Tag Archives: snorkeling

Things To Do in Barbados

Alex and I go on most of our trips together as a couple; however, because of our work schedules and random opportunities that arise, we do occasionally travel without the other. This was the case when I went to Barbados with my Dad. He had the opportunity to go and invited me to tag along with him for a few days. I had an amazing time and feel like I got a great introduction to this fascinating island. Here are some of the things that I got to enjoy and would suggest including in any Barbados itinerary:

Go See a Show

This actually happened while eating dinner at our hotel. We went into the restaurant expecting a late night meal, and were pleasantly surprised by the show that followed. From folk dancing to fire limbo, and a stellar performance of “Rolling in the Deep” by an undiscovered singer, this show was honestly spectacular. It was interesting, interactive, and just so much fun. If you have the chance to see a show like this in Barbados, I would highly recommend it!

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See the Concorde

Even if you aren’t an aviation enthusiast, I guarantee this will be an interesting stop! The Concorde is housed in a hangar located right next to the airport. Not only can you see it up close and learn about the Concorde’s history, but you can also step right inside and feel what it was like to be on a flight. We got to walk through the plane, sit in the seats, visit the cockpit, and listen to a takeoff. Kids and adults alike would have a great time here.

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Visit Mount Gay Rum Distillery

What’s a trip to the Caribbean without rum? Mount Gay Rum offers a distillery tour, a rum bar, and a retail store in one convenient location. My Dad and I were a bit short on time and could not make the tour, however we did shop in the store and sat down at the bar to enjoy a drink. Not being of much a drinker myself, I wasn’t sure what to order, but the bartenders were incredibly nice and offered to create a special cocktail just for me. It was made with rum and peach schnapps, so I decided to name my drink the “Princess Peach”.

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Eat at Oistin’s Fish Fry

If you are here on a Friday night, make sure you don’t miss out on Oistin’s Fish Fry…it’s THE place to be for tourists and locals alike. Enjoy fresh seafood, good music, and interesting company! There are dozens of vendors serving food and the seats are all cafeteria style, so expect to make new friends. The food is the main attraction, but people also come here to dance, play games, socialize, and be merry!

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Be on the lookout for my next post: “Things To Do in Barbados, Part Two”, including:

  • Barbados Wildlife Reserve
  • Harrison’s Cave
  • Catamaran Tour
  • Snorkeling
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Outdoor Adventures in Maui: Snorkeling

I’m one of the last people who wants to go on vacation and just sit on the beach. That’s why I was admittedly apprehensive when we decided to spend a week and a half in Maui. While I’d imagine many people would welcome that much time to sit and sunbathe, it sent me into a bit of a panic. I personally see vacation as a time for exploration and active pursuits that you just can’t do back home.

I was surprised to find how much Maui had to offer for people like me. While this list won’t be comprehensive, I’d like to share some of my experiences with you in the hopes that all beach destinations aren’t written off by active travelers.

Snorkeling

There are unlimited opportunities for water activities in Maui. You can go swimming, scuba diving, jet skiing, or surfing to your heart’s content. But I’m highlighting snorkeling because you can do it anywhere and the cost can vary from extraordinarily cheap (renting a snorkel on the beach) to very expensive (full day, inclusive tour).

We went snorkeling twice while in Maui. The first time, we opted for a 5 hour boat tour to Molokini Crater. The second time was at the beach near our hotel.

The boat tour: The boat leaves from the dock early in the morning and arrives to Molokini crater’s snorkeling area. The tour provides everyone with wet suits, snorkels, fins, etc. They also feed you afterwards, with a nice lunch and your choice of drinks. This is a fun group trip and an opportunity to sail away from the island. The views of Maui while coming back to shore are just stunning. As far as drawbacks, some people would prefer to snorkel on their own time. The time spent snorkeling may be too short for some, and too long for others. If you want to either take your time or just try out snorkeling independently, this may not be your best option. As far as sea life, we were able to see turtles, butterfly fish, trigger fish, sea urchins, tangs, and coral.

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On the beach: The cheaper option for snorkeling is to rent (or bring) a snorkeling set and walk down to the beach. We were staying at Kaanapali beach and chose to rent some snorkels down there. This is a much cheaper and faster option than the boat tour. While there was mostly sand below us rather than coral, we saw some of the same wildlife, including turtles and tangs. We also spotted additional fish species, including the unicornfish and the Hawaiian state fish, the humuhumunukunukuapua’a (pronounced “hoomoo-hoomoo-nookoo-nookoo-ah-poo-a-a”). The only major downside about snorkeling on the beach is that the number of people around can be a bit overwhelming and intrusive. I was bothered by the various people who kept harassing the sea turtles and trying to grab them, pet them, etc. Please be aware: TOUCHING SEA TURTLES IS ILLEGAL in Hawaii. I know it’s tempting, but it’s not worth disturbing them. It’s just as exciting to say that you swam with them.

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I have to say that the variety of fish species found near the beach was just as good as on the boat tour, so don’t feel like you are missing out if you can’t afford it. Mostly you are paying for the expertise of the crew, the experience of riding on the boat itself, and the buffet lunch provided to you.

Lastly, don’t forget your underwater camera. Disposable underwater cameras work well if you only need it for a day; otherwise, it may be worth renting a high quality digital underwater camera for the time that you need it. Many dive shops and stores around Maui offer cameras for rent.