Barbados is one of our absolute favorite Caribbean islands. It is a small but vast island. There is so much more to Barbados than just relaxing on its beautiful beaches and swimming in its clear, turquoise water. It offers such an array of landscapes, from the cliffs on the north point, to the wild Atlantic side best known for surfing, to the calm and luxurious east end. There truly is something for everyone on this amazing island. After spending 8 adventure-packed days on this slice of paradise (it was hard work but somebody had to do it), we did our best to narrow it down to our TOP 10 Things To Do in Barbados. We are excited for you to fall in love with this country like we have. Have fun and tag us on Instagram @AdventuresofMattandNat so we can see your Barbados adventures!
The North Point Cliffs are located in St. Lucy parish and are the northernmost point of the island. They have amazing views of the ocean, and if you visit between February and April you might get lucky and see humpback whales off the coast. Underneath the cliffs is the island's only accessible sea cave, Animal Flower Cave. It has a beautiful swimming lagoon with giant open “windows” that overlook the Atlantic Ocean. Be sure to bring your water shoes as the floor of the cave is coral and can be slippery and rough on your feet. We were fortunate to visit on a slow day and got to enjoy swimming in the cave all by ourselves. Our guide was super sweet and even offered to take our pictures. And 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 and cliffs includes a clifftop restaurant and bar, souvenir shop, restrooms, and a farm which are all open from 9 am to 4:30 pm every day. Guided tours of the cave are available during those hours as well, no reservation required. Tour tickets, which include cave access, cost $12.50 USD ($25 BDS) per adult and $5 USD ($10 BDS) per child younger than 12. The price is a bit steep but we think swimming in a cave is a bucket list item.
If you love breweries then this tour is for you. The brewery is in an industrial area close to Oistins. The tour takes about 35-45 minutes which includes a short video on the process of making their beer. For adults, the cost is $13 USD ($26 BDS) and for children under 18 it is $11 USD ($22 BDS). This price includes 2 free Banks tastings after the tour ends. They also have a nice outdoor courtyard with covered seating with a bar where you can try all of the different varieties of Banks. We recommend you check the website for their tour times but at this time they are Monday - Friday: 10am, 12pm and 2pm.
This ended up being one of our favorite things we did while in Barbados. What better way to spend a day cruising along the beautiful waters, wind in your hair, and drinking a mimosa headed to swim with turtles? There are many options to choose from for a catamaran cruise, but we ended up choosing Calabaza Sailing Cruises because it was recommended to us for being the best all-around experience. We truly can not say enough about Calabaza Sailing Cruises! The crew was amazing! Super friendly and very attentive. The cruises are normally anywhere from 12-13 people and we were fortunate to have a great group of people on ours that really made the experience even better. We booked the “lunch cruise”, which includes, a tapas breakfast, all you can eat lunch, premium bar (unlimited), 2 snorkel stops (1 with turtles & 1 with a shipwreck), equipment, a lesson if you have never snorkeled before, and not to mention that they take pictures all day and you get access to all the photos, including the underwater pictures. We also stopped a 3rd time for lunch and swimming near the famous Sandy Lane Hotel. At that stop, there were vendors offering jet ski rides or tubing for an extra charge. We opted out of the extra’s and just spent our afternoon swimming with floats (they provided) and jumping off the catamaran. At $133 USD ($266 BDS) for adults and $103 USD ($206 BDS) for children under 12, this is definitely not the cheapest thing you could choose to do, but we felt that our catamaran cruise was worth every single penny. We recommend making reservations in advance, either by phone or on their user-friendly website. If you’re looking for a more high energy, party-vibe atmosphere, check out Cool Runnings.
Oistins is a quaint fishing and market town located along the coastline of the Christ Church parish, and their fish market has become notorious for having some of the best seafood on the island. And while Oistins market is open 6am-11pm 7 days a week, their Friday Night Fish Fry is what you don’t want to miss. This weekly event is easily one of the most popular Friday night gatherings for tourists and locals alike. There is food, music, dancing, more music, and did we mention food?! There are dozens of vendors with open flame grills serving up some of the freshest fish and seafood plates you’ll ever have. Be prepared for crowded walkways, long lines, and limited seating, but we promise that it’s worth it. We were recommended by locals to go to Grillin’ and Chillin’, Pat’s, or Uncle George’s. We ended up at Uncle George’s and weren’t disappointed! *PRO TIP* Order in the “To-Go” line and find an open seat. It’s a LOT faster than getting your seats and waiting for a waitress to take your order… unless you get there early.
For more than 300 years Barbados was claimed by the British as their own and the historical remnants from the colonial era make this apparent. So much so that all of downtown Bridgetown is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Serving as the capital of this beautiful island, Bridgetown is the heart and soul of Barbados. With tons of shops, restaurants, and historical sites, this is an excellent place to get a deeper experience of the Bajan culture. Locals recommended a 2 hour walking tour of the historical sites in Bridgetown. For adults, it is $50 USD ($100 BDS), and $45 UDS ($90 BDS). This price includes lunch and drinks at a local restaurant.
Mount Gay Rum Tour
Rum is a significant and symbolic part of Barbados’s history and culture. A byproduct of Barbados’s main commodity, sugar cane, it is a staple at social gatherings. For over 350 years, rum has been produced in Barbados. However, it wasn’t until Mount Gay Rum began distilling in 1703, that Barbados was acknowledged as the birthplace of rum.
They have two locations, one is at the visitor’s center and the other is at the distillery. They have many tour options to choose from. The “Signature Rum Tasting” is located at the Distillery and costs $20 USD ($40 BDS). It includes a welcome rum punch, history of their rum and craftsmanship, and 3 tastings of their signature rums (Transportation is not included in the package). If you don’t have a car or a taxi hired, we recommend the “Premium Rum Flight Experience” which is located at the visitor center (close to Bridgetown). This tour costs $50 USD ($100 BDS) and it includes the same as the “Signature Rum Tasting” plus a tasting of 4 of their limited edition rums. This package also includes transportation. There are more options for tours that include lunch, making your very own unique blend of rum, cocktail masterclass, etc., so we recommend checking out their website for the full list of tours.
Carlisle Bay is one of the best spots for swimming and snorkeling with the turtles. There are so many snorkeling excursions that come to Carlisle Bay, but if you don’t want to spend your whole day on a catamaran, you can swim right from the beach and get the same snorkeling experience… like swimming with the turtles and snorkeling to one of the 6 shipwrecks. If you don’t have snorkeling gear we recommend going to the Boatyard Beach Club. The entrance fee is $30 USD ($60 BDS) which includes the use of beach chairs and shared umbrellas (while stocks last), ocean trampoline, Free Fall Extreme ocean slide, high dive platform, rope swing, boat tour to the shipwrecks and turtles for swimming and snorkeling, sports TV, beach volleyball, basketball, and FREE Wi-Fi, PLUS a $22.50 USD ($45 BDS) bar/restaurant credit. Lockers are also available for $5 USD ($10 BDS) with a $5 USD ($5 BDS) refundable deposit. There is also a bar/restaurant that serves food, and during happy hour there is buy 1 get 1 free drink special. Just remember to bring your ID, as it is required for entry since there is a bar. And be sure to get an ice-cold, locally brewed Banks Beer while you’re there!
The Barbados Wildlife Reserve is perfect place to see animals up close and personal, 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 because of feeding time. Admission also entitles you to visit the adjacent park “Grenade Hall Forest & Signal Station”. The cost is $15 USD ($30 BDS) for adults & $7.50 USD ($15 BDS) for children.
This is one of our favorite beaches in Barbados. You may have heard of it or seen pictures as it is 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 & it has stepping stones on the cliff 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. The current can be strong here, so just be mindful of that before you dive in.
Private Island Tour
This is something that we highly recommend. At $250-350 USD ($500-700 BDS), it’s not the cheapest way to see the island, but you’ll gain so much local knowledge and get a whole new understanding of the Bajan culture. Plus, you get to see the ENTIRE ISLAND in a day! While you won’t get to spend a ton of time at each of the stops along the way, you will get a better idea of the places that you may want to go back and visit. For this reason, we suggest taking the private island tour early on in your stay so you can get a better understanding of the island and figure out the places that you want to go back to and spend more time. We booked our tour through the concierge at our resort (Bougainvillea) and had a wonderful experience with our driver, Adrian. Remember, this is a FULL DAY experience (6-7 hrs), but it is totally worth it in our opinion.
We hope that this guide helps to create memories that last a lifetime during your stay in Barbados. We love hearing your stories, so if you travel to Barbados and found this travel guide helpful, please let us know and tag us in your photos!