Beach Breaks

Top 10 Ways to Swim, Dance, Eat and Explore Your Way Around Barbados on Your Caribbean Vacation

After reading this, you'll be adding Barbados to your island vacation bucket list

The Vacationeer
Aerial view of Hilton Grand Vacations at The Crane's cliffside pool- in Barbados.

Editor's Note: These are unusual times, and some destinations have travel restrictions in place. No matter what you do, practice safe travels, and follow CDC and local guidelines

Infographic explaining things to do on your Barbados vacation.  
Click to expand and read. 

For travelers craving tropical beaches and laid-back island vibes, the Caribbean is a natural choice.

However, as an archipelago of more than 7,000 individual islands, including 13 sovereign island nations and 12 dependent territories, it may be hard to choose which shoreline to explore. 

Although, if you vacation on Barbados, the Caribbean's easternmost island, you'll find yourself immersed in natural beauty, welcoming Bajan culture and rich history.

This charming island may be small in size but offers a long list of things to do. 

Here are 10 unforgettable ways to experience Barbados on your next tropical vacation. 

1. Day Trip to Harrison's Cave

One of the most famous landmarks in Barbados is Harrison's Cave. Take a day trip here and immerse yourself in its pools and waterfalls. Then, explore the underground systems of tunnels, where you can tour the natural mineral formations covering the top and bottom of the caves.

2. Stroll Through Hunte's Botanical Gardens

Explore this lush garden nestled in the heart of a tropical rainforest. Hunte's Gardens, centrally located in the hills of St. Joseph, offers nature-lovers one of the finest experiences in the East Caribbean islands. For the whole experience, enjoy refreshments while roaming the garden paths, including rum punch, teas, coffees and cakes.

3. Plan a Bajan-Style Beach Day

Shot through palm trees looking out towards a sailboat on the ocean.    

The beaches in Barbados offer a variety of coastlines, ranging from the sugar-white sand and tranquil turquoise waters to a rugged and rocky experience. Your day at the beach can include kayaking, stand up paddle boarding, swimming with turtles and snorkeling your way through colorful coral.

Spend a day at Bottom Bay, where you'll enjoy a secluded beach under a canopy of palm trees. Then, venture to Ragged Point for arguably the best sunsets on the island, and views of five historic parishes.

4. Shop for Souvenirs

From craft markets to farmer's markets and unique shopping malls, you'll have no problem finding the perfect souvenir. The main shopping area is on Broad Street in Bridgetown, featuring duty-free shops and department stores.

5. Experience Animal Flower Cave         

You'll find the Animal Flower Cave at the northernmost point of Barbados in the parish of St. Lucy. Wear your hiking sandals to explore this accessible ocean cave with steps leading inside. You’ll discover the coral floor, sea anemones and natural rock pools, some of which are deep enough to swim in. Enjoy ocean-side dining, as well as wintertime whale watching.

6. Head Out and Enjoy the Nightlife

Be sure to pack your dancing shoes. Barbados is home to some of the best nightlife in the Caribbean, and there's something for everyone. Dance the night away in one of St. Lawrence Gap's nightclubs, and embrace Barbadian culture as you jam out to authentic Caribbean reggae. 

If dancing isn't your scene, visit Oistins seaside fish market on Friday night to experience an island-style fish fry — come ready for the best nighttime street party in the tropics.

7. Discover Bridgetown

Shot of Bridgetown Boardwalk with buildings on one side and water and boats on the other in Barbados.    

Bridgetown is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a capital city brimming with history. Visitors will appreciate cultural buildings, shopping malls and street vendors. Finally, Bridgetown Boardwalk is an ideal place to soak in the sunset and the constant parade of sailboats. If you're looking for history, visit National Heroes Square, the Jewish Synagogue and the Parliament Buildings.

8. Attend an Event at Kensington Oval Barbados

Established in 1882, Kensington Oval is Barbados' oldest cricket ground. Despite its historic nature, Barbados has expanded and upgraded the site to the extraordinary sporting complex that it is today.  

Beyond cricket, the Oval hosts visitors and locals for events, such as various sporting and cultural events and concerts. Among the many musical artists to perform at the Oval, a hometown favorite is Barbadian Rihanna.

9. Swim with Sea Turtles and Tour a Shipwreck

Snorkelers swimming with sea turtles.    

Venture just outside of Bridgetown to Carlisle Bay, and board a catamaran to enjoy the views of Barbados' south coast en route to a turtle sanctuary. Slip into the bright blue water and swim with these gentle, graceful creatures.

10. Eat Like a Local

The cuisine in Barbados is top-notch. From Mahi-Mahi to macaroni pie, Barbados boasts unique, local specialties. Tour Mount Gay Rum distillery and enjoy a refreshing rum punch as well as fresh mangoes, coconuts and sugar cane. If you're more of a hands-on foodie, try a culinary class and learn to cook traditional Bajan cuisine.

Stay: Founded as Barbados' first hotel in 1887, The Crane, now Hilton Grand Vacations at The Crane, remains the oldest continuously operating resort in the Caribbean.

Discover the benefits of vacation ownership and make a vacation to Barbados a regular part of life.




The Vacationeer

The Vacationeer is a collective of Hilton Grand Vacations storytellers whose goal is to inspire travelers to go further. We're always on the lookout for new destinations to explore, useful travel tips, and unique ideas to help you plan the most memorable vacations possible.

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