Sometimes, all you need are the simple things like warm Caribbean waters, sunny blue skies and soft white sand beaches. It’s super easy to become a beach bum with these five things to do in Barbados.
Before I jump into those five things, we need to back up a bit. It was 3am on a Friday night in February 2014, one of the weekends leading up to Trinidad’s Carnival (March 3rd & 4th that year), when EVERY weekend there’s an EPIC fete. While generally a lot people were out at these epic parties, was I one of them? Nope, I was not. I wasn’t even happily asleep, I was working on one of my painful M.B.A. assignments. My days had become long hours at work, class, the gym when I could and then assignments. This was one of those life changing moments, I pondered, “What on earth am I doing with my life?” So I hit pause on the assignment and started goofing off on the internet. I wound up on Expedia checking out packages for other Caribbean destinations to get away over the Carnival weekend. I was pretty certain that I was going somewhere whether or not I had a travel buddy. Then I remembered my unofficial big sister lives in Barbados most of the time. I contacted her to find out if she’d be there for the long weekend. She first questioned me about why I was up at that hour in the morning and then confirmed that’d she’d be there. I luckily got a few days off from work on very short notice. A few days later, I hopped on a Caribbean Airlines flight to Barbados and left Trinidad’s Carnival behind. Now that you’re all caught up, here are the reasons to go to Barbados.
#1 Oistins Beach
The active fishing village of Oistins is Located on the southern side of the island in the parish of Christ Church. It’s most popular for the nightly Oistins fish fry; you can get your choice of fresh fish grilled or fried directly in front of you. The beach here consists of white sand and calm turquoise waters that scream, “Come in for a dip!” As an added bonus, Hawksbill turtles frequent these waters. You can hop over to the Oistins jetty where you can interact with the turtles by feeding them. Fish vendors at the market will gladly give you scraps to feed them, all you have to do is ask.
The first time that I went out onto the jetty, my friend and I tried to get the turtles to come to the jetty by feeding them bread. Much to our amazement, this didn’t work. Some fishermen coming in with the day’s catch enlightened us by explaining that we needed to get fish to attract them. We then walked back to the market where one of the friendly vendors gave us a near full bag of scraps. She insisted that we feed the many turtles out there and feed them well. We started throwing the bits in, it turns out turtles really do like fish. Who knew? That day we saw eight turtles of various sizes swimming in the crystal clear waters. Smile on face, turtles seen and fed, mission accomplished!
#2 Miami Beach
Also, located on the south coast of the island, Miami Beach is very near to Oistins. It is frequented by both the locals and tourists. It has clear and calm waters gently rolling up on its soft white sands. Umbrellas, beach chairs and water activities are available for rent and there’s also food and beverages available for purchase. Mangoes are an excellent beach snack; if they are in season you can get them at a nearby market. No need for a knife to cut them, just bite in ‘ole school’, pull the skin back with your teeth and you’re set. So grab a spot under a shady tree or an umbrella and spend the day relaxing as your cares drift away. Oh, turtles swim on this beach too, I’ve spotted them on more than one occasion.
#3 Adventure Beach
Spoiler Alert! This is my most favoured spot. Adventure beach, Carlisle Bay is located just outside Bridgetown on the southwest coast of the island. Photos don’t do justice to this beach with its white sand, calm and pristine turquoise waters. My first visit here was back in 2014, I can only describe it as “love at first beach”. I was dropped off at the beach in the afternoon; I set up my beach mat, grabbed a beverage from the nearby bar and soaked up the atmosphere. This was actually my first solo beach experience and the first Bajan beach where I literally got my feet wet. The entire bay is frequented by both locals and tourists but that doesn’t mean you can’t find a quiet spot to yourself. Food, drinks, water activities and amenities are easily accessible on the beach as there are a few restaurants, beach clubs and hotels situated along the entire bay.
My pick, is The Boatyard, for BBD $50 (USD $25), you get BBD $40 applied towards purchases at the restaurant, the use of all facilities and all water activities including a short trip where you can snorkel and swim with the turtles. On my most recent trip to Barbados, I spent almost all day, every day at the Boatyard where I was always warmly greeted by the staff and manager José. It’s the perfect spot to chill, all you need to do is show up and The Boatyard does the rest.
#4 Bathsheba Beach
Bathsheba is in the parish of St. Joseph and lies along the east coast of the island. It is primarily a fishing village and offers stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean. The huge boulders along the shore, aren’t actually boulders, they are ancient broken pieces of coral reef and a very attractive photo opportunity. One of these coral rocks has a park bench at the very top. If you decide to give it a go, I recommend wearing sturdy shoes and gloves. I didn’t make it very far up, I found it way too rough for my bare hands. The rough Atlantic waves make Bathsheba a very popular spot for surfers both international and local. This also means that swimming here is not recommended as there are rip tides and strong under tows. Luckily, nature does things well, in lieu of swimming there are some pools close to the shore that are carved out of coral reef. These pools are a great spot to chill out and enjoy the scenery. They are sometimes referred to as “Barbados’ answer to a hot tub”.
#5 Mullins beach
Another beach, big surprise right? Being beach bum involves a lot of chilling on a beach. Mullins beach is probably the most popular beach on the west coast in the parish of St. Peter. It’s an excellent spot just to laze around or unwind by taking a dip in the tranquility of the Caribbean Sea. If you’re in the mood, there’s water sports and snorkeling available. Personally, I’m not about the water sports. I much rather enjoy the gentle waves and the view whilst on the beach. I am however, about the beach bars and theirs has menu filled with local dishes and drinks. There’s also live entertainment like singers or steel pan on some evenings. Mullins beach makes it super easy to be a certified beach bum.
Bonus! All beaches are open to the public giving you even more incentive to hit these five spots. I’d love to hear from all you beach bums, please post your comments or connect via social media.
Check out more posts on Barbados