre area surrounding the cave which includes a clifftop restaurant and bar, souvenir shop, restrooms, and a farm is open from 9 am to 4:30 pm every day, and guided tours of the cave are available during those hours as well, no reservation required. Tour tickets which include cave access, cost BDS $25 (about USD $12.50) per adult and BDS$ 10 (around USD $5) per child younger than 12. The price is a bit steep but we think swimming in a cave is a bucket list item.
6. Barbados Wildlife Reserve (~16 minutes from Animal Flower Cave)
Now, lets go to the Barbados Wildlife Reserve to see animals, especially the cute green monkeys! The best part is that most of the animals roam freely through the reserve, which is great for photo ops. The best time to be there is 11 am or 2 pm since that is their feeding times. Admission also entitles you to visit the adjacent park “Grenade Hall Forest & Signal Station”. The cost is BDS $30 ($15 USD) for adults & BDS $15 ($7.50 USD) for children.
7. Cherry Tree Hill (~6 minutes from the Wildlife Reserve)
From there you’ll drive to Cherry Tree Hill. At 900 ft, this is the highest point in Barbados, so you get a spectacular view of the Atlantic Ocean, that is worth the photo op.
8. Cattlewash Beach (~11 minutes from Cherry Tree Hill)
After your photo op, you’ll head down the East Coast of the island, known for its mushroom rocks and great surfing. Your next stop is Cattlewash Beach, which is a beautiful stretch of beach that has a big rock on it called the Round Rock that has a bench on top. Climb up to the top and watch the beautiful waves. It’s also a great photo spot. But, beware, the climb is not for the faint of heart, but the risk is worth the reward.
9. Bathsheba Beach (~4 minutes from Cattlewash Beach)
From there you'll head to Bathsheba beach. These are where most of the mushroom rocks are. If you are not a strong swimmer, it isn’t recommended that you swim here, but there are prolific rock coral reef pools that are exposed at low tide that provide safe waters in which to cool off. We recommend that you bring water shoes because the reefs can be pretty rough on your feet and slippery. There is also a small cement hut/building on the beach that is great for photos.
10. St. John’s Parish Church (~12 minutes from Bathsheba Beach)
Now, you can head inland to St. John’s Parish Church which ended up being one of our favorite places on the island. The view from the church’s cemetery is absolutely breathtaking. It was covered with frangipani trees which Natalie fell in love with and are now her favorite flowers. It’s a beautiful location for photos or to just sit back and take in the stunning views.
11. Crane Beach
(~28 minutes from St. John’s Parish Church)
Jump in the car and head south to one of our favorite beaches, Crane Beach. You may have heard of Crane beach, as it's known for its pink sand. To be honest, it has hints of pink, so don’t get your hopes up too much. It is still very beautiful though! There is only one entrance to the beach and it has stepping stones on the rocks right on the ocean with the waves crashing up next to you. IT’S AMAZING! There is also a great spot for cliff jumping at the far end of this beach.
12. Carlisle Bay (~28 minutes from Crane Beach)
The last stop but certainly not the least, is Carlisle Bay. It is the best spot to go swimming and snorkeling with the turtles. There are so many snorkeling catamaran excursions that come to Carlisle Bay, but instead of spending your whole day on a catamaran (and a lot of money), you can swim right from the beach and get the same snorkeling experience... like swimming with the turtles and diving to one of the 6 shipwrecks. If you don’t have snorkeling gear we recommend going to the Boatyard Beach Club. For cruise passengers it is USD $25 entrance fee, it includes a welcome drink, use of any beach chairs and umbrellas, water trampoline, rope swing, free sail out to snorkel over a shipwreck, and bathrooms and showers. USD $5 lockers are also available with a USD $5 refundable deposit. The entrance fee also includes FREE Wi-Fi. *Pro Tip* Make your reservation to snorkel as soon as you get there to make sure you don’t run out of time. There is also a restaurant that serves food, and during happy hour there is buy 1 get 1 free drink special. Make sure to bring your ID, as it is required for entry since they have a bar. And be sure to get an ice cold Banks Beer which is the local beer in Barbados.
Head back to your ship (~6 minutes from Carlisle Bay), sit back and relax because you just did and saw everything that you could fit into a day in Barbados. Be proud of yourself! You killed it!
Check out our "Barbados" Instagram Story Highlight for videos and inspiration for your next trip to our favorite Caribbean island.