fun things to do in Barbados

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Even though it’s a small island, there are so many fun things to do in Barbados! Barbados is packed with amazing things to see and experience, and even after months on the island, it felt like we were always discovering new things to do. This guide will break down the top activities you can’t miss while visiting Barbados!

Things To Do In Barbados Map

Surfing Lessons In Freights Bay

Did you know that Barbados is an amazing place to learn to surf? I’ve tried surfing several times before and Barbados has some of the best conditions for learners. Freights Bay on the south coast has gentle waves, clear water, and plenty of sea turtle friends to keep you company while you learn.

If you’re new to surfing, definitely take lessons with Bodie School of Surf. Bodie offers private lessons and small-group sessions. The group classes are a great way to make some friends and learn a new sport in a beautiful setting.

For more advanced surfers, you can check out Drill Hall Beach, Surfers Point, South Point, and Bathsheba for bigger waves.

Take surfing lessons in freights bay! One of many fun things to do in Barbados

West Coast Catamaran Tour

Exploring the coast by catamaran is one of my favorite things to do in Barbados! We went with Calypso Cruises and Captain Nick and his crew were top-notch! Fun fact: My friends and I enjoyed this tour so much that we went three times!

On the Calypso Cruises tour, we started in Bridgetown and then cruised down to Carlisle Bay. Here, we snorkeled around several shipwrecks and saw sea turtles. Captain Nick and the crew were knowledgeable about the history of the wrecks and shared stories along the way.

Next, we sailed up the west coast, stopping to swim near beautiful beaches along the way. It’s pretty hard to beat cruising for hours along the platinum coast while relaxing in a hammock on the front of a catamaran.

The tour included snorkel gear and bottomless drinks and food all day.

photo from a catamaran with a sail in the corner looking toward land

Snorkeling in Carlisle Bay

Carlisle Bay is one of the best areas to snorkel in Barbados because there are several shipwrecks close to shore. These shipwrecks are teeming with life! On several snorkel trips here, I saw an octopus, stingrays, squid, and dozens of sea turtles and colorful fish.

The best way to snorkel the shipwrecks in Carlisle Bay is through a boat tour. I’d recommend going to Boatyard Beach Club for the day because your admission includes a complimentary snorkel trip.

At Boatyard, you can pay $50 BBD ($25 USD) for access to the beach club, a voucher for food and drinks, and a 45-minute snorkel trip. When you arrive, let a staff member know that you’d like to join the snorkel trip. They will write your name down and you’ll hear your name called over the intercom when it’s time to snorkel.

Gear is provided and there are lockers available to store your valuables.

woman snorkeling over a shipwreck in carlisle bay barbados

Oistins Friday Night Fish Fry

The Friday Night Fish Fry in Oistins is a classic thing to do in Barbados. Oistins, a fishing town on the southern coast, lights up on Friday night with live music, dancing, and delicious food.

Here, dozens of food stalls serve local Caribbean favorites and fire-grilled fish. Plates typically come with one main fish selection and several tasty sides. Make sure to try the famous macaroni pie!

  • Location: Oistins, South Coast
  • Cost: $20 – $40 BBD ($10 – $20 USD)


Sam Lord’s Castle

If you’re looking for something unique to do in Barbados, head to the south coast to a place called Sam Lord’s Castle. Sam Lord’s Castle is a mansion that used to belong to an infamous Bajan pirate.

Legend has it that Sam Lord would lure ships to his home by hanging lanterns in the trees. Ships would think they were seeing Bridgetown and crash into the reef, then Sam Lord would pillage their ship.

The property was later turned into a hotel which tragically burned down in recent years. Now, you can visit the remains of the castle and explore a lookout point which offers amazing views of the sea and coastline.

  • Location: St. Philip, South Coast
  • Cost: Free
front view of sam lord's castle, one of many fun things to do in barbados

Animal Flower Cave

Animal Flower Cave was one of my favorite places to visit in Barbados! Here, you can pay a small admission fee to go down into a rocky cave on the very northernmost point of the island.

In the cave, you’ll see anemones (called animal flowers) and cool rock formations with views out to the ocean. Then you’ll walk into the second part of the cave where there is a deep, perfectly clear swimming hole! Make sure to wear your bathing suit because swimming in that cave while watching the ocean churn below was a pretty memorable experience.

Outside of the cave, you can take a walk along the coast to see impressive cliff formations or have lunch with a view at the Animal Flower Cave Restaurant (I highly recommend the breadfruit tacos!)

There’s no need to reserve a ticket in advance since you can just arrive and pay at the bar. Normally, the cave is open every day from 11:00 am – 3:30 pm but due to COVID, the open hours are different than usual. It’s best to call and double-check before going since it’s in a remote part of the island.

view from inside animal flower cave, one of the best barbados attractions

Mount Gay Rum Tasting

Barbados is the birthplace of rum, so it makes sense to do a rum tasting here! Mount Gay Rum was founded in 1703 and is one of the most popular rums from the island.

Mount Gay offers a tour at their distillery in St. Lucy as well as several different rum flight tastings at their visitor center in Bridgetown. Stop by to learn about Mount Gay Distilleries and try some of their best varieties or even take a cocktail-making class!

  • Location: Bridgetown, Barbados
  • Cost: Tastings start at $20 BBD
  • Get Tickets Here


St. Nicholas Abbey

At St. Nicholas Abbey, you can learn about the history of the island and sample some more delicious Bajan rum! St. Nicholas Abbey used to be a sugar plantation and family home. Now, it’s a museum and functional rum distillery. Take a house tour, taste St. Nicholas Abbey Rum, and ride the Heritage Train to Cherry Tree Hill, one of the best viewpoints in Barbados!

You don’t need to book tickets in advance, just arrive and enjoy! Because of its location on the northern part of the island, St. Nicholas Abbey and Animal Flower Cave make a nice day trip together. St. Nicholas Abbey is closed on Monday and Tuesday.

front view of st. nicholas abbey barbados, a white historical home with trees surrounding it

Harrisons Cave

Harrison’s Cave is a massive cave system in the center of the island. When you visit, you’ll be taken on a tour of the cave on a tram. A guide will tell you all about the natural features of the cave, like limestone stalagmites and a 15-meter tall grand cavern. The tour lasts about an hour and after, you can explore the jungle surroundings.

*Right now, Harrison’s Cave is temporarily closed due to COVID. Check their websites for the latest updates and hours.

Explore Bathsheba

Bathsheba is located on the east coast of Barbados and is known for having a cool, laid-back atmosphere. This area is remote and rugged, making it a great place to hike and explore. The water is rough on this coast so it’s not great for swimming, but advanced surfers will love the powerful waves!

Bathsheba is the perfect place to take a picnic to the beach and just hang out for the day. We were lucky enough to be there during a surfing competition and it was exhilarating to watch the surfers catch ridiculously big waves while relaxing on the beach.

  • Location: East Coast
  • Cost: Free
view looking down bathsheba beach barbados with palm trees and rocks in the distance

Hunte’s Gardens

Take a break from the beach and head to the garden! Hunte’s Gardens is located in the center of the island and is a lush, diverse botanical garden bursting with life. Anthony Hunte is the founder and he turned a gulley into a spectacular display of tropical flora and fauna. Perfect for nature enthusiasts and anyone who loves reconnecting with nature.

  • Location: Central, Eastern coast
  • Cost: $30 BBD ($15 USD) cash only
  • Learn more here

Barbados Wildlife Reserve

Want to see some of the animals that call Barbados home? Check out the Barbados Wildlife Reserve! Located on the northern part of the island, the Barbados Wildlife Reserve is a place where animals roam freely.

You can see peacocks, deer, tropical birds, and even monkeys as you walk through the grounds. It’s best to visit in the afternoon so you can see the monkeys drop by for feeding time.

  • Location: Central, Northern coast
  • Cost: $30 BBD ($15 BBD)

Folkestone Marine Park and Museum

Folkestone Marine Park is a beach park area located in Holetown, Barbados. Because the beach and reef are protected, no boats or motorized watercraft are allowed here. This means that the area is perfect for scuba divers and snorkelers. You can even rent a clear kayak for exploring the coral reef!

There’s also a visitors center with an aquarium where guests can learn about local marine life. Parking is free and there are places to rent chairs and umbrellas, making this a lovely place to spend the day. Make sure to stay for the sunset!

  • Location: Holetown, West Coast
  • Cost: Free
pink and yellow sunset in barbados

Paddle Boarding at Pebbles Beach

I lived just five minutes from Pebbles Beach for weeks before I discovered that it was an amazing place to paddleboard! I wish I would have known sooner because I would have gone every day!

Pebbles Beach has soft sand and calm water, making it a perfect place to learn how to SUP. You can rent SUPs right on the beach at the little shop just below the Barbados Cruising Club. You’ll know it because there are dozens of enormous SUP boards lined up outside.

I loved paddling around the bay and seeing all the boats up close. It was particularly relaxing to go around sunset and watch the sky change colors while drifting on the board.

  • Location: Bridgetown
  • Cost: $20 BBD ($10 USD)

Final Thoughts: Fun Things To Do In Barbados

From beaches, to caves, to botanical gardens, Barbados truly has it all!

One of the things I really liked about visiting Barbados was that everything on the island was relatively close together. It was possible to see several Barbados attractions in a day without spending hours getting around. This meant more time for activities and adventures!

Have you ever been to Barbados? What was your favorite thing to do?

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About the Author

Hi! I'm Nic. Let's chat about remote work and ways to incorporate more travel into your life. Whether you're here to find an online job or need some tips for planning your next trip, I've got you covered! More about me

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