The Caribbean consists of twenty-something island nations and autonomous regions distributed around the Caribbean Sea. Combining beaches with a laid-back atmosphere, there’s little wonder why this region is a favourite for holidaymakers around the globe. And Barbados features among the most popular destinations for a luxurious vacation. You can book one of the beachfront villas in barbados to wake up to the beach and waves on your doorstep. If you’re considering taking a vacation here this year, keep reading and find out the basics of having a holiday in Barbados.
Why Visit Barbados?
One of the reasons Barbados attracts such a large number of annual visitors is the country’s diversity. Tourists can spend their time on the beach, swimming in the warm sea or relaxing around the pool. Other highlights include its strong colonial legacy, manicured gardens with tropical flowers and opportunities to go hiking in the jungle. Now combine this with the relaxed lifestyle, funky music and regular festivals and you have an excellent spot to relax. More than half a million holidaymakers visit Barbados each year ranging from the mega-rich to backpackers. You should be able to find any type of experience to fit your interests and budget on a trip to this island. And it’s safer than other islands giving you more flexibility.
Where to Stay in Barbados
The first consideration before choosing the right part of the island is to decide what kind of accommodation you want. Barbados boasts everything from private villas along the coast and five-star all-inclusive resorts to a handful of guesthouses, hostels and hotels. Each has their own advantages and suit the needs of different travellers. Just be aware that if you go for a private vacation rental, it will most likely be quite far from restaurants and the nightlife. You might need to rent a car.
The most popular places to stay are found in both Bridgetown and the eastern coastline. If you want to be in the heart of the city and stay in more budget-friendly accommodation, the capital is for you. Expect a colonial heritage, museums and duty-free shopping. Eastern Barbados provides a more natural experience and features a variety of beachside wooden bungalows. The best resorts line the white sand beaches along the southern coast.
The Best Things to Do in Barbados
Barbados offers so much more than relaxing on the beach. The island combines the best of nature and culture with a distinctive colonial history. Here are a few of the top attractions to check out on your holiday.
If you want to experience the best of the island’s beaches and marine life, head to Folkestone Marine Park. Tours take passengers out to the best snorkelling spots in the protected area. Expect colourful coral reefs and fish coming in all shapes and sizes. For a more in-depth experience, PADI-certified divers can explore some of the shipwrecks. A typical tour takes a few hours and all equipment will be included in the price. You can also join fishing trips out in the Caribbean Sea too.
Another highlight of Barbados relates to their colonial heritage. Few places in the Caribbean offers such an insight into the British influence in the region. Highlights including visiting Sunbury Plantation and St Nicholas Abbey as well as other estates and mansions. Stroll through the streets in Bridgetown and you’ll find the legacy of the colonial era in the architecture and styles of the some of the buildings.
Other must-visit attractions range from visiting the gardens and parks to hiking along jungle trails. Expect to find rows of tropical flowers under shady canopies as well as incredible viewpoints to snap pictures of the island. You can also consider renting a car and exploring Barbados to find hidden beaches, waterfalls and caves.
Things Every Tourist Should Know Before Visiting Barbados
Here are a few tips and suggestions for the first-time visitor to Barbados to help you stay safe, save money and get the most out of your trip.
First, get an idea of your budget. Despite being an expensive destination, you’re almost guaranteed to find something to suit your needs and price range. If you want to splurge, check out the villas and resorts along the south coast. And as with most tourist areas, prices vary depending on the season and time of year. You can get better value for money by visiting outside of peak season.
Another consideration is staying safe. While Barbados is relatively safe, tourists still need to exercise common sense. Petty crime happens and tourists can become targets. This means it’s not a good idea to flash your valuables, especially in the more secluded and poorly lit areas. In fact, you might be better to leave your jewellery and designer goods back at home. Few people need their expensive gear when they’re relaxing on the beach or hiking in the jungle. Bringing it just increases the likelihood of losing it.
If you want to rent a car (which is highly recommended), make sure you’re aware of the road conditions in Barbados. Road quality varies and you should expect more erratic driving compared to back at home. But don’t let this put you off. Instead, spend a few days using taxis and observe what the driving in Barbados is like. And if you feel confident, rent a set of wheels later in your holiday.
An Island for Island-Lovers
Hopefully, this mini-guide has convinced you to start planning a trip to Barbados. Apart from the laid-back culture and beaches, the island-nation offers so much more to holidaymakers. Everyone’s needs and budget will be satisfied, and almost every tourist departs after having the holiday of a lifetime!