Sunshine, rum punch, the ocean and fresh seafood - what's not to love? D and I were in Barbados for a hot minute (read: less than 48 hours) at the end of January and it was such a treat. Especially since the weekend before, winterstorm Jonas decided to grace New York with its presence - what a contrast!
Where to Stay
We stayed at the Radisson in Carlisle Bay. While the Radisson's rooms could definitely use some love, you can't beat the location! There is also the Hilton right there, which we heard good things about.
Here's the view you will wake up to:
What to Do
If you are staying in Carlisle Bay, you just roll out of bed and walk out to the beach, rent a snorkel for US$10 a day, and jump right into the ocean - you can literally swim out to the shipwrecks in a few minutes, all the while pretending Jack Sparrow is about to come whisk you away into the depths of the sea... If Jack Sparrow is not your thing, you can just hang out with the sea turtles. Don't forget your waterproof goPro!
D and I decided to get adventurous and take Barbadian buses everywhere - it's not for the faint of heart, but it's a lot of fun! There are bus-sized buses and minivan-sized buses. At one point I counted 22 people in one of those minivan -sized ones - standing room only! But they are US$1 a pop, and a blast to ride in. The regular sized ones come in yellow and blue. The blue ones are government run and the yellow ones are private. You should proooobably go for it and take a yellow one and here's why: The blue ones aren't allowed to play music! The yellow ones however.... let's just say they'll get you into booty-shaking mode for the night!
D and I ventured out all the way to the Animal Flower Cave, which was absolutely unforgettable. You can climb down into the cave and go swimming in the pristine natural pool down there. Our guide was super chill and let us hang out and take photos as long as we wanted. When you come back out, there is a bar with delicious rum punch (sense a pattern here? When in Rome...) overlooking the North coast of the island.
Skip the area called the "Gap" - it's kind of a tourist trap.
What to Eat
Seafood!!!!! Enough said. Go to the fish fry at Oistins (but make no mistake - all the fish is grilled, not fried. Plenty of rum punch should help you get over that). If you are staying at the Radisson in Carlisle Bay, there is a cute little shack right on the beach that sells - you guessed it - rum punch and delicious fish sandwiches, as well as other stuff. D got a veggie burger and a grilled cheese from there. Be aware that Barbados largely closes down over the weekends - the best little fish shack (allegedly) is actually in the parking lot next to the Radisson (it's called Cuz's Fish Shack), which would have been so great, except it's not open on the weekends. Neither is the roti place we wanted to try. Womp womp. However, Chefette (Barbados's local fast food chain) is open all day err'day, and it's pretty good!
Last but not least - what to drink: Duh. Rum punch, obviously. Piña Coladas, also obviously. Cheers!