13 Things to Do in Barbados: Unique Activities to Do! [2024]

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13 Things to Do in Barbados: Unique Activities to Do! [2024]
Heading to the beautiful island of Barbados and wondering what to see and do? From unwinding on picture-postcard beaches to exploring historical sites, enjoying rum tours, and celebrating Crop Over, this idyllic eastern Caribbean Island has something for everyone! Here is my round-up of the best things to do in Barbados.
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Barbados is an island paradise that promises to delight. Boasting exquisite white sandy beaches, sprawling plantations, and beautiful colonial-style buildings, Barbados is an alluring slice of Caribbean heaven. 

Best known for being the home of mega pop star Rihanna, this tropical oasis is also the birthplace of rum. Still producing the world-renowned Mount Gay Rum, it's home to some of the most spectacular beaches in the world.

The capital city of Bridgetown is a UNESCO World Heritage-listed city for its beautiful old buildings like the Parliament buildings and the Nidhe Israel synagogue. The bustling port is a popular cruise ship stopover. 

Be sure to try the local cuisine, another indulgence that sets Barbados apart from other Caribbean islands. From intimate local bistros to ocean-side fine dining, there's a spot on the culinary scene for everyone.

Looking for things to do in Barbados at night? Explore a vibrant nightlife with bars, cafés, nightclubs, and friendly locals ready to share their stories over a rum cocktail.

If you're considering other Caribbean cities, read this guide on things to do in the Bahamas and the Dominican Republic to get started.

What's the Best Time to Visit Barbados?

While Barbados is a country that can be visited all year round, the best time to visit Barbados is during the dry season between mid-December and mid-April. 

Temperatures average around the 30s˚C, and you'll experience far less rainfall than at other times of the year. This vacation packing list is what you need to avoid being caught unfresh!

A single coconut tree near the sea with the blue waters right behind it
Photo by Tom Jur on Unsplash

13 Unique Things to Do in Barbados

Barbados offers a treasure trove of experiences for travelers seeking a dream tropical getaway. This island nation has everything from pristine beaches and vibrant culture to rich history and thrilling adventures!

I was lucky to spend time on this incredible island, learning its rich history and delving into the culture. You could spend months discovering the ins and outs of this fantastic place, but here are a few top things to see and do around these Barbados destinations:

13. Go on a Rum Distillery Tour

Embark on an immersive journey through Barbados' rum heritage with a captivating Rum Distillery Tour. 

Various distilleries across the island, including Mount Gay, Foursquare, and St. Nicholas Abbey, offer informative tours that allow visitors to witness the rum-making process firsthand. As the birthplace of rum, Barbados boasts a rich history of rum production dating back to the 17th century. During the tours, you can enjoy rum tastings, gaining insights into the intricate aging process that enhances the flavors. 

You can also purchase exclusive rum blends, taking a piece of the island's flavorful history home with them. Consider a designated driver or join a guided tour to savor the rum experience responsibly.

A single bottle of rum on a fur coat
Photo by C D-X on Unsplash

12. Swim with Sea Turtles at Folkestone Marine Park

Swim with graceful sea turtles in their natural habitat at Folkestone Marine Park on the serene west coast near Holetown. 

This protected marine park offers a unique opportunity to encounter gentle sea turtles up close. You can snorkel or join a boat tour to swim alongside these magnificent creatures, creating unforgettable moments. 

Please remember to practice responsible wildlife viewing by maintaining a respectful distance from the turtles and never touching them!

11. Relax at Carlisle Bay

Nestled on the southwest coast near Bridgetown, Carlisle Bay beckons visitors with its enticing attractions. The soft, sandy shores and shimmering turquoise waters offer an idyllic setting for relaxation and beach activities.

Grab a snorkel and explore intriguing shipwrecks. Encounter a kaleidoscope of colorful marine life beneath the surface. If you want more adventure, you can enjoy paddleboarding, kayaking, and swimming in the calm waters.

Whether you're a beach lover, an underwater explorer, or simply need a tranquil moment, Carlisle Bay promises an enchanting and rejuvenating escape. For a serene experience, visit during the weekdays when the beach is less crowded.

Two kids silhouetted against the sunset pink sky
Photo by Chloe Christine on Unsplash

10. Experience the Natural Beauty of Hunte's Gardens

Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of Hunte's Gardens, a captivating oasis near St. Joseph in central Barbados. This enchanting botanical paradise boasts lush greenery and meandering pathways, showcasing a variety of exotic plants and flora.

Stroll through the gardens, enjoying the tranquility and serenity of the surroundings. Alternatively, take a guided tour to learn more about this tropical haven's diverse and fascinating plant life. 

Whether you're a nature enthusiast or simply looking for a peaceful escape, Hunte's Gardens promises a delightful experience of beauty and discovery.

Insider Tip: Visit during the morning or late afternoon for pleasant temperatures and fewer crowds.

9. Surfing at Soup Bowl in Bathsheba

Experience the thrill of surfing at Soup Bowl. Located on the east coast in the charming village of Bathsheba, this renowned surf spot is famous for its powerful Atlantic waves, drawing surfers of all skill levels to its shores.

Whether you're a seasoned pro or a beginner looking for an adrenaline rush, Soup Bowl offers an exhilarating surfing time. You can catch waves or enjoy watching the pros showcase their skills during local competitions.

With its picturesque setting and world-class waves, Soup Bowl is a must-visit destination for surfing enthusiasts and beach lovers. If you're a beginner, get some guidance from one of the local surf schools before hitting the waves.

Two people watching the sunset on the ocean near the boardwalk holding surfboards
Photo by frank mckenna on Unsplash

8. Explore Animal Flower Cave and North Point

Embark on a thrilling adventure to the northern tip of Barbados to explore the wonders of Animal Flower Cave and North Point. 

Animal Flower Cave, the island's only accessible sea cave, boasts breathtaking views and intriguing rock formations. Take a guided tour to unravel the cave's mysteries and discover the diverse marine life within. 

At North Point, dramatic cliffside vistas await, offering awe-inspiring panoramas of the rugged coastline. Enjoy a coastal hike that unveils the region's unspoiled charm and soak up the natural beauty of the region. 

Insider Tip: Capture the stunning sunset at North Point for postcard-worthy photographs.

7. Savor Bajan Cuisine and Oistins Fish Fry

Indulge in the delectable flavors of Bajan cuisine at the lively Oistins Fish Fry in the charming fishing town of Oistins, on the south coast of Barbados. 

Its vibrant atmosphere and mouthwatering seafood dishes bring together locals and visitors alike. Sample the freshest grilled fish, savor the delightful conch fritters, and relish in the traditional Bajan side dishes that tantalize the taste buds. Oistins Fish Fry promises an unforgettable gastronomic affair of authentic flavors and warm hospitality.

Insider Tip: Book a tour and visit early to secure a seat as the fish fry becomes livelier as the night progresses.

Grilled fish on a lilac plate served with tomatoes and a slice of lemon
Photo by Hello Dhey on Unsplash

6. Unwind on Crane Beach

Discover the epitome of relaxation at Crane Beach on the serene southeast coast near Crane Bay. This picturesque destination is renowned for its awe-inspiring pink coral sands and rugged cliffs, creating a postcard-worthy setting.

Unwind and bask in the beauty of the surroundings, taking in the tranquil ambiance of the turquoise waters and the captivating scenery. For a truly rejuvenating experience, dip into the inviting turquoise waters or treat yourself to a soothing beachfront massage, indulging in the ultimate seaside bliss. Be sure to check the tide schedule for the best swimming conditions.

5. Visit the Morgan Lewis Windmill

Journey to the northeast coast of Barbados, near St. Andrew's Parish Church, to explore the captivating Morgan Lewis Windmill

Marvel at the island's oldest and only fully operational sugar mill, a testament to its once-flourishing sugar industry.

The windmill dates back to the early 18th century and offers a fascinating glimpse into Barbados' rich agricultural history.

Insider Tip: Combine a visit to the windmill with a trip to the nearby St. Nicholas Abbey, another historic sugar plantation and rum distillery.

Image of a large and old windmill on the side of a road that has a signboard
Photo by Postdlf on Wikimedia

4. Explore Harrison's Cave

Discover the captivating wonders of Harrison's Cave, an underground limestone cavern near Welchman Hall. Journey through this mesmerizing world adorned with stunning stalactites and stalagmites that date back millions of years.

The cave's rediscovery in the early 20th century became a popular attraction for locals and visitors alike. To explore its enchanting chambers, take an electric tram tour, allowing you to navigate the cave comfortably while learning about its geological significance. Visit during the early morning or late afternoon to avoid crowds and experience the magical play of light on the cave formations.

3. Experience the Festivities of Crop Over

This is one festival not to be missed! Experience the vibrancy of the Crop Over Festival. This is Barbados' most prominent and captivating festival, celebrated across the island with Bridgetown as the epicenter.

Crop Over culminates in a grand carnival parade from June to August, showcasing the island's rich heritage and lively civilization. As a traditional harvest celebration, the festival is a colorful extravaganza of music, dance, and elaborate masquerade costumes.

During the grand finale, you can join in the rhythmic beats of calypso music and soca dancing, embracing the joyful spirit of the festivities.

Insider Tip: Book accommodation well in advance, as Crop Over attracts visitors worldwide.

Crops ready for harvest against the clear blue sky
Photo by Héctor J. Rivas on Unsplash

2. Venture into Welchman Hall Gully

Embark on a nature-filled adventure into the lush wonders of Welchman Hall Gully. This natural wonder is a tropical paradise, boasting exotic plants and wildlife that will captivate your senses. 

Originally a quarry, the gully was transformed into a protected reserve in the 1960s, preserving its unique flora and fauna. Take a leisurely walk through the enchanting gully to immerse yourself in its tranquility and natural beauty. 

For a more informative experience, consider joining a private tour to gain insightful knowledge about the diverse plant and animal species that call this enchanting place home. If you're an avid twitcher, take your binoculars, as the gully is home to various bird species, including the colorful Barbados green monkey.

1. Discover Bridgetown and the Historic Garrison Area

Go on a walking tour of the UNESCO-listed Historic Garrison Area in Bridgetown, the capital city of Barbados. 

This historic site houses a well-preserved 17th-century British military fortification and significant landmarks like St. Ann's Fort, the George Washington House, and the Barbados Museum & Historical Society.

Delve into Barbados' colonial past, from British rule to its involvement in the transatlantic slave trade. Bridgetown guided tours provide insights into the island's history, architecture, and cultural heritage.

For a thrilling experience, head to the Garrison Savannah on Saturday morning to witness exhilarating horse racing, a cherished Bajan tradition.

Old colonial structure with arches and chequered floors
Photo by Tom Jur on Unsplash

Explore This Idyllic Paradise With Pilot!

Barbados is a paradise that beckons travelers with its captivating beauty, vibrant culture, and engaging history. 

Whether you want to explore the rich culture and history of the island, enjoy thrilling adventures, or relax on a beautiful beach, Barbados promises an unforgettable experience.

Now that you're ready to hit the beaches of Barbados, you can start to craft your ideal travel experience for you, your family, and your friends.

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Disclosure: Pilot is supported by our community. We may earn a small commission fee with affiliate links on our website. All reviews and recommendations are independent and do not reflect the official view of Pilot.

Mia Russell Blog
Written by:
Mia Russell
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