How to Spend 3 Days In Barbados

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How to Spend 3 Days In Barbados

Three days is plenty of time to explore the idyllic island of Barbados – but, of course, you’ll be wishing you had more. From bountiful beaches to mysterious caves, historic plantations to wildlife preserves, Barbados is easily enjoyed in a limited amount of time. We’ll focus here on the three biggies: top sightseeing destinations in Barbados, the most outstanding beaches in Barbados and then a couple off-the-beaten-path sites in Barbados. Pick and choose from these suggestions according to your personal preferences and make the most out of three days in paradise.

Day 1 in Barbados: Top Sightseeing Destinations

Whether you choose to do a self-guided tour of the island or arrange for a guided excursion, here are the top sightseeing spots to fit in when you have just three days in Barbados.

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Hunte’s Gardens
This botanical masterpiece will appeal to all, not just those of us blessed with a green thumb. It is the result of Anthony Hunte’s years of work as he dreamt up, planted and tended to these lush gardens that spill out over terraced slopes in the island’s lush interior. Wind your way around the gardens on stairs and walkways, keeping an eye out for the island bird and wildlife that frequent the gardens. Try to find the 84 listed items on the board at the bottom of the garden paths – grab a printed copy to take along with you as you walk. Pause for private, reflective moments on one of the cozily hidden garden benches. And, if you’re fortunate enough, meet Anthony Hunte himself and enjoy a rum punch while he regales you with stories of the garden’s creation.
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Sunbury Plantation House
Go back in time to experience the life of the island’s early settlers at the 17th-century Sunbury Plantation House. Built by Matthew Chapman, the mansion is a museum with beautiful period pieces and a fascinating collection of horse-drawn carriages. Take a tour to visit all the rooms of what is called “the most stunning Great House in the Caribbean,” as well as the meticulously designed plantation grounds – take note of the walkway and parking area that are crafted from 200-year-old bricks.
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Harrison’s Cave
Take a break from the heat and sun and descend into intriguing Harrison’s Cave. Hop in a convenient tram car and head down into the crystallized, limestone cave with its flowstones, flowing streams, stalactites and stalagmites. For a bit more adventure, sign up for an eco-tour, during which you’ll crawl through some of the cave’s narrow passageways as the early explorers did. The central uplands of the island, where the cave is located, are referred to as “de heart uh Barbados.” While you’re here, you can also visit historic sugarcane plantations and even more uncharted caves.
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Best of Bridgetown
Don’t overlook Barbados’ capital, Bridgetown, with its many historic attractions. It’s fairly easy to just wander about and see several sights at once, including the iconic neo-Gothic Parliament Buildings and National Heroes Square. Across from Parliament, you’ll see the Chamberlain Bridge, with lovely views over the Constitution River. Move inland from the waterfront and find Nidhe Israel Synagogue, St. Michael’s Cathedral and an astonishing 1,000-year-old tree in Queen’s Park. The Garrison Historic Area is home to the George Washington House, the Garrison Tunnels and the Barbados Museum.

Day 2 in Barbados: Beach Day

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You’re in Barbados, so make sure to include a beach day, whether you’re lounging on the sand or getting out on the water on a diving or snorkeling trip or a glass-bottom boat tour. Consider ending the day with a sunset catamaran cruise!
 
The beaches you’ll want to visit include picturesque Carlisle Bay, just on the outskirts of Bridgetown, for its long stretches of sand and turquoise waters. Pebble Beach is also a special one – get there early enough in the morning (read: dawn) and you might see racehorses getting a bath in the surf. Go stand-up paddleboarding at Brownes Beach and Bayshore Beach, or swim in the calm waters. Golden-sand Bottom Bay, on the Atlantic Ocean, is known for its towering palm trees and cliff walls. Lesser known, but staggeringly beautiful, this beach is one of the quietest on the island. Finally, don’t miss white-, slightly pink-sand Crane Beach, also on the Atlantic Coast and surrounded by high walls faces azure waters and an offshore break over the reef.
 
While not a beach, but another fantastic place to gaze out at the ocean, Animal Flower Cave can be found at the northern tip of Barbados. If you’re visiting between February and April, you have a good chance of seeing humpback whales.

Day 3 in Barbados: Off-the-Beaten Path

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St. Lawrence Gap
Catch a ride to this colorful community just 20 minutes from Bridgetown. Known for its restaurants and shops, the town comes alive in the late afternoon and evening. There is generally more going on in the West End, while the East End is mainly hotel accommodations and private homes. Walk along the oceanside walkway to alfresco dining options or stay in town for casual, street-side stool dining. Shop for locally made souvenirs, including handcrafted jewelry and woven baskets.
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Oistin’s Fish Fry
If you’re visiting on a Friday, be sure to include Oistin’s Fish Fry in your plans. Everyone in the village – or so it seems – heads to the waterfront to enjoy freshly caught fish, from swordfish to mahi mahi. There’s reggae and calypso playing, locals mingling and laughing and a festive feast atmosphere.
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St. Nicholas Abbey
Visit this 1650 plantation, one of the few remaining Jacobean homes in the world. Notice the Dutch gables, chimney stacks and coral stone finials. The home has been continuously inhabited since it was built by Benjamin Berringer. Explore the beautiful gardens, overshadowed by ancient mahoganies, as well as the working rum distillery. Learn about the island’s sugaring past and the Bussa slave rebellion of 1816 in the sobering Sugar and Slave museum. And don’t forget to say hi to Baby and Lance, the friendly, salmon-hued cockatoos who reside on the grounds.

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