You can find a white-sand beach, sprawling golf course, or duty-free shopping plaza anywhere in the Caribbean, but in Barbados, visitors can sample bittersweet Mount Gay Rum, dance to a calypso song, or drink in a polo or cricket match. And while you can spend all your time on the beaches, you’ll find plenty more to do when you explore this Caribbean paradise with Barbados with Voyage Privé.
This luxurious island is brimming with stunning architecture, a passionate sports culture, and a party-loving attitude. Barbados, the easternmost island in the Caribbean, blends two different cultures to create a distinctly Bajan personality. Even after gaining its independence from Britain in 1966, this island still holds on to British traditions like afternoon tea, cricket, and horse racing.
Yet the Caribbean and West African trademarks are still evident in the island’s sugarcane fields, rum distilleries, and lush landscapes. And then there are the many beaches. While all of Barbados’ coastlines boast picturesque views and soothing ocean breezes, some of the country’s must-see beaches include Dover Beach, Bathsheba Beach, and the sands overlooking Carlisle Bay.
What to do in Barbados
Although it is a small island, there are many places to visit in Barbados and a long list of activities to entertain and have a great time.
With many golf courses, historic homes, and sporting events, Barbados is an ideal vacation spot for active travelers. Avid surfers flock to Bathsheba Beach on the east coast, while swimmers seeking calmer waters head to Dover Beach on the south coast.
Carlisle Bay, near Bridgetown (the capital of Barbados), is another popular shoreline, thanks in part to the various shipwrecks and abundant wildlife that await divers and snorkelers.
Inland explorers shouldn’t pass up the opportunity to visit the lush Hunte Gardens or Harrison’s Cave, a famous Barbados cave system that is over a mile long. And a trip to Barbados wouldn’t be complete without sampling the country’s world-famous rum.
Barbados Culture and Customs
Independent since 1966, Barbados has maintained a political system similar to that of Great Britain, with a constitutional monarchy and democratic parliamentary government. The customs and ways of life of the Bajan are also similar. You should bring light colors and fabrics to wear on your vacation, but keep in mind that Baja Californians tend to dress conservatively. Long pants for men and dresses for women are not uncommon in Barbados festivals.
Tour the city of Bridgetown
The capital of Bridgetown is a pretty city heavily influenced by English culture that is nicknamed “Little England”. This heritage is naturally reflected in the way of life of Barbadians, so it is normal to see traditions such as tea time, cricket, polo, and horse racing.
For those who know how to appreciate the architectural pieces, here you can visit some buildings, such as the neo-Gothic Parliament, the Cathedral of San Miguel, and the colonial houses on Broad Street, a street known for its beautiful shops.
If museums are your passion, the Barbados Museum, housed in a former prison, tells a lot about the history of the island.
It is also possible to stroll through the quiet and authentic streets of the capital Bridgetown and shop in the many duty-free shops.
What to eat in Barbados
A variety of the Caribbean and international cuisine can be found in Barbados, with African, Indian, and British influences, although the island’s fresh seafood is the focal point of many restaurant menus.
Look for sweet plantains, rice and peas, curries, and rotis (flatbread) on the menus. Gourmet chefs have opened the most sophisticated establishments in St. James and Bridgetown areas, but expect to pay a pretty penny for the experience.