Hello from the Caribbean island beaches of Barbados!
Sometime back in July last year, Barbados became one of the first countries to start offering a visa for “digital nomads” amidst the chaos of COVID. I have dreamed of living in the Caribbean for many years, so the day they started accepting applications, you can bet mine was one of the first in.
We finally made it to Barbados in November last year after a couple stressful weeks of trying to arrange COVID tests on a 3 day timeline along with getting a health export certificate secured for my pup. Quarantine was a breeze (especially compared to New Zealand). Sadly, we only had a month and a half to settle in and before getting hit with lockdown in January. That put island exploration on a hold for a while, as the beaches were closed for all but 3 hours a day. Additionally, not having a car here made that time window just about impossible.
Thankfully, restrictions started easing up in April and we’re finally getting back to exploring! With that said, I thought I might write an update and share a few photos and highlights from all the west coast beaches of Barbados that we’ve visited so far.
1. Brandons Beach & Brighton Beach
The newest additions to our list are these two beaches. I had to run an errand in Bridgetown (the island’s capital), so we decided to explore a new beach nearby. We walked in on the south side, which is Brandons Beach. There was hardly anyone there and the water was peacefully calm. Rascal’s Water Park sits in the middle of the bay. Apparently it’s a new feature as of November 2020 and is the largest water park in the Caribbean. The sand stretches for a literal mile, and we walked up to the point that it turns into Brighton Beach.
2. Brownes Beach
We discovered Brownes Beach while exploring around Bridgetown (capital of Barbados) after running a different errand! Unfortunately, we had to dash for shelter 10 minutes after stepping on the sand as the weather was not on our side that day. Notable features of Brownes Beach were a few palm trees (which I have found to be surprisingly sparse on the actual beaches!) and a pier. There was also a small group of people riding horses through the water – something I have yet to check off the bucket list! The beach was amazingly clean and the sand was an ever so subtle pink.
3. Colony Club Beach
One of the few beaches within “walking distance” from us (albeit a loose consideration of walking distance since it’s an hour+ away). I also haven’t quite figured out if the public is supposed to have access to it. It seems like part of a hotel, but we’ve been more than once and no one has tried to stop us yet. The beach is typically a little more crowded than the others above and the water wasn’t quite as calm, either. But hey – how much complaining can you do at a Caribbean beach?
4. Folkestone Marine Park
This beach was definitely the most crowded we’ve been to so far. To be fair, it’s understandable since there’s a huge area for snorkeling and diving at the park. It’s also very convenient to Holetown, with many little boutique shops and restaurants within walking distance.
5. Heywoods Beach
Without a doubt, this is the most photogenic beach we’ve been to so far. Tucked back behind an upscale yacht club, you can watch with envy as the luxury liners go in and out. The water is what everyone pictures for a tranquil tropical paradise, and the nearby Pier One restaurant is definitely another perk of this beach.
6. Reeds Bay / Thunder Bay Beach
I’m not sure what this Bay is technically called. It looks like Reeds Bay on the map, but there is a quaint little bar called Thunder Bay Beach Bar in the same spot, so we’ve nicknamed it Thunder Bay Beach. This is another “within walking distance” for us, and has become our go-to weekend beach. Usually a handful of people are out relaxing and enjoying a few drinks at the bar, but never enough bodies to crowd the beach too much. The water is typically calm and it’s simply a lovely and relaxing beach to spend the day at.
7. Rockley Beach
Last but not least! And coincidentally also the first beach we stepped on about ten minutes after we were cleared from quarantine. We got there just in time for a stormy sunset and it poured shortly thereafter, forcing us to take cover with appetizers and drinks at a restaurant on the beach called The Tiki Bar. It was a little pricey and slow for what we got, but we enjoyed the open air atmosphere none-the-less.
We’ve still got a few more beaches to check off on Barbados’ West Coast, but I think we’ve taken in quite a few so far. Now we just need to get on exploring the other three coasts!
What beaches of Barbados have we missed and what are your favorites to explore or relax at?
Leave your comments below!
Planning a trip to Barbados?
Check out more of my photos and information about the beautiful Caribbean Island!