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Anyone been to Barbados? I am planning a honeymoon.


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Hello everyone!

I am pretty sure i am headed to Barbados, so what kind of things should i know?

How much is there to do there? I would like do all the tourist stuff so the sky is the limit.

Are there any good sailing trips anyone can recomend. My fiancee would like to go snorkling, can anyone recomend a spot?

I am going to be staying at the New Edgewater Inn in Bridgewater. For all you non-surfers that is located at the "Soup Bowls". Which is a world class surf spot. I have never surfed a reef break before and i am a little concerned. I hear that the rips at the Soup Bowls can be pretty narly. Also I hear that i am pretty likely to get stuck by the lively sea urchins that are all over the reefs there. So i am a little intimidated by all this. I have only surfed beach breaks so i would like to know as much as i can before i go.

Any good bars/clubs, and restaurants?

Any info on Barbados will be greatly appreciated. Thank you everybody.

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Barbados sounds like a great honeymoon. But make sure to make your reservations before it is too late, I hear it is very popular for surfers in October and November. Your fiancee also might like swimming with the dolphins or whale watching. Good luck.

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one of the few carib islands that I havn't been to. have fun

Hey thanks for the link Dean.

It will be my first time in the Caribbean. Heck it will be my first time out of the country. I hate planes, but i can make 1 acception for my future wife :laugh: .

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Barbados may be my favorite place on the planet. My wife and I even went and got married there.

Be aware, it is not a "typical" Caribbean island where everything is catered toward the American tourist dollar and everyone works for a resort. Those places bore me. There is actually history there, and local culture, and local pride. In general, the people are friendly and dignified, not just out for your money. There is serious luxury too, but it is not what the entire island is about.

For me, the best thing about Barbados is it does not have two or 3 big "sights" that you get in a long line and do with all the other tourist cattle. Instead, it has a zillion little tiny sights that you go explore on your own. Little old stone churches, and sugar plantation mansions, and caves, and private zoos. Everything is small and personal.

I wrote this for a friend quite a few years ago - I hope it is useful - it might be out of date.


Rent a car, or even better, a mini-moke and exploring on your own; you can get a taxi driver by the hour or day, but its more fun and cheaper to do it yourself. There is nothing really threatening to be found anywhere on the island, and the people in the countryside are really friendly. The road signs are terrible and you will get really lost a buncha times, but who cares?

Here are some fun places to go. Everything costs only a few bucks to get in.

1) Harrison’s Cave, St. Thomas. This is a pretty impressive little cave system under the center of the island with stalagtites and stuff. You get in a tram wearing a yellow hard hat and get whisked around with a guide rattling off a speech that sounds like it was written by the guy who did the Jungle Cruise at Disneyland. You wish you could have explored the cave yourself with a flickering torch, but nevertheless, it’s pretty neat (if you like caves.)

2) Barbados Wildlife Reserve, St. Peter. Perts of the island are plagued with African green monkeys - this is a little forest set aside that tries to keep them well fed so they don’t run away. There’s also lots of tortoises, deer, crocodiles and stuff running around. Nothing is caged but the birds. The place is tiny, and if you just pick a quiet spot and relax, the animals will start to pop out of the woodwork. There is another private zoo in the southeast part of the island - Outerson’s. It’s really just a bunch of cages in a grove behind somebody’s house, but they have a great collection of parrots and the family that owns it is really friendly to visitors.

3) Animal Flower Cave, St. Lucy. At the desolate north tip of the island, the waves really crash in and have carved out these caves in the rock. There are a few tiny anemones (animal flowers?) living there, but its mostly neat just to go down this tunnel staircase and look out from in the caves and feel and hear the ocean crashing in. Some guy charges about a buck to get in. The trip is worth it because it feels like the far end of the world up there. Watch out in the cave - the wet spots are very slippery. There’s a little snack bar where I bought a soda and fed it to a goat, who chugged it and let out an enormous belch. Someplace around further to the east is a blowhole where the waves force a big plume of water up into the air like a geyser.

4) The island is lousy with quaint old Anglican churches. St. Andrew’s and St. George’s are both nice, but I’m partial to St. John’s because I got married there. It’s a beautiful clifftop setting. Lots of lizards on the walls. Say Hi to Reverend Mayers (he won’t remember us - in fact he may hate us for all we know.). Nearby is Codrington College, a theological school with beautiful quiet grounds. You will be the only tourists out there.

5) The island is also lousy with old plantation greathouses. See how the oppressor sugar barons lived high on the backs of slave labor. Some of the best are St. Nicholas Abbey and Villa Nova. There’s good ruins of a burnt down beauty at Farley Hill in St. Peter. I’d skip Sam Lord’s Castle, St. Phillip - the house is neat but Marriott has done a huge tourist number on the grounds. Yo ho ho!

7) Drive along the east coast and run over a few mongooses (mongeese?). There are nice views, some blowholes, and sometimes some decent waves with surfers. Horrendous road signs will ensure that you get lost a few times. (I think you are staying out here - very romantic).

8) If you are looking for a primeval Caribbean experience, you have picked the wrong place - Nearly all of Barbados was settled and cultivated centuries ago. However, for a little taste of tropical rainforest, got to Welchman’s Hall, St. Thomas, just past Harrison’s cave. Most of Barbados is sugar cane, but this gorge is what the whole island must have been like at one time. If you like botanical gardens, Andromeda Gardens in St. Joseph, is better than the Flower Forest (according to my mom, the garden afficianato).

9) Take the Atlantis submarine for a trip down into the inky deep. Go at night. It leaves from the Careenage in downtown Bridgetown. It only lasts an hour or so, but there are discount coupons available around the island and the sense of undersea claustrophobia of a submarine is hard to match.

10) Downtown Bridgetown is a zoo - heavy traffic, winding streets and narrow sidewalks just like any small English city. It’s kind of neat to walk around, but nothing amazing is there and parking is impossible. Speightstown in the north is much more of a traditional Caribbean town; it’s quaint but a little bit shabby too. There’s a pretty good local museum to the south of Bridgetown, as well as a colonial fort with cannons and stuff.

11) There’s supposed to be a neat tour with free booze at the Mount Gay rum facility, but we never got there ourselves.

12) At sunset one day, go to Discovery Bay Hotel, St. James, and see hundreds of white cranes come in to roost for the night in a handful of trees. They are beautiful and they make quite a ruckus. We stayed there for a few days and I was wandering the grounds late at night and got too close to the trees and panicked them. A monstrous flock of circling screaming cranes woke up everybody in the place. We did not get kicked out because I hid in the bushes.

13) Scuba & Snorkel. There are some better islands in the Caribbean, but this is a pretty good place - better than Hawaii. They sunk a really big ship right off shore about a decade ago. I also saw lots of parrot fish, morays, clear blue squid, giant pipefish and the like just snorkeling off from my hotel.

14) Sports. The Garrisson Savannah, Christ Church, has cricket matches, rugby matches, and horse racing at various times. Cricket is huge in Barbados. The local paper will have times and info. There’s a polo club in St. James, but I’m not sure if it is open to the public.


All of the beaches on the west side are traditional Caribbean - low gentle and sleepy with palm trees. There’s usually some nice snorkeling right off the beach in about five feet of water with no waves. All beaches are public, which is both bad and good. People sometimes try to sell you stuff, but if you are firm and do not begin a conversation, they will leave you alone. It’s nice to walk along and explore the numerous nice small hotels in the area, but dress nice so you don’t get kicked out. There’s also a lot of big mansions just inland from the beach.

The south west side beaches are much more crowded. The beach is nice and wide and clean, but there are no living reefs offshore. There’s a lot of lower grade hotels and condos, and lots of places for a quick bite or a tee shirt. It almost feels like Santa Cruz or the Jersey Shore. Blah.

The east coast beaches are pretty, desolate and rocky. There are undertows and the like. Not really for swimming unless you get specific information from a local about where to go in. Nice for walking or surfing.

If you get tired of your little stretch of beach, drive to:

1) Folkestone, St. James. There’s a nice safe snorkeling trail right off shore, and the place is frequented mostly by locals rather than tourists. Some small public facilities.

2) Crane Beach, St. Phillip. In my opinion, just about the nicest beach I have ever seen. Sand like powder, swaying palms, good body surfing waves. You can get a drink at the Crane Beach Hotel just above.

3) Morgan Lewis Beach, St. Andrew’s. Up in the north east. Hard to find - its almost straight downhill from a big old windmill. A guidebook might have detailed instructions. When you get there, you’ll have it all to yourself. Quite nice - Bring a picnic, there is no place to buy anything.

4) If the snorkeling isn’t great where you are, sneak on to the grounds of the Almond Beach (formerly the Heywoods), north of Speightstown. This is a big open resort complex; I guarantee they won’t notice you and wouldn’t care if they did. Right off shore is a really nice shallow reef. You can see its configuration from the beach - enter from the sides as it is rather shallow in the middle, and is full of spiny urchins there. You can dunk yourself in one of the hotel’s pools afterwards and eat at one of the restaurants.


Cheap tourist food is generally bland, as per British requirements. Local food can be hard to hard to find, but its worth looking for. Expensive restaurants tend to be pretty good. Flying fish grows on you.

A really classy dining experience can be had at Bagatelle Great House, St. Thomas. You feel like you’ve been invited to dinner by the owner of this beautiful mansion. We had a great meal there, but left substantially lighter in the wallet. Very good and pricey cooking at Raffles and Carambola. We haven’t been to any other really nice places, but the best fine dining restaurants are often at the St. James hotels.

Less expensive options. . . At the Coco Banana, they have a live band some nights. We had such a blast that we ended up participating in a big impromptu conga line through the restaurant. How embarassing. I can’t remember the food at all, but the drinks were good. Buffet lunch at the run down looking Atlantic Hotel in Bathsheba is authentic local fare. What they serve really varies from day to day, but you should give it a try - supposed to be great.

There’s a decent Italian hole in the wall in St. Laurence, Christ Church, but I can’t remember the name. It’s a couple blocks south of the main road - look for the christmas tree lights all over the building and the faded travel posters on the walls. Most of the other reasonably priced dinner options are in St. Laurence or nearby south shore areas. It is assumed that people staying on the west shore don’t care about money - everything is as expensive as all get out.

Very cheap eats are found at the Barbados Pizza Houses scattered across the island. Mediocre but edible pizza, pretty good tuna subs and other sandwiches. The St. James one is an open air terrace right on the beach, which is a big plus for a five buck meal. Someone will try to sell you a gold chain here, guaranteed.

Have a good time, but remember: if your trip sucks, I never suggested anything.

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Dude!!!!!! Predicto your the shiznit.:applause:

Thanks for all the great info. This is some great information. I'll let my fiancee read it too.

Like I said, I have a lot of feelings about this place. We had our wedding reception on the terrace at the Crane Beach Hotel, overlooking the crashing surf. It was truly awesome.

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