Loved for its brilliant white sands and famously warm Caribbean waters, Barbados is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. While the coastline may be one of the main attractions, there’s plenty more to see and do in this tropical paradise. When you can eventually drag yourself away from sipping cocktails on the sun-soaked beaches, make sure you check out these unmissable things to do in Barbados.
Tours and watersports in Barbados
With plenty of gorgeous beaches and glistening waters, it should come as no surprise that there are a wealth of opportunities to try out watersports in Barbados. If you’re not one for exhilarating experiences, why not chill out while on a luxury boat cruise? You’ll get the most incredible view of the Caribbean Sea while staying dry - perfect for those who just want to sit back, relax and enjoy the incredible vistas.
Zed’s Surfing Adventures
For more thrillseeking travellers, the internationally renowned Zed’s Surfing Adventures is recognised as one of the top surf schools in Barbados. With highly knowledgeable, experienced instructors who make sure your surfing experience is informative, safe and lots of fun, it’s an excellent place to catch the waves.
Choose from a beginner-friendly group or private sessions for all ages. These include an introduction to the basics while still on dry land, followed by plenty of water time where you can test your skills under the watchful eye of your instructor.
You can rent a wide selection of boards if you’re a more experienced surfer and Zed’s also operates snorkel expeditions on board their 26-foot fishing boat. There are comfortable lounge chairs and a café for friends and family members to watch from as you hone your skills, as well as showers and changing facilities in the surf shop for when your surfing day is done.
Explore the teeming underwater world off Barbados’ coast on an Atlantis Submarine tour. Dive to depths of up to 150 feet to view exotic corals, colourful fans and a fascinating shipwreck, all in spacious, air-conditioned comfort on board the 48-passenger Atlantis submarine.
Drift among schools of darting, multi-coloured fish as your professional crew narrates your tour, and experience a beautiful side of Barbados previously reserved for scuba divers.
For an unforgettable adventure, embark on a night dive to see what happens on a coral reef after dark. Alternatively, sign up for a VIP submarine trip or private tour to enjoy your premium underwater voyage with an extra-special touch.
Silver Moon Cruises
Silver Moon Cruises have built a stellar reputation for their luxury catamaran voyages along the scenic West Coast of Barbados and are one of the finest ways to experience the beauty of Barbados.
Embark on a five-hour day cruise through the tranquil Caribbean Sea on board either a 12 or 24-passenger charter vessel, with stops along the way to swim with sea turtles and relax on stunning white-sand beaches. The friendly, professional captains and crew take you to the best locations so you can make incredible memories with your loved ones. It’s one of our favourite ways to enjoy both the exotic beauty of the island and the thrills of a day at sea.
You’ll also enjoy a delicious buffet lunch on board and unlimited alcoholic and soft drinks along the way – making this a brilliant, relaxing day out for visitors of all ages.
As well as surfing and boat cruises, you can try your hand at a variety of different watersports in Barbados. Whether it’s snorkelling, scuba diving, windsurfing or kitesurfing, you’re spoilt for choice when it comes to exciting adventures. Most resorts allow you to hire equipment, otherwise you can ask them to point you in the right direction.
Attractions in Barbados
Steeped in history and culture, Barbados has a number of unmissable attractions you simply must put on your bucket list when visiting the island. Whether you’re going on your honeymoon or are visiting as a family, every type of traveller is sure to be impressed by the spectacular array of attractions in this island nation.
One of Barbados’ greatest natural wonders, the underground network of streams, cave rooms and crystallised rock formations known as Harrison’s Cave is an awe-inspiring sight.
Named after a prominent local landowner from the 1700s, this vast limestone cave system was largely unexplored until the 1970s, when it was mapped by Danish spelunker (that’s a cave explorer!) Ole Sorenson.
Today you can explore the subterranean passageways by tram or on foot to admire cascading waterfalls, crystal clear pools and the dazzling stalagmites that have enchanted visitors for years. As well as this, you’ll get an incredible view of the massive cavern known as the Great Hall, the ceiling of which stands 15 metres (50 feet) high.
St. Nicholas Abbey
Taking a tour of this historic plantation house and its grounds feels like stepping back in time. Built in the 17th century, the Jacobean-style St. Nicholas Abbey is exceptionally well-preserved and filled with beautiful antique pieces dating from the last several centuries.
Outside, the 400-acre estate has a stunning landscape of sugar cane fields, flower and herb gardens, and lush natural gullies. Nearby you can climb Cherry Tree Hill, an elegant avenue lined with mahogany trees, where you can enjoy spectacular views from the top.
The museum features exhibits on the history of sugar and rum production at the plantation, which continues today – you can buy samples in the shop after touring the rum distillery and working steam mill. Finally, enjoy a tasty lunch or afternoon tea on the Terrace Café, surrounded by tropical greenery.
George Washington House
This 18th-century Georgian-style plantation house has an important claim to fame – it was once home to a 19-year-old George Washington, who was destined to become the first president of the United States.
The future Founding Father came to Barbados as a companion for his elder brother Lawrence, who was ill with tuberculosis and hoped that the warm Caribbean climate would help his condition. Young George recorded the details of his stay and his impressions of Barbados in his diary.
Now restored to its original condition after several years of painstaking research and renovation, the George Washington House welcomes visitors to learn more about this little-known episode in Washington’s life, as well as what it was like to live in 18th-century Barbados.
Botanical Gardens in Barbados
Say ‘goodbye’ to the idyllic beaches for a day and immerse yourself in another side of Barbados by visiting one of the botanical gardens.
Andromeda Botanic Gardens
Founded by one of Barbados’ leading horticulturalists, Iris Bannochie, and subsequently given to the Barbados National Trust, the Andromeda Botanic Gardens features six acres of breath-taking tropical gardens. You’ll get the chance to spot flowers, trees and shrubs from all over the world. Many of its trees are unique and cannot be found anywhere else on the islands.
This striking botanical garden is a wonderful place to unwind and savour the beauty of nature, as well as being an important destination for horticultural teaching and conservation. Complete your visit by dropping into the shop – which stocks lovely local art and crafts – and the café for a hearty lunch of freshly prepared dishes
Flower Forest Botanical Gardens
To appreciate the dazzling colour and variety of Barbados’ beautiful plant life, a visit to the Flower Forest Botanical Gardens is time well spent. The Caribbean's warm climate means that glorious flowers bloom year-round.
Depending on the time of your visit, you’ll be treated to displays of Heliconia, calanthe, Alpinia and a wide assortment of ginger lilies, including torch, honeycomb and spiral varieties.
Relax and soak up the peaceful atmosphere in this open green space as you wander the winding pathways between lofty trees and extravagant blooms. Pause for refreshments in the café where you can admire the tranquil surroundings.
You can also take in the panoramic views over nearby mountains and coastline. Spot the butterflies, insects, hummingbirds and other local wildlife which call the gardens home.
With so much to experience, your holiday to this Caribbean paradise is bound to be jam packed with fun. Start planning today with our range of luxury resorts in Barbados, all of which are handpicked by our travel experts.