Types of Tourism in Barbados
The variety of excursion programs in Barbados is truly impressive: tourists are offered trips to the old English fortifications, mansions, rum distilleries and sugar plantations; travel along the coastline of the island, from where breathtaking views open; inspection of the island from helicopters; sea cruises, and often they are accompanied by colorful performances (for example, trips on a pirate ship), concert performances by local bands and dinners; dives on the submarine “Atlantis”, during which you can get acquainted with the underwater world of the Caribbean Sea; as well as excursions to islands remote from Barbados belonging to other states.
All beaches in Barbados are municipal, that is, absolutely all beaches are open to tourists. Beach areas are equipped with changing cabins, showers, picnic areas and playgrounds. It is worth noting that there are no nude beaches on the island, since sunbathing in the nude is simply illegal here. Check top-medical-schools.org for travel information in Barbados.
The most popular resort areas are located on the western and southern coasts of Barbados. The sea is calm here, and the beaches are composed of white coral sand and surrounded by palm groves. Upscale hotels can be found on the west coast of the island, the most famous of which is Sandy Lane. in the vicinity of Holetown, where world celebrities, heads of state and government rest. Also some of the most popular beaches on the island are Brandons, Butts Rock and Fitts Village in the counties of St. James and St. Michael in the vicinity of Bridgetown, Pines Bay and the beaches of Folkestone Park near Holetown and Mullins in the vicinity of Speightstown. Basically, these are quiet resort places where families rest. Unlike the western coast of Barbados, the southern one is considered to be “party”: there are restaurants, bars and discos along the coast. The most developed place in this regard is the resort town of St. Lawrence Gap.. Every day there are performances, themed parties and concerts of Caribbean music, accompanied by vibrant dance performances. In addition, this coast is known for the fact that the waters of the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean meet here. The most popular beaches on the south coast of Barbados: Dover Beach in the heart of St. Lawrence Gap, and located to the east – Silver Sands, Long Bay and Crane Bay. The eastern shores of Barbados are rocky, it is almost impossible to swim here due to the rather strong waves that cause the northeast trade winds blowing from the Atlantic. North coast of Barbados practically undeveloped in terms of tourism. Therefore, there are also no popular resorts here.
The West Coast, surrounded by coral reefs with a rich underwater world, is a great place for diving and snorkelling. The best conditions for diving are observed in the summer months, at which time underwater visibility can reach 20 m. Coral reefs are located both in the immediate vicinity of the coast and at a distance of up to 3 km from it. A wide variety of tropical fish and larger marine life are found here – barracudas, hawksbill turtles, huge sand eels and rays. The most popular dive sites on the west coast are Mycox Bay on the north coast where stingrays and barracudas are found, Dottins, located a little to the south (here you can see tropical fish and turtles), Shark Bank in the vicinity of Bridgetown with a depth of up to 45 m and nearby Bell Buoy with coral gardens, among which shoals of tropical fish rush through.
In addition, off the western coast of the island, sunken ships lie at the bottom, which eventually turned into entire coral reefs. Wreck diving in Folkestone Marine Park near Holetown is very interesting. Here, at a depth of 37 m, lies the cargo ship Stavronikita, 110 m long, which was wrecked in 1976. Due to the depth at which the ship lies, diving is only allowed for experienced divers. You can also go to Karlisli Beach in the southwest Barbados in the vicinity of Bridgetown, where 4 ships lie at the bottom: Berwyn, Eilon, Sea Track and Fox. This is a great place for beginners. Nearby is another dive site – Friars Crack. Here, at a depth of 17 m, lies a German cargo ship that sank in 1984. In the northern part of the west coast, you can dive to the ship Pamir, which rests at a depth of 18 m.
SURFING AND WINDSURFING
Throughout the year, northeast trade winds blow from the Atlantic Ocean, so the east and southeast coasts of the island are a mecca for windsurfers and surfers. The season for windsurfing lasts from mid-November to the end of June, at this time the wind speed is almost every day at the level of 7-8 m/s. The best places to practice this sport are in the vicinity of Oistins at South Point and on the coast of Silver Sands. On the east coast, in a place called Soap Bowl, the most popular place for surfing is located. Mostly surfers stop on the south coast of Barbados, the infrastructure is most developed here and it is easy to get to the main skiing places from here.
Fishing is another popular activity in Barbados. Fish such as wahoo, dorado, barracuda, tuna, sailfish, blue marlin and even sharks can be caught in coastal waters. Tourists are offered fishing tours on specially equipped yachts, which include food and drinks.
The island is dominated by karst landforms, as it is composed of limestone rocks, in which many caves have formed over time due to erosion by underground waters. The caves of Barbados are entire galleries decorated with stalactites and stalagmites, at the bottom of which rivers flow and waterfalls and lakes form.
In the center of Barbados St. Thomas County is home to the island’s most famous cave network, Harrisons. Its total length is 2.3 km, and its age reaches 20 thousand years. The largest of the local caves has a height of 15 m. A river flows along the bottom of the Harrisons caves, on which waterfalls and lakes form in some places. The vaults of the caves are covered with stalactites, stalagmites and larger formations – whole ice towers, formed over millennia as a result of the fusion of stalactites and stalagmites. The journey through the Harrisons caves takes place on electric trailers. In the administrative center of the caves, you can see collections of artifacts belonging to the culture of the Indians who once inhabited the island, as well as several shops selling handicrafts and places to relax.
In the very north of Barbados, in the parish of Saint Lucie, are the Animal Flower Caves. The lakes in these caves are so deep that you can even swim in them. In addition, about a hundred smaller caves are located in the central part of the island.
For several centuries now, the lands of the island have been intensively used for the cultivation of sugarcane. More and more land is being taken for sugar plantations, as a result of which the areas of tropical forests are shrinking. To protect the forests of Barbados and to familiarize tourists with the natural world of the island, several parks and reserves were created: in the vicinity of Bridgetown – Lazaretto Gardens with tropical plants and flowers; in the eastern part of Barbados – Andromeda Botanical Gardens, where tropical trees, ferns, several types of orchids, hibiscus, bougainvillea and cacti grow on an area of 2.5 hectares, the River Tropical Rhine Forest protected forest and Barclays Park; in northern Barbados, the Barbados Wildlife Sanctuary, where redwood forests, Grenade Hall Conservation Forest, Farley Hill Park and Cherry Tree Hill relict forest thickets are protected; in the center of Barbados – the forests of the ravine Welchman Hall, where you can see almost all the plants of the island, about 150 species in total, and the Flower Forest forest.
Also in Barbados, ornithological excursions to coastal wetlands are interesting: the Graham Hall reserve in the vicinity of St. Lawrence Gap and Chancery Lane on Long Bay.
Barbados is the birthplace of rum, producing such world-famous varieties of rum as “Mount Gay” and “Malibu”. Rum is one of the most popular sights of the country, so it is not surprising that the excursion program necessarily includes trips to rum factories, where you can learn about the history of the appearance of this drink, get acquainted with the technology of its production and taste the best varieties. Many factories have been preserved since the 17th century, so they are also of historical value. One of the most popular is Gay Rum Factory, located north of Bridgetown.
Barbados known as one of the most romantic places for wedding ceremonies. The local landscapes: beaches with coral sand, green meadows that cover the hills, and numerous parks – attract lovers from all over the world. Newlyweds who want to spend their honeymoon in solitude also go here.
Other recreational activities common on the island include cricket, golf and polo, which are national sports, driving, biking and horse riding along the coast (especially along the rocky east coast), kayaking, parasailing, and boat trips., catamarans or boats.