A number of major American airports fly direct to Barbados. It’s a little longer than a four-hour flight from New York (JFK and Newark), and a little less than four hours from Miami. The earlier you can book a flight, the better.
Of course, it comes as no surprise that Barbados is a popular cruise destination as well. Liners like Oceania deliver luxury experiences on the open seas at affordable prices. In 2021, Oceania is offering a 12-day excursion from Miami to Bridgetown, with stops in the Cayman Islands, Aruba, Curaçao, Bonaire, Grenada, St. Vincent, Dominica, Antigua, and St. Lucia. You could also choose a 10-day, Bridgetown-to-Bridgetown cruise covering the eastern Caribbean, or even a 27-day odyssey that follows Europe’s Atlantic coast departing from London and concluding in the Barbados capital.
Where to Stay
Because Barbados is so small, you can explore the entire island, if you wish, in a matter of days. Rather than focus on where to stay in terms of location, find lodging that fits your fellow travelers’ needs, too. Consider these options.
For a Family-Friendly Stay: Crystal Cove
Crystal Cove by Elegant Hotels provides something for the entire family. Adults will love the spacious suites, ocean views, and all-inclusive packages that epitomize care-free living. The younger ones will appreciate the array of water activities, not to mention the Fly Fish Kids Club and tiered, lagoon-style pools.
For Luxury: Altman Villas
Although Barbados is full of luxury resorts, you can avoid the crowd by booking a private stay at an Altman Villa. Choose from a variety of options, all of which are surrounded by charming gardens and tranquil pools. They’re affordable as well, with rooms starting at less than $200 a night.
For a Romantic Getaway: Sandy Lane
Sandy Lane has earned a reputation as one of the most luxurious resorts in the world. It certainly lives up to that billing. Treat your significant other with a stay here. Relax in the 47,000-square-foot spa. Hit the links on the highly exclusive Green Monkey golf course. Indulge in the fine-dining options and convivial bars. Create memories that will last a lifetime.
For an Authentic West Indian Retreat: Coral Reef Club
A boutique hotel, Coral Reef Club has all the amenities people have come to love in the West Indies: open concept, spacious rooms with ocean views; fresh-caught seafood with Caribbean spices at the hotel restaurant; access to a wide variety of aquatic activities. Even just strolling the grounds will confirm you’re living in paradise, if only for a short while.
What to Do
You could stay at the resort, soak up the sun, and sip a drink on the beach and call it a vacation, but where’s the fun in that? The fact is Barbados is packed with adventure.
Sure, you’ll find regular aquatic adventures like snorkeling, swimming with wildlife (in this case, sea turtles), and more. Did you know that Barbados is also a popular haven for surfers? The rugged Atlantic coast, in particular Bathsheba Beach, invites amateurs and experts alike to hang 10.
From riding waves to exploring caves—try your hand at spelunking. The Harrison’s Cave system is a mile-plus in length with the largest cavern coming in at 49 feet high. When you return to dry land, head to Andromeda Botanical Gardens for an arboreal experience to delight the senses.
If it’s a good time you want, you’ve come to the right place. Establishments like Harbour Lights get the festivities going on the beach during the day, offer dinner shows, then maintain the party deep into the night.
What to Eat & Drink
Barbados offers land excursions, aquatic thrills, and culinary delights. All three should be on your list of to-dos when you get to the island. Your taste buds will thank you.
Start by indulging in what is considered the national dish: fried flying fish with a side of cou cou, a mix of cornmeal and okra. You could also sample chicken curry, made with Bajan spices, and finish off any meal with a traditional dessert like guava cheese.
Then wash it all down with rum. Head to Mount Gay for a distillery tour, and step into history. They’ve been producing the region’s favorite spirit since 1703.
It can be quite stressful planning a stress-free getaway. You'll want to pack as much as you can into your vacation to Barbados, or at least nail the details that matter the most for you and your fellow travelers.
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