Barbados - Caribbean Beauty With Incredible Diversity
Barbados – Caribbean Beauty With Incredible Diversity

Barbados has long had a reputation as being one of the best islands to visit in the Caribbean, but few people realize just how diverse and exciting it really is. You may think you know about the beaches, but do you know that they cover more than 70 miles and range widely in size and type? You may have heard of its’ reputation for laid back friendliness, and thrilling nightlife, but are you up to speed on the rich history and cultural life of the island? The fact that Barbados manages to pack so much into the dazzling island which is just 21 miles by 14 is what makes it the most appealing of all the Caribbean vacation destinations.

Barbados – Caribbean Beauty With Incredible Diversity
When And Where

Barbados is the furthest east of the Caribbean islands, located north of Guyana. The Atlantic lies to the east of the island and the Caribbean Sea to the west. The location, close to the equator, guarantees a hugely appealing climate. Temperatures usually sit somewhere between 80-86 degrees Fahrenheit, but for the very best weather, and in order to avoid the rainy season, the advice is to visit between December and April.

Barbados – Caribbean Beauty With Incredible Diversity
The Beaches

Although Barbados is packed with some of the finest Caribbean tourist attractions, many visitors’ first thought when choosing to travel to this part of the world is to make the most of the stunning beaches. In general terms, the south and west coast are where you’ll find idyllic beaches lapped by gentle waters, while on the more rugged east coast the rolling waves of the Atlantic Ocean offer some of the world’s best surfing opportunities. When choosing where to go in Barbados, the following are some of the finest beaches anywhere in the Caribbean:

Mullins Beach
Where it is: On the west coast
Why it’s special: Combine 300 yards of golden sand, a gentle slope down to the sea and waters which are almost always calm and you have the perfect family-friendly beach.
Added extras: Choose between a shack selling drinks and snacks or the upmarket Mullins Beach Bar and Restaurant when lunchtime rolls round, and there are sun loungers for hire and water sports on offer as well.

Gibbs Beach
Where it is: It’s the bay right next door to Mullins beach
Why it’s special: It’s completely unspoiled and backs on to some of the most impressive and exclusive villas on the island.
Added extras: None, but that’s sort of the point. Bring a picnic and escape from the crowds which gather on some of the other beaches. As well as chilling out, you get to ogle the yachts which often anchor just offshore.

Paynes Bay
Where it is: On the west coast
Why it’s special: Although it’s hugely popular, the size of Paynes Bay means it rarely gets over-crowded, particularly at the northern end furthest from the local hotels.
Added extras: The reef in front of the Treasure Beach Hotel is a perfect spot for snorkelling and spotting a wide variety of marine life. Even better is the fact that turtles gather offshore. Local tours will take you out to the turtles, which are so tame they’ll let you swim amongst them and even touch their shells. Visit early in the morning before too many people arrive, and your experience with the turtles will convince you that this is one of the best Caribbean vacation spots.

Barbados – Caribbean Beauty With Incredible Diversity

The beaches may help to make Barbados one of the leading Caribbean tourist attractions, but there’s much more than sun, sea and sand to recommend it. Visit Harrison’s Caves to enjoy a stunning underground tour through caverns and caves, explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the garrison at Bridgetown for a taste of the rich history of the island and stop off at the Mount Gay Rum Distillery. At the distillery, you’ll discover what a vital role the production of rum has played in creating the identity and even the landscape of the island and, having seen how it’s created, you’ll of course get to sample some of the most famous Barbados export.

Barbados – Caribbean Beauty With Incredible Diversity

The interior landscape of Barbados is packed with lush vegetation and exotic wildlife. For a somewhat eccentric view of the local flora and fauna pay a visit to Hunte’s Garden. Created within a deep sinkhole, this botanical wonderland features not only the palms and vivid flowers you’d expect, but also background classical music and seating upon which you can relax and soak it all in.

Barbados – Caribbean Beauty With Incredible Diversity

If you want to snap up some locally made items, then pop along to the Pelican Craft Centre, on the outskirts of the capital Bridgetown. Cheapside Market, which is just a quick stroll away, offers the chance to buy local fruit and vegetables and, on a Friday and Saturday, mix with the friendly, lively locals.

Barbados – Caribbean Beauty With Incredible Diversity

Deciding exactly where to go in Barbados can sometimes be tricky because of the sheer variety on offer. What can be guaranteed, however, is that you won’t be disappointed whatever you decide to do. From the upmarket beaches and villas of the west coast to the bustling nightlife of the south coast and the untouched tranquillity of the east coast, every facet of Barbados offers another experience. The interior rises to the spectacular viewing point of Mount Hillaby and is dotted with fields of sugar cane, historic plantation houses and vibrant botanical gardens. Perhaps the most appealing aspect of Barbados, and the one which has people returning time after time, is the people who call it home. Bajans are friendly, welcoming and justly proud of their island nation. Whether you’re eating out in one of the many top-class restaurants, partying the night away in the clubs and bars of St Lawrence Gap or taking in the spectacle of the annual Carnival, you’ll enjoy the kind of hospitality that simply won’t be matched anywhere else.