You’ll find Bridgetown strikes a fine mix of island warmth and English heritage. Stately colonial buildings intermingle with colorful wooden homes, open-air markets, and catch-of-the-day cafes. Outside of the bustle of “Town,” as the locals call it, Barbados is a new kind of paradise in any direction. Cruise to Barbados and head towards the shore for pink-and-white-sand beaches that stretch on endlessly and crystal clear turquoise waters. Or stick to the center of the island, you’ll find rolling hills and valleys, sugarcane fields and historic plantations. You can even travel underground to discover limestone caves with their own waterfalls.
Take a solar-powered tram journey 170 feet below ground into Harrison’s Cave, an intricate limestone cave system. Here, you’ll find flowing streams, waterfalls, emerald-hued pools, unusual stalactite formations, and towering columns that formed over thousands of years.
Hop into a rugged 4X4 and make your way through the Barbados Wildlife Reserve. Deep in the island’s interior, you’ll find playful green monkeys, colorful birds, reptiles and other native animals roaming freely. Try to visit around 2 p.m. for feeding time to see the green monkeys close-up.
Sit back and relax on the powdery white sands of Harbour Lights on Carlisle Bay Beach. If kicking back with a rum punch in hand is a little too laid-back, you can snorkel around shipwrecks, rent a jet ski, or even visit Tortuga to swim with turtles.
This island is a seafood lover’s dream come true. Bajan (or Barbadian) cuisine blends African, Indian and British influences. For a truly authentic experience, don’t shy away from the street food— try the fried fish cakes, macaroni pie, tamarind balls, and the national dish, cou-cou with flying fish.
For the best deals on duty-free luxury items and authentic souvenirs from the island, check out the shops in the cruise terminal and the stores along Broad Street, the main street in Bridgetown. Cruise to Barbados and bring home a taste of the island with a rum cake, which is called ‘great cake’ for a reason.