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The 15 Very BEST Things to Do in Barbados for 2024


This is a bookmark-worthy list of the 15 absolute best things to do in Barbados for 2024. Almost every item on this list I have personally experienced. The few activities I was not able to enjoy were highly rated and recommended by other travelers who have visited the island frequently and locals.

During my stay in Barbados at the beautiful Casablanca Villa, I worked with a private concierge to explore the island and do the very best activities that Barbados has to offer. Here are my top suggestions.


Best Reasons to Visit Barbados

Barbados is absolutely beautiful and is one of the best Caribbean destinations to visit. It’s incredibly luxurious with outstanding restaurants and amazing sites to see. The beaches are prestine, there is an abundance of wildlife, and so much to do. The people of Barbados are also incredibly friendly, warm, and welcoming.

Additionally, Barbados does not have a hurricane season so you won’t have to worry about your vacation being ruined. Direct flights are available from Miami, New York, Toronto, and the UK.


1. St. Nicholas Abbey

When our concierge set up a visit to the most historical rum plantation in the world, I was not quite sure what to expect. The visit however was fascinating as we were able to learn the history and view various relics left in the 300-year-old estate.

In 2006 the Warren Family took over the estate and added a new rum distillery, cafe, and train ride to the property making St. Nicholas Abbey a must-visit destination the entire family can enjoy. The rum distillery includes a tour as well as a rum tasting.


I also highly recommend enjoying the amazing Heritage Railway steam train ride around the property. At the very end, you’ll be able to go to Cherry Hill which has one of the most beautiful views on the entire island.

2. Bajan Cooking Class

Learn to cook a Barbados local favorite cuisine called Roti which is like a curry chicken and potato wrapped in a thin dough similar to a burrito. I was able to try Roti while out on a private catamaran and they are very tasty. The filling tastes much like traditional curry and the dough is thinner and softer than a tortilla. This is such a unique excursion and you’ll love being able to make this dish at home!

3. Full-day agricultural and Eco-Tour

One of my favorite parts of visiting Barbados was trying local foods, fruits, and juices that are exclusive to the island. On this amazing new agricultural tour, you’ll visit a large working farm, a forest, an orchard, and a brand-new botanical garden. During your various tours, you’ll learn about the unique vegetation exclusive to Barbados and try fruits and their products like wines, breads, jams, and juices.

You’ll learn about propagating and see farm equipment in action, all the while, also learning about the history of Barbados and how it is inextricably connected to agriculture. The tour even has refreshments & snacks prepared by a local chef who uses a variety of Bajan-made products.

This excursion includes snacks, lunch, water and transportation.


3. Snorkel with Sea Turtles

One of the absolutel best things to do in Barbados is swim with sea turtles. I absolutely love wildlife and if you want to skip the private catamaran and lunch buffet, you can take an amazing snorkeling trip in a glass bottom boat to swim with sea turtles and visit a shipwreck for only around $30.

The captains are incredibly knowledgeable and friendly. They know exactly where to go to get the best sightings. They sometimes even have little pieces of fish to lure them over. We were able to jump in the water and swim all over with the sea turtles. We could even pet them. It was absolutely a once-in-a-lifetime experience I will never forget!

4. Mount Gay Signature Rum Tasting

If you love rum, Mount Gay is one of the oldest rum producers in the world. Rum was first invented on the island of Barbados by the slaves who worked on sugar plantations and learned to ferment molasses.

This awesome excursion is only $25 and takes off from Bridgetown where you’ll head to the Mount Gay Rum Visitors Center. You’ll learn all about the rum-making process, enjoy the local favorite rum punch, sample 4 different rums, and even a rum cream!

You can also do this rum tasting which includes a delicious local Bajan Lunch.

There are also several other cooking classes where you can learn how to make

5. Harrisons Cave

Harrisons Cave is one of the most popular things to do in Barbados. It features a unique underground limestone cavern which you explore on an electric tram ride. You’ll venture underground along the winding tunnels to admire the cave’s stalagmites and stalactites which are some of the oldest in the world.

The caves are absolutely gorgeous and one of the natural wonders of Barbados. A truly must-see experience. Harrisons Cave also now has a zipline and ropes course. This excursion also includes transportation to the caves and back!

Monkeys Turtles and deer at the Wildlife Sanctuary in Barbados

6. Wildlife Reserve

If you love animals, you absolutely have to visit the Barbados Wildlife Reserve. The tip is, that you want to go at feeding time which is 2 p.m. At feeding time you can watch all the monkeys, tortoises, deer, and chickens all eating together like one big happy family. It is quite the site.

During our visit, we saw several adorable tiny baby monkeys and it was the highlight of my trip!

7. Hunte’s Garden

If you enjoy learning about nature, Hunte’s Garden is a favorite stop among visitors to the island. You’ll find over 84 different plant and tree species while strolling along these peaceful gardens. There are plenty of areas to just sit and relax. You can stay and read a book or pack a picnic to enjoy once there.

The owner, Anthony, is especially friendly and often invites visitors into his home on the property for rum punch and casual conversation.

8. Harbour Lights Extravaganza & Dinner Show

Enjoy a wide variety of local cuisine, open bar and fun entertainment all night. While enjoying steak, jerk chicken and fried catfish you’ll be entertained by a live band, fire breathers, men in stilts, and cultural Bajan performances. It’s a great show for the whole family with over 200 5 star reviews!


10. Catamaran & Local Cuisine Lunch

First, anyone visiting Barbados absolutely must book a private Catamaran. Barbados is absolutely beautiful and when trying to decide the best things to do in Barbados, taking a catamaran is a great way to explore the island.

During our private catamaran we also enjoyed a variety of local cuisine like bacon-wrapped plantains, salty cod salsa, flying fish, fish cakes, and roti. Some private catamaran excursions even include a full lunch buffet.

9. Harrison Cave & Mount Gay Rum Tasting

There are many excursions that combine a few visits to multiple great destinations in Barbados. For only $120 you can enjoy private transportation and visit both the Harisson Caves tram tour as well as a visit to Mount Gay distillery for a rum tasting. The price includes admission to both locations.

11. Kayaking Around Barbados

The oceans of Barbados are gentle and there is so much wildlife around the island. Taking a Kayak is a great way to explore the beautiful shores of Barbados while also spotting some sea turtles along the way. Explore serene locations like the Great Rocks, Consett Bay, and quiet swimming holes.

Barbados-Caboose-bar one of the best things to do in barbados

13. Caboose Bar

When speaking with our concierge, Sarah Young, I expressed that I wanted to visit a place that locals love to visit and she suggested that one of the best things to do in Barbados according to locals is visit the Caboose bar. This quaint little bar sits on the side of a main road and looks like a colorful rundown ship. Surrounding the bar are a few seating areas with umbrellas. The bar is known for two things, rum punch and awesome fish sandwiches. The outside seats were full of locals and only a few visitors. As I stepped out of our private transportation, I could hear Rihanna playing in the background.


In true local fashion, I ordered both a rum punch and an ahi fish sandwich. What gives rum punch its distinctive taste is a generous dash of bitters and a sprinkle of nutmeg. While I wasn’t expecting to eat much of the ahi sandwich since I was still digesting breakfast, it was so delicious I ate almost the entire thing!

14. Re-planting Coral Reef Vitalization

ReefVitalize offers an exceptional ecotourism experience for those looking to make a difference in the preservation of our coral reefs. This unique program allows tourists to participate in coral planting activities in a fun and easy way. In less than two hours, you and your family or group of friends can help re-plant damaged corals, helping to restore the delicate ecosystem of the ocean.

This private tour is $325, but is priced for a group. You can bring up to 6 people for the same price.

15. Best of Barbados

This $190 excursion is well worth the price as you’ll enjoy a wide variety of the best things to do in Barbados throughout the day. If you want to do as much as possible in one day, this is the excursion for you! First, you’ll be picked up by your private transportation and start the day visiting Harrison Cave and taking their must-do tram ride through the caves. Then you’ll head to the Wildlife Reserve right at feeding time to enjoy visiting all the green monkeys.

Next, you’ll visit Carlisle Bay Marine Park which has 6 shipwrecks in close proximity. The great diversity of brilliantly colored marine life includes turtles, starfish, sand dollars, rays, and more. Then after relaxing on the beach, you’ll hop on a large glass-bottom catamaran for some snorkeling. You’ll be able to swim with an abundance of vibrant tropical fish, sea horses, sea turtles, octopuses, sting rays, and much more!

Finally, you’ll finish the day at Bathsheba Beach for the perfect sunset photo ops!

Fun Facts About Activities in Barbados

During my visit to Barbados, I spent a lot of time talking with the locals of the island. Barbados is an incredibly unique island and nothing like I expected. It’s obviously beautiful, but Barbados has a sophistication that many other islands in the Caribbean do not have. There is a very prominent English influence on the island that has influenced everything from the culture to the cuisine. In more recent years there has also been an influx of Canadian visitors and residents to the island.

Barbados was an English Colony

Barbados was first occupied by the Britsh in 1627 until it gained its independence in 1961. There is still a heavy English presence in Barbados. All driving is on the opposite side of the road than in the US. They also speak with a slight Irish/Scottish Accent which stems from when the island was colonized and has become part of the Bajan Dialect.

What are the best beaches in Barbados?

It’s no surprise that Barbados is absolutely beautiful and known for its pristine white sand beaches. Here is a list of the most popular beaches to visit on the island.

  • Sandy Lane Beach: This is a very exclusive beach in the most prestigious area of the island, Saint James. This beach is only for those staying at the Sandy Lane Resort or the various Villas in Sandy Lane such as Casablanca Villa. This area is most frequented by celebrities.
  • Carlisle Bay/ Browns Beach: Here you’ll find the most popular snorkeling spot on Barbados where you can see underwater shipwrecks. There is also an abundance of marine life including sea turtles, sting rays, and sea horses.
  • Bethsheba Beach: You don’t come to this beach for swimming but it is a secret spot on the east side of the island best known for surfing, having amazing views, and the Bathsheba Pools. The Bathsheba rock pools are unique shallow pools in the ocean made from coral reefs. You can only visit them during low tides. Locals and visitors who know about these baths bring their drinks and soak in the pools while enjoying the views. This beach is also a photographers paradise.

What is Barbados most known for?

Barbados is best known for creating rum! This sadly stems from Barbados also being one of the largest exporters of sugar cane from the labor of slaves brought onto the island. In addition to sugar cane, plantations began exporting molasses and it was the slaves on the plantations that learned how to ferment molasses into rum.

Without a doubt, the most popular drink served on the island is rum punch which has a distinct flavor from the addition of bitters and nutmeg. I would however also say that a rum sour is a close second and seems to be the most popular drink to enjoy among the locals on the island.

Barbados has the most amazing cuisine of all the Caribbean islands I’ve visited. While they still embrace local Caribbean favorites like flying fish and rice with peas, they have exceptional elevated restaurants on the island. In addition to fresh seafood, I also noticed many of the dishes had incredible sauces and combined English cooking techniques with local island cuisine.

Here is a list of popular local cuisine on the island. Many of these foods may sound familiar, but some may also surprise you and I don’t see them mentioned often, but they should be.

  • Local fruits: There are a handful of fruits that are special and local to the island which Bajans love to incorporate into their cooking and restaurants. The Bajan Cherry is a great example. Each fruit has its own unique flavor completely different from what we have available in the US.
  • Baraccuda: You might be surprised to know that Baracudda is a popular fish in Barbados and is available as a fresh selection at most restaurants.
  • Roti: this is a popular thin doughy flatbread stuffed with a curry-like filling of beef or chicken and potatoes.
  • Rice and Peas
  • Flying Fish
  • Fish Cakes
  • Salty Cod Salsa

Barbados Wildlife

If you love wildlife, Barbados is most known for its Green Monkeys that roam the island and sea turtles that swim the seas. While staying at Casablanca Villa, we had an entire colony of about 40 Green Monkeys right across the street and many would come to visit on the property. It was such a joy to watch them.

If you take a Catamaran or book a boat excursion to go snorkeling, there is a very high probability you will get to swim with Sea Turtles. The captains have even given them names and know exactly where to find them. They are incredibly friendly and you can swim right beside them.

Whether you’re flying into Barbados directly or visiting from a cruise ship, I hope this list of the very best things to do in Barbados helps make your planning easier. No matter what you choose to do, visitors always fall in love with Barbados and continue to return year after year. It is truly a beautiful island. I highly recommend if you’re staying at a resort, to get out and explore. Barbados has so much to offer with its pristine white sand beaches, vast wildlife, and rich culture.

Discover More of Barbados


DSC_1770 cropSondra Barker
I created this site for purveyor of exceptional eats and escapes; our team is always on a journey to find the perfect bites in the most wonderful places.

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