Barbados, synonymous with bright white beaches and warm, balmy climes, is an island that has an abundance of secret gems, which often go unnoticed by the casual visitor. The common connation with Barbados is that it is a place for relaxing days by the crystal clear waters, and whilst that it true, the small Caribbean island offers so much more. From a plethora of wildlife, to the Bajan Rum Shops, Barbados has a hidden side that would make a trip here all the more amazing. The Guide will look at these best-kept secrets and how they will lead to an unforgettable experience on the fabled island.
Walking on the Wildside
Barbados is renowned for its areas of outstanding natural beauty from its coastline to its countryside further in-land. There are countless opportunities to explore this fantastic island and see the stunning landscape. As such The Guide gives a small insight into the best areas to visit, in order to discover some of the amazing scenery that the Bajan countryside has to offer.
Barbados’ Animal Flower cave, located in the Parish of St. Lucy on the northern point of the island, is a hotspot for locals and tourists. The Animal Flower Cave offers a stunning view of the north coast and a beautiful sight of an ancient Bajan cave, which is only accessible when the seas are calm. Additionally there is a restaurant on site, which is perfect after working up an appetite exploring the stunning Bajan landscape. It provides tasty local dishes ranging from Bajan fish cakes to Black Belly lamb stew. The dishes range between BB$20-68. However, the Animal Flower cave restaurant only is open between 11:30am–3:30pm.
The Barbados Wildlife Reserve in the beautiful mahogany forest is located in Farley Hill, in the Parish of St. Peter, towards the north of the island. Feeding time begins at 2pm, where it is possible see a variety of animals with 45 Bajan green monkeys along with tortoises, endangered species of Cuban iguanas, macaws and colourful peacocks. This vibrant and lively spot in Barbados is an ideal place to take young children and family. There is also free parking on site.
More centrally on the island, in the parish of St. Thomas, lies Harrison’s Cave. The jaw-dropping subterranean environment can be accessible by a tramway and the cave’s internal stream measures to an amazing 2.3 kilometers, with the largest cavern, Great Hall, measuring 15 meters high. The cave still carries water where its huge stalagmites still continue to grow. Harrison’s Cave is also known as the ‘du heart uh Barbados’. Also it is possible to book tours through their website www.harrisonscave.com. Furthermore there is a abundance of tours to suit your needs with the tram tour consisting of an hour tour of the Cave. Additionally there is a 3 ½ hour eco-adventure tour, with kneepads and helmets at the ready. The Junior Explorers Tour is targeted at the younger adventures that wish to enter the vibrant eco-system.
The Bajan Rum Shop
The Bajan Rum Shop has been apart of the Bajan Social life for centuries, every community, large or small, has a rum shop at the heart. Topics of conversation run easily, from sports, politics or any current event. Rum shops can be found all across Barbados, the people are welcoming and most importantly the beer is cold! Some rum shops do tend to sell bites to eat which make a perfect accompaniment to your drink. There are a lot of activities to take part in, from watching a sports team playing on the TV, to playing dominos or cards with the patrons. Be sure to “fire one”, slang for grabbing a drink!
Food, Drink and Partying
Barbados is known for its amazing culinary options and its vibrant night life, so here is a small taste of three superb eateries and night-life spots, which all range from the tres chic, to more relaxed atmospheric venues.
Fusion Roof Top, located in the heart of Holetown, the West Coast of Barbados, is well known for its tasty sushi and epic pre-dinner cocktails. The ‘coupe de resistance’ of Fusion Roof Top is the chance to dine under the starlit sky, not something every restaurant can claim! With a diverse menu, Fusion accommodates every palate. Moreover the service challenges some of the top restaurants on the island, however by ordering an authentic rum sour, or their divine Cocoa & Spice Rubbed Pork Tenderloin, comes a price. Starters range from BB$14-50 (£5 -15), the main courses from BB$60-115 (£25-45), sushi from BB$22-90 (£9-34) and finally the deserts averaging between BB$18-38 (£7-15). A small price to pay for chic Caribbean luxury.