Sun-seekers flock to Barbados for the beautiful beaches and vibrant island culture in a dreamy tropical setting. While we never tire of a pretty stretch of white sand, there are a few lesser-known ways of exploring the island’s natural beauty. From green monkeys hopping around majestic forests to exploring otherworldly caves, if you’re searching for the road less traveled, these Barbados adventures are just what you’re looking for.
Tour the Wildlife Reserve
Green monkeys, flamingos, and a myriad of bird species are just a few of the creatures inhabiting the Barbados Wildlife Reserve. Situated on the north end of the island in St Peter, the reserve is a four-acre mahogany forest filled with charming winding stone paths, which animals wander around as freely as visitors. You can take your pick between a guided tour or exploring the reserve at your own pace. On site you’ll also find a designated iguana sanctuary, plus a stunning orchid garden made to make any green thumb swoon. Just be sure to watch your step: the red-footed tortoises have a tendency to interrupt traffic!
Explore Harrison’s Cave
Get down under for a truly otherworldly view of the island. Harrison’s Cave is located in the uplands of Barbados, just 20 minutes by car from Bridgetown. There are a variety of tours you can take through the cave, from a quick one-hour glide through the gullies, sinkholes and taverns by tram, to a four hour adventure. We recommend the Eco Adventure tour, where you can trek along the trails lining the cave and then strap on a headlamp and knee guards to explore further.
Wander Around Andromeda
On the Atlantic coast of the island you’ll find the Andromeda Botanical Gardens, a stunning sanctuary that brings a whole new meaning to the word “lush.” It was once the private garden of local horticultural specialist Iris Bannochie, who started collecting plants and flowers from across the Caribbean here in 1954. The garden was opened to the public in the 1970s, and is now home to over 600 species of plants. Limestone lanes weave in between lily ponds, talipot palm trees (the world’s tallest!), and even a unique banyan tree. There’s a quaint little gift shop and café on site too, perfect for all of your souvenir needs.
See What’s At Sea
Any visit to Barbados would be incomplete without a day on the ocean. The best way to experience it is via private tour on a catamaran so you can curate your agenda however you like. On our must-do list is snorkeling with sea turtles at Worthing Beach (Barbados is home to the endangered Hawksbill species, pictured top), and a shipwreck dive at Carlyle Bay. Afterward, have the captain anchor the boat just in time for sunset: seeing Mother Nature’s nightly spectacle is the most fitting way to finish off your adventure. Don’t forget to sip on Bajan rum punch for added effect.
Where to stay in Barbados