North to South, East to West: The Definitive Guide to Barbados
Few places in the world are quite like Barbados, where 20 years ago, all you would see for miles was sugar cane plantations and dirt roads while tourists stuck to the blindingly beautiful beaches and their hotel rooms.2015-12-28
Few places in the world are quite like Barbados, where 20 years ago, all you would see for miles was sugar cane plantations and dirt roads while tourists stuck to the blindingly beautiful beaches and their hotel rooms. Today, that landscape has totally changed, and a growing number of eclectic travelers are flocking to the islands to stay in luxury rentals, where they have the freedom to choose their own vacation itinerary and won't have to wait in line for hotel towels.
Whether you've been to Barbados half a dozen times or don't know the first thing about the locale, this definitive guide will lead you to a spectacular getaway - no matter what part of the island you're on.
Off the Grid in the North
The Scotland District might be sparsely populated, but this stunning northern coastline is in fact a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stretching for about 20 miles down the shore, this unique geographical wonder boasts fascinating formations similar to volcanic islands - but Barbados doesn't even have a volcano. Instead of being formed by thousands of years of eruptions, the island's location at the meeting point between two tectonic plates has yielded elaborate landscapes, including ones you'll see in the Scotland District.
Shopping in the South
Hastings and Oistins are hubs for travelers in the mood to shop. Stores line the coast, along with restaurants, condos and vibrant bars. If you forgot to pack breathable clothes for the warm weather, you can stop at any number of establishments to pick up a pair of linen pants and cotton t-shirts. Of course, because there are so many duty-free stores in the southern region of Barbados, you'll likely find more than enough souvenirs to bring back home with you.
Eating in the West
The culinary scene in Barbados has recently exploded, thanks to a number of European chefs who have moved to the island. St. James, located on the West Coast, is perhaps the best place for you to get a culinary rundown of Barbados' food history.
At La Terra, Barbados native chef Larry Rogers has created an Italian fusion menu that highlights the abundant sea life population in the waters surrounding the island. He and his staff take special care in their food presentation, and each plate looks like a work of art, which will soon disappear after you take your first bite. Be sure to ask your waiter for a wine recommendation with the daily catch. This fine dining establishment is perfect for couples staying at Caribbean villas because of its stunning views over the waters.
Hitting the Waves in the East
The East Coast of Barbados is a surfer's paradise, and if you're looking to ride the waves, consider yourself forewarned: these waters are not to be trifled with. You can take surfing lessons if you're new to the sport, or rent a wetsuit and jump in the Atlantic Ocean for a spectacular afternoon of careening down crest after crest.