Want to know what visiting Barbados is like? Picture yourself lounging on a beautiful, white-sand beach, listening to the gently lapping waves of the crystal-clear, turquoise waters, all with a glass of Rum Punch in hand. Sign me up, right?!
Trip Dates: 19th – 28th October 2020.
We found ourselves in Barbados last October when our Mexico trip (that we had booked pre-covid) was cancelled. We did a bit of last-minute scrabbling to find somewhere that was still emitting travellers from the UK and settled on Barbados. This was our first visit to the island and pretty much our first experience of the Caribbean. It was everything I had imagined it would be. (I actually felt like I had walked onto the set of Death in Paradise).
Beaches: The beaches have to be up there with some of the most beautiful I’ve ever see. In fact, all the scenery on the island is stunning and quintessentially Caribbean. On the west coast, you’ve got your white sand and clear waters. This is where you’ll find the best diving and snorkelling. The east coast is the Atlantic side, so think dramatic rock formations and surfing.
Food: Fresh, grilled seafood is an island favourite, along with BBQ and Macaroni Pie (my personal favourite). Traditional Caribbean fair such as Roti, Rice and Peas and Jerk Chicken can also be found everywhere you go. Flying Fish Sandwich is a famous Bajan speciality.
Wildlife: Hummingbirds, sea turtles, an abundance of marine life and mongoose (which I had never seen before outside the Zoo).
Diving: Barbados has some fantastic dive spots. It’s famous for wreck diving. SS. Stavronikita is Barbados’s most famous offering, but there are also plenty of shallower wrecks for less experienced or novice divers. It also has some beautiful reef dives.
The Elephant in the Room.
I generally hate talking about price as it’s just so subjective and, to be honest, usually implied anyway. Although we expected Barbados to be expensive, we didn’t expect the relative lack of value compared to other luxury destinations worldwide. Just to put this into context, an average evening meal was costing about the same as you’d pay for a full-on, 7-course tasting menu at a Michelin star restaurant in London. Our hotel, which was nice but a bit shabby and rough around the edges, was the same price as staying at the One & Only in Dubai. Even eating at market stalls or local venues was coming in between £20 and £100 per person.
Unfortunately, Barbados prices have just been massively inflated over the years to reflect the kind of tourist it accommodates. Apparently, said tourist is also SO willing to splash the cash that, for the most part, they don’t even demand superior quality. Mind = officially blown.
That being said, there are some unique and really unforgettable reasons to visit Barbados. It’s a great place to swim with sea turtles, which come out in abundance to great tourists. There are fantastic snorkelling and scuba diving in the numerous marine parks along the west coast. The beaches and scenery across the whole island are incredible. I should also mention that, unlike everything else, alcohol (especially Rum Punch, which is sold everywhere) is super cheap!