The list of things to do in Barbados is as varied and colourful as the island itself. The dazzling west coast is home to some of the best bars in Barbados, while the uplands and rugged east coast unearth some one-of-a-kind gardens and natural wonders. So, while it can be tempting to spend all your time at one of our luxury villas in Barbados, don’t pass up the chance to put your adventurer’s hat on and explore some of our top things to do in Barbados.
1. Party and eat at Oistins Fish Market
Come Friday night, join the locals in the fishing town of Oistins. Partying at its Friday night ‘Fish Fry’ is a ritual for many Bajans and with stall-after-stall of sizzling barbequed fish and chicken, it’s one of the best places to eat in Barbados. Try the local’s favourite flying fish or ‘Mahi Mahi’. Or tuck into spicy jerk chicken and macaroni pie – accompanied by calypso beats and plenty of rum.
2. Delve into the history of Bridgetown
Take a walking tour of Bridgetown, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that uncovers some 400 years of Caribbean history. With Viator, you’ll spend two hours exploring various historical buildings and landmarks such as the Nidhe Israel Synagogue and Museum, Lord Horatio Nelson’s statue and the city’s parliament buildings. Pair your trip with a visit to the city’s famed Garrison where you’ll find the ruins of St Ann’s Fort and the home of the famous Savannah racecourse.
3. Go forest bathing in Coco Hill Forest
Hiking in Barbados almost always comes with splendid scenery and if you head to Coco Hill Forest, it’s no exception. A 53-acre rainforest, this zen-inducing oasis is part of a sustainable farming project where a variety of local produce and medicinal plants are grown. You can take guided or self-guided hikes amongst the bamboo groves and towering royal palms and you’ll experience top-notch views over the east coast and Bathsheba.
4. Visit Hunte’s Gardens
Experience one of the Caribbean’s most enchanting attractions at Hunte’s Gardens, a jungle oasis filled with everything from orchids and cacti to rare exotic plants. Located in a natural sinkhole in the hills of St Joseph, these unique gardens were created by the legendary horticulturist Anthony Hunte and visitors leave feeling incredibly uplifted and serene – and it’s not just down to the rum punch they offer you on arrival.
5. Sip cocktails on the beautiful west coast
Grab a table at Drift Ocean Terrace Lounge, a popular place to enjoy the island’s dreamy sunsets in chic Holetown. Whimsically named cocktails fill the menu and if the local rum is your tipple of choice, try their pina colada, daiquiri or the signature rum punch. Their pizzas are pretty good too.
6. Go diving among the reefs
If you’re a diving enthusiast or merely a beginner, consider a snorkelling excursion to explore the island’s superb marine life. With Barbados Blue Water Sports, you can take your full PADI course, and take dive trips to various shipwreck and diving sites, including the marine-protected area of Carlisle Bay. You’ll spot all sorts of fish species from the beguiling frogfish to sea horses, rays and moray eels.
7. Take a luxury catamaran cruise
Admire the amazing Barbados coastline by taking a catamaran cruise across its crystal-clear waters. Tiami offers various catamaran cruises, including a romantic sunset dinner trip and a ‘Turtles at Sunset’ option where you have a chance to swim with the endangered Hawksbill turtles. The crew are renowned for their lively service, great Bajan buffets and top-notch rum punch.
8. See the island’s geological wonders
Take an enchanting look at Harrison’s Cave, formed millions of years ago in the verdant uplands of Barbados. As you move through this stream cave system via tram, you’ll be dazzled by its stalactites and stalagmites as well as its emerald pools and the huge cavern, known as the Great Hall. Afterwards, take a self-guided tour of the adjacent Welchman Hall Gully, inhabited by wild green monkeys, birdlife, insects and tropical flora.
9. Tour the Mount Gay rum factory
Learn about the origins and seafaring past of the Caribbean’s most famous tipple with a guided tour of the Mount Gay rum factory. You’ll smell the heady molasses as soon as you’ve entered the distillery and there are plenty of opportunities to try the various blends. Dating back to the 17th Century, it’s claimed that this famous tipple was born in Barbados and Mount Gay is the oldest brand in existence.
10. Horse ride on the rugged east coast
Horse ride through some of the island’s most rugged east coast scenery with Ocean Echo Stables. This equestrian company offers horse riding excursions (including pick-up and drop-off) to suit a variety of interests and abilities. And guides will share local knowledge with you as you take in breathtaking vistas across beach and countryside trails. For something different, try their full moon ride.
Whether you’re someone that enjoys kicking back and relaxing by the pool or getting out and stuck into some local activities, this list gives you and your group plenty of options! If Barbados sounds right up your street, then you might want to have a peek at our collection of villas over there! Have you got any other recommendations for things to do in the area? Let us know in the comments below!