A vacation to the Caribbean can certainly make you shine bright like a diamond. With all the islands to choose from, let us help you pinpoint your search to the east side of the Caribbean – to the historic island of Barbados. This charming Caribbean island in the West Indies might be small in size, but provides a long list of things to do.
We are so proud to announce our newest property along the eastern shores of Barbados! Founded as Barbados’ first hotel in 1887, The Crane remains the oldest continuously operating resort in the Caribbean. Welcome to the family Hilton Grand Vacations at The Crane!
From beach-goers to history-buffs, and all travelers in between, here is our top 10 list of things to do in Barbados!
1. Beaches, of course!
The beaches in Barbados offer a variety of white sand and turquoise water, or a more rugged, rocky coastline for surfing that perfect wave. Spending a day at the beach could include kayaking, SUP boarding, swimming with turtles, and snorkeling between colorful coral.
Make sure you include a visit to these two east side beaches. First, venture to Ragged Point to take in the best sunsets on the island, as well as views of five historic parishes. Next, spend a day napping in the sun at Bottom Bay. Here you can enjoy a secluded beach nestled under a canopy of palm trees.
2. Harrison’s Cave
One of the most famous landmarks in Barbados is Harrison’s Cave. Take a day trip here and be immersed in its pools, waterfalls, and crystal-clear waters. Then explore the underground systems of tunnels and see the display of stalactites and stalagmites, the natural mineral formations that cover the top and bottom of the caves. This is a perfect activity to cool off after a warm day sunbathing.
3. Animal Flower Cave
The Animal Flower Cave is located at the most northerly point of Barbados in the parish of St. Lucy. Wear your hiking sandals to explore this accessible ocean cave with steps leading inside. Explore the coral floor, sea anemones, and natural rock pools, some of which are deep enough to swim in! There is a large children’s play park, ocean-side dining, as well as stalls and stores selling jewelry, art, and crafts.
4. Hunte’s Botanical Gardens
Explore a lush, landscaped garden located in the middle of a tropical rainforest. Hunte’s Gardens, centrally located in the lush hills of St. Joseph, offer garden and nature-lovers one of the finest experiences one can find on the East Caribbean islands. When you return from your vacation to Barbados, you won’t be able to stop thinking about the flowers!
Shopping in Barbados is authentic, and simply fabulous! From craft markets to farmer’s markets, to unique shopping malls, you will certainly find the souvenirs you are searching for (and those you weren’t searching for!). The main shopping area is on Broad Street in Bridgetown, featuring great duty-free shops and department stores.
Barbados has some of the best nightlife in the Caribbean. From its nightlife in the St. Lawrence Gap (known as “The Gap”) to the reggae music that exudes the island’s namesake, to the famous Friday nights at Oistins seaside fish market for music, a traditional fish-fry, and a really good time. Get ready for the best evening street party in the tropics!
A UNESCO World Heritage Site and a capital city rich in history, Bridgetown offers cultural buildings, shopping malls, and street vendors. The Bridgetown Boardwalk is a great place to enjoy a view of the sunset and a parade of sailboats. If you are looking for history, visit National Heroes Square, the Jewish Synagogue, and the Parliament Buildings.
8. Kensington Oval Barbados
Kensington Oval is Barbados’ oldest cricket ground, established in 1882. With significant investment, the grounds have been expanded and upgraded to an extraordinary sporting complex. The Oval has been used for various events other than cricket, such as soccer, hockey, cultural events, and concerts. Rihanna has performed here, along with countless other music stars.
9. Turtle Swim and Shipwreck Tour
Just outside of Bridgetown, in Carlisle Bay, board a comfortable catamaran and enjoy the views of Barbados’ south coast on the way to a turtle sanctuary. Slip into the bright blue water and swim with these gentle, graceful creatures. This is definitely an activity you’ll never forget!
10. Eat Like a Local
The cuisine in Barbados is top-notch! From mahi-mahi to macaroni pie, Barbados boasts so many local specialties. Tour Mount Gay Rum distillery and enjoy a refreshing Rum Punch, followed by a snack of fresh mangoes, coconuts, and sugar cane. A visit to Barbados isn’t complete without a traditional seafood dinner on Friday night at Oistins Fish Fry. Even try a culinary class and learn to cook traditional Bajan cuisine, complete with a visit to the farmer’s market to purchase fresh local ingredients.
We hope you’ve added a visit to Barbados to your list of destinations. In Barbados, time is slower, and people are incredibly friendly. The Bajan hospitality can’t be beaten, so take time to soak up the culture, dance to the music, and soak in every moment in the West Indies!