One of my bucket list goals in life is to visit all the countries and territories that make up the Caribbean (plus Bermuda, even though it is roughly parallel to North Carolina). I think even though I was born and raised in New York, being of Puerto Rican descent has instilled in my blood that being surrounded by turquoise waters is the only way to truly live. I feel so calm and at ease there. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve had more opportunities to explore the Caribbean including the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Honduras, Belize, Mexico, and Barbados. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed all of my trips but I cannot stop gushing about Barbados with everyone I know.
My friend and I visited in January of 2017 and had a fabulous time! Barbados was exactly the trip we were looking for; it was relaxing, filled with yummy food, breathtakingly beautiful waters, and friendly people. Barbados is also up and coming in the tourist department. I had at least three or four people I knew visit in that similar time frame. The flights are still relatively inexpensive and if you go with cheaper accommodations such as AirBnB, you can easily enjoy a week long trip for $400.
The first day we visited we went to dinner at Cafe Luna near Miami/Enterprise Beach. The restaurant is part of a hotel and has a romantic rooftop atmosphere. I must admit, our favorite thing about this restaurant was the extreme attractiveness of its waiters. In fact, multiple TripAdvisor reviewers felt the same! Aside from the eye candy though, the servers were genuinely hospitable and the food was good. It wasn’t our favorite restaurant visit but it was definitely a great first meal. The best thing to come from our visit there was that we met our taxi driver Donavan who was hilarious and friendly and gave us the best food tip we could’ve asked for. In fact, Donavan ended up becoming one of two steady taxi drivers that we used over the course of our trip. Lucky for us, he used WhatsApp as a way to connect with foreign fares so we could contact him as long as we were near wifi (if you’re planning a trip to Barbados and want to meet Donavan, comment me for his information and I’ll be sure to share it!).
I should mention that I was lucky when I was planning this trip because at the time I worked with a bunch of Bajans and they all gave me insight as to what were must-sees during our trip. One of the first suggestions was Accra Beach.
So, when we woke up that first day, Accra was first on the agenda. We were staying in Oistins and were a bit confused on how to get there via public transportation so our host’s next door neighbor offered to give us a ride. While he took us to our destination, he said a lot of people argue about whether or not Accra Beach is better than Brownes Beach or vice versa. He was partial to Brownes and promised if we went there we would feel the same. His enthusiasm was infectious so we decided we’d check it out later on during our trip. He dropped us off (didn’t charge us!) and sent us on our way to enjoy the day.
Accra was stunning.
I felt like I was in heaven staring at these turquoise waters. The sand is soft like talcum powder, the waves weren’t too overwhelming, and the temperature was perfectly refreshing. We ate at a little restaurant on the beach with some banging fish cakes and delicious rum mango smoothies. Accra had umbrellas and chairs to rent if that’s your wish but we just laid out on our towels and enjoyed a traditional rum punch out of some coconuts. Accra is definitely a must-see when visiting Barbados.
Welches Beach and Oistins Fish Fry
For our second day, we decided to stay closer to Oistins because of the famous Oistins Fish Fry. Literally every Bajan we spoke to told us that we should visit the fish fry specifically on Friday night when they blast music and have a little concert. So, we hopped on the bus and went to Welches which is located next to the fish fry.
If you want a chill spot to go to, Welches is the place to go. It is a public beach but there aren’t any hotels located along its strip so it is practically deserted. We were there from lunchtime until about 630 in the evening and only came across five other people! There is little shade so do be careful not to get burned like we did.
After spending our blissful day in those relaxing waves, we walked back over to the fish fry and chose a random kiosk. TripAdvisor recommended getting there by 7pm and I’d agree. In fact, I’d say get there by 630pm because not only are you trying to avoid waiting to be seated, but you also end up waiting about 45 minutes for your food to be cooked fresh. The fish is definitely worth the wait and it’s a great, fun atmosphere to be in.
The Boatyard at Brownes Beach
Finally, it was time to check out Brownes Beach and decide if it was better than Accra or not. Our host suggested visiting The Boatyard, which is a major shore excursion for cruise guests to visit, because they provided umbrellas and chairs plus a trip to snorkel with sea turtles, and some food and drink with their admittance fee.
The Boatyard was definitely a fun experience. Unfortunately, we only caught sight of one sea turtle as we were approaching the snorkeling area but since no extra money was spent on the excursion, it didn’t feel like a complete loss. They blasted fun music at The Boatyard throughout the day and even poured shots in the guests’ mouths as the bartender walked back and forth on the bar. The best part for me though was the food. You know my foodie self is always thinking about the food. It was actually a really yummy food experience for such a touristy location. The fish cakes were the best here because their fish to dough ratio was almost perfect. They also had coconut chicken that was bomb.com and actually influenced me to want to go back to The Boatyard again the next day! Overall, The Boatyard is definitely a great spot to checkout. Plus, you’re really close to the capital of Bridgetown so it’s convenient to explore the city afterwards or before you make it to the beach.
Our final beach day took us to a popular beach among our Bajan friends called Miami Beach. Do be careful walking here from the main road. If you’re looking at it from google maps it looks like Oistins Rd forks and if you stick to the right, you’ll walk down Enterprise Beach Rd and be right there; as a pedestrian it looks quite different. The road is blocked off with old time canons and has the vibe of some back alley. I promise though, a two minute walk gets you to the beach much faster than taking an actual, open road. When you get there, there is an immediate peace and calm that comes over you as you lay eyes on this little lagoon type of area.
Miami Beach is phenomenally breathtaking. You feel as though you’ve found a little oasis. There’s a great big tree where you can set up shop for the day and just gaze out into the blue. The waves are the calmest here. There is a rock outcropping to the left of the pictured photo and if you walk around to the other side you see a long stretch of beach where most of the tourists are located. Hands down the lagoon side is better though. The waves are calmer and it is much more picturesque. Do be aware though that as the day goes by, the tide creeps up further along the beach. I ended up losing my shirt to the waves accidentally as we were trying to move to higher ground. Luckily it wasn’t a shirt of any real significance to me. You live and you learn!
Do you remember how I mentioned Donavan giving us the best food tip earlier? Well, if you’re looking to be blown away in the food department, make sure you visit Tapas which is between Oistins and Accra Beach.
Oh. Mah. Gahhh.
First of all, this place is located just along the water so you have a beautiful view of the ocean if you’re eating at sunset. But enough of the view. Our dinner was phenomenal! We had calamari to start which honestly was pretty average. However, dinner was another story. My friend got shrimp alfredo. Now, I don’t typically care for alfredo sauce but when she couldn’t finish her meal, I finished that bad boy and didn’t regret not one bite! As for my meal, I had the parmesean glazed red snapper with basil mash and a spinach and cheese sauce. Beautiful people, I cannot oversell this dish to you. It was phenomenal. The sauce didn’t even taste like spinach or cheese, the basil mash was divine, and so was the snapper. It was all perfectly concocted and well-paired. We could not stop talking about this meal and actually wished we had just gone there again on our last night.
Please do yourself the favor of eating here on your visit.
Mount Gay Rum
On our final day of vacation, we decided to visit the oldest rum distillery in the world, Mount Gay Rum, which began in 1703. I’m not a huge fan of alcohol that tastes like alcohol but I thought it would be different and fun so off we went! Of course, being the foodie that I am, I had to add some food into the equation so we chose the Bajan Buffet Lunch Tour which picks you up from your hotel, shows you a scenic route to the factory, gives you a tour with included rum samples, and ends with a buffet. It was a fun time and ended up being our central location for the obligatory souvenir shopping for the friends and family back home. The tour was quick and interesting. What really made it a good time was our tour guide, Romal, who was hilarious and provided interesting anecdotes about how best to consume and pair the alcohol.
Mount Gay is definitely a nice spot to visit if you’re getting tired of being at the beach everyday.
Our final meal was at Champers which we had discovered that first day at Accra Beach. We noticed a beautiful looking restaurant sitting just on the edge of a cliff overlooking the water. We decided that day that it would be our final meal on the trip.
The atmosphere was similar to Cafe Luna and Tapas. It had that romantic, by the water vibe going on with blue accents that perfectly matched the water outside. The service was a bit inattentive for my liking but others might see it as refreshing to not have a waiter hovering over you. The food was good but honestly just not as memorable as Tapas.
The Winning Beach
So, which beach won the contest between Accra and Brownes?
To be honest, even though we had a ton of fun at Brownes and ended up visiting it a second time, I’d say Accra was the better beach. As much fun as chilling at The Boatyard was, it definitely did have a more touristy vibe. The waves were also slightly harsher than at Accra.
However. Despite the fact that Accra wins between the two, my favorite Bajan beach would have to be the Miami Beach oasis that I discovered. That visit brought the exact calm that I was hoping to find on that trip.
Well, there you have it! Enjoying the Bajan dream is attainable and well worth it. I hope you take the opportunity to visit Barbados soon and see why I fell in love so hard with this island beauty.
Ms. Curvy ❤