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5 Tips for Visiting Barbados - The Escape Life
There’s nothing quite like sitting in the soft, white sand and staring out at the clear, blue sea on a tropical island. That is exactly what Barbados has to offer. Barbados is probably the closest place to paradise I have ever been. Everything about it exceeded my expectations. It was the first time I had ever visited one of the Caribbean islands, and I want to go back! If you are planning a trip to Barbados, I have a few quick tips to share before I jump into the summary of my trip. Drive on the left. If you are from the UK, this won’t faze you but if you are from the US, it’s completely different. The driver sits on the right-side of the car but drives on the left side of the street. The sun is intense. Barbados isn’t surprisingly hot. I think Taiwan and Thailand get a lot hotter. But the sun in Barbados is no joke. I’ve never experienced anything quite like it. I’m pretty sure I got a fever from how intense my sunburn was, and my brother-in-law got burnt even though he was under an umbrella the entire time. It took me about a year to lose the tan. Everyone speaks English. English is the official language in Barbados, so if you speak English you won’t have any trouble communicating with the locals and getting around. Getting a Rental Car in Barbados Renting a car in Barbados is definitely an experience. My sister’s friend rented a van for 7 people. They only had one van available, which they failed to mention before our arrival. The van turned out to be super old and was barely functioning. But beggars can’t be choosers, so we all hopped into the van and headed for the hotel. The van finally broke down 3 days into the trip, so the company had to send someone to pick up the car. They didn’t have any other vehicles that could accommodate 7 people, so they instead gave us 2 sedans. Well, the sedans were pretty much in the same state as the van…old and suspect. After another 2 days, the wheel popped off the car while we were driving. So we had to switch cars again but honestly…we had a great laugh about it. The People of Barbados The people of Barbados are referred to as Barbadians or Bajans. They are some of the friendliest, warmest people I’ve ever met. When the van broke down, passing Barbadians quickly offered to help push the vehicle out of the street. When the wheel popped off the sedan, a Barbadian man offered to help fix the tire. And when my brother-in-law and his friend were driving through town, a Barbadian man noticed that my brother-in-law was sunburnt. He happened to have a bag of fresh aloe leaves and offered one to him. Like what?! How are people this amazing? Port Ferdinand Barbados Retreat, St. Peter, Barbados Port Ferdinand Barbados Resort is less than a 5-minute drive from the center of Speightstown. This resort offers 1 to 3 bedroom villas and includes a large dock for people to anchor their yachts. I think this resort is a sister resort of Saint Peter’s Bay Resort because they offer boat rides to and from Saint Peter’s Bay Resort multiple times throughout the day. A large majority of our week in Barbados was spent participating in activities offered by the resort. Snorkeling with sea turtles. We signed up to snorkel with sea turtles twice. Your experience may vary depending on how many tours are there at the same time, but they pretty much guarantee that you’ll see a sea turtle. It’s about a 20-minute boat ride to the sea turtle area, then they let you swim around for 30 to 45 minutes. Water activities. We spent most of our time at the Saint Peter’s Bay Resort’s beach. It was super convenient to get to, and the water was incredibly clear. They have many off-shore activities that you can participate in such as jumping off a huge floating trampoline in the middle of the ocean. You can also pay for other activities. We paid to ride Big Martha(?), which is a red, blow-up float that is dragged behind a speedboat. It is so hard to stay on that thing. I somehow managed to stay on, but my arms felt like noodles after. Get Your Drink On St. Nicholas Abbey is a large plantation located near the northern tip of Barbados. The great house and the distillery are the main attractions of St. Nicholas Abbey. The great house was built by Benjamin Berringer in 1658 and is one of the three Jacobean-style mansions left in the Western Hemisphere. They offer tours multiple times a day, where you can explore the property. You’ll start off by exploring a few rooms in the great house, then move into the courtyard, and finish off in the distillery. They offer some free samples of rum at the end of the tour, so if you like to drink, this is the place for you. Explore a Cave Northpoint, Conneltown BB27003, Barbados Animal Flower Cave is located on the northern tip of Barbados. Years of erosion from ocean water have created a beautiful cave that offers amazing views of the ocean. The lookout points are shaped like countries and provide a great photo opportunity for photography enthusiasts. During high-tide season, people aren’t allowed in the caves because the ocean waves are incredibly dangerous. But during low-tide, you can even play around in the shallow pool waters left by the ocean. If you enjoyed this post, or have a case of the travel bug 🙂 feel free to check out my other travel posts: Tastes of Taiwan: 5 Must-Try Restaurants in Taipei Best Restaurant in Chiang Mai, Thailand A Day at Universal Studios Japan in Osaka 7 of the Best Experiences in London