There’s one thing you absolutely must do if you visit Barbados – and it’ll surprise you!
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If you’re planning a trip to Barbados, you have to do one thing in particular. And no, it’s not snorkeling or working on your tan or even trying the rum (although you should do all those too).
You need to take a Jeep tour of the island!
Last month, I escaped the winter blues by heading to Barbados! A friend of mine from way back in my Australia days got married, and I jumped at the chance to jump on a plane for a girls’ trip and study abroad reunion!
Why a Jeep Tour
One of the things we most wanted to do was see the island itself. Unlike many countries, Barbados is small enough to get an overall sense of the island as a whole. At 21 miles long and 14 miles wide, there’s a lot to see but not too much ground to cover! A local friend recommended Island Safari Barbados as the best way to plan a day trip around Barbados. So we scheduled a tour for our first day!
Seeing the island with a guide is one hundred percent the way to do it. While you could rent a car, you’d miss the history, ecology and local life tidbits that no guidebook can give. Along the way, our guide Glyne showed us the difference between sheep and goats (the Caribbean versions look nearly identical), plantains and bananas, and pointed out not just the home where Rihanna was born but where her
What You’ll See
The six-hour tour took us across the entire island. We started in the south, making pickups in Bridgetown and the surrounding areas before heading north. The jeep drove through forests, fields, neighborhoods, and along rocky coastlines: all the different ecosystems that make up the island.
We got a taste of the colonial history and presence on the island: from a massive British lion at one of the old signal houses to the Jacobean, Victorian, and Georgian manor houses overlooking fields that have been farmed for hundreds of years.
At each stop, we’d jump out for pictures and a bit of exploring. Each time Glyne offered us snacks and drinks. I swear rum punch must spring from the ground, it’s that readily available.
We saw the last still running sugar windmill, went offroading through sugar cane fields and drove over bridges cemented with egg whites (yes you read that right). Over the course of the day, we saw many of Barbados’ different coastlines: calm bays, surfing beaches, and bluffs beaten by epic waves.
The tour included lunch complete with all the Barbados staples: fish & chicken, macaroni pie, and roasted pumpkin. We relaxed and ate our lunch on a balcony overlooking the forest. When you’re there keep your eyes peeled for monkeys!
Planning Your Tour
I love doing organized tours on the first day of a trip because you can get personalized recommendations from the guide: best places to eat, how to get the best deal on other bookings, what are the underrated spots from a local perspective.
Another advantage of the Jeep tour: they’ll pick you up from anywhere on the island! Easy to arrange. Don’t be surprised if they’re a bit late, though – island time is a real thing here, and there’s a surprising amount of traffic considering the size of the island. I’d recommend booking a week in advance to make sure you get the date you want.
Check back next week for more of what you have to do in Barbados!
Do you have a favorite way to see a new place when you travel? Let me know in the comments!