What to do in Barbados
Barbados is great for lounging on the beach. Aside from that, there is still plenty to do on the island.
Museums and History
Barbados Museum: Located in a former British military prison, the museum first opened in 1933. It houses artifacts dating from the Arawak age to the 19th century, including archival documents depicting slave sales and ancient dentistry instruments. There are exhibits depicting daily social life from 19th century Barbados as well as history of the era. The museum also hosts West Indian artwork. The entrance fee is $7.50.
Gun Hill Signal Station: A former strategic position for the British military in the 18th century, the lookout point is now known best for its incredible 360 degree view of the island. It costs $5 to get to the signal station.
St. Nicholas Abbey: The oldest great house in Barbados was built in the mid 17th century. It is one of only three Jacobean style houses remaining in the Western Hemisphere. The first floor of the mansion is open to the public. Also on the grounds are a sugar mill, gardens, and a rum distillery with a 19th century steam press. Touring the grounds costs $17.50
Nature and Wildlife
Bottom Bay: If you are going to hit the beach in Barbados, this is the place to do it. Bottom Bay is the classic ideal of a Caribbean beach. It is crowded, the waves are sometimes too rough for swimming, and there aren’t any amenities, but the atmosphere is picturesque with the bright blue ocean, coral cliffs, and palm trees. It’s also free.
Andromeda Botanic Gardens: The gardens cover six acres and are filled with over 600 species of plants. It costs $10 to enter the gardens.
Harrison’s Cave: Tour this limestone cavern, complete with stalactites, stalagmites, streams, and a 40-foot waterfall, via electric tram. Tours cost $30.
Animal Flower Cave: A sea cave beneath the North Point cliffs, Animal Flower was named after its sea anemones. The view from the cave is spectacular. It’s an affordable alternative to Harrison’s Cave as it doesn’t cost to visit this cave.
Barbados Wildlife Reserve: The reserve is a great place to get up close and personal with animals, and even interact with them. Wildlife in the reserve include tropical birds, red-footed tortoises, and green monkeys (that have been known to steal whatever is in your hand and run away). It is best to go during feeding time when most of the animals are out. Entrance fee is $24 for adults.
Image by Berit Watkin on Flickr Creative Commons.