Barbados’ small landmass means nature and excitement are never far. With pearl-white beaches found on every corner of the island, Barbados is an easy choice for those looking for the perfect beach getaway. But beyond its turquoise waterfront, the island bustles with warm people, exuberant nightlife, and a raw tropical landscape waiting to be explored.
Whether you are travelling with family, a couple in search of a romantic retreat, or a solo traveller yearning for adventure, Barbados has something for everyone. Here are the best things to do on the island:
Discover an underwater world
Explore Barbados’ colourful underwater reef garden aboard an Atlantis Submarine. Sign up for a 90-minute narrated tour departing from Bridgetown. Each voyage ventures deep into the heart of the island’s unspoiled ocean ecosystem, cruising by swarms of kaleidoscopic tropical fishes, coral-laden shipwrecks and a motley of unusual flora and fauna. The compartments of the submarines are air-conditioned and contain large viewing windows, but children are required to be at least 3-feet tall for boarding.
Explore Natural Caves
Barbados is dotted by several natural prehistoric caves, each with unique geological formations. Among the most popular and easily accessible are Harrison’s Cave and Animal Flower Cave. For eco-adventure opportunities, explore Harrison’s Cave on foot. Within its narrow, winding caverns are jutting stalagmites and stalactites along passageways encroached by subterranean rivers.
While Animal Flower Cave, named after the sea anemones living in its crystal-clear ocean-fed pools, brims with small marine wildlife, and visitors can hop into the water to interact with them.
Go on a Pirate Adventure
Hop aboard the Jolly Roger 1 and set sail for a high sea pirate-themed adventure. Embarking from Carlisle Bay, this lunchtime cruise is jam-packed with activities, ranging from walking the plank, rope swinging from the masts, to swimming and snorkelling around shipwrecks. Each journey features a Bajan barbecue lunch alongside freshly made rum punch and tropical fruit cocktails for the adults.
Visit Hunte’s Garden
In the 1950s, Bajan horticulturist, Anthony Hunte, transformed a gully in Saint Joseph into a flourishing tropical garden. Now, decades later, this humanmade oasis has prospered into a sanctuary of exotic botanicals sprouting alongside secluded walkways shaded by tall palms and verdant shrubs.
Along the garden’s many tranquil paths, you’ll encounter antique statues shrouded by fragrant flowers, quiet lounge areas with patio furniture, and monkeys darting above the treetops. Here, you can spend a romantic afternoon with a picnic, and spot hummingbirds hovering above the blooming flower beds.
Mount Gay Rum Tour
Known as the oldest rum in the world, Mount Gay Rum is inseparable from Barbados’ culture. Sign up to see its storied facility with a lunch tour, cocktail pairing tour and more. On lunch tours, you’ll be treated to authentic Bajan food with bottomless rum punch and a demonstration on cocktail making. Each tour also lets you sample three different labels of Mount Gay Rum, from entry-level white rum to flagship slow sipping rum.
Enjoy Bajan Nightlife
When the sun sets, Barbados’ party central, St. Lawrence Gap, comes alive with music, dancing, and rum punch pouring generously at every club and bar in the area. This beachside spot in Oistins, just south of Bridgetown hosts a street party every Friday at the “Fish Fry”, an outdoor food market.
While by the beach, you’ll find a dense cluster of the island’s hottest and loudest cocktail bars, tiki bars, and nightclubs. But if you want to stay close to central Bridgetown, the boardwalks and beaches along Carlisle Bay are studded with open-air bars, candlelight restaurants, and cafés. You can also check out live performances on the beach at the famous Harbour Lights nightclub.
Snorkelling and Scuba Diving at Carlisle Bay
The turquoise Carlisle Bay has long been considered one of the most beautiful destinations in Barbados. Known for its immaculate, soft-sand beaches, and tropical nature fringed by translucent waters, this marine park is popular among sunbathers, swimmers, and snorkelers.
With warm, gentle tides, Carlisle Bay is ideal for windsurfing, paddle-boarding, and sailing. You can also sign up for a scuba diving tour and discover shipwrecks offshore, explore reef systems, and catch glimpses of sea turtles up close.
Excursion at Welchman Hall Gully
Located in St. Thomas, Welchman Hall Tropical Forest Reserve is a six-kilometre-long gully rich with indigenous plant species, bamboos, nutmeg trees and palms. Sitting roughly 800-ft above sea level, the gully owns a panoramic view of the nearby St. Andrew and Scotland District.
Here, you can take a self-guided tour through the shaded pathways and walk among the island’s unspoiled greeneries. Along the way, you’ll encounter colourful, exotic floras, monkeys hopping along the roofs of collapsed caves, and see the island in its original state before the arrival of settlers.
Off-road Adventure with Jeep Safari
Take on Barbados’ wild side with an off-road jeep safari adventure. Journey deep into the rugged and untamed northeastern parts of the island and overcome difficult terrains with a four-wheel drive vehicle. Each road trip navigates around some of Barbados’ most well-known natural landmarks, including Bathsheba Beach, Little Bay, Joe’s River Forest, and Edge Cliff.
You’ll also get a chance to trek through the island’s untouched wilderness or opt for an upgraded tour that includes a catamaran and snorkelling excursion along the West Coast.
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