Barbados is a small slice of paradise situated in the Carribbean. While many people come here for the sand and sun, there’s so much to do for those who are looking for something a little more active. My previous post, “Things To Do in Barbados”, outlines some of the things you can do, including seeing a show, visiting a local fish fry, touring a rum distillery, and stepping on board the Concorde. Let’s continue with some my other favorite activities in Barbados:
Barbados Wildlife Reserve
The major thing that drew me here was getting to see and feed the green monkeys. Up until this point, I’d only seen monkeys in cages at the zoo, so this was a really unique opportunity. Many of the animals (excluding reptiles and certain birds) have free reign to roam around the reserve. If you go at 2pm, which we did, you can feed the monkeys. The employee instructed me to hold out my hands with the food he provided, and reminded us not to pet them. I was surprised by how many monkeys there were, maybe 10 or so. They were all very sweet, and took the food right out of my hands. I even got to see a mommy and baby monkey. Some of the other animals at the reserve included tortoises, cats, deer, iguanas, and peacocks. Nothing too out of the ordinary, but what else could you expect if you want to walk around with them?
The reserve itself is so beautiful, and reminded me of a secret garden. It’s very green, lush, and overgrown, which in my opinion adds to its beauty.
You should definitely make a stop at Harrison’s Cave if you are interested in geology or haven’t visited a cave before. The most unique feature of this particular cave is that you can ride through it on a tram. I’ve never seen that before, so that added to the experience. There are also opportunities to stop and walk around if you wish. Before boarding the tram, you enter a building where you get to learn a bit about the formation of the island (which was not formed by volcanic activity but rather by colliding plates) and the cave’s history.
Catamaran Snorkeling Tour
Of course, what would a trip to the Caribbean be without enjoying the turquoise waters? On the advice of our hotel’s concierge, my Dad and I booked a catamaran tour. The company, called Cool Runnings, picked us up at the hotel and drove us down to Bridgetown, where we boarded the catamaran. We swam with the turtles, snorkeled at a shipwreck, and had some free time at a secluded beach (NOTE: all beaches in Barbados are public, but no one was there due to it’s accessibility). Overall, vibe of the tour was a lot of fun: the music was awesome and the other people on the cruise were friendly and easygoing.
The first stop on our day cruise was swimming with sea turtles. I was nervous around them at first because there were so many, but a few of the crew members jumped in the water to make us feel more comfortable. They even fed the turtles, which kept them close. Unlike in Hawaii, it’s okay to touch the sea turtles, which I had a chance to do. You can see how close they are in my pictures; it would have been difficult to avoid touching them completely anyway.
Snorkeling around the shipwreck was also very interesting. Shipwrecks are a bit creepy to me because they are sometimes underwater graves, but I doubt this was the case here since it was only a few hundred yards from the beach. As a bit of a history buff, I do wish they had more information about what caused it and when, but either way it was cool to see up close.
In addition to the swimming and time on the beach, we had an excellent buffet lunch. They gave us mahi mahi, jerk chicken, rice and beans, pasta, salad, and unlimited drinks.
I’d definitely recommend doing a catamaran tour if you have the chance. Also, avoid ending up like me and be sure to bring your sunscreen since you will be sitting outside for several hours. I didn’t bring any with me because it was cloudy that day…what a mistake! I burned terribly and could barely move the next day. Save yourself the trauma!