Barbados: How To See the Best of the Island

If you are planning on taking a trip to the Caribbean, then I think Barbados is on the top of the list for many people. The islands are quite diverse but being one of the better known and English speaking ones, it is a popular choice. We visited a few years ago now (in life before Children), but the one thing I loved the most was that we rented a villa, and did not stay on a resort. There were quite a few of us going, which was what swayed the decision to rent a villa for the week.

We have been to other islands in the Caribbean and stayed on resorts. In my experience, you just don’t see or experience as much. Often your food is provided and you stick to the beach that backs on to the resort. It was much more fun to explore different areas and beaches and shop in the markets and shops, though, I think.

 

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the walk down to the beach from our villa

So we booked a big villa to fit all of us, in the St. Peter area of the island, not too far from the Sandy Lane area. So, unlike the resorts we were able to explore the local area and mingle with the locals. The villa had a pool but we were able to take a few minutes walk down to the local beach where we were greeted by a guy with the longest dreadlocks I think I have ever seen. Everyone was super friendly. You can also see how the Bajun people have such a reputation for being chilled out, their whole way of life and attitudes are so relaxed and chilled ‘Don’t worry about it mon’, ‘Take it easy’…

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We had hired a car, which would be another recommendation of mine. One afternoon we drove to the mountainous area of the island, on the east, and got to drive through the residential areas where you really got to see how the locals live. It wasn’t a tourist area at all. Then were were taking a walk on the beach, a very empty non-touristy beach (the West side of the island has the better beaches), when we were called over to help a guy with a fishing rod – he had caught a turtle by accident! So we (I say, we, I mean the husband), helped him to reel it in and then we released it back into the sea – such a cool experience. It wouldn’t have happened if we hadn’t explored the island a little more.

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We took a trip to the capital, Bridgetown and ate lobster at the main ‘fish fry’ and saw the marina area. We BBQ’d in the torrential rain (June is in the wet season but it is still mega warm), went to the coolest nature park ever, where everything is roaming free and saw some amazingly random creatures.

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We enjoyed good food, snorkelled and saw a sunken boat, swam with huge turtles that just happen to be in the sea, picked bananas and mangos off trees and fought with the wild monkeys as to whose was whose. We took walks on the beach and ate an unknown fruit off a tree because it smelled like sweets (later to find out it will burn your throat and the locals laugh at you for eating it – eeek)! And just generally had lots of fun and island banter. We probably heard too much Rhianna music, I think that is all they play on Bajun radio, but hey, ho! Haha.

It is somewhere I would completely recommend and I would love to go back. My top tip would be don’t stay on a resort! Rent a villa and live like the locals. You see and experience so much more. Have you ever been?

Linking up to City Tripping.

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19 Comments

  1. 4th September 2016 / 9:33 pm

    24/7 except when closed. I LOVE that. I feel like I work on that sort of timescale myself sometimes.
    Colette recently posted…#SevenWeeksofSummer Round UpMy Profile

    • 4th September 2016 / 9:34 pm

      ha, brilliant, right? Sums the island up I think :)

  2. 5th September 2016 / 5:41 pm

    What beautiful photos!

    You make me want to visit even more than I did before 😉

  3. 5th September 2016 / 8:38 pm

    It looks so beautiful! That water looks amazing! I love sea turtles so I’m hugely jealous of that amazing experience. So wonderful!xx

  4. 5th September 2016 / 9:29 pm

    I went on holiday to Barbados when i was 17 and stayed at the Almond Beach Resort in St. Peter and can honestly say it’s the most beautiful and amazing place i have ever been too. xxx

  5. 5th September 2016 / 10:11 pm

    I’ve never been but have visited other islands there. I love that sign! So funny. Hiring a car sounds like a great way to see everything x

  6. 6th September 2016 / 10:48 am

    The beautiful beach and sea, nature park and swimming with the turtles – sounds like an amazing time in an amazing place. Thanks for sharing at #CityTripping

  7. 6th September 2016 / 10:56 am

    My parents used to live in Barbados so I visited a few times and stayed in their home. I couldn’t agree with you more about staying away from the resorts, you get so much more of a feel for the place. There are so many gorgeous beaches that are only reachable by car and therefore practically empty. Your pictures make me want to go back. #citytripping
    Phoebe | Lou Messugo recently posted…Sunday Photo – 4 September 2016My Profile

  8. 6th September 2016 / 11:45 am

    Such a cool experience to release a turtle back into the sea! Barbados certainly looks pretty! #CityTripping

  9. 6th September 2016 / 12:38 pm

    I’ve never been but I would so love to go. It looks absolutely amazing and I’m now wondering whether a week would be enough there!
    Notmyyearoff recently posted…The beauty of Stirling CastleMy Profile

  10. 6th September 2016 / 6:52 pm

    I have never been to the Carribean as it’s so far, but I know it’s absolutely beautiful there. You are so lucky to have been! Ahh I can only dream! xx

  11. 7th September 2016 / 1:39 pm

    Great advice Rebecca. We went a few years ago and I didn’t enjoy the whole resort experience. I felt I didn’t get to know the island at all. What an experience to have with the turtle! I love travel moments like that! Thanks for linking to #citytripping

  12. 7th September 2016 / 10:19 pm

    I’ve only ever stayed on resorts in the Caribbean although I always love to get out and explore too. I love the idea of staying in a villa though and Barbados is definitely on my list. Love that sign too! #citytripping
    Cathy (Mummytravels) recently posted…City Tripping #43My Profile

  13. 8th September 2016 / 1:52 am

    I’ve not been to Barbados, but have been to Antigua and couldn’t get over how friendly and lovely the people who live there are! Love the sign!!!! Haha x

  14. 8th September 2016 / 10:15 pm

    I love Barbados, it is one of those places you feel so safe walking about such beautiful people x

  15. 9th September 2016 / 11:33 am

    Lovely place & lovely pics!! And the turtles… too cute!!!
    Looks like a wonderful holiday! :)
    xx
    Umberta
    Umberta recently posted…Maria Grazia, NeranoMy Profile

  16. 10th September 2016 / 7:00 pm

    Turtle prints in the sand….brilliant ☀️

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