First-time visitors to Barbados will quickly fall in love with this Caribbean island’s charms. It’s a destination that has it all. From powdery white sand beaches and colorful coral reefs to a rum-fueled nightlife amid UNESCO-listed colonial architecture, this is a modern Caribbean paradise. Read on to discover the top 12 most beautiful places to visit in Barbados…
Rockley Beach – one of the most stunning places to visit in Barbados
This stretch of sand is the stuff dreams are made of – lazing a day away at Rockley Beach is a quintessential Barbados experience. Located on the southern side of the island, it’s great for both a relaxed day of swimming and for catching some waves while bodyboarding.
The sapphire waters lap at a shore fringed with swaying palms, underneath which are comfortable chaise lounges. Not convinced yet? Check out six more reasons why you should spend your summer in the Caribbean.
Hotels and Airbnbs in Rockley Beach
Hunte’s Garden – a beautiful gem in Barbados
Blanketing a geological fault in the earth towards the east side of the island, this garden is brimming with a dazzling array of colorful plants, all of them growing over one another in the dappled sunlight.
Follow the crisscrossing paths as they meander through the garden and lose yourself in the singing birds, lizards scampering underfoot, and classical music drifting out over the garden from speakers.
Hotels and Airbnbs in Hunte’s Garden
Barbados Wildlife Reserve – a great place to explore in Barbados
Located in a mahogany wood towards the northern coast, the Barbados Wildlife Reserve is another beautiful place to visit in Barbados.
Brick paths cross through the 4 acres of reserve, where underneath the trees you’ll see monkeys, deer, peacocks, iguanas, turtles, and much more. Most are roaming freely, while others (like the snakes) are thankfully kept in enclosures.
Hotels and Airbnbs in Barbados Wildlife Reserve
Bridgetown – one of the best spots to explore in Barbados
Bridgetown is the capital of Barbados, a UNESCO World Heritage site filled with vibrant life and beautiful old colonial architecture.
With a population of just over 100,000, this is where you’ll find most of the locals on the island. Strolling through the city can easily occupy a whole day – but it’s the historic downtown area stretching south towards the garrison that landed the city on UNESCO’s list.
Hotels and Airbnbs in Bridgetown
Carlise Beach – one of the most beautiful beaches in Barbados
Another one of the most beautiful beaches in Barbados, this pretty crescent-shaped bay has all the usual Caribbean cliches such as the white sand, turquoise sea, and swaying palm trees and it’s also a popular spot for scuba diving, snorkeling, and exploring the underwater shipwreck.
Other reasons to visit include it having calm waters which are perfect for swimming and historic lighthouses, the Needham’s Point Lighthouse.
St Nicholas Abbey
This beautiful old building is one of only three Jacobean mansions in the Western hemisphere, and one of Barbados’ most atmospheric spots. Part plantation, part museum, and part rum distillery, there’s plenty here to keep visitors occupied.
The main building was constructed in 1658 as a plantation, and that tradition lives on today. Visitors can tour through the mansion and its beautiful gardens, or opt to catch the steam train that loops around the property.
Animal Flower Cave
The animal flower cave is a large cave at the northern tip of Barbados, another of the island’s spectacular natural attractions. Accessed by steps carved into the rock, as you delve inside you’ll be treated to snapshots of the ocean through large, natural openings.
Below, fizzing waves crash over the cave lip and collect in beautiful pools. The views from on top of the cliff are equally as interesting – between February and April keep an eye out for migrating humpback whales.
Located on the east coast of the island where the Atlantic Ocean crashes at the shore, Bathsheba Bay is a rugged getaway from the relaxing beaches on the west side of Barbados.
Here, interesting rock formations both large and small dot the bay, the ebb and flow of the tide shaping them over thousands of years. It’s not a great spot for swimming, but if you’re looking to go surfing then it’s hard to beat. Otherwise, pack a picnic and enjoy its rugged beauty.
This small village sequestered away on Barbados’ northwest coast is filled with a rustic, nautical charm. Visitors will love the historic colonial buildings, giving the entire place a great vibe.
It’s only enhanced by the fresh fruit sold by vendors on the shady streets, while fishermen unload their catches down at the jetty. It’s a far cry from the upscale villages further south, but it’s just as fantastic and beautiful.
Sandy Lane Beach
Another of the island’s most popular beaches is Sandy Lane Beach. Located on the west coast of the island, it’s an idyllic Caribbean swimming spot.
Perfectly white sand, calm turquoise waters, and beautiful mahogany trees all come together to create the perfect spot for some sun, sand, and water. It’s no wonder some of the best Caribbean beach rentals can be found along this shore.
Located in Bridgetown, Queen’s Park is a lovely stop while you’re exploring the capital of Barbados. Here you’ll find a peaceful fountain and a quaint, colonial bandstand, but the biggest attraction here is a baobab tree that’s over a thousand years old. It’s one of the largest trees on the entire island, and for many, represents the timelessness and longevity of Barbados.
With so many beautiful places to visit in Barbados, what are you waiting for? Get planning and you’ll be exploring this enchanting island for yourself in no time.
Lying at the heart of Barbados is Harrison’s Cave, one of the natural wonders of the island. This crystallized limestone cave is characterized by rushing streams, clear water, and towering stone pillars.
Visiting the expansive cave goes one of two ways. The first type of tour is a tram ride through the interior, letting you see the whole space in comfort. The other type is more adventurous, where you’ll crawl, scramble and swim through some of the smaller areas of the cave.