Barbados is probably one of the more popular tourist destinations within the Caribbean – and there’s no wonder why. With so much to see and do, it’s difficult to squeeze it all into a few days! But that’s why we jet over to this incredible paradise island for at least 5 nights – to soak up the glorious sunshine and rich culture. So, what better way than to spend 3 amazing days touring the beautiful island in the sun between relaxing on your sun lounger on the stunning platinum coast.
Day 1 – A Lazy Introduction:
Enjoy a nice slow start to your day with a laid-back breakfast in your hotel, then set out for the heart of Barbados – Harrison’s Cave. An incredible wonder, this glittering limestone cave boasts immense columns of stalactites and stalagmites, smooth streams, waterfalls and deep mineral-pure pools of water. Still an active and growing cave, experience the unparalleled underground tram tour and learn more about its fascinating history.
From the cavernous underground to the lush undergrowth, drive 10 minutes down the road to Hunte’s Gardens and walk through the flora rich paths to discover some of Barbados’ indigenous plants and blossoms all year round. These gardens offer a variety of vegetation and surroundings with dynamic plants densely growing on many different levels – from sweeping sunny spaces to the shady core of the Caribbean rainforest. You may even meet the owner and designer of these beautiful gardens and be greeted with captivating tales.
Round off your first touring day with a scrumptious bite to eat at the Arthouse Café next to Earthworks Pottery; with a lovely open deck looking out over the valley, you can enjoy a simple meal and a cool breeze before heading into the Earthworks Pottery studio and gallery for a spot of souvenir shopping! Local and handmade, take a whistle stop tour of the pottery studio and then choose from a vast array of red clay ceramic creations from tableware to vases, to name a few.
Day 2 – Island Tour:
Get ready for an action-packed day. Wake up bright and early and (after some brekkie of course) start by driving up the West Coast road alongside beautiful stretches of golden beaches and crystal-clear turquoise waters, through Speightstown. From here make your way to the Animal Flower Cave, also known as North Point. Breathe in the fresh sea air and absorb the incredible views and sites of the Atlantic Ocean and rugged terrain. If you’re visiting between the months of February and April then have a go at whale watching – humpback whales travel to the warmer waters of the Caribbean during November and December to mate or give birth, but they’re typically not seen until February when the calves get quite playful and begin to splash around and breach. So, take a seat and see if you can spot any!
Make sure you save some camera battery as now it’s time to head over to Cherry Tree Hill via St. Nicholas Abbey. Admire the inland treasure-trove of dense forests, sugar cane fields, and trees full of wild green monkeys on the way! Stop in at St. Nicholas Abbey, Great House & Rum Distillery to see history and culture all in one. Built in 1658, it’s one of only three Jacobean manors left in the Western Hemisphere! Part of St. Nicholas Abbey’s plantation, Cherry Tree Hill is also worth stopping at for that Kodak moment, offering sweeping views over most of the East Coast of Barbados.
On your way down to the East Coast, look out for roadside vendors selling dunks, a fruit that comes from a spiny native tree and look like very small apples – delicious dipped in salt! These are in season between December and February. Don’t worry if you’re visiting outside of dunks season, there’s plenty of opportunity to experience other local roadside treats – raw sugar cane, sweet and natural in taste is available between March and July. Don’t eat the cane but chew on it to extract all the yummy goodness! Mangos are in abundance between July and November/December so you’ll have plenty of opportunity to devour a sweet and juicy Bajan mango!
Part of your way down to the East Coast, stop off at the Morgan Lewis Sugar Mill – Barbados’ only intact, restored and working sugar mill – and enjoy the scenic views or take in a guided tour of the interior. This includes a display of the machinery used to produce sugar at the time when the industry was run by wind power; it can even be rotated to face the prevailing winds!
While driving along the dramatic untamed coastline of the East Coast with miles of wide sandy beaches and outstanding rock formations (it’s quite a sight not to be missed), try and spot the famous Sleeping Giant lying on their back on top of the undulating hills.
Stop off at The Atlantis Hotel for some lunch but be sure to make a reservation ahead of time. This is a family owned and run elegant historic hotel which dates back to the 1800s, it’s always popular for a lunch time break on most East Coast tours. If you can plan it accordingly, try and stop through on a Wednesday or Sunday to experience their famous West Indian Buffet lunch!
With full tummies, continue your tour through Bathsheba and try not to be mesmerized by the towns and villages along the way – rich with colour and colonial character, you really get a true Caribbean feel! Now visit one of the oldest churches in Barbados – St. John’s Parish Church. Built in 1645 and since rebuilt and revamped overtime, the church has plenty of history to learn about and commands panoramic views over the East Coast. It’s also worth visiting Codrington College a short drive away to simply take in the beautiful architecture and campus of this school. Completed in 1743, it’s now the oldest Theological College in the Western Hemisphere.
Begin to wind down your tour with a relaxed drive south to Crane beach and dip your toes into its famous pink sand! Take a few minutes to breathe in the salty air and watch the playful waves before slowly making your way back to the West Coast.
Day 3 – Catamaran Cruise & Dinner:
Today is all about relaxing and enjoying the amazing coastline of the West Coast. Transportation will pick you up from your hotel in the morning and take you down to the marina where your luxury shared catamaran cruise awaits.
Sail along Barbados’ tranquil, crystal clear waters and enjoy three incredible stops. Swim with turtles, explore a ship wreck and walk a beautiful golden beach, soak in the turquoise sea, or sunbathe on the deck. An incredible Barbadian buffet lunch will be served on this last stop – savour local favourites such as flying fish, rice and peas, and macaroni pie! The remainder of the cruise will sail down the Western coastline to the marina where your transportation will be waiting to take you back to your hotel.
Put your feet up for a little while and then get ready for an incredible dinner in Holetown! Tides, my absolute favourite restaurant in Barbados for fine dining, would be my number one choice for you to experience. Set on the water’s edge in a stunning, classic, once-was Barbadian home, start the evening with a creative cocktail in their bar – try the Lychee Bellini! You’ll then be escorted and greeted along the way with smiling faces to your table next to the peaceful sound of the nearby waves. The menu is filled with fusions of flavours that won’t disappoint – from incredible seafood and fresh Colchester oysters to a tantalising selection of meat dishes! And if you have a big sweet tooth like me, the Little Sticky Toffee Pudding is the dream at Tides!