Retired Toddlers in Barbados for a multi-generational family trip!
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We traveled through Barbados for two weeks in October - with our toddlers and their grandparents! We found some really unique experiences in Barbados and tons of activities that were perfect for traveling with kids, but that us adults enjoyed just as much! A great multi-generational trip!
The Best Activities in Barbados with Kids
PEG Farm & Nature Reserve
We feel like this is a hidden gem. It's a newer farm on Barbados that focuses on biodynamic farming practices. The owner started the farm after battling health issues and turned this land into an amazing place to walk/hike/learn/breathe/taste/see -- the place has it all. We did a walking tour that was a couple hours long, but they offer many options depending on your needs. From the hike down the ravine, to the views from the top, to the animals loving their free range, to the super knowledgeable and interesting herbalist that let us taste test (a favorite pastime for my kiddos) his herb garden -- oh we just loved it here. And then to top it off, they offered a snack in their beautiful lanai with gorgeous views, nice breezes, and fresh mint water to wash it down. This gem is a must!
Calabaza Catamaran Sailing Cruise
We went on the lunch cruise and loved every minute. The food was delicious, the service was spectacular and cruising on a catamaran was luxurious. Especially because they max out at 12 guests. They welcomed us onboard with warm banana bread and fresh fruit...and anything you'd like to drink. As we cruised the open waters, they served some tapas (the fish cakes were delicious). We then stopped to swim with the sea turtles.
To be honest, the sea turtle stop was a bit crowded with other boats. But it did make us appreciate the small, luxurious feel of Calabaza! Next, we sailed to a snorkel spot over a shipwreck - which was full of beautiful fish and interesting sea life!
Getting back onboard, we relaxed, looking out as flying fish jumped ahead of us... and dropped anchor at a beautiful spot off the coast, where we enjoyed a delicious spread of lunch before hopping back in the water for a brief swim in clear turquoise sea.
There is nothing quite like sailing on a Catamaran - it's an absolute must in Barbados! And we can absolutely recommend Sail Calabaza!
Oistens Fish Fry Friday Night
We tried Uncle George's & Pat's. We preferred Uncle George's service and food. Both places had huge portions and the prices were the same. The swordfish at Uncle George's was the best I've ever had. And the Flying Fish is a must try - delicious.
TIP: Get there early, especially when you’re traveling with kids. We got there at 6:00 pm (it officially starts at 7:00). It was a lot less crowded and you beat all the tour buses. Then you can stroll the craft stalls afterward.
Take the tram tour. They show you a little movie presentation and then you get on the tram with a tour guide. It's a really fun way to see the caves with kids plus you get off the tram a couple times to walk around. Outside the caves are a couple little shops ... and some wild monkeys!
Driving Tour with Beach Stops
We rented a car and mapped out a drive from Dover Beach to Bathesheba with some stops to get out along the way. Our route was along the coast starting at Dover Beach
--> Cranes Beach We stopped, walked down to see the beach on one side and views of cliffs on the other. Then we dipped our toes in the water, but didn't swim as the currents and waters can be rough.
--> Shark's Hole We had a bit of trouble locating the exact spot to enter, but a local helped us out! The water was a bit rough while we were there, but it's a beautiful cove, sheltered by some rocks. We even went for a brief swim!
--> Bathesheba If you catch the tides right, there are tidal pools there that you can swim in safely with kids; otherwise, the surf and rip tides are too rough. It’s a great place to watch surfers though and the views are incredible!
From Bathesheba, we cut across the middle of the island to make it back to our condo for a late siesta for the kiddos!
Accommodations in Barbados
Where we Stayed: Sapphire Beach Condos on Dover Beach
The condo was beautifully furnished with gorgeous views and wonderful service from Blue Sky Luxury and Rental Escapes. There were 2 pools plus beach access and a very small gym. You can even walk to a lot of shops and restaurants right there in St Lawrence Gap.
The beach was calm most days we were there, which made for great snorkeling with the toddlers. The last few days the waves picked up and made for some surf. I'm sure it is just weather dependent. While we were there three big sea turtles were hanging out in the waters and we saw them every time we went out snorkeling! It's apparently a big nesting area for turtles too, but we didn't see any hatchlings.
Restaurants: We typically seek out health food and local or farm fresh type of restaurants.
We tried the Good Life Cafe and found it to be mediocre (I wanted to love this place so bad!).
We had Sunday Brunch at Ocean Prime, and while the views are gorgeous (right on the beach), the food was just okay.
Our favorite was the Raw Juice Bar - the green Popeye Juice was so yummy, I went back again the next day!
Grocery Stores: We typically shopped at Massey. We tried Fresh Market and didn't find enough to make it worth it (although they had good smoothies and an almond butter press!). Food is expensive in Barbados, relative to US prices (and we typically shop organic at Whole Foods). Expect your grocery bill to be double and you'll probably have a hard time finding exactly what you are used to.
Where to Buy Fresh Fish: We drove up to Six Men's and asked a local to direct us to a chattel house that would sell us fish. (Otherwise, they all appeared closed up.) We ended up with some nice fresh Red Snapper! We also saw that they were selling fresh fish down at St. Lawrence Gap on Tuesday and Friday mornings (though the times & days weren't exactly set in stone). We found if you just ask a local, they'll direct you to the nearest person with a fresh catch!
Interesting Travel Facts about Barbados:
English is the primary spoken language.
Exchange Rate is a set rate 2:1 (BBD$2 to US$1), which makes it easy. US dollars are accepted everywhere, but you will get your change in BBD.
It is ILLEGAL to wear any form of camouflage in Barbados.
Roads are bad. Not the worst. Just really bad. There really aren't great sidewalks either for walking.
Flying Fish is their national specialty - try it, it's delicious!
You CAN drink the water there. (Which to us, is always helpful to know!)
How Much Does it Cost to go to Barbados?
Flights: Roundtrip Fort Lauderdale FLL - Barbados BGI via JetBlue Airlines : we used points + $218
Car Rental: Drive-A-Matic: 8 passenger van for 3 nights $252
Airbnb Rental: 16 nights (this was a little more than we would typically spend, but it is because we gifted a month of travel to my parents for my Dad’s retirement present) $5,962
Other Activities and Food: unknown, Approx $1500 (I don’t have a record of this, but a lot of our time was spent snorkeling at the beach near us!)
Total: Approximately $8,000 for 16 nights
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Michelle is a full-time traveler who also runs a business with Beautycounter.
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Thank you to PEG Farm & Calabaza Sailing for sponsoring us! Of course, all opinions are our own.
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