Sharing my ABCs: Aruba, Bonaire & Curacao Travel Guide

Bon Bini!!

This means Welcome in Papiamentu (see below for more on this).

The ABC islands are three of the most Western Islands in the Caribbean, part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Rich in Colonial history, including slave trade, these islands offer cultural diversity.

Even though they are grouped together as the ABC islands, they are not indicative of their geographical location. From West to East lies Aruba, Curacao and then Bonaire. This was the order in which we visited these vastly different islands.

Dutch is the official language of these islands, with Papiamentu being one of the unique creole languages that developed (a mix of Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, French, English, and some Arawak and African influences). English and Spanish are also spoken in these islands. While there, I experienced a mix of all the above tongues making it a linguist’s delight.

While the Dutch culture overlaps between these three islands, the landscape, flora and fauna are different. Curacao and Bonaire are surrounded by reefs while Aruba is relatively flat. The first two are rich in flamingo swamps and patches of cactus.

I was fortunate to spend a few days in each of the islands so I will share with you some of my highlights and recommendations.



My interest in Aruba was predominantly for one reason- the flamingo beach. While I admit that this may be a cheesy item to have on a bucket list, it was on mine. I am aware the flamingos are not indigenous to Aruba, but the idea of them flocking around the beach had a certain appeal.

I admit I was hesitant about this as I was concerned about the implications to the flamingos. As I have become more conscious of animal cruelty and captivity over the years, I try to avoid aquariums, zoos and any other ‘tourist’ attraction that involves caged animals. But from the research I did, and the observations I made, it seems like these 6 pink flocks have the freedom to roam around the beach and well taken care of.




This flamingo beach is not accessible to the public. It is on a private island owned by Renaissance Aruba. Guest passes are available for approx. $100USD to those not staying at the Renaissance but they are not guaranteed, especially during high season. As we were travelling during high season, the hotel could not guarantee non guests access. Passes in advance were not available at the time we went so we either had the choice of trying at 7am to get passes for the first boat over to the island (10 minute boat ride) or stay as a guest of Renaissance. We opted for the latter for one night.




The Renaissance Private Island offers 2 beaches, along with a variety of cabanas and water sports. And of course they are home to the 6 flamingos. We chose to get the first boat out at 7am right after checking in at 6am, which was perfect for having uninterrupted access to our pink friends.  We were able to peacefully feed the flamingoes and let them come to us to take crowd-free photos. After witnessing tons of tourists chasing them later, we were happy with our decision to venture out early. We spent the day on the island enjoying the sun (and rain), having lunch on the beach and frolicking in the crystal clear waters. And for your convenience, there are plugs and wifi available on the beach!




While larger franchise hotels are not my typical choice, I enjoyed our one night, 2 full day stay at the Renaissance.  It did feel very American with a Starbucks on site but I totally admit to enjoying a daily tea from there. Additionally we lounged by the pool (unexpectedly as our flight to Curacao was cancelled) and I had a couple workouts in the massive hotel gym (massive win in my books).



Renaissance Pool and view of the ocean


For more information on Renaissance Aruba, please check out:


For the initial part of our trip, we stayed at an Airbnb. Truthfully I wasn’t expecting much but it ended up being a great experience. The photos online do not do the place justice- it is actually much cuter in person. The host picked us up from the airport which was nearby.  The accommodations was located in a residential area, but there was a grocery store within walking distance. As the property was equipped with a private kitchen and pool, we were able to spend time there relaxing (and acclimatizing to 30C weather) .



Poolside of the Airbnb


The link for the airbnb is:


As I mentioned earlier, the main reason for going to Aruba was to visit the Flamingo beach. As such we didn’t explore Aruba. We ate in the surrounding area of the Renaissance Marketplace, which is in the district of Oranjestad.



Curacao is an island that unexpectedly wowed me. There are very few places in the world I want to re-visit (in large part because I would like to travel to 100 countries in my lifetime) but Curacao is a place I would like to return to.

The experiences, the people, the culture, the landscape all can contribute to making or breaking a trip. For me, a large part of my love for Curacao stems from my experience at BijBlauw Boutique Hotel.




Britt and her team created a unique concept in the capital town of Willemstad. In my opinion, the hotel is an Instagrammer’s haven. Bij Blauw  means “by blue” in Dutch, referring to the blues of Caribbean Sea and sky.  The property consists of only a few rooms and suites, a sea side restaurant, and an on site concept store. Each decorated with attention to detail representing island life meets romantic elegance. Personally I could have stayed on the property my entire holiday as I was that in love with it.



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The seas side restaurant of Bij Blauw



The concept store selling the cutest decor and clothing


Unexpectedly, we were given the suite for our 3 night stay. This generous offer shows how much Britt wanted to ensure we had the best experience.



On the balcony of our suite, with oceanfront views





The decor of each suite is minimalist beach style


We ate a lot of our meals at the restaurant. The cuisine was on point, with staff and ambiance to match. What better way to start or finish your day that a meal with great company with ocean views. You don’t have to be a guest of the hotel to dine, so if you are in Curacao, I highly recommend coming here for a meal.



Breakfast with a View



We started each day off right with a breakfast spread



And a sunset dining experience is a must


The ambiance is romantic yet relaxing all times of the day. I couldn’t get enough of the decor. If I ever owned a cafe, it would emulate this style.







For more information on Bij Blauw, please check out:


Curacao is a great country to explore. I recommend renting a car and driving around the island. It is fairly straightforward, but downloading a map of the island onto a smartphone would be fairly useful.

Willemstad is a picturesque city with a town centre and pastel-coloured colonial architecture. Walking around and exploring is a must! Be sure to also experience the array of fused cuisines. For example, we enjoyed dinner at “Ginger”, a Caribbean Asian fusion restaurant within minutes of our hotel.




Curacao is also known for diving and snorkelling. The beaches there are pristine with 50 shades of blue. Some of those include Lagun, Kenepa and Playa Santa Cruz.



Kenepa Beach


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 Lagun Beach



Playa Santa Cruz


There are also many look out points driving along the coast of the island. Santa Martha Bay is one of the nicest ones I’ve seen.




If Curacao wasn’t on your radar before, the hopefully it is now.



Bonaire is an island I didn’t have on my radar, but since I was travelling to the region, figured it was worth checking out. It is definitely under rated and not as popular as it should be.  Like Curacao, it is recommended that one rent a car. What is unique about driving here is there are no traffic lights!!! And for the most part, there is only one main road. Oh and the width of the road is the wide of a small car, if you are lucky. That made for a fun driving experience. You can drive around the entire island in 2-3 hours.


If you are a diver, then Bonaire is your mecca. At any point in the island, one can simply step into the shore and go diving hence known in the Caribbean as the number one shore diving destination.



The waters are so clear yet filled with marine life that even near the shoreline, you can snorkel and dive.


Diving aside, the landscape is unique for the Caribbean. With its drier temperatures, expect to see lots of cactus, lizards crossing the street while driving (there are even signs warning you of them) and pockets of flamingos.



There are pockets of cactus and dry Earth scattered throughout the island



Observing a couple flamingos in the wild


Bonaire used to be a salt producing slave colony. One of the coolest things we saw there were these pink salt flats (it is a private company so be careful not to trespass).



The salt flats making for a pink lake


Our experience in Bonaire was also a special one in large part to Eff and the team over at Sunrentals Bonaire. They made arrangements for a car rental at the airport on arrival, making it convenient for us. Our accommodations included a 2 bedroom apartment equipped with a kitchen and both a pool and ocean view from a large balcony (the sunset views are out of this world). There are a variety of properties to choose from, so you can rest assured that your needs will be met.



  Sunset from our balcony



  We enjoyed lounging by the pool right before we had to catch our return flight home


If you are a diver, then Sunrentals Bonaire has a Dive shop, so you can purchase a dive package along with your accommodations. The team is willing to offer a discount code (“JessyandPippa”) to my followers, pending the season and availability. Be sure to include this when you book. You can email Eff at



 Our 2 bedroom loft at Sunrentals Bonaire


For more information on Sunrentals Bonaire, please check out the link:



Enjoying a quick dip in the ocean at Bellafonte Bonaire


I hope this blog piece has opened your eyes to the beauty of the ABC islands. I will have more photos filtered throughout my Instagram feed showcasing some never before seen photos, so if you have Instagram and aren’t already following, then please check out @scrubs2sweats.

Additionally if you have any questions or comments, please feel free to add.


Thank you for reading!









To detox or not?

Many of you reading this have probably encountered or even tried detoxing or cleansing the body. This is especially popular after the Christmas holidays and as many embark on New Year’s resolutions for a healthier lifestyle. The approach of choice may be influenced by the latest fad from celebrities (for example the “Tea Tox” teas used for debloating ) or  quickest results (e.g. juice cleanses for weight loss).


There are so many questions revolving around this topic- What is the difference between a cleanse or detox? What is the purpose behind them? Are they safe to do and how often? Do they work?


With little evidence from published scientific studies to help address these questions, it is no wonder that society is often confused as to what approach to take. Nutrition studies in general are hard to publish as results are often inconclusive due to the many compounding factors that can influence what is being measured.


Using my academic background and information gathered from the limited pool of published data and other resources, I shall attempt to address these questions. In addition, I would like to introduce you to a program that I believe is one of the more appropriate ones on the market if you are wanting to do a detox; one that is led by health care professionals, called “the Detox Passport”.


  1. What is the difference between a cleanse and a detox?  The purpose? Do they work?

Cleanse- a way of cleaning out the digestive track.

Detox- improving overall health of the liver and kidneys by “detoxing” the body of toxins.

A cleanse is often rich in fibre  and protein while low in refined sugars whereas a detox offers a more variety of methods that involve a change to diet and lifestyle including teas, smoothies, diets, saunas etc  1 .

Thus the purpose behind a cleanse versus a detox is different, so it is important than one understand these differences in order to meet the desired goals.

They both allegedly offer a variety of benefits including an increase in energy levels and mental health. Many will argue that our gut is the centre of our universe; if something is off there then the rest of the body will feel it. Thus helping to remove toxins or cleaning out our digestive track may help re-centre our gut.

Cleanses and detoxes also offer specific needs e.g.  for weight loss, a cleanse is more ideal due to high fibre allowing for increased bowel movements, as well protein intake to keep muscle mass  versus a night of binge drinking, a detox can help clear the body of ethanol and its matabolites that has built up in the bloodstream.


2.   Are detoxes and cleanses safe and effective? How often should they be done?

Klein et al conducted an extensive review on published detox diets and as the case with many nutrition studies, concluded that to date there is no randomized controlled trial assessing the effectiveness of detox diets in humans 2 .

What about the converse? If there is no benefit according to published data, can there be harm?  Yes there can be. If individuals are not careful doing cleanses and detoxes i.e. too often, not under the guidance of a qualified professional (e.g.naturopath or nutritionist ) then it is possible to cause harm especially if one deprives the body of the necessary nutrients,  become severe energy depleted  or participate in extended supplementation (laxatives etc).

In my opinion, I do not believe cleanses and detoxes should be used for weight loss, which is the reason many embark on this practice. Our bodies are equipped with a detoxification system on its own- our skin, respiratory system, immune system, liver, kidneys and intestines. There may be occasions, however, where the body may need some assistance. . If one is used to eating out, consuming processed foods, drinking alcohol frequently,  using products with toxins etc , then a detox may be of value.  With the number of chemicals we are exposed to on a daily basis, there can be some benefit to the body 3. Currently there are some preliminary studies which suggest that certain nutritional components  (e.g.  citric acid and algae) posses detoxing properties 4.

How often should one do a cleanse? Online there is a variety of suggestions but on average many in the field recommend twice a year. HOWEVER, it is best you consult with your own health care professional as your needs may be different. You may not be a candidate to participate depending on your health and lifestyle.  With the right guidance, it is possible to participate in a detox program safely.

More research and funding is needed in this field so that consumers can be well informed about the potential risks as well as benefits of detox and cleanse programmes.


Detox Passport: Preventative Health

For many, the simple solution of eating healthier and minimizing products with chemicals isn’t so simple. They need guidance in how to change their lifestyle. This is the premise behind the detox passport program, created by graduates of Naturopathic Medicine (Emily and Erica)- to make preventative health accessible with herbal teas, recipe guidebook,  list of toxic ingredients to avoid in skincare, other useful resources as well as an online community of health conscious individuals with guided support from the creators.

The core of this program utilizes teas that are specifically targeted to cleanse first the colon, then the liver, then the kidneys and finally the lymph and blood. Drinking tea has been a healthy promoting habit since the ancient times. There is mounting evidence that supports the health benefits of tea, including disease prevention 5. It is important to note that many companies market herbal teas as tea, but the drink in question for health benefits are made from the plant camellia sinensis. 

For more studies on the benefits of tea, please refer to 5-12 of the reference section.

For more information about the detox passport, please check out the link:


Graduated of Naturopathic Medicine and creators of Detox Passport- Emily & Erica



  2. Klein A & Kiat H. Detox diets for toxin elimination and weight management: a critical review of the evidence. J Hum Nutr Diet 2015; 28, 675-686.
  4. Zhao ZY, Liang L, Fan X et al., (2008) The role of modified citrus pectin as an effective chelator of lead in children hospitalized with toxic lead levels. Altern Ther Health Med 14, 34–38.
  5. Khan N & Mukhtar H. (2013). Tea and Health: Studies in humans. Curr Pharm Des 19 (34), 6141-6147.
  6. Adhami VM, Ahmad N, Mukhtar H. (2003) Molecular targets for green tea in prostate cancer prevention. J Nutr 133, 2417S–24S.
  7. Stangl V, Lorenz M, Stangl K. (2006). The role of tea and tea flavonoids in cardiovascular health. Mol Nutr Food Res 50, 218–28.
  8. Choan E, Segal R, Jonker D, et al. (2005) A prospective clinical trial of green tea for hormone refractory prostate cancer: an evaluation of the complementary/alternative therapy approach. Urol Oncol 23, 108–13.
  9. Sun CL, Yuan JM, Koh WP, Yu MC. (2006) Green tea, black tea and breast cancer risk: a meta-analysis of epidemiological studies. Carcinogenesis 27, 1310–5.
  10. Khan N, Mukhtar H. (2008) Multitargeted therapy of cancer by green tea polyphenols. Cancer Lett 269, 269–80.
  11. Sueoka N, Suganuma M, Sueoka E, et al. (2001) A new function of green tea: prevention of lifestyle-related diseases. Ann N Y Acad Sci 928, 274–80.
  12. Mukhtar H & Ahmed N. (2000). Tea polyphenols: prevention of cancer and optimizing health. Am J Clin Nutr 71, 1698S-702S.



** Disclaimer- while I have tried to provide academic references where applicable, this article was done on my own accord, and in some ways my opinion. It is not endorsed by any program. I have chosen to share Detox Passport because I believe they offer a unique concept with trained health professionals offering guidance. I was not asked to or paid to show my support for them.

Blogmas Healthy Hors D’oeuvres

It’s that time of year where holiday parties are in full effect. With both Christmas and New Years on the horizon, food is the one common denominator binding us together to celebrate. While gingerbread cookies and candy canes may be examples of some of the season’s favourites, holiday foods tend to be  full of processed sugars and other additives.

Trying to maintain a balance with healthy eating may be a challenge. Below I have included some ideas for healthier options.


1.Baked Pear with Feta & Pomegranate



What you need:

  • fresh pears
  • pomegranates
  • feta cheese
  • walnuts



  • slice pears in half and scoop out seeds in centre
  • place on a baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes at 350F
  • top the pears with feta, pomegranates and walnuts then continue to bake for another 5 minutes or until pear is golden and cheese is slightly melted
  • Pears are best served warm.


2. Chocolate Avocado Mousse



What you need:

  • half an avocado
  • 1/2 cup dark cacao nibs
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 tbsp pure cacao powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp coconut oil



  • In a saucepan, melt the cacao nibs. Once melted, let cool for a few minutes
  • In a food processor blend all the ingredients – avocado, cacao nibs, honey, almond milk, vanilla essence, cacao powder, salt and coconut oil until the texture is creamy.
  • Spoon into glass bowls then refrigerate for  a few hours
  • Garnish with shredded coconut, fresh berries or any other topping you desire.


3. Veggie and Fruit Chips



What you need:


  • kale
  • salt
  • pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • Cajun spice



  • sliced apple
  • cinnamon
  • coconut oil



  • sliced zucchini
  • salt
  • pepper
  • ginger powder
  • EVOO



  • sliced sweet potato
  • cinnamon
  • dried thyme
  • EVOO




  • In a ziplock bag, mix the kale in with the various seasonings and EVOO.
  • Shake the bag, and then spread the kale on a baking sheet
  • Bake for 10-15 mins at 350F, making sure to stir half way



  • In a ziplock bag, mix sliced apples with melted coconut oil and cinnamon
  • shake the bag, and then spread the apples on a baking sheet
  • Bake for 30 mins at 350F, making sure to flip half way



  • In a ziplock bag, mix the zucchini in with the various spices listed above and EVOO
  • Shake the bag, and then spread the zucchini slices on a baking sheet
  • Bake for 30 mins at 400F, making sure to flip half way



  • In a ziplock bag, mix the sweet potato in with the spices and EVOO
  • Shake the bag, and then spread the sliced sweet potatoes on a baking sheet
  • Bake for 30-40 mins at 400F, making sure to flip half way


4. Banana Boats



What you need:

  • bananas
  • plain greek yogurt
  • honey
  • cherries or other fruit as toppings



  • Slice bananas in half
  • Place on a baking sheet and bake for 10-15 mins at 350F
  • Spread plain greek yogurt and top with fruit like cherries
  • drizzle with honey
  • Serve while still warm



5. Swirl Energy Balls



What you need:

  • dried strawberries
  • dried apricots
  • dried dates
  • crushed cashews
  • coconut oil
  • shredded coconut
  • honey
  • 1 tbsp cacao powder
  • almond milk



  • in a food processor, blend strawberries with a few drops of coconut oil, almond milk (enough to make it moist, not liquid), cacao powder, honey and cashews
  • repeat with dates and apricots, keeping the 3 fruits separate
  • take part strawberries, part dates, part apricots and roll into a ball. Top with shredded coconut.
  • Repeat until you have used all the fruit
  • refrigerate for a few hours then serve


6. Frozen Yogurt covered Grape 

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What you need:

  • handful of grapes
  • 1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • handful toothpicks



  • wash a handful of grapes and pull them off the stems
  • pierce the centre of each grape with a toothpick
  • pour plain greek yogurt into a bowl
  • pour chia seeds into another bowl
  • dip each grape into the yogurt followed by the chia seeds
  • place each grape on a baking sheet and freeze overnight



7. Date Pops



As I have previously posted about date pops, please refer to this link for the recipe:


8. Black Bean Hummus



What you need:

  • half can black beans
  • 1 tsp fresh garlic
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp tahini sauce
  • 2 tbsp EVOO
  • pinch salt
  • dash cumin



  • In a food processor, mix all the ingredients above
  • Add more salt, EVOO and lemon juice to taste, as needed
  • Garnish with greek olives


Hope you enjoy trying out some of these healthy yummy recipes. Please feel free to comment below.



Barbados Travel Guide: Where to Stay

Welcome to part 3, the final segment to my Barbados travel guide. The focus on this post will be on where to stay in Barbados.

While I am fortunate to have my own house on the island, I wanted to offer travelers a variety of options who may not have this option. I have strategically chosen some places based on location, price point, and amenities.


  1.            Personal touch – AirBnB


This year I had my first experience using Airbnb in South East Asia. And once I swallowed that Kool-Aid, there was no turning back. In addition to the much cheaper prices and unique accommodations, there is also that added bonus of a personal touch provided by the host.




There are two newly renovated 2-bedroom apartments on the south coast of the island (central to shops, night life, restaurants), minutes from the beach. Less than 1 year old, these modern apartments offer guests comfort with AC, laundry and dryer, wifi, all included in the nightly rate. In addition guests can enjoy a fridge stocked with Bajan snacks and beverages (including daily Turkish coffee), pick up from the airport, and the host will help prebook a variety of tours (Harrison’s cave, catamaran rides, private tour of the island).








The links for both apartments are:



2.                  Island escape  – Santosha Barbados 


Ocean breeze. Serenity. Peace. Tropical. Nature. These are some of the many words that can be used to describe Santosha Barbados. Located on the eastern part of the island, in St Andrew, these self-catering studios offer the perfect escape. Only 40 minutes away from the airport or Bridgetown, one can still access nearby attractions.






The property offers panoramic views of the coast, suites equipped with kitchenettes and balconies, salt water pool, BBQ as well as access to Bathsheba beach. These beaches are not ideal for swimming but are perfect for any surfer. There are bath pools in the ocean, where one can sit and enjoy an ocean soak.








I had the pleasure of spending the night at Santosha. The solitude provided distinct sounds of the waves crashing and smell of salt water air, which provided the perfect recipe for a great night sleep.




And the sunrise over the coast is like no other. I highly recommend staying here, at least for a weekend, to experience a truly relaxing holiday.




For more information on Santosha:



3.                Guest House Rentals – Eden on Sea  & SeaForth Barbados 


If you are looking for more private housing, that is central to dining, shops and of course the beach, there are 2 neighbouring properties near St Lawrence gap.


The first, Eden on Sea, offers the perfect beach front property. It is a 4 story villa, with 3 en-suite bedrooms.






For more information on Eden on Sea:


The second property, SeaForth Barbados, is minutes away from Eden on Sea. This 2200 Sq ft property also offers beach front access. It boasts 4 bedrooms, but is capable of sleeping 6. The outdoor verandah gives a tropical view with swaying palm trees and bright blue ocean.




For more information on SeaForth Barbados:



4.                All Inclusive- Sugar Bay


While I have never stayed here, and can’t make comments regarding the hotel rooms, I can comment on the property. The hotel is a mix of minimalist vibes with tropical beauty.




It is located in the Southern part of the island, near the Garrison Savanah (within 10 minutes of the properties listed in 1 and 3 above) and central to many shops and restaurants.



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A 10 minutes drive to Bridgetown and 20 minutes from the airport makes it an attractive all-inclusive- one of the few on the island.



For more information on Sugar Bay:


If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to add them below. Also be sure to check out part 1 (where to eat) and part 2 (what to do) of my Barbados Travel guide series.







Barbados Travel Guide: What to do

Welcome to part 2 of my 3 part Barbados travel guide series!

This section is dedicated on various activities you can do on the island, ranging from physical activities, places of interest and unique spots to check out.



As fitness is part pf my lifestyle, as it is for many, being active while on vacation is important. Some of my favourite activities include:

1. Crossfit- Limitless Performance

One of my favourite things to do whenever I travel is to check out various crossfit boxes. Limitless Performance is my go to on the island. Founders Levar and Renee Greaves created a box that encourages “breaking out of your limits”.



The industrial area provides the perfect location, with coaches that add a level of island warmth to their teaching style. One of the coaches, Kim Sealy, is a childhood friend so I am partly biased when I say write that her classes are a must.



In addition to being a crossfit certified coach, Kim is an attorney and was recognized by Reebok Crossfit Games in 2014 and 2015 as the “Fittest Woman in Barbados”. If you are looking for some one-on-one coaching,  Fit Appeal by Kim Sealy can get you sorted.




For more information on Limitless Performance or to contact Kim , check out:


2. Gym- Surfside Wellness Centre 

Surfside is my go to for a conventional gym workout .Their memberships include weekly passes, which are ideal for travellers. Members can have access to a variety of equipment and  group classes, as well as personal training, if desired.




Surfside also has a high performance weight room so for me its the perfect location to practice some olympic lifts and crossfit movements.






They also started a new initiative last week called “hike grill and chill” whereby members and visitors to the island can enjoy a hike of the East coast followed by a gourmet healthy BBQ by Chef Scott Ames. Contact the centre for more details and possible upcoming dates.


For more information on Surfside Wellness Centre:


3. Paddleboarding – Paddle Barbados SUP 


One of my favourite activities is paddle boarding, which I also try to do whenever I travel to a lake or ocean and have access to a board.



Located on my favourite beach on the island (Pebbles), Paddle Barbados offers a variety of paddling including SUP, surfing, yoga on a paddle board AND paddle boarding retreats (how is that for a wellness escape?).



For more information on Paddle Barbados:


4. Workouts on the beach

When you have access to sand and ocean, you take advantage and take your gym outdoors!



If you can get access to weights, take it to the shore and have a workout on the sand. It is a different sensation and offers a challenge (balancing on the sand). Do some sprints, swim a few laps or practice some yoga.






1. Harrison’s Cave

One of Barbados’s greatest wonders lies a limestone cave 15 metres high in its largest cavern. It is an active cave as the stalagmites are still growing (the thickness of a piece of paper each year).



For $30USD, you can experience a 1 hour guided tram tour with local experts. You get to enjoy both the sights and sounds of the streams inside the cave.




For more information on Harrison’s Cave:


2. Animal Flower Cave

Animal flower cave is located under the cliff of North Point, the most Northern part of the island. It is the only sea cave on the island, and one of the cave chambers offers the opportunity to swim.




For $10USD, local guides can take you on a tour of the cave, including swimming. The tours are not set time, so in true island style, come whenever you want! The surrounding property offers some magnificent views of the ocean, so be sure to stop by their restaurant for some Bajan cuisine, and if you are lucky, maybe spot some Humpback whale at the cliff tops.





One of the many Iron Cannons scattered throughout the island from the 17th and 18th century, as Barbados used to be a military base for the British.


For more information on Animal Flower  Cave:


3. St Nicholas Abbey

St Nicholas Abbey is a plantation that is 350 years old! The property is over 400 acres including the main estate, a rum distillery and over 200 acres of sugar cane fields.


It is a great property to explore, so when not closed to the public as a wedding venue, you can check it out (Sundays to Fridays).




For more information on St Nicholas Abbey:




1. Morgan Lewis

Located in St. Andrew (on the way to St Nicholas Abbey and near Bathsheba), Morgan Lewis is the only intact sugar mill on the island. From December to April, you can see grinding of sugar cane into cane juice.





Row of palm trees at the bottom of the hill from Morgan Lewis


2. Speighstown & Holetown 

Speighstown and Hometown are towns on the West coast of the island. They offer an array of colourful houses (chattel houses- see below), architecture dating back to Barbados’s first settlement, beaches, shops, hotels and restaurants.



3. Plantations e.g. Society Plantation

Barbados has a number of plantations dating back to the 17th century. In the 18th century, the island boasted over 600 of them, producing tobacco, sugar and cotton.

Plantation houses, or great houses, often took a Georgian or Victorian style architecture. Two that have been restored to their original state and are for public viewing include St Nicholas Abbey and Sudbury Plantation.

But there are many other plantations on the island, which are distinguished by the double rows of palm trees on either side of the road, marking the entrance way to the plantation. Society Plantation, for example, is one visible from the street and offers an opportunity for photography as shown below.




4. Codrington School

While not an official place of interest, Codrington School is an International high school on the island with a gorgeous property. On the weekend it is worth stopping by for a few minutes to take a few photos.




5. Codrington College

Codrington College, not to be confused with Codrington School, is the oldest theological school in the Western Hemisphere.



It was built in the 1700s and was originally part of a sugar cane plantation. While not advertised, the grounds equipped with a pond and beautiful architecture provides the perfect setting for photos.








6. Bathsheba

Bathsheba is located on the East side of the island. As the waters are the Atlantic Ocean (versus the Caribbean Sea on the west/south), it tends to be a bit rougher. Swimming here is not advised. However, the many shallow pools near the shore are perfect for cooling down and hanging with friends.


Soup Bowl at Bathsheba is where many pros go to surf. It’s the perfect spot to watch, especially during competitions.


With the exception of competitions and the island’s Boxing Day Lime (many locals drinking and hanging out aka liming on Boxing Day), this side of the island tends to be fairly quiet. It’s the perfect place to escape and enjoy the sounds of the waves crashing. I stayed at Santosha for a night (more to come in Part 3: where to stay) and feel asleep to the cool breeze and the sounds of nature. Watching the sunrise over Bathsheba was nothing short of breathtaking.



View over Bathsheba from Santosha


7. North Point 

North Point is the most northern part of the island, in St Lucy. It offers a great view of the ocean and the rocky coral of the coast. It is near Animal Flower Cave so may be worth checking them out together.









1. Sunsets on the beach

While on the island, it is recommended that you experience a sunset on the beach. I recommend viewing this at Accra Beach, and taking a walk along the Boardwalk.





Photo taken from the Boardwalk by Accra Beach


2. Tiami Catamaran Cruises

This is my top recommendation for the island. What better way to experience Barbados than a boat ride along the West Coast of the island, listening to soca music, feeling the salt water air against your skin, enjoying some Bajan food, swimming with the turtles and frolicking in the blue waters?







They offer unlimited drinks, buffet style lunch so you can try your hand at some Bajan delights, and snacks throughout the trip.




IMG_2964                       Another opportunity to try flying fish! (see part 1 for food guide)




For more information on Miami Catamaran:


3. Chattel houses

Chattel houses are unique to Barbados, meaning moveable property. Originated from the plantation days, the idea was to be able to move these wooden houses from one property to the next.



They are scattered throughout the island and come in an array of colours. Many locals still occupy them.




4. Rum shops

There are over 12,000 rum shops across the island. You can drive by and see many locals and tourist listening to music and enjoying rum in some of these tiny little bars.

Our island is famous for Mount Gay rum, dating back to 1703, the official rum of Barbados and known worldwide. You can also book yourself a rum tour at Mount Gay or  Malibu.



A  typical rum shop in Holetown


5. Spa- Coral Reef Club

If you are looking for a Spa to relax and have a bit of pampering, the one at Coral Reef Club comes highly recommended. The colonial inspired property is on the West side of the island and offers a tranquil escape. They also offer Wellness retreat packages for foreigners, so be sure to check out their website for more details.

I am personally a huge fan of the hydro pool at the Spa.


IMG_6680                   Disclaimer: the pool is actually blue but I edited it to look teal green


For more information on Coral Reef Club,


While this list is not the most comprehensive, to me it offers a variety of culture, unique experiences and of course some wellness related activities.


Stay tuned for Part 3 of my Barbados travel guide, which will cover where to stay.

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to add them below.