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: https://www.limitlessperformancecf.com
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: https://www.surfsidebarbados.com
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: http://www.paddlebarbados.com
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.
PLACES OF INTEREST (paid entry)
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: http://www.harrisonscave.com
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: https://www.animalflowercave.com
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: http://www.stnicholasabbey.com
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.
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.
Another opportunity to try flying fish! (see part 1 for food guide)
For more information on Miami Catamaran: http://tiamicatamarancruises.com
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.
Disclaimer: the pool is actually blue but I edited it to look teal green
For more information on Coral Reef Club, https://www.coralreefbarbados.com/The-Spa/About-The-Spa/
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.