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Things to do in Barbados

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What To Do in Barbados

Use this Top 10 list of things to do in Barbados as a guide to have the best Totally Barbados experience.

1. Crop Over Festival
2. Oistins Fish Market
3. Holetown
4. Black Pearl Jolly Roger Cruises
5. Barbados Museum
6. Barbados Museum of Parliament and National Heroes Gallery
7. Barbados Wild Life Reserve
8. Harrison's Cave
9. Welchman Hall Gully
10. Go Catamaran Sailing

1. Crop Over Festival

You have not experienced Barbados until you have experienced the famous Crop Over Festival.

The festival begins in June with the Ceremonial Delivery of the Last Canes, an event in which the last sugar canes of the crop season are blessed and the King and Queen of the crop are celebrated. Crop Over is a party festival with lots of fetes, parties and shows which include but are not limited to: Calypso tents, Cohobblopot (a massive party event where the very best local and regional artistes perform before a very responsive crowd).

Pic-o-de-Crop is another major highlight of Crop Over where the crème de la crème of calypsonians perform social-commentary calypsos and vie for the title of Pic-o-de-Crop Monarch, among many, many more events. All throughout this local festival, you can enjoy various events that are exclusive to Barbados. The Spring Garden highway is transformed into all night street party with lots of Bajan delicacies.

The festival culminates with Grand Kadooment, which is held on the first Monday of August. This takes the form of a large street parade where thousands of revelers masquerade in colorful and well designed costumes depicting various aspects of Barbadian culture.

The parade usually starts at Warrens, St. Michael and ends along the Spring Garden Highway and persons join the ongoing street party where the best of Barbadian Souvenirs and Crafts can enjoy the best of Barbadian culture along the way. The Crop Over Festival is enjoyed by persons from every strata of life.

2. Oistins Fish Market

Oistins is one of the four towns in Barbados and is the largest fishing community. On weekends the streets of Oistins become a food affair where tourists and locals flock to enjoy the very best of local Bajan cuisine prepared on the spot.

At Oistins, one can see many Barbadian fishing boats and during the Easter weekend, one can experience the Oistins Fish Festival which pays homage to those persons who have made a significant contribution to the fishing industry. Some of the activities which take place during the festival are: the climbing of the grease pole, casting the fishing net, dominoes and swimming competitions and much more.

On Friday and Saturday nights many visitors and locals flock to Oistins for the weekly Fish Fry, which allows for tourists to enjoy the very best of local cuisine while taking in the sounds of local music.

3. Holetown

Originally known as Jamestown, Holetown is mainly a historical site, after its benefactor King James I of England, this was the site of the first settlement in Barbados.

Holetown is home to annual Holetown Festival which commemorates the first settlement in Barbados. The festival usually starts late February and lasts for one week.

During this week there are many events to take in some of which include: beauty contests, performances by our local police band and their floodlit tattoo and antique car showcase among many more. The festival culminates with a showcase of local arts and craft, food and music.

4. Black Pearl Jolly Roger 1 Cruise

Black Pearl Jolly Roger Cruises provides a fun-filled adventure on the sea. There is a lot of fun to be had on this cruise as patrons can take a turn on the rope swing, walk the plank or have a swim with the turtles. Those persons who are less adventurous can enjoy a relaxing cruise on the boat which leaves Bridgetown and sails along the west coast of the island. The well-stocked bar is always opened and keeps drinks flowing for the duration of the cruise

5. Visit the Barbados Museum

A visit to the Barbados Museum and Historical Society is a must for everyone! The island's rich history and culture come to life in these fascinating galleries, set in beautiful nineteenth-century buildings. Come and explore Barbadian natural and social history, African heritage, military history, decorative arts, prints and paintings. From special exhibitions to intriguing programmes - there's always something exciting to experience at the Barbados Museum.

6. Barbados Museum of Parliament and National Heroes Gallery

The Barbados Museum of Parliament and National Heroes Gallery invite you to explore the development of democracy in Barbados and the role that the island's people have played in this growth. Both are housed in the historic West Wing of Parliament and offer a combination of traditional exhibits, artistic interpretation and modern interactive museum experience.

7. Barbados Wildlife Reserve

Barbados may not have a zoo, but there is something much better and it is called the Barbados Wildlife Reserve. The wildlife reserve is located in natural mahogany woods in the northern and rural parish of St. Peter.

Here one has the ability to stroll through and see animals in their natural habitats at close range as there are very few cages. Patrons can observe the animals as they eat, play and interact with other animals.

There is a wide variety of animals that can be seen at the reserve. There are birds such as flamingos, parrots, pelicans and peacocks. The Barbadian green monkeys are common sights and are seen especially at afternoon around their feeding time.

The reptile lover will enjoy the collection of snakes, which are en-caged, caimans among others. Other animals which can be seen include Brocket deer, agoutis and armadillos. The Barbados Wildlife Reserve is a great attraction for the entire family, especially for children who have an excellent time here.

8. Harrison's Cave

Located in the central parish of St. Thomas, Harrison's Cave is one of the greatest wonders of Barbados. The cave is a wonderful display of stalactites and stalagmites, streams of crystal clear water running through.

The stalactites and stalagmites were formed over many years and some have even joined to create pillars. Visitors are transported in electrically powered trams through the cave network and at certain points they are allowed to disembark and walk along a stunning waterfall.

Well trained and friendly tour guides provide historical and geographical information about the cave along the way. The visitor's centre was designed to blend in with the natural limestone landscape, provides refreshments and showcases a wide variety of handicraft and artifacts which have been obtained from various sites around the island.

9. Welchman Hall Gully

If you are a lover of nature Welchman Hall Gully, located in the central parish of St. Thomas, is the ideal attraction for you.

The tranquility of the three-quarter mile long gully is striking as it is a mixture of tropical rain-forest with Barbadian and exotic plants as it is home to tropical flora and fauna such as nutmeg, palms, bamboo among others.

Welchman Hall Gully came about as a result of collapsed caves so therefore there is still some evidence of stalactites and stalagmites along your walk through the gully.

The Barbadian Green Monkey is also another common sight in the gully as it provides food, shelter and is a passageway to other gullies for these monkeys.

10. Go Catamaran Sailing

Go Catamaran Sailing and be sure to add this to your list of holiday activities.

Catamarans usually leave from the Careenage in Bridgetown, and the days sailing kicks off usually between 9am and 10am.

From Bridgetown the catamarans usually sail northwards along the west coast, for the first half an hour; you may be thinking that you have made a terrible mistake as the boat bobs up and down on the choppy waters surrounding the harbor - however as soon as they hoist up the sails, it becomes very calm on the boat and you can then relax and enjoy seeing the beautiful island of Barbados from the water.

» Things Bajans Enjoy Doing on the Weekends

» Top 10 Things to Experience in Barbados

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