The Caribbean makes the perfect location for a holiday at any time of the year. Holidaymakers can choose between thousands of tropical islands split between 12 countries and 13 autonomous regions. Out of all of these, Barbados often rates among the best islands to take a vacation. It’s not difficult to see why with its pristine beaches, wide range of barbados rental homes and having a relatively good safety record for visitors. If you haven’t already decided on where to take your holiday this year, read the following mini-guide on Barbados.
What Makes Barbados So Special?
Barbados still retains an element of its British colonial past and a vast diversity of activities to keep holidaymakers busy. Not only are there hundreds of resorts to choose from but visitors have the chance to take part in everything from jungle hiking to snorkelling. All of Barbados’s beaches are open to the public, and the warm clear waters are perfect for diving. Not to mention the relaxed culture, world-famous music, delicious food and festivals. And the weather is always warm.
The Best Areas to Stay in Barbados
Bridgetown and the surrounding area along with the eastern part of Barbados tend to be the top places to stay. The capital oozes with colonial history, has a wide selection of duty-free shopping and is within a short distance of the island’s famous Mount Gay Rum Distillery. Head to the south coast to find the best resorts next to the island’s renowned white-sand beaches. Several open-air restaurants and a boardwalk are highlights in this part of paradise. Barbados’s east coast offers a more of a nature retreat with wooden bungalows and beach houses surrounded by greenery. If you’re here to splurge, you’ll find the ultra-luxurious resorts and residences along the western coast.
The Top Barbados Attractions
So, you’ve committed to taking your holiday in Barbados, let’s take a look at some of the must-visit attractions on the island from attractive gardens and colonial buildings to rum distilleries. Away from the beaches, check out the following places to visit.
Diving and Snorkelling in Folkestone Marine Park rates among the best experiences in Barbados. Anyone with a passion for marine life should consider taking a day trip out to the park. The novice can join a tour that takes passengers out into the best snorkelling areas. When you get into the water, you’ll be amazed by the diversity of marine life swimming just underneath the surface. And those with experience and are certified can dive and follow an underwater trail to reach a sunken ship.
Hunte’s Garden is an ideal place to visit for those looking to escape the hot sun and relax in a shady garden. Designed by Anthony Hunt, a famous horticulturist, the garden today houses several species of endemic plants. Visitors can relax inside or follow the trails to reach the terraces. Everything from tropical birds to papyrus and orchids can be found inside the grounds.
Sunbury was once a large colonial sugar cane plantation under the British. Today Sunbury Plantations is open to the public and gives a window into the former history of the island. The outside has a number of teak and mahogany trees planted in the early 19th century. Inside, you’ll find several Victorian antiques along with mahogany furniture. Guided tours are available and worth the money to get an overview of Barbados’s colonial past. Another former plantation fills the grounds surrounding St Nicholas Abbey. You can walk around the former mansion and attractive gardens. Some of the ruins of the older buildings remain.
Important Things You Should Know
If this is your first trip to Barbados, here are a few helpful tips every holidaymaker should know before they visit. Not only will these suggestions help you have a better time and save money, but they’ll keep you safe.
Barbados is a luxurious holiday destination visited by the rich and famous around the world. The result of this is a large selection of luxurious accommodation in the form of all-inclusive resorts and vacation rentals. But at the same time, it comes with a high price tag. Any visitor to Barbados should expect to splash out to get the most out of their holiday.
On the subject of costs, many tourists often say Barbados comes at a similar price tag to what you would expect in the United States or Europe. Eating out in the resort restaurants will potentially cost a fortune. If you do eat at the higher end eateries, use common sense and always check the bill. It’s also possible credit card fees will be much higher to catch unsuspecting tourists. Some of the local spots a few blocks from the resort area can both provide a more authentic travel experience and cut the costs.
The final point is related to safety. It’s a well-known fact that certain islands in the Caribbean are notorious for violent crime. Fortunately, Barbados is considered relatively safe, and the vast majority of tourists won’t experience any problems. But you should always exercise common sense. Crime is lower than the likes of Jamaica but probably much higher compared to back home.
Barbados: A Tropical Paradise
Barbados combines some of the world’s best beaches with a strong colonial heritage that remains today. Anyone who travels to this island in the Lesser Antilles will find endless activities, world-class hospitality and luxury to suit their budget. Take advantage of the delicious food and explore the island. Just remember not to be too comfortable and use common sense when you’re out and about.