Barbados is the easternmost of Caribbean Islands; in fact, it’s technically in the Atlantic. The ocean crashes against the rugged eastern shore, most dramatically against the scenic cliffs at the island’s northern tip. The interior is beautiful, too, with fields of sugar cane and splendid plantation houses. The protected western and southern shores are lined with white sand beaches.
It’s delightful to spend a day on Barbados basking on a sunny beach, but there are lots of other choices for an excursion. To explore the island’s interior, take a 4x4 vehicle excursion to places like Joe’s River Forest, filled with lush, towering trees; the Scotland District, which reminded early settlers of the highlands of Scotland; and Rock Hall Village, the first island community founded by emancipated slaves.
If the turquoise water around the island call to you, hop on a catamaran and sail to Turtle Bay, where the beach is a nesting spot for wild sea turtles. You can swim in the bay alongside some of these sociable creatures. Then, sail on to Payne’s Bay, which offers excellent swimming in calm water and is surrounded by a colorful neighborhood. You can take a guided snorkel tour along the coral reef, too.
To learn about the island’s historic sugar industry, take an excursion to Sunbury Plantation House, built in 1650. You can see every room of the beautifully restored house, filled with antiques that were part of everyday life in the plantation era. The staff will teach you how to make classic Bajan rum punch and delicious cod fish cakes, too.
Here are two things you should know before visiting Barbados:
One, manchineel trees grow along the beaches and in the parks of Barbados. They are pretty and leafy, and it’s tempting to enjoy their shade – however, the leaves and fruit are toxic. Simply standing under a manchineel during a rain shower will cause a serious rash on your skin. Most manchineel trees in public areas are marked with a warning sign or painted with a red X.
Two, you’ll hear lots of honking horns from cars and buses in traffic, but they are not warnings. Honking is a way that Bajuns say hello to other drivers – just part of the friendly nature of the island.
To explore the variety of Caribbean itineraries that include Barbados, talk with Anita, your Cruise Holidays personal cruise expert.
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