Barbados Travel Guide

Barbados is a coral island, pushed out of sea by volcanic activity in a far away time. On the West Coast of Barbados, coral shore beaches of fine white sand stretch along a blue-green sea. Coral reefs fringe the Barbados shoreline to provide excellent snorkeling and Scuba Diving. Along the East Coast a lively surf is blown briskly by the strong and constant trade winds and the waves pound against a rocky shore. The constant breeze of the trade winds give Barbados a mild and pleasant tropical climate.

Barbados is a very beautiful island, with lots of art, activities, night life, music, history and some of the best restaurants to be found anywhere. But what makes Barbados even more special, and the reason why so many visitors keep returning to the island year after year, is the people. To learn more about all the beautiful beaches on Barbados, visit here.  Now view our Barbados Travel Guide to help plan your next Caribbean vacation!

Barbados Weather – When to Visit

The best time to visit Barbados is between July and November. Though these months fall within the Caribbean’s hurricane season, hurricanes rarely hit the island, and you could attend one of the lively Crop Over Festival activities if you vacation during this time of year. Temperatures stay between the mid-70s and mid-80s year-round, so there’s little reason to travel during the peak season, which occurs from late December to mid-April.

Barbados Attractions

Miami Beach Barbados, Barbados beaches, best Caribbean beaches, beach travel, Barbados attractions, things to do in the Barbados, best Barbados restaurants, best Barbados hotelsMiami Beach

A somewhat hidden gem that is the antithesis of its American namesake. Small, shady and intimate, it’s well removed from the often frenetic south-coast pace. The beach is divided into two sections by a rock breakwater. The west side is one of the premier swimming spots on the island, with deep, calm and crystal-clear waters, while the east side has a wide recreation area featuring picnic tables under shady evergreen pines and almond trees.

Shark Hole, Barbados beaches, best Caribbean beaches, beach travel, Barbados attractions, things to do in the Barbados, best Barbados restaurants, best Barbados hotelsShark Hole

Well off the beaten track, the pint-sized Shark Hole is one of those special places for which your selfie will not do justice. Down a short flight of steps, a small stretch of delicate white sand is totally enclosed by rocks that wrap around 300 degrees, forming a perfect secluded cove. A reef just offshore calms the water, creating a perfect natural saltwater swimming pool.

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Carlisle Bay, Barbados beaches, best Caribbean beaches, beach travel, Barbados attractions, things to do in the Barbados, best Barbados restaurants, best Barbados hotelsCarlisle Bay

Located on the southwestern coast of Barbados, Carlisle Bay’s beaches offer calm waters, making this an ideal place to swim. The bay’s six shipwrecks also make this area a great spot for snorkeling. Marine animals you may see while exploring these gentle waters include rock lobsters, turtles and fish.

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Barbados Boardwalk, Barbados beaches, best Caribbean beaches, beach travel, Barbados attractions, things to do in the Barbados, best Barbados restaurants, best Barbados hotelsBarbados Boardwalk

Though Barbados offers an array of beaches to enjoy, one the island’s most popular attractions is the Barbados Boardwalk. Situated less than 4 miles south of Bridgetown, this coastal boardwalk connects Accra and Camelot beaches. In addition to providing outdoor enthusiasts with scenic ocean vistas, turtles and crabs are known to visit the adjacent waters. For the best views, plan your visit at sunrise or sunset.

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Harrison's Cave, Barbados beaches, best Caribbean beaches, beach travel, Barbados attractions, things to do in the Barbados, best Barbados restaurants, best Barbados hotelsHarrison’s Cave

One of Barbados’ most popular attractions is Harrison’s Cave. This limestone cavern features several streams, as well as stalactites, stalagmites and other kinds of calcite deposits. The cave sits in the middle of the country about 5 miles from Holetown and Bathsheba Beach.

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Things to Do in Barbados

Barbados Catamaran Snorkeling Cruise

Cruise the west coast of Barbados for a day on a 60-foot (18-meter) catamaran. You’ll make two or three stops where you can dive in and experience life under the sea at premier snorkeling spots, including a shipwreck. Swim among the tropical fish, vibrant corals and possibly turtles and other marine life. Choose between either a three- or five-hour excursion. Unlimited drinks and a light breakfast are included, as well as lunch on the five-hour cruise. Read more about Barbados Catamaran Snorkeling Cruise

Barbados Catamaran Cruise Sailing, Snorkel & Swim

Secure your chance to enjoy Barbados’ waters and marine life to the full by prebooking for this small-group catamaran cruise from Bridgetown. Settle aboard a modern catamaran and sail by the palm-fringed west coast, stopping to snorkel above shipwrecks and swim with turtles along the way. An onboard Bajan buffet lunch, alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, snorkeling gear, and hotel or port transfers are included in the package. Read more about Barbados Catamaran Cruise sailing lunch snorkel and swim excursion

Carlisle Bay Turtle and Shipwreck Adventure

Spend the day enjoying the sun, sand, and sea in Carlisle Bay. This full-day beach outing at Copacabana Barbados includes a boat and snorkeling cruise, use of a beach lounger, umbrella, and a provided drink. Round-trip transportation from the cruise port provided.  Read more about Carlisle Bay Turtle and Shipwreck Adventure

Harbour Lights Beach Extravaganza

Fire eaters, limbo dancers, stilt-walkers, and more make this beachside dinner show a performance to remember. A dance floor and live music let you join in the fun as you learn first-hand about Caribbean culture, while a barbecue dinner, open bar, and round-trip transportation from your hotel ensure an enjoyable and stress-free outing.  Read more about Harbour Lights Beach Extravaganza and Dinner Show

Sunset & Swimming Cruise

Spend the afternoon and into the evening cruising to sunset on this epic boat ride from Bridgetown. Travel the open sea on a comfortable Catamaran and sail past the western coast of Barbados. You’ll have opportunities to snorkel in two different locations in the Caribbean Sea. Get an up close look at tropical marine life like turtles, fish and manta rays. Catch the picturesque sunset while you sip on sparkling wine and savor on board snacks. With a cap at just 12 travelers this evening cruise is bound to make memories!  Read more about Barbados Sunset and Snorkeling Catamaran Cruise

Best Barbados Restaurants

Champers  $31 – 60

On the South Coast of Barbados, Champers offers an elegant dining atmosphere overlooking the water. The restaurant features a waterside gazebo and open terrace as well as an air-conditioned dining room for a romantic experience. Art enthusiasts will enjoy the gallery of paintings and pieces displayed throughout the restaurant. Signature dishes include camembert baked in puff pastry with spiced apples and shrimp and mango salad. Seafood is a standout, with pan-seared queen scallops, grilled salmon, seared ahi tuna and parmesan crusted barracuda also on the menu.  Telephone:  246-434-3463  Web:  Champers

The Cliff  $31 – 60

In St James, Chef Paul Owens delivers cliffside fine dining ideal for arrival by yacht. From candlelit tables, take in expansive views of the sea while savoring gourmet cuisine. Main courses include chargrilled swordfish, mahi mahi and cajun salmon. Or, select dishes from the separate vegetarian menu such as grilled portobello mushroom salad and potato gnocchi. Choose from the curated wine list, then indulge in desserts like Valrhona chocolate pudding, Valrhona chocolate mousse and caramelized lemon tart.  Telephone:  246-432-1922  Web:  The Cliff

Fish Pot  $11 – 30

Housed within an 18th-century fort, The Fish Pot’s green plantain shutters and bamboo accents give it true Caribbean charm. Part of the Little Good Harbour hotel, the aptly named Fish Pot is known for its fresh seafood. Experience dazzling views of the Caribbean Sea from the open-air terrace or large picture windows in the dining rooms. Signature dishes here include lobster ravioli, pan-fried mahi mahi and oven-roasted sea bass. Salads and vegetarian dishes are also available, as is a dessert menu with island flavors like guava cheesecake and fruit salad.  Telephone:  246-439-300  Web:  Fish Pot.

The Tides  $31 – 60

Formerly a sumptuous seaside home, The Tides restaurant represents island luxury. On the west coast of Barbados, the restaurant boasts several dining areas finished in coral stone and mahogany: the open-air Tree House, the oceanfront Centre Lanai, the intimate Gazebo and the two-level Garden Gazebo.  Fresh seafood is the focus, with dishes like seared yellowfin tuna, marinated king prawns, seafood stew and catch of the day. There is also a vegetarian menu, as well as a comprehensive wine list and exciting cocktail program.  Telephone:  246-423-8356  Web:  The Tides

Daphne’s  $11 – 30

For the best Italian on the island, be sure to reserve a table at Daphne’s. Chef Michele Blasi blends Milanese classics with island seafood, utilizing ingredients from local markets and fishermen. Signature dishes include linguine all’aragosta con pomodoro fresco, branzino a sale grosso con caponatina di melanzane and limoncello panna cotta. An extensive wine list is accompanied by an impressive cocktail menu to be sipped in the upscale yet relaxed environment with bay views.   Telephone:   246-432-8501  Web:  Daphne’s

Best Barbados Bars & Nightlife

Mojo Beach Bar

With plenty of cocktails to choose from, you’ll quickly find whatever it is you’re wanting, or you can try something new. In case you’re hungry after enjoying your drinks, their burgers are out of this world. The entire bar is music-themed, with pictures of music legends Jimi Hendricks, Bob Marley, and U2 greeting you on entry.  Telephone:  246-435-9008  Web:  Mojo Beach Bar

South 7 Bar & Grill

If you’re looking for a fun night out with a live DJ or a place to relax with your friends and family during the day in a quieter atmosphere, then this is the best place to be. Happy hour that runs from 5pm until 7pm every night, so you’re sure to have a fun night out. Telephone:  246-271-7585  Web:  South 7 Bar & Grill

The Tiki  Bar

The Tiki Bar is a fun, open-air bar that serves cold drinks and hot food. It’s mostly visited by tourists, and the Pina Coladas here are the best in Barbados. They have of the largest cocktail menus in Barbados and a are located  right on the beach.  It’s the place to head for a quiet, chill day with the ocean breeze.  Telephone:  246-435-8074   Web:  The Tiki Bar

Bert’s Bar

If you’re a Canadian or a hockey fan looking for a little piece of home, they play every Ottawa Senators game live at their bar. They’re famous for their banana daquiris, and they’re also the best sports bar on the island. They have satellite coverage of every major sports event, and in case you’re in the mood for a bite to eat, their stone-baked pizzas are a fantastic treat.  Telephone:  246-435-7924  Web:  Bert’s Bar

Cafe Sol Mexican Grill & Margarita Bar

While you can stop by for the Mexican food here, you’ll find yourself staying for the margaritas. With a vibrant atmosphere and friendly staff, you’ll lose track of time while you enjoy a variety of flavors of Margaritas and local beers. During happy hour, margaritas are 2-for-1. Telephone:  246-420-7655  Web:  Café Sol Mexican Grill & Margarita Bar

Best Barbados Hotels

The House Adults Only by Elegant Hotel


Featuring free WiFi throughout the property, The House Adults Only by Elegant Hotels offers accommodations in Saint James. The hotel has a hot tub and water sports facilities, and guests can enjoy a meal at the restaurant or a drink at the bar. Free private parking is available on site.

Yellow Bird Hotel


This property is 1 minute walk from the beach. Featuring free WiFi and air conditioning, Yellow Bird Hotel is located in Christ Church. Silver Sands is 5 miles from the property. Free private parking is available on site.  Yellow Bird Hotel also includes a year-round outdoor pool. Guests can enjoy a meal at the on-site restaurant or a drink at the bar.

Waves Hotel & Spa by Elegant Hotels


Located in Saint James, 11 miles from Silver Sands, Waves Hotel and Spa by Elegant Hotels features air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi throughout the property. The hotel has a year-round outdoor pool and views of the sea, and guests can enjoy a drink at the bar. Free private parking is available on site.

Sandy Lane


Elegant and exclusive, Sandy Lane is set in an ancient mahogany grove overlooking a 1,000 foot crescent of gorgeous white sand beach. Accommodations include 113 rooms and suites as well as a stunning 5-bedroom villa. With a magnificent 47,000-square-foot spa, four restaurants, seven bars, nine floodlit tennis courts, two padel tennis courts, personalized beachside service, 45 holes of championship golf and The Treehouse Club facility for kids and teens, Sandy Lane will cater to your every need.

Inchcape Seaside Villas


Located in Christ Church, Inchcape Seaside Villas features free WiFi, a garden and sun terrace. Silver Sands is 1.3 miles from the property. Free private parking is available on site.  Bike rental is available at the property and the area is popular for biking. Bridgetown is 8 miles from Inchcape Seaside Villas.

27 Comments

  1. Rob

    Great article. I always wanted to go to Barbados and this is the perfect information I need. I have been to a lot of places in the Caribbean but not this one. You have made up my mind for me! Thanks for the great tips.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I am glad I could help you decide on Barbados, and that the Barbados Island Travel Guide provided you with everything you needed to help with the planning of your next Caribbean Island vacation. Let me know if you have any other questions.

      Reply
  2. Ami

    Wow, thank you very much for this review. It is very detailed. We have been saving up for a family vacation and were deciding between Hawaii and Barbados. I think we will go with Barbados first after reading this article. I have a Q: do the peak and off-peak hotel prices vary too much in Barbados? We may decide to travel after the December rush season. TIA.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Hi Ami and glad you have decided on the beautiful Caribbean Island of Barbados. It will be less expensive, IMO, than Hawaii. Yes, the prices are going to vary quite a bit at most hotels. If you go off season to Barbados, you will save quite a bit! Please let me know if I can help in any way. Thanks for visiting BeachTravelDestinations.com!

      Reply
  3. Mia

    Wow, Barbados looks super nice. Shark Hole – what a name ahah. It is quite cool that you have wonderful beaches but also the Harrison’s Cave, which is a quite different experience. I would love to visit this island.  I live in Portugal, and I am curious how long of a flight it will be for me? I would love to visit St Lucia!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Hi Mia!  You would enjoy that is for sure.  The flight time is going to be about 7 1/2 hours with a  non-stop flight.  Add a few more for stops, if you make any 🙂  Thank you for reading the Barbados Island Travel Guide 🙂

      Reply
  4. Nathan

    Ummm…Yes please! Where do I sign up? And can I stay forever?! This sounds absolutely amazing. I would love to check out the Shark Hole. I thoroughly enjoy salt water, but the waves can get annoying. This spot sounds perfect!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Boy Nathan, I would like to stay there forever too! And of course, go to shark hole. Last time I was there was on a cruise, not the same at all! I agree, that Barbados is perfect! Glad you agree! Thank you for visiting BeachTravelDestinations.com!

      Reply
  5. Jude

    This is beautiful! I love coral reefs and is one the reasons I kept and maintain a marine reef tank at home since I can’t be at these places all the time. I wish I could! 🙂
    I am fascinated by your description of the Shark Hole and wonder if it has anything to do with sharks appearing in that area?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Hi Jude and thanks for visiting BeachTravelDestinations.com! There are no sharks in the Shark Hole like the name implies…thankfully. It does have lots of sea life and is great for snorkeling or diving. Thanks for reading!

      Reply
  6. John

    This looks like one of those incredible places you just have to go to see and take it in. I can already feel the sand between my toes and the umbrella drink that goes along with the experience. It’s cold at home and now I feel like wandering!!! Thanks for the great info.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are very welcome John! Glad you enjoyed reading the Barbados Island Travel Guide. Come back when you are ready to plan your vacation to the wonderful Caribbean Island of Barbados!

      Reply
  7. Sven

    Wow this looks amazing. The waters look so clear and blue, the scenery is amazing and it has all the activities that my partner and I love to do!

    Thanks for the great information, we will definitely use this to plan our trip. Which hopefully, isn’t too far away 😉

    How’s the food like in Barbados? Do you get plenty of authentic local food, or is it more tailored for tourists?

    Reply
  8. Deedee

    You have painted such a beautiful picture of Barbados with all of these details — thank you! My husband and I are planning a 25th anniversary trip for next Spring, and considering various options. Although we hadn’t really considered Barbados, the idea of diving shipwrecks and with turtles is really appealing! There’s one thing you mentioned that I’m wondering about — hotels requiring the purchase of meal plans during high season. Are those for their in-house restaurants only, and do they include all meals? I’d hate to miss out on the Otis Fish Fry especially if we choose Barbados for our trip, but wouldn’t want to double pay for meals, either.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you for reading the Barbados Island Travel guide Deedee. You would have an amazing time for your 25th Anniversary in Barbados. Not all hotels are going to require the purchase of a meal plan. You just need to be aware of this, and if it something you don’t want, then stick with a hotel that does not require this. There will be lots of hotel choices, not too worry. Especially if you plan in advance. You do not want to miss the Otis Fish Fry! The meal plans can include certain meals, like dinners only, etc. They do involve eating at the hotel though, so I don’t like to stay at a hotel that requires this. I like to venture out and try the various restaurants.

      Reply
  9. Rico Hanes

    Barbados has become as commercial as Hawaii, especially on their West coast. I was there about 18 years ago, BEFORE all these hotels were built. My buddy took videos last year and I didn’t even recognize it, anymore. Certainly the party atmosphere is still great, but don’t look for lonely beaches and romantic evenings. Kind of a shame !

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Hi Rico, I have to agree to disagree. Yes, they have grown, similar to Cabo….which I have seen change dramatically over the past 17 years as well. But, that does not mean you cannot go and still have a relaxing great time in Barbados. Barbados is the shipwreck capital of the Caribbean, and is home to some amazing diving destinations, and yes insane nightlife if that is what you seek. We’ll call that the adventurous side of Barbados 🙂 But there is plenty of relaxation on Crane Beach, which is considered one of the Top 10 Beaches in the world. So, yes, there are areas that are built up, but there are still areas where you can find that tranquil sandy spot to enjoy 😉

      Reply
  10. Sam

    This site is awesome. There is such a wealth of information with regards to Barbados, the places to visit, the resorts, the day and night life as well as the season and peak times to visit. I have never been to Barbados but I hope to visit there this next year. Just watching the YouTube video made me interested and gave me a taste of the liveliness, peace and serenity in Barbados. For myself I prefer to visit the place than just going on cruises. When you mentioned ship wrecks, I am very interested in the history of Barbados as I am sure it goes back many years since its discovery. A job well done for those wanting to visit Barbados.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Hi Sam, so glad you enjoyed reading the Barbados Island Travel Guide. Yes, diving and seeing the shipwrecks is something amazing that everyone visiting the island of Barbados should do. Now you are ready to plan….just let me know if you need any additional information.

      Reply
  11. Bill

    Barbados sounds like a beautiful location. My wife and I are planning a holiday for the spring. We had considered a cruise but perhaps we will consider Barbados. Are there things there to keep younger kids busy? Thanks for the tips

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Hi Bill and thank you for reading about St Vincent & the Grenadines Travel. I think that you would truly enjoy visiting the beautiful Caribbean Islands of St Vincent & the Grenadines over a cruise. For a fun day at the beach, take them to Princess Margaret Beach with its beautiful white sands and very calm water. They will also love the Old Hegg Turtle Sanctuary, snorkeling (depending on their age), as well as taking them to Lower Bay Beach with has tranquil, clear and calm waters. Of course, there are many more things for them to do, just let me know if you have any further questions 🙂

      Reply
  12. Slim

    I really love your website with so much information on Barbados! I have been considering it for a vacation, as winters in Germany can get pretty cold! Now I am ready to go to Barbados… Hopefully this winter! Thank you so much, Slim

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you so much, and I am glad you found all the information you need for a great Barbados Island vacation! You will love it. Yes, I do know how cold it can get in Germany. This will be a great time to head out and enjoy the sunshine and the wonderful beaches 🙂

      Reply
  13. Moni

    Barbados is one of the islands I enjoyed the most when I visited years ago and reading your wonderful post has brought back memories of Harrison’s Cave, the mouth watering food and the friendly hospitality of the locals.

    I think a return trip is in order very soon. 🙂

    Can you please tell me when the Crop Over street party takes place?

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you Moni for visiting the Barbados Island Travel Guide. Yes, I love Barbados too, and it has been a while. I am due for a return trip as well! The Crop Over Street party is August 4th thru 6th of 2018. Did you go to this when you were there last time? How fun!

      Reply
  14. Bob Harris

    This is BEAUTIFUL
    I love the pictures. I love the organization of it, and the pictures and videos, and related posts. I have been really interested in visiting Barbados since I had a port call there. I would like to spend at least a week there enjoying the island. So all your information is wonderful. You have made it very easy for me to get everything I need to plan my trip! Thanks !

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you so much Bob! I am glad you enjoyed reading my Barbados Island Travel Guide. I am sure that you will have a fantastic time heading back to the island. Yes, visiting off a cruise is nice, but you sure don’t get enough time to really get to know the destination. Thanks for visiting!

      Reply

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