Barbados – Beautiful Tropics.
The closest island neighbours to Barbados are Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines both located to the west, along with Barbados these islands are all considered a part of the Caribbean region’s Lesser Antilles. Barbados possess a land area of around 430 square kilometres, (166 sq. mi), with a population of approximately 280,000 people. Bridgetown is the largest city and is also the capital city of Barbados. It has a population of approximately 6,000 people.
A little bit of history about Barbados.
The earliest inhabitants of Barbados were Amerindian nomads around 350 CE. In the 13th century, the Caribs arrived from South America, all had gone by the 1620s, when British sailors landed on Barbados at the site of present-day Holetown on the Caribbean coast. They found the island uninhabited. From the arrival of the first British settlers in 1627–1628, Barbados was under uninterrupted British control. After years of peaceful and democratic progress, Barbados became an independent state within the Commonwealth of Nations on November 30th 1966. Today Barbados has one of the highest standards of living in the Caribbean, and the island is a major tourist destination.
Popular Tourist Spots In Barbados.
The Animal Flower Cave.
This tourist site sounded so interesting that I chose to include it among the many tourist spots you can visit. Located in the north of the island, these are caves, some deep enough to swim in. You can climb to the cliffs surrounding the caves and take in the fabulous views of the northern coast line of the island. Close by are stall selling arts, crafts and jewellery. If you want a refreshing drink of lemonade, it is reported that you can the best at Pirates Tavern bar and restaurant. The attraction is the inside walls of the cave. The are many different kinds of shapes and formations that look like flower or animals that are have been oxidized by the salt water, natural iron and copper in the area.
The Flower Forest.
Sticking with the naturist theme, I thought the next tourist spot to recommend should be the Flower Forest. The reserve is over 50 acres of sheer botanical beauty. Many tropical flowers and shrubs grow and are groomed to look and smell the best. The botanical garden is located in the Barbados countryside. Not only will you enjoy all the exotic flowers, you will also take in the lush countryside. You could have your own picnic or have something to eat at the cafe. This is also a popular location for weddings.
The Sport Of Kings.
You may not associate horse racing with the Caribbean. But you may be pleasantly surprised at how popular it is in Barbados. The horse racing season runs from January to August and October to December, at Garrison Savannah. With the major event being the Lane Gold Cup, held in March. Competitors from the UK, Canada and other Caribbean Islands are entered. The second biggest race is the Barbados Triple Crown held in April.
Scuba diving is a very popular sea water sport, one in which you would find great joy in the Barrier Reefs, (up to a couple of miles from shore). Water temperatures are ideal and you could dive as deep as 70ft. In Barbados the most popular reefs to scuba dive or snorkel. The Fringes Reefs and the Patching Reefs (close to shore), are better for snorkeling and fishing. All manner of sea plant life, coral and fish and turtles can be spotted. If you are a bit of an adventure, you could go wreck diving at the Folkestone Marine Park or Carlisle Bay.
North, South, East of West, that is the question. The are tons of fabulous beaches in Barbados. It may depend on where you are staying and or where you are prepared to travel on the island as to what you experience.
West coast – Mullins Beach.
Popular for it’s relaxation, warm waters quite calm and hot white sand under feet will make your beach day trip worth while. You can jet-ski, swim or just laze around and soak in the sun. There is a beach bar for refreshments, lunch or dinner. There is also the Mullins Restaurant, where you can dine and enjoy a tropical menu. If you are driving, there’s no need to worry about the car, because there is spacious car parking facilities.
South Coast – Golden Sands Beach.
This is said to be the perfect spot to sunbath, relax and unwind. Great waters and very popular for wind-surfing. This beach is close to the fishing community; Oistins Harbour, where the annual Fish Festival takes place.
South coast – Bottom Bay Beach.
A beautiful white sandy beach that is partly circled by high coral cliffs. Located a short walk from Sam Lord’s Castle in the Parish of St. Philip. It is a great beach to laze around, relax soak up the sun. You will enjoy the breath taking views of the South Coast. Don’t be surprise if you spot whales or turtles. This is also a popular beach for picnics, but so or swimming due to the very strong waves.
North Coast – River Bay Beach.
Here is a beach that is great a little seclusion and peace, while you take in the picturesque views of the North Coastline. The beach is also a popular family beach for picnics and parties at the weekends, and can get crowded. During the week is the best time to visit. The currents are very strong, therefore be care if you decide to swim in the sea. Be cautious and never swim out too far, or alone.
East coast – Bathsheba Beach.
I was feeling a little Biblical when I pick this beach out to highlight. Little did I know there is a Legend attached to this beach. It is named after the wife of King David, (9th century King of Judah). Apparently Bathsheba bathed in milk to keep her skin soft and beautiful, and the waters are rich in minerals. The Bathsheba whirlpools are close to the shores, formed from the coral reefs. You can happily sit in them and enjoy the water swirling around you. Barbados Beaches will give you a more extensive list of beaches and their location.
There are a few night clubs in Barbados, with several other night clubs dotted up and down Bay Street or St. Lawrence Gap. You can enjoy open bar, the lively atmosphere, karaike, free drinks deals, live bands playing a selection of reggae, calypso and popular R & B hits.
PRIVA Barbados is a enthusiastic, high-energy nightclub. Located in Holetow, (formely Jamestown). It caters for all ages, though I suspect you will have to be at least 18yrs – Check that out. They have DJ’s and what they call front line tables with a minimum spend of $500 BDollars for a table up 10 people. They also have the Garden Terrace with specially designed lounge for a private groups and parties of up 100. It is free and takes you out of the main club area, but with lots of atmosphere. Finally, PRIVA has The VIP Suite, which is lounges and a private bar. This option is for people who want to enjoy some privacy and still take in the main club area downstairs. The VIP area is based on a $100 per head or $2000 BDollars minimum spend. Opens Thursdays – Sundays.
The nightclub is located in Oistins, opens on Wednesday and Friday nights. Open Mondays – Sundays. They have “free drinks” on Wednesdays from 9:00pm – 2:00am; and on Fridays from 9:30 – 3:00am. The club is open-air venue and is very popular with locals and visitors. They have a house DJ’s, who play a variety of club music. It is located on the fabulous Carlisle Bay Beach, five minutes from Bridgetown.
The main shopping area in Barbados is Broad Street, Bridgetown. There are a number of duty free and large department stores selling a anything from clothing, sports gear, electrical items, shoes and jewellery. The duty free stores sell merchandise you can purchased with up to 50% off general international prices.
If you head for the outskirts of Bridetown, you will find more specialist stores that sell local arts, crafts and paintings. The Bayshore Complex and Pelican Village are examples. Chattel Village shopping area is in Holetown, St.James, and has several smaller stores selling arts and crafts, clothing, footwear, hats, gift items and souvenirs,
Getting Around Barbados.
Hire Car Companies.
Are plentiful in Barbados, so you won’t have much trouble getting your own transport. But just in case, try to arrange a booking with your holiday if you are travelling in the high season. Remember, if you are NOT from the UK, that traffic drives on the left had side of the road.
There a a number of different public transport services in Barbados. The main ones are the ZR-vans, recognisable for the colour; cream with maroon strip across the body. They are minivans and easy to hire especial for private tours. There are two types of minibuses, the privately own ones, which are yellow, and the government blue minibuses which are usually bigger. The government run minibuses are free for kids if they are wearing their school uniform, free for senior citizens & ID card carrying students. Cost per ride are approximately $2.00 BDS.
Lots of taxis available all over the island. Door to door service and of course more expensive than the bus service. But for speed (no stopping at certain points), and door to door service will be worth the spend.
Depending on where you are staying, your hotel may have a shuttles service that operates from outside the main entrance of your hotel. Some such services will take you to certain points around the island and this could be a good way for you to do some free site-seeing.
All in all, Barbados is an attractive, luscious Caribbean destination for you to experience. It is very popular holiday location for Brits and Americans. If you are into crowds, excitement and fun. Barbados is the perfect holiday destination for you. If you want a more quieter holiday break, travel to Barbados during the off-peak season and you will have a holiday to remember.
Resources & Useful Links.
Images by:Gregory Runyan.