5 Best Adventure Activities in Barbados

Royal Westmoreland

If you thought Barbados was just a place to kick back on a glorious beach, sip on an ice-cold rum cocktail and watch the world go by, then think again. While it has everything you need for a luxurious, laid-back holiday, it’s also a place where those with a sense of adventure can get out there and do some amazing things. Whether on land, at sea or in the air, Barbados provides a treasure trove of exciting opportunities, from reef dives to big wave surfing, island safaris to paragliding. Whatever thrills you seek, you’ll find them here.

Island Safaris

Leave the tourists behind and go discover the hidden gems that most visitors to the island never get a chance to see. The Island Safari company take visitors on a tour of some of the most interesting places on Barbados. See stunning, rarely visited beaches and bays, watch the giant barrel waves rolling in across the east coast, travel through the dense forest and see the spectacular flora and fauna, visit historic sites and get the chance to photograph spectacular panoramic views.

This is certainly an adventure that takes you off the beaten track – literally. The tour uses 4×4 jeeps for transport, as some of the tracks it takes you on are off-road and inaccessible to regular tour buses. At times it can be a bit of a bumpy ride but that all adds to the adventure of exploring where few others get to go.

Parasailing and paragliding

If you like to feel the wind beneath your feet, then why not try out a spot of parasailing or paragliding when in Barbados. There are a number of companies that offer off-coast parasailing. Here you are strapped into a parachute and pulled along by a speedboat until the wind catches you and pulls you 250 feet into the air. As you follow the boat around, you’ll get a bird’s eye view of the island and, if the water is particularly clear, you’ll be able to view the reefs on the sea floor, together with all the tropical wildlife that lives there.

For an even bigger adrenaline rush, get in touch with the Barbados Paragliding Association and book yourself a flight that launches off one of the island’s cliffs and takes you soaring high above the island and the sea.

Submarine adventures

There are few holiday destinations you can go to where there’s the opportunity to dive deep beneath the waves in a real submarine so taking the chance to do so when in Barbados could be a once in a lifetime adventure.

The Atlantis is no mini sub, it’s a 48-seater submarine specially designed for cruising underwater environments. Featuring large portholes along each side of the vessel, it offers passengers a unique adventure as you submerge to depths of 50 metres to view the fabulous sea life that lives among the offshore reefs and shipwrecks along the island’s coast.

For even more adventure, why not try the night dive and discover the reef’s rarely seen nocturnal inhabitants and the vivid corals which are lit up by the sub’s high-powered searchlights?

Reef and shipwreck diving

For close encounters of the nautical kind, there’s nothing better than getting in a wetsuit, tanking up and diving into the deep blue. The calm waters off Barbados’ west coast are perfect for diving and are home to some truly magnificent sea life such as brightly coloured corals and tropical fish, clever octopuses, magical seahorses and curious turtles. Barbados also has a number of interesting shipwrecks to explore, some of which were scuttled deliberately to help form new reefs.

Whether you fancy seeing the reefs, the shipwrecks or both, it’s advisable when diving in unfamiliar waters to go as part of an organised trip and you’ll find a number of registered diving operators in and around Carlisle Bay. Don’t forget to take an underwater camera, you never know what fantastic things you’ll see.

Taking on the surf

The south and east coasts of Barbados are superb places to go if you want to catch the surf. For beginners, the gentler surfing waves can be found along the south of the island. If you’re a keen surfer, adventure awaits at the town of Bathsheba on the east coast, where you’ll find the island’s famous Soup Bowl.

Here you can pit your wits against the large and powerful barrel waves that are formed by the mighty Atlantic as it pounds the shore. This is not the place for beginners, the currents are strong and you’ll need to be an excellent swimmer and surfer to take to the water. Indeed, it’s the challenge of riding these exhilarating right-hand, barrelling reef waves that attracts the world’s top surfers year after year.

Summing up

If you know where to look, you’ll find that Barbados is a little island that offers big adventures. Yes, it has a reputation for luxurious villas, stunning restaurants and first-class pampering but if you’re wanting something a tad more thrilling to enrich your holiday, you’ll find we have that in abundance too.

If you are looking for exceptional accommodation for your Barbadian holiday, take a look at the luxury villas and apartments here at the Royal Westmoreland.