Whether you are familiar or not with this specific dot of paradise, I have listed out all my most favorite spots to eat, capture some memories, explore, etc. Although I have visited this island more than once, I still haven't seen it all, so if I missed anything, please drop me a note in the comments section, as I am always on the hunt for new treasures.
(Please note: These are vegetarian friendly, if you're looking for choice spots for fish and poultry, this isn't your source)
I don't know about you, but I find that my diet drastically changes while I am traveling. Typically, I make ninety plus percent of my meals during a normal schedule, so needing to eat out three times a day while adventuring can be difficult on my system, my taste buds, and my wallet. I opt for simple, wholesome, and as fresh as possible. On this island, I found many options, but have listed only my top favorites here.
Large selection of salads, pasta, paninis, sandwiches, and smoothies.
My favorites: Paninis. Cafe Moya change up the options regularly, but the vegetarian ones are amazing. Pair it with a Pina Colada or Berry Smoothie for a satisfying combination.
The kitchen at the Flower Forest
It doesn't look like much, but the food is insane and the view is even better from the balcony overlooking the garden.
My favorites: Best fries ever. Ever. Ever, ever, ever! And the cheese sandwich. Basically, a panini with cheddar cheese, tomato, pepper, and onion. Sounds simple and basic, but it is indulgently tasty. I paired mine with fresh guava juice.
Open-air restaurant located in Holetown, St. James. They offer fresh food at great prices. They have the catch of the day, seafood, chicken, veggies, sandwiches and a bar.
My favorite: Order sides: rice, grilled potatoes, and grilled veggies. The rice is unreal. I hope to figure out what herbs they use in it because I think I would make a huge batch each week at home.
Chillz Delight Treats
Ice cream and waffle cones. Do I have to say more? It's Bajan handmade ice cream with a touch of rum!
My favorite: Chocolate.
You must go to the Mount Gay tour, whether or not you drink alcohol. It's a great bit of Barbados history and the tour guides have such a fun and friendly vibe you will enjoy yourself. Rum is one of the main exports that Barbados is known for and this is the oldest distillery still in operation.
Agapey Chocolate tours
Very informative in a non-boring way. I have had the pleasure of taking this tour twice so far and I loved both times. Their new location is close to the heart of Bridgetown and accommodates walk up traffic if you'd just like to buy some chocolate. Make that world class chocolate. I can pinpoint my pivot in chocolate appreciation to my first visit to Barbados. Before, chocolate was chocolate. Didn't matter if it was ordinary or "fancy". It was all fair game. Now, I am much more selective and cognizant of the texture and taste.
My favorite flavors: Ecuador, Almond, and Caramel Rum (made with Mount Gay XO Rum).
There are way too many stunning gardens to go over, but here are the ones that I will never get tired of.
By far the most pristine and manicured of all the gardens. For the brief time you are in this spot of heaven, it is easy to imagine yourself royalty and living a life of leisure. Floating from terrace to terrace to soak up the view and dappled sunlight through the palms. Once you have enjoyed it, go have some tea or Bajan lemonade (ginger and spice) with Mr. Hunte himself and his calico.
Free range zoo under the rainforest canopy. Cobbled paths twist their way through open areas where you can walk amongst Brocket deer, Agouti, Tortoises, Peacocks, Peahens, Green Monkeys, Lizards, Parrots, Caiman, and more.
This massive garden is a hike that will take your breath away. Seven acres of flowers, ferns, and trees. The trail will take you up and down a few hills, so wear your walking shoes. I love how almost every plant is labeled with its name. Extra points if you can spot the alligator lizards that like to sun themselves in the purple trumpet shaped flowers by the first lookout spot or the caterpillars snacking on the Frangipani leaves.
Every beach has its own magic. There are calm, fine sanded beaches and angry, rocky beaches. All are mesmerizing.
Lots of animals and fish to be seen and I have only shared a very small percentage of photos. Imagine hundreds of brightly colored fish species, happy voiced birds and few insects with the odd monkey here and there.
Sam Lord's Castle
The Bajan Pirate - a tale from some locals.
According to legend, Sam Lord built his estate near cliffs on the southeast side of the island. These beaches are very shallow and rocky. Sam used the reefs to his advantage to scuttle unsuspecting ships. He would hang lanterns just off the coast to mimic the lighthouse that identifies the harbor. Allegedly, he would then let the sharks make quick work of the ship's crew and then after time, would go collect the contents of the wrecked ship. Years later, the property was sold but the name remained. Not all ended well for Sam Lord's Castle. A devastating fire gutted the buildings and at the time, the owners were unable to rebuild. Per Barbados News sites, renovation is under way and scheduled to reopen in 2018. Maybe I will have a chance to post a review sometime after that!
After scrolling through these snippets, hopefully, you will now understand when I say that Barbados is a dream. All of the above are reasons alone to visit. However, that is not my main reason for going back time and time again. For me, it is the Bajan people. They are the nicest, the most joyful, the most down to earth humans that I have ever met.
Until next time!