Some of the island’s prettiest beaches and calmest waters are along the western coast. Hot spots include Payne’s Bay, Sandy Bay and Mullins Bay. The southwestern side of the island also has fine beaches, including Sandy Beach and Dover Beach. On the southeastern side is Crane Beach, a scenic stretch of pink-tinged sand that’s popular with bodysurfers but too rough for swimming. The eastern coast has dangerous water conditions, including rocky shelves and strong currents, making swimming impractical.
The western coast also is popular for its reef dives with soft corals, gorgonians and colorful sponges. There are about a dozen accessible shipwrecks, such as the Berwyn in Carlisle Bay.
The island is ranked in the top six destinations in the world for windsurfing. The windsurfing conditions are excellent from November to June at Maxwell and Silver Sands, and there is good surfing at the Soup Bowl, South Point and Rockley Beach.
Barbados has a number of historic sites that will motivate the most faithful of sun worshippers to venture off the pristine beaches.
Harrison’s Cave is a corridor of stalactites hanging from the roof and stalagmites jetting up from the ground. Emerald pools reflect your amazement as you observe the magnificent waterfalls of crystal-clear water. Visitors are driven in electronic wagons through the extensive system of caves and then invited into the exhibit of Amerindian artifacts that have been excavated from various sites around the island.
The island is home to two of the widest tree trunks in the Caribbean. The Baobab Tree, otherwise known as the Monkey-bread Tree, is believed to have been brought to Barbados from Guinea, Africa. The 250-year-old tree measures 44.5 feet in girth. The second tree, planted over 1,000 years ago, is located in Queen’s Park and is the larger of the two. It takes 15 adults adjoined with outstretched arms to cover its circumference.
Nestled in a cliff overlooking the east coast of the island, the Andromeda Botanical Gardens have over 6 acres of carefully landscaped gardens that are brightly colored with blooms, orchids, exotics and shrubs. The property is accented with ponds, streams, shady nooks and rocky ledges.
Barbados is proud to house two of the three remaining Jacobean Mansions left in the western hemisphere. The two buildings were erected in the 1650’s and demonstrate great architectural achievement.
Any sightseer will love that Barbados boasts four Plantation Houses, three famous homes, and four military attractions all with a rich history.
Morgan Lewis Mill is the one of the only two intact and restored sugar mills in the Caribbean. The mill includes an exhibit of the equipment used to produce sugar at the time when the industry was run by wind-powered generators.
Something rather unknown, yet very interesting, about Barbados is their collection of 17th century English iron cannons. During the 17th and 18th centuries, the island was an important military base for Great Britain. This explains the more than 400 guns found at various sites on the island. The oldest cannon found were cast in 1620 and the youngest in 1870.
The island is home to 1,000 rum shops, all worth a sampling visit.
A visit to Flower Animal Cave will provide you with fond memories. The sparkling waters and pools of sea make this a one of a kind natural wonder. The cave is so beautiful and unique it’s even been featured on television and in movies.
If you are looking for a fragrant hike, visit the Flower Forest. Tours are given throughout this serene jungle of botanical plants and flowers. Some plants may overwhelm you with leaves the size of your hand!
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