A hypnotic calypso isle, Barbados is the ultimate Caribbean dream. And at just 21 miles by 14 miles, the island really is your oyster. Of course, it’s most famous for its palm-fringed beaches, but there’s more than talcum powder sands here. We’re talking a duty-free shopping scene and sights that are second to none. In a coconut shell, it’s the small island with a big fan base.
- Take a tram ride through a labyrinth of underground caverns at Harrison’s Cave in St Thomas. A natural phenomenon that has to be seen to be believed, it’s all sparkling streams, playful waterfalls and stalactites and stalagmites that shimmer in shady tunnels.
- Go snorkelling in search of hawksbill and green turtles. Once endangered because of over-fishing, these creatures are now protected and monitored throughout the island.
- Take it easy on Carlisle Beach, one of the island’s best stretches of sand. Or, if you’re feeling energetic, slip on a pair of flippers and propel your way past the underwater shipwrecks just off the shore.
- The Atlantis Submarine lets you scuba dive without getting wet. As this underwater ship descends into the ocean, you can look out the portholes for tropical fish and sea turtles.
SHORE EXCURSIONS► View all EXCURSIONS
For the ultimate unwind, take the short transfer to the motorised boat – Spirit of Bridgetown – and cruise along the coast of Barbados. You’ll make your way past sandy beaches before stopping at a sheltered bay to swim or snorkel with turtles. Once endangered through over-fishing, the Hawksbill and Green turtles that glide through the sea here are now a protected species. And the clear waters here make it easy to see them in action. So jump in and enjoy your chance to play with these graceful creatures. After your swim, there’s a chance to simply kick back and relax on the boat.
Carlisle Beach Break►
This trip's all about taking it easy on one of Barbados’ best beaches. Plus, you get the added bonus of ticking off some of the island’s most iconic sights before reaching the sand. To start, you’ll board an air-conditioned coach at the port, and pass through the capital of Bridgetown. Keep an eye out for the parliament buildings, the historic statue of Lord Nelson and the famous Independence Square as you go. Another of the town’s must-sees is the spectacular Garrison. This 18th-century British stronghold boasts the finest iron cannon collection in the world and counts itself as a World Heritage Site. After arriving at Carlisle Bay your time’s your own to spend how you like. Bring your own snorkel gear and explore spooky shipwrecks, go for a swim, or just relax under a palm tree and watch the world go by.
Best Of Barbados►
This short tour packs a lot in, ticking off two of Barbados’ most popular attractions. Things kick off at Orchid World, a sprawling park set 800 feet above sea level, and spread out over six acres. It’s home to around 30,000 orchids, which share space with cascading waterfalls, shady rock gardens and a spectacular coral grotto. When you get here, you’ll follow a path that snakes its way around the greenery. When you’re done, you’ll enjoy a scenic drive to Sunbury House. This vast plantation is set in the middle of the countryside, and it dates back to 1650. You’ll be introduced to a collection of antique horse-drawn carriages, as well as old tools used in the plantation’s daily life. You’ll tuck in to a local speciality, fluffy fish cakes, at the end of the tour. And there’ll be time to learn how to make Bajan Rum Punch – a smooth, sweet concoction that’s mixed up using rum and syrup.