Over 6 years after my first visit and after months of anticipating a return, I finally got to go back to Barbados last month and boy did it feel good! (Not to mention, I missed a couple winter storms while away—a major bonus, if you ask me.)
Situated in the southeastern Caribbean Sea, Barbados is a small island country that stretches roughly 32 km by 25 km. Its small size makes it easily navigable in a short period, which ensures that visitors can see and experience much of the island during their travels.
As a Caribbean island, Barbados makes for the perfect paradise island escape. The island is known for its pleasant, year-round climate. Meaning you can expect nearly continuous sunshine (and maybe the odd, yet short-lived, burst of rain), but you won’t have to worry much about sweating buckets or enduring days of endless showers. Temperatures typically range from 22 to 30 degrees Celsius, with little variation. With such a warm and sunny year-round climate, it’s an ideal destination regardless of season. And what else could you ask for, really?
In addition to its desirable climate and stunning, tropical background, it also offers plenty to see, do, and explore. Keep reading for a short-but-sweet overview of the best of Barbados, including where to stay, where to eat, and what to do while on the island!
Where to Stay
While this was my second time in Barbados, this was my first experience staying at a resort on the island. In fact, my stay this time was my first-ever all-inclusive resort experience. And while I’m typically partial to boutique hotels and accommodations, I have to say I was impressed. I stayed at the O2 Beach Club & Spa—located on the south coast of Barbados.
This resort offers a luxury all-inclusive experience. Amenities include multiple restaurants throughout the property (Brisa, the rooftop lounge, was my favourite—for the food, drinks, and views!), premium drinks, a wellness spa (including the only Hammam on the island), daily how-to lessons and masterclasses, live entertainment, complimentary airport transfers, private beach dining, and more!
Our Luxury Collection Suite, located on the adult side of the resort, was the perfect home base, and it included a walk-out pool and easy beach (& bar) access. I highly recommend booking one of these suites, as they are so convenient and offer a level of privacy/exclusivity that elevates your stay and makes it that much more special.
One perk that O2 offers that I’ve never seen at any other property is the provision of a hospitality suite to guests upon check-out. This allows guests to check out at the regular check-out time but to continue enjoying the property, in comfort, until it’s time to head to the airport. Which reminds me—the airport is just a 15-minute drive from O2 Beach Club, making both arrival and departure quick and easy! Overall, the stay here was great and the staff were welcoming and always so helpful. If you’re planning a visit to Barbados, O2 Beach Club is definitely worth a look!
Eating and trying new foods and restaurants are among my favourite things to do while travelling. To my pleasant surprise, Barbados has so much to offer on the culinary front. I got to try some amazing eateries and have unforgettable food experience across the island. See below for my curated list of must-try restaurants and food experiences in Barbados:
‑ The Tides Barbados
‑ Local & Co. Barbados (they make a delicious Banana Bailey’s)
‑ Calma Beach Club
‑ Pat’s Place (Oistins)
‑ Private chef‑cooked meal by the lovely Chef Danielle Lea
‑ Zemi East Coast Café
‑ Pier One Restaurant
‑ Brisa at O2 Beach Club & Spa
Restaurants I’d love to try:
‑ Baia Barbados
‑ The Cliff & QP Bistro
‑ Surfer’s Cafe
‑ Animal Flower Cave Restaurant
Recommended by tourists, locals, frequent visitors, and other foodies:
‑ Paul Owens At The Beach House
– Champers Restaurant
– The Lone Star
– Lobster Alive
– Sea Shed
– Fish Pot Barbados
– 6ixmix Bar
Below is a list of must-do activities while visiting Barbados:
‑ Head to Pebbles Beach at sunrise to see the swimming racehorses
‑ Experience Oistins Friday‑night Fish Fry (Pat’s Place is the place to be!)
‑ Visit Animal Flower Cave
‑ Have a beach day! Shark Hole, Bottom Bay, & Bathsheba are beautiful
‑ Check out the rock formations along Bathsheba Beach (or go surfing if that’s your thing!)
‑ Get up close and personal with wildlife at the Barbados Wildlife Reserve 🐒
‑ Eat! (See the above-listed eateries for top-tier inspiration 🤌🏽)
‑ Visit Chattel Village
‑ Go on a rum tour (I did the Mount Gay Rum Distillery Tour)
– Take a trip to the cliffs overlooking Cove Bay
Other places to see on the island include (as recommended by a local artist):
‑ The Boardwalk
‑ St. Lawrence Gap
‑ Pot House Spring (all the springs)
‑ Dover & Rockley Neach
‑ Miami Beach (Oistins)
‑ Rihanna Drive
‑ St. James’ beaches (on the west coast)
‑ The Garrison Savannah
‑ National Heroes Square (Bridgetown)
‑ Golden Square Freedom Park
‑ Bridgetown Harbour
‑ Hastings Rocks
‑ Surfer’s Bay
Highlights of my trip to Barbados include watching the racehorses go swimming at sunrise, experiencing Friday Night Fish Fry at Pat’s in Oistins, exploring Bathsheba Beach, and visiting the cliffs overlooking Cove Bay. I highly recommend adding these activities to the top of your Barbados bucket list.
In terms of food, absolute musts include dinner at The Tides, as well as lunch at Calma Beach Club and at Local & Co. Again, Pat’s on a Friday night in Oistins is an absolute vibe—I can’t say this enough, but you have to check it out! If you’re looking for an elevated dinner experience in a more intimate setting, look into reserving a private chef. Chef Danielle Lea was incredible and offered such a unique and memorable private dinner experience.
Finally, if you love a good cocktail, I recommend trying Banana Bailey’s & Coconut (or, “BBC”) as well as Rum Punch wherever you dine. I ordered these on repeat throughout my trip! Last but not least, the Something Different is a must-try when dining at Oro Restaurant. So, so good.
Regardless of where you go on the island, you’re gauranteed to have a good time, enjoy delicious food and drinks, meet friendly and welcoming people, and discover some of the Caribbean’s most stunning natural beauty.
For more in-depth trip highlights, check out all of my Barbados content on instagram at @la_wandereuse, including my story highlights.
Thank you so much to About DCI, The BTMI, @visitbarbados, and Blu Isles for making my return visit to the island paradise of Barbados possible! Thank you also to our amazing guide Shaun, for showing us around and making sure our experience on the island was the best it could be. I hope to return again and again to continue exploring all that Barbados has to offer. All opinions are my own.