The Caribbean is a complex place. The islands are home to diverse landscapes and unique cultures; there are tropical rainforests, sprawling savanna, café lined cobblestoned streets, and huge Hindu Murtis.
To the average visitor however, the landscape and culture of the Caribbean comes down to just two things; The Beach, and Rum.
Drinking rum cocktails on a beautiful beach is sometimes seen as the quintessential way to spend time in the Caribbean. If this is your idea of an ideal Caribbean visit, Barbados might be your perfect Caribbean destination.
Three Days in Barbados offers ample opportunities to drink rum, visit beaches and do so much more.
THREE DAYS IN BARBADOS – DAY ONE
These are golden fritters made with salted fish that are served in a cross between a hamburger bun and dinner roll called “hops bread”.
The many cafes around Bridgetown all serve fishcakes, and it’s easy to ask a local and get a solid recommendation.
While in Bridgetown, exploring the city is a great idea; Not only is there a wide variety of duty-free shopping options, but the whole of Bridgetown and its Garrison is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
From George Washington’s house to the east all the way to the market in the west is practically a walking tour that educates on three centuries of architectural testimony to Great Britain’s Atlantic Colonial Empire.
In the western outskirts of Bridgetown, is the Mount Gay Distilleries Visitors Center. While other Caribbean islands have rum distilleries, Barbados is unique in having the distinction of being the birthplace of rum, and Mount Gay is the oldest commercial rum distillery in the world. It’s also one of the oldest continually operating distilleries in the Western Hemisphere.
Their Signature Rum Tasting allows you to understand their rum-making traditions and then sample a selection of their signature rums like Mount Gay Black Barrel and Mount Gay XO.
The optional cocktail workshop goes one step further and allows all participants to experiment with creating cocktails in a friendly competition.
With a new appreciation for rum cocktails, and maybe even some rum from the Gift Shop in hand, it’s the perfect time and place to drink some rum on the beach!
Brownes Beach and Pebbles Beach are both nearby. They’re calm, clear and ideal for winding down with a Black Barrel Rum Punch or cold 10 Saints Beer. As the sun sets and the air gets cool; The only sounds are the soft rumble of the sea, and pulsating soca music from Harbour Lights.
Three Days in Barbados – Day 2
An early start on the second day in Barbados gives you the chance to see a sunrise on the Caribbean’s most eastward stretch of coastline. The eastern beaches are a hotspot for adrenaline junkies.
Bathsheba is open to the trade winds and intense waves and is possibly the most popular surfing spots on the island, while near Crane Beach there is a series of rocks where you can take a plunge into the beautiful turquoise Ocean.
Near these beaches are some of the most crowded bars on the islands, but skip them for now and head to the Foursquare Rum Distillery. Their self-guided distillery tour allows you to get acquainted with the equipment used to make rum; from the copper pot still, to the huge fermentation tanks. The air is filled with the rich, sweet smell of fermenting molasses, and the spicy and fruity nuances of rum maturing in nearby oak casks.
Like almost all other Caribbean Rum Producers, Foursquare typically uses bourbon barrels to age their rum, but they have become famous for their exceptional cask series of Premium Rum. These high end releases make use of interesting casks that previously held exotic old world wine and spirits like Port, Cognac, or Madeira wine.
After the tour you can sample their entire range of rums; from local favorites like E.S.A. Fields White Rum and Old Brigand all the way to Foursquare Exceptional Cask releases like Dominus and Premise.
After a round of intense rum sampling from over ten bottles, junk food is the perfect next step. Luckily Barbados is home to one of the most unique fast food chains in the Caribbean.
Look out for the purple and yellow sign for Chefette Restaurant; a locally owned franchise that features extremely diverse choices of fast food fare.
There are fried chicken combos, burgers, pizza, and most impressively a wrap with curried meat and potatoes called a roti. They offer a wide range of desserts as well, but a rum based digestif might be a better option.
Most cocktail bars in Barbados focus less on craft cocktails and instead churn out concoctions loaded with grenadine, Malibu, and pineapple juice. Luckily, the less touristic eastern Parishes like Saint Joseph and Saint John have quite a few traditional rum shops; laid back establishments where the locals drink rum and play dominoes.
A bartender at a rum shop would be impressed if you ask for a traditional rum drink like the Barbadian swizzle or the Corn and Oil. He would also be more than happy to share his version of a classic Bajan Rum Punch.
This is a great place to relax with some drinks into the night, but both Holetown and Saint Lawrence Gap have trendier nightlife spots and provide better options for bar hopping.
Wherever you decide to hang out; A rum barrel sign for 10 Saints Beer is a good indicator that you’re spending the second night in Barbados at a great spot since it means that they serve this smooth and robust rum cask aged lager.
Three Days in Barbados – Day 3
Many tour operators offer the chance to swim with turtles in Barbados on morning catamaran cruises. It’s possible to skip the expensive cruise and still get a chance to snorkel with sea turtles.
Simply wait on the shore by Carlisle Bay to see where the boats drop their anchors and then make the short swim towards them.
After swimming with the turtles, there’s time for a quick 10 Saints Beer on the beach before heading North to the more rustic part of Barbados.
Rocky and Hilly, the resemblance of lush North Barbados to the North of England is one of the reasons for the area’s nickname of the Scotland District. The other reason is that the first slaves in Barbados came from Scotland and many of them eventually settled here.
At the Northern corner of Barbados is Animal Flower Cave, an ocean-facing cavern named for the sea anenomes that have made their home in the shallow pools that have been formed on the cave’s coral floors.
Nearby are several different options for spectacular views, from the cliffs close to Animal Flower Cave or nearby Cherry Tree Hill with its grassy gullies, rolling hills, and two important historic land-marks.
Morgan Lewis Windmill is one of two restored and functional windmills in the Caribbean, and the only one in Barbados.
The Windmill is on the grounds of Saint Nicholas Abbey, a mansion that was originally built on 1658. A tour of the great house offers you the chance to learn about its rich history, explore the premises, and sample some of their small batch rum that’s made in a pot still with estate grown sugar cane.
There’s even a steam train tour that takes visitors through the plantation’s cane fields, the nearby mahogany woods, and then the highlands of Cherry Tree Hill.
While heading back to the south of the island, Speightstown and Holetown are worth stopping for some relaxation and a refreshing 10 Saints Beer before dinner. Both offer some relaxing views of a sunset across the water, and even some dining spots that are popular with locals.
To end the perfect three days in Barbados is the ultimate Bajan Dining Experience, and the number one thing that should be on your Barbados Bucket List; The Oistins Fish Fry. It’s essentially a pop-up street food festival that takes an entire week of preparation.
Crisp deep-fried flying-fish is the highlight of the night, and it’s served with fries, cole slaw, and macaroni pie. Other options include deep fried octopus, grilled mahi-mahi and even some offerings that aren’t seafood.
All vendors also sell rum punch and cutters late into the night, the atmosphere is electric, and the nearby jetty is actually a cool place to relax if you want to step away from the action for a short spell. Oistins is the perfect place to relax and reminisce on an epic three days in Barbados.
Visiting Barbados was done in collaboration with 10 Saints Beer, a lager beer aged in rum casks that’s perfect for relaxing on the beach on the island where rum was invented.