There is no question that the waters around the island of Barbados are simply teeming with life, bringing people form all over the world to get a Caribbean vacation rental and enjoy the waters, either by snorkelling or scuba diving. There are two hot spots for seeing the life beneath the waves.
Carlisle Bay Marine Park
This marine park is located in St. Micheal, so likely to be just a short drive from your Barbados holiday rental. With calm waters, a sunken shipwreck and the chance of seeing turtles in their natural habitat, it is a very popular snorkelling spot. Ruined boats are strewn across the sea floor, so it is not uncommon to see rusting cannonballs and old anchors resting on the sea bed. If you opt to take a guided snorkelling tour, you may also get the chance to feed the fish, and have them flock around you while you swim. Guided tours also come with the benefit of transport to and from your Barbados accommodation.
Folkestone Marine Park
At Folkestone Marine Park, located in St James, you can explore an artificial reef that is simply teeming with a variety of sea life. The reef has been created by the sinking of the Stavronikita ship, which now rests in 120 ft of water less than half a mile out to sea, which is best seen by an organised scuba tour. Again, you can be picked up from your holiday rental and taken directly to the dive site.
If you fancy staying a little closer to shore, then simply put on a snorkel and swim around the inshore reef, about one third of a mile from the coast, and home to fish, anemones, sea lilies, corals and sponges.
Once you have seen all there is to see in the water, then be sure to take a walk around the informative museum which is full of information about all the creatures that you may have just witnessed under the water.
What some people may not realise when getting a vacation rental in Barbados, is that the island is big on a range of sports. Surprisingly, the number one sport that the island is known for is its cricket. The island is well known in the Caribbean for its sports tourism, and the locals demonstrate a passion for a range of activities such as polo, water sports, horse riding, track and field, tennis and golf to name just a few others. This passion, as well as an abundance of sporting history, had lead to a number of excellence sporting facilities cropping up over the island, and the locals take part in a number of international competitions.
Organised cricket started to take place in Barbados back in 1892, and today the sport is played all year round. There are a number of cricket grounds, but the most well-known is the Kensington Oval, which is in Bridgetown. For many, cricket is not just a hobby, but a way of life, so no matter what time of year you decide to get a Caribbean villa, Chances are there will be some sort of match taking place in the Oval. Over the years, a number of Barbadian players have become well known for their skill on the pitch.
The south coast of the island is the perfect place to get a vacation home in Barbados if you are looking to find that perfect wave. People come from all over the world to surf the south coast surf, with the most consistent breaks found at South Point and Brandon’s. November to June is the best time for surfing in Barbados, and at low tide, as it is here that the waves come in very quickly.
The island of Barbados is home to 5 PGA Standard golf courses, many which have some lovely Caribbean luxury villas located around them. As well as just playing for fun, visitors are also eligible to take part in a number of competitions during their stay such as the Barbados Open and the Festival of Golf.
The island continues to attract a number of professional and recreational sailors every year, who come to take in the beautiful sights and make use of the number of sailing facilities. The conditions are often labelled ‘champagne sailing’, and due to this a number of World Sailing Championships have been held in Barbados. Sailor or not, there are many sailing festivities to take part in or watch throughout the year.
Although Gustavia may be the most populated part of the island, then second most popular tourist area on the island is St. Jean. Located in St Barts heart, it is a town simply full of amazing dining opportunities, large and uncrowded shopping plazas, and a range of tiny, unique boutique establishments. It is also nearby the islands only airport, making transport links to your villa in Barbados easy.
Once you have filled your days with shopping, wandering down the picturesque streets and having a bite to eat in one of the many pavement cafes or upscale restaurants, it is time to hit the beach. The beach of St. Jean is actually two beaches, split by the Eden Rock which sits proudly on the coastline, with a hotel perched on the top.
The bay is a beautiful crescent of powder soft, white sands, and is home to a natural coral reef which helps to make it a swimming hot spot. People come from vacation rentals all over the island to dive beneath the waves and see the huge array of marine life that thrive just below the surface.
If water sports are your thing, then there are a number of water sport centres around the town and bay that offer the rental of sporting equipment such as snorkel gear,snorkel gear, windsurfers and much more, as well as an array of other beach toys.
Due to the stunning bay, St. Jean is also home to the St. Barts Fun Cup in February, which is three days of Regattas. The lively atmosphere, excitable crowd and festival atmosphere make it a great time to have accommodation in Barbados.
When renting a villa in Barbados, a visit to St Nicholas Abbey is a must. Located in the parish of St Peter, the abbey was built back in 1658, and is now only one of three Jacobean mansions in the whole of the Western Hemisphere.
A trip to the mansion offers a full day out. The great house is the main attraction, built by Benjamin Berringer it is one of the finest historic sites on the island. Characterised by elaborate multi-curved gables, decorative chimneys, Tudor arches and casement windows, it is an architectural wonder. Guest can get a full tour of the property for a more in-depth view of its history, which includes antiques and artifacts that span the home’s 350-year history.
The rum distillery is another popular attraction. By embracing its longstanding traditions, the plantation aims to preserve its history while still creating a sustainable legacy for future generations. You are able to explore the steam mill and run distillery, which are currently in full operation to produce the finest St Nicholas Abbey Rum, which among other products, can be purchased at the gift shop and taken back to your Barbados accommodation.
On Tuesdays and Thursdays, the Abbey offers rum experience tours, where guests have access to a guided tour of the Great House, a personal tour of the Factory, Steam Mill and Distillery. The best bit is, you will be invited to try a range of Nicholas Abbey Rums!
The grounds are also well worth a look, all of which are beautifully landscaped with tropical flora, with the natural gullies filled with Mahogany and Silk Cotton trees. Cherry Tree Hill is located to the northeast of the Greta House, and offers stunning views of the island’s rugged east coast. Overall, the estate of St Nicholas Abbey spans over 400 acres of undulating sugar cane fields, forests and gardens.
During opening hours, you can enjoy lunch and a drink at the Terrace Café, which overlooks the plantation and other tropical plants. So make sure you put this on your list of attractions when looking into villas in Barbados.
Barbados has some fantastic natural landscapes, and there is no better way to see the island in all its glory than by visiting some of its most stunning viewpoints. No matter where your luxury villa rental is located, you are sure to have one of these viewpoints nearby. As the majority of them are quite remote, they are easiest to get to if you have a hire car, so you can include them in a day trip exploring the island.
Animal Flower Cave
Located in the upper part of the island, the Animal Flower Cave offers stunning views of the wide expanse that is the Atlantic Ocean. You’ll feel on top of the world standing on the cliff edge that looks down into a foaming natural pool. You can enjoy a meal at the cliff top restaurant or take a guided tour of the caves below.
This is one of the most other worldly of all the views in Barbados. Stunning boulders fill the area which are actually rock formations that have broken away from ancient coral, and add to the unique landscape. It is a must see for anyone renting a house in Barbados.
Cherry Tree Hill
Even the name of this viewpoint sounds attractive. The steep climb up the hill will be well worth when you reach the top, it as you will be rewarded with stunning views of the whole of the east coast of Barbados. The road that leads up to the hill is lined with mahogany and offers some beautiful photo opportunities.
Ragged Point Lighthouse
If you want to see the beauty of a Caribbean sunset, then Ragged Point Lighthouse is the place to be. With the sea stretching out in front of you, and the Barbados countryside all around, it should definitely be on your list of scenic viewpoints to visit on a day trip from your Barbados villa.