Barbados holidays are rich in cultural and visual treats, from the pristine underwater world, to the lush hillsides, historic churches, spectacular plantations and of course beaches.
Barbados is a great island for holidaying with kids. Safe beaches particularly along the west coast, and numerous activities and attractions make for a holiday the whole family can enjoy. Submarine trips, wildlife reserves, nature sanctuaries, horseback riding, and water sports including snorkeling, kayaking, and swimming lessons are all available.
Some hotels offer Kids’ Club facilities, allowing parents to spend time alone without worrying, and it’s easy to find babysitters for about $20.00BDS ($10.00US) per hour, plus transport home.
The following 5 Barbados attractions are great for both adults and children. Make sure that children are well protected from the sun and heat and you will all enjoy a great time
1 Barbados Wildlife Reserve
Entering through the gates of the Barbados Wildlife Reserve you find yourself in a mahogany forest filled with Green Monkeys, ducks, turtles, tortoises, peacocks, otters, raccoons, agouti, deer, macaws, porcupines, flamingos, parrots and pythons. With over one mile (2km) of trails winding through the forest a trip through the reserve is a journey of discovery and wonder.
All the animals, except the pythons and parrots, roam freely throughout the forest. The animals are in their natural environment so, unlike a zoo, you have the unique opportunity of seeing them behave naturally, without bars between you.
Brought to the island from Africa in the late 17th century, the Green Monkeys are one of the biggest attractions at the reserve. The best time to see them is late afternoon when they come out to feed.
There is an exotic orchid collection, and an iguana sanctuary, a walk-in aviary, and an information centre where you can learn about the animals’ habitats and history.
There are plenty of places to sit and rest, and just watch the animals, and a cafe and shop on site where you can buy a snack and cold drink, which you may need, as it can get quite hot.
The entrance fee to the Wildlife Reserve includes admission to the adjoining Grenade Hall Forest and Signal Station, so be sure to visit once you’ve completed your tour of the reserve.
Phone 246 422 8826
2 Grenade Hall Forest & Signal Station
Built in the 1800s, the signal station, one of six towers erected at strategic points around the island. Restored to its original state, the interior of the tower now houses a series of exhibitions and historic artifacts.
Grenade Hall Forest encompasses a coral stone pathway with educational resources along the way that provide an opportunity to learn about, and appreciate, the natural environment.
Phone 246 422 8826
3 Harbour Master Cruise
The MV Harbour Master is described as “floating entertainment centre”. The Bajan Village Life Lunch Cruise recreates the spirit of Barbados with crew members dressed as historical characters providing the entertainment.
At the beach stop kids can swim, or snorkel on the reef, or for daredevils there is a 70ft water slide. On the return trip there is a live calypso band for dancing and entertainment.
Phone 246 430 0900
4 Harrison’s Cave
This spectacular cave, located in the parish of St. Thomas is a must see on any Barbados holiday.
The tour starts with an audio-visual show documenting the geological history of Barbados, and the wonders of the cave.
After the show you board a tram for a spectacular journey through vast caverns, with waterfalls thundering over ledges into crystal-clear pools, and thousands of stalactites and stalagmites.
Phone 246 438 6640
5 Swim With The Turtles
Swimming with turtles is an amazing experience for both adults and children and will certainly be a highlight of your holiday. Barbados is home to a large population of hawksbill and leatherback turtles. Once endangered by over-fishing, these great creatures are now protected and monitored throughout the island.
Turtles are sociable and tend to stay in the same area, following a steady routine. They can be seen playing and feeding along the inshore reefs. In some areas, they are relatively tame, and have become accustomed to humans. You can swim with them as they feed amongst the coral. A good way to do this is with a sailboat tour and snorkeling picnic.
A holiday in Barbados is great with or without kids. The island is rich in history; home to more good restaurants than you could cover in a month, has enough sports and activities to keep the whole family busy, and has some of the friendliest people in the entire Caribbean.
For more activities see the article “Barbados Holidays With Kids – More Things To Do”