Barbados has so much to offer to the traveler. Among these are the opportunities to snorkel. Wherever you do end up staying in Barbados, you will find that the snorkeling is exceptional, with perfect water temperatures of rarely under 79 degrees and around 60 feet of visibility.
Checking out a map of Barbados you will find it on the farthest east in the Caribbean islands. The island has 60 miles of coastline and is the beach lover’s paradise. Due to its position in the Caribbean its tides never fluctuate wildly and the waves are always calm and welcoming.
When visiting the beautiful island, the first thing that comes to mind is that it has been a well-kept secret forever. Anywhere on the island that you stay, you are never far from the beach. Some beaches have a bit of coral at first while others allow you to walk right out to your snorkeling spot.
The beaches that have the coral at the shoreline can best be accessed from a boat, but be assured that the difficulty getting to certain areas is rewarding because the sea life seems less inhibited and you may end up swimming alongside a sea turtle or get caught up in a school of beautiful tropical fish.
The visibility of the water not only offers great views but vivid colors pop out in a bright display. You may feel a bit like you are swimming in a salt water aquarium at your favorite pet store.
Where To Stay
Only a few years ago, major airport hubs opened up straight through flights directly into Sir Grantley Adams International Airport in Bridgetown. If you’re staying on the west coast you will be able to visit Brighton, Holetown and Mullins Bay, this area is all just a short drive from the airport in Bridgetown.
It is also quickly becoming the spot for cruise ships to dock. Bridgetown has a very deep water harbor and accommodates vessels of all sizes nicely. Since Bridgetown is the capital, it has an extensive bus system that is available during the day and the early parts of the evening. Traveling to any part of Barbados is not a problem and lends itself to a feeling of coming home.
Heading from Bridgetown north, up the coast, you will see Carlisle Bay, this is a spot to be to catch tours for snorkeling or diving. They also offer many party boats that leave Carlisle Bay and travel around the island, some returning in time for a sunset dinner cruise. Or enjoy the famous Oistins Fish Fry event in the city of Oistins, just east of Bridgetown.
From Speightstown, past Holetown, all the way to Bridgetown is a lively tourist area that is considered the Platinum Coast. This area of sugary white sandy beaches, some even have pink sand beaches, make this side of the island desirable for snorkeling and beach combing, and passing the beautiful day away on the beach.
This entire length of the west coast is home to pristine beaches and crystalline turquoise waters. Other beaches not to be missed are Sandy Lane, Paynes Bay, and Batts Rock all famous for their snorkeling.
Some other snorkeling sites are Carlisle Bay, here you can spot sunken cannons, anchors and shipwrecks all within the depth of a snorkeler’s dive. St. Michael’s Cathedral is within walking distance if you want to absorb some of the histories of Barbados.
At Brighton Beach, considered one the best places to snorkel in all of Barbados, you will be treated to swimming with sea turtles, juvenile sea turtles if the time of year is right. Also, sea urchins and coral reefs are the perfect habitats for most the most engaging snorkeling around.
Near Holetown, the northwest part of the island, you will find Folkstone. A marine park and museum, Folkstone is one of the most popular outdoor tourist attractions. The calm waters in the park protect the artificial reef made naturally over time from a sunken shipwreck. Another spot not to miss is Harrison’s Cave, which are caves made of crystallized limestone that serpentines around for a truly remarkable experience. Harrison’s Cove also has a river and waterfall to add a bit of mystery to the feeling of the caves.
Beaches To The South East
Welches Beach called, the windows to the sea, is surrounded by the nearby cities of Dover, Maxwell, Miami beaches, and Oistins the home of the Oistins Fish Fry. Crane Beach is the vision most people have of the dream beach. Home to white sandy beaches and palm trees surrounding the beach for miles. Unlike the beaches on the West Coast which have the Mangrove trees.
After Snorkeling Nightlife
When the sun goes down the fascination with Barbados will not slow down any. Restaurants of both mom and pop and major chain varieties can be found around Oistins to Bridgetown. The Boatyard is the collection of an internet cafe, bar and restaurants, and shopping. Dine by the ocean at many of the restaurants that are seaside, or book a sunset dinner cruise out of Bridgetown.
Some favorite restaurants are the Golden Apple Cafe with an eclectic menu, also try the Muscovado Restaurant and the Coffee Bean Hastings. Just walking down the street or traveling up the coast, you will find no shortage of small hole in the wall fish stands. The local delicacy is flying fish, although after you see these adorable fish flying along on the side of your boat, you may not want to gobble them up in a fish fry platter.
Something you may not have realized is that Barbados is home to casinos. The Lucky Horseshoe Saloon Warrens, near Christ Church Parish in Bridgetown, you can try your hand at the slots or the gaming tables or just enjoy a delicious dinner. Or head to D’Fast Lime Arcade is a 24-hour casino with slot machines.
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