Since I decided to move to Mexico last year, I’ve been dreaming about booking a relaxing vacation in one of the many lovely Caribbean Islands nearby, and Barbados is definitely on top of my wishlist! Well, can you truly blame me? 😉
Spoiler alert /Update:
The “Caribbeans calling” was very strong indeed, and before I could organize a trip to Barbados, in November 2018 I had the great opportunity to fly to the Bahamas first, coming back from an incredible 10 days Cruise at the Galapagos Islands with National Geographic.
They booked a flight for me via Miami so I checked the map and asked them to send me to the Bahamas before going back home to Cancun. I mean… why not, right?!
The result was an incredible 3 weeks experience in another Caribbean paradise! I still have to publish the articles for the Galapagos, but you can read the review on Pink beach in the Bahamas (Harbor Island) for Virgin Holiday’s “Trending Travel Guide”.
I will then cover my stay in the Bahamas and the Galapagos extensively on my website, as soon as I fix some IT issues that are hunting me for a few months now, thank you for your patience!
In the meantime, enjoy this article about another Caribbean paradise: Barbados!
After working an average of 18 hours per day on this website, if I want to keep going without burning out (or losing my sanity!) I need a PROPER RELAXING vacation by the beach, so after consulting with a friend who has been living in Cancun for 6 years and has explored all the Caribbean Islands, she gave me some great insights and why one island might be better for me than another.
So here I am, listing all her suggestions, the same ones that lead me to choose Barbados as my next holiday destination!
I see myself lazying in one of the villas on the beach of Barbados, drinking coconut milk, and letting my mind drift away peacefully in lalaland without a care in the world: no laptop, mobile or internet … just me and a sunny beautiful beach!
The human batteries need to be recharged and sometimes a paradise island is a perfect place to try some fun activities and/or just RELAX. The seduction of this lifestyle is very strong, and I know it way too well from an experience in another glorious beach vacation I took in the Philippines 4 years ago. I did indeed come out fresh from that!
When I think of Barbados, I picture myself trying (probably unsuccessfully) to surf, exploring its beautiful beaches, the caves and so much more.
Given that this is on top of my wish list destination and I DID NOT visit Barbados (yet), the following tips and info come from a super trusted source: My friend who spent 6 years jumping from one Caribbean Island to another, a true expert, so you can trust what I will report in here!
THINGS TO DO IN BARBADOS
Or better put: Things I want to do and see when I get there! I found this interesting video on Youtube that shows a bit more of history and things to see, loved it!
SURF: Surfing is mainly done on the east side of the island where you can catch great waves. I might not be able to surf properly yet, but I’m always willing to try new things and maybe this will be the right time to finally learn! I already tried to surf in Siargao, a beautiful island in the Philippines and I’m ready to give it another try in Barbados! 🙂
BEACHES & BEACH ACTIVITIES: Being Barbados an Island, obviously the beaches are a big part of the deal! I saw a few videos and pictures online and the colors are amazing especially when the sun comes out. Snorkeling, windsurfing, scuba diving are must do activities (definitely MY THING) if you have some money to splurge, and honestly? If I’m going on vacation I am willing to save a bit to be able to spend the money I’ve earned!
CAVES: If you’re into Caving, there’s Harrison Cave, Animal flower cave and Coles Cave to explore too. I’m definitely in when it comes to discovering the beauty of the caves so this is an activity I will certainly try out when in Barbados!
GOLF: As a plus, there are also golf clubs in the country, you can try it out and you might just get lucky to bump into Tiger Woods. I have (yet again unsuccessfully) tried Golf in the Tuscany countryside and even if I’m basically hopeless I had so much fun trying that I want to try it again!
SOME OF THE REASON WHY I DECIDED I WANT TO VISIT BARBADOS
I know, I know, there are not just beaches but I liked this so much!
1 | BARBADOS PEOPLE (Traveling It’s mostly about the people you meet!)
They say people in Barbados are very courteous and generous. I think this is a norm for every touristy island country. The lives of the people are so blessed with an abundance of nature and beauty that it makes them naturally happy.
That in turn, reflects back on how hospitable they are with the tourists. During my many trips to paradise islands around the world like Seychelles, Panay Island, Palawan, I find this to be very true. People are generally super cheerful in general, the sun is the best medicine ever!
2| BARBADOS FESTIVALS AND TRADITIONS
According to my expert friend, festivals in Barbados are super interesting. Crop Over festival is a 200-year-old tradition that honors the end of the sugar cane season. It runs during all the summer months with tons of activities, with lively street parades and people in colorful costumes. Festivities like these shouldn’t be missed and it will be awesome to participate in these kinds of local parties. This is how you can truly get the feeling of a place!
3 | BARBADOS LOCAL FOOD
Another way to get to know the country is thru your taste buds. We need to try their very own national dish Cou Cou & Flying Fish, made with cornmeal grain and fresh okra, accompanied by savory stewed flying fish prepared with fresh onion, garlic, thyme, tomatoes, and pepper. And yeah, don’t forget the rum punch too.
THINGS TO KNOW BEFORE VISITING BARBADOS:
Each country has a different culture and rules to follow. It is always important to adhere to each norm if we don’t want to get in trouble while having fun in Barbados. Here are some tips that we need to know before we head out to the island paradise in the Caribbean:
1 |Avoid the Manchineel fruit especially when it gets wet.
We always think of fruits as always delicious but there are certain plants and fruits we don’t want you to mess up with. Manchineel secretes a toxic substance harmful to us humans and if it touches your skin, you will get burn. It is highly recommended to stay away from that fruit. You will recognize a manchineel fruit coz there’s either a sign on them or a red band so you’ll know.
2 |Do not dress up in camouflage pattern designed attire.
When planning on what to wear when you go visit Barbados, avoid the camouflage design because the print patterns are only used strictly by their military government. If you have a camouflage designed shirt, shorts, bags, or shoes, better leave it at home or it will be taken away from you.
3 |Avoid bringing in leather clothes:
Especially if its dry season because it will melt in the sweltering tropical heat. It is best to just bring light clothing like simple shirts, shorts, and sandals especially if it’s the dry season… Those clothes are good to wear and compliment the climate in Barbados.
3 |Smoking Rules in Barbados:
It is not allowed to smoke in certain places such as beaches, road, historical facilities, and sites. If you have the urge to smoke, you must make sure that the place you are in allows you to smoke otherwise you will get into trouble (that’s good to know for me… unfortunately).
4 | Restrictions & Rules in Barbados: The first one is quite sad.
- Homosexuality is illegal. It’s a sad fact at the moment but let’s just be aware.
- Sunbathing topless is not allowed. The sun might be alluring you to go all the way and bask in the warmth but it’s not the norm in Barbados so prevent yourself to do this. Gladly not an issue for me as I never went topless in my life 🙂
5| Marine life rules: (Use common sense, not only in Barbados)
Don’t touch turtles! By touching or holding them you could prevent them from coming up for air which is dangerous for them. Don’t try to feed them either, they already get fed in the day by eating fish or they nibble on weed on the reefs. Let us just enjoy seeing them as they are beautiful creatures.
6| Cultural habits in Barbados
Everybody is not always in a rush because people are living the island life and they are following the island time (which is GREAT!). If you are a punctual person, expected to be annoyed a bit. As there is no sense of urgency, customer service is generally slow so, patience should be a virtue you need to pack before heading to Barbados!
7| Average prices: Are Barbados expensive?
Almost everything is imported. Barbados Is an Island that doesn’t really have infrastructures to create their own good (food or products) so almost everything has to be imported… Expect the goods that you buy to be expensive. On the lighter side, US Dollars are widly accepted in the island. If you’re visiting from the US, then lucky you! You don’t need to go through the hassle of converting your money.
Did my friend miss anything? If you visited Barbados please share your experience, suggestions, and impressions by commenting below, I trust my friend but I’d love to hear from you too!
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