Far away in the eastern Caribbean is the island of Barbados, a tropical gem surrounded by turquoise waters and pristine white sand beaches that makes you think everything is photoshopped.
If it’s your first time to visit and if you only have one day to do it, you are not even going to scratch the surface of what Barbados has to offer.
So, what can you do in one quick day? You might consider joining an around the island tour so you can get a feel of the whole place—location, geography, history, culture, and mark places you want to revisit on your own later.
Barbados offers all the attractions you would ever look for in a tropical island—sea, sun, land, and sand from the Atlantic Ocean on one side and the Caribbean ocean on the other side.
A drive through Bridgetown, the island’s capital, will give you a feel of the commercial hub of the island. Established in 1628, Bridgetown bustles with life, a mix of old-world charm and modern amenities. It’s where old colonial buildings merge with modern structures housing shops and restaurants and business establishments. If you arrive by cruise ships or from the airport, Bridgetown is accessible by car, taxis, or public transportation.
Speightstown, the second largest town on the island is a must-visit place. Back in the 17th century, Speightstown was the trading hub and commercial center of Barbados. Stop by the boardwalk along the beach and explore the shops, galleries, small fast food outlets for a taste of authentic island food. The oceanfront areas are dotted with numerous extremely expensive mansions, condominium units, and resorts.
The east side of Barbados shows the rugged and less-developed side of the island. Here you will see isolated beaches and off-the-road parts, villages with old houses, and an endless stretch of farms.
Look out for the Morgan Lewis Windmill at St. Andrew. This was the last working mill in Barbados which last operated sometime between 1945 to 1947.
A scenic drive up to the 850-foot tall overlook at Cherry Hill gives you a panoramic view of the eastern side of Barbados. Cherry Hill is a part of the St. Nicholas Abbey plantation. Expect to see locals selling coconut and other drinks as well as locally crafted souvenir items at the lookout.
Mark out St. John’s Parish Church, one of the oldest churches in Barbados with a graveyard in the backyard.
Bathsheba Beach on the eastern coastline is one of the most popular beaches in Barbados. Huge boulders and dramatic rock formations make the beach an instant photographer’s delight.
We stopped by on a rainy windy day and saw some surfers riding in the waves. The beach is not safe for swimming because of the rough waters but you can dip your toes in the tide pool or enjoy picnics on the seaside. Open cottages, restrooms, and a big old restaurant serving local food caters to the basic needs of guests.
According to stories, the beach was named after Bathsheba, the wife of King David because the soft, rolling surf waters of the Soup Bowl at Bathsheba beach resemble the milk Bathsheba was supposed to bathe in to keep her skin beautiful.
If you want to experience life as a local, stay and eat at local restaurants and drink at local bars. Ride the government-run public buses to add new heights of excitement and get to know Barbados better. There is reliable public transportation and you can flag down approaching buses at the bus stops to get from one place to another. Things to note, people drive on the left side of the road, and the currency is Bajan Dollar where one $1 US is equivalent to $2 BD.
Check out https://www.visitbarbados.org/plan-your-trip/visa-and-entry-requirements for visa and entry requirements to Barbados.