Barbados Travel Guide
Introduction to Barbados
One of the better-known Caribbean islands thanks to its role in creating one of the world’s most popular alcoholic beverages (rum), Barbados is a bucket list destination for many travelers.
Known by many as Little Britain due to its long history as a colony of the British Empire, there are many reminders of that period that can be found throughout Barbados. Those renting a car or scooter will drive on the left, while many locals enjoy a good game of cricket during their time off from work.
With plenty to see and do, a holiday in Barbados will be filled with memories from start to finish.
Currency: Barbadian Dollars
What To Do in Barbados
Start your cultural tour of Barbados by paying a visit to St Nicholas Abbey. This estate is one of only three genuine Jacobean mansions that can be found in the Western Hemisphere. Despite the name, this attraction has no connection to any religion, as it has always served as a sugarcane plantation house.
Dating back to the 17th century, one of the original aristocrats to own this mansion moved to what is now the United States to found the colony of South Carolina. The gardens are also noteworthy, and sugar cane is still grown on site, though it is currently processed at a different location.
While tourism dominates the Barbadian economy in the 21st century, rum has always been one of its largest exports. When you visit Mount Gay Rum Distillery, you will learn that this famous brand is one of the oldest in the world, as it was founded in 1703.
The tour here will take you through the present-day bottling plant, and it also contains antique stills from the early days of rum production. At the end, you will be greeted with complimentary cocktails and a traditional Bajan lunch, making this tour a great value for visitors to Barbados.
Barbados’ tropical climate makes it easy to grow plants of all kinds; if you want to see the diversity of this island’s endemic and imported plants in a gorgeous setting, be sure to drop by Hunte’s Gardens.
Situated at the centre of Barbados within a 30 minute drive of most places on the island, it is easily one of the best green spaces on the entire island. Created by owner Anthony Hunte, he is often on the property to greet visitors.
Always eager to share a drink and a story, his commentary will make your walk through this paradise an enjoyable one, so don’t be afraid to engage him if he happens to be home.
Discovered in 1795, but forgotten about for almost 200 years, Harrison’s Cave is one of Barbados most popular tourist attractions.
Those that are scared about getting lost needn’t worry, as transport through this subterranean cavern is organized by tram, with designated stops where passengers can get off and observe the stalactites and stalagmites up close. The most impressive feature in this cave is the Great Hall, which features a 50 foot high ceiling.
There are many beaches on Barbados that are famed worldwide for their attractiveness. While the one by your resort will likely be quite beautiful, be sure to make time in your schedule for Carlisle Bay.
While it is not the best place for those looking for peace and quiet, if you are looking for a family-friendly beach with calm waters, snorkeling and diving opportunities, water sports, and/or plenty of urban amenities, you will like what you find here.
If you are looking for a more serene environment, you will fall in love with Bottom Bay. Backed by coral cliffs and lorded over by tall palm trees, it is an ideal spot to catch up on your reading in some of the most inspired surroundings that you will find on the island.
If you want to invigorate your spirit, then spending an afternoon on Bathsheba Beach will do the trick.
Exposed to the open Atlantic on the east coast of Barbados, casual swimming is not recommended here due to strong rip currents, but surfers will love the breakers that roll in on a consistent basis.
What to Eat in Barbados
If you are looking for a quick snack on Barbados, be sure to reach for a Conch Samosa. Thanks to a long history of Indian immigration, this savoury pastry has become a popular snack for locals and visitors alike.
With conch being one of the most plentiful shellfish found off the coast of Barbados, this type of samosa is one of the most uniquely Barbadian flavours that you can try.
If you want to sample the national dish of Barbados, be sure to order some Cou-Cou & Fried Flying Fish when you are out at a local restaurant.
Consisting of cornmeal and okra (Cou-Cou) and fried or baked flying fish (which is often seasoned with fresh lime juice), it is a satisfying meal that you might find yourself having more than once during your time here.
Pudding and Souse is another Barbados delicacy that you should try. Available only on Saturdays, it consists of pickled pork served with a pudding made from sweet potatoes.