Hidden Barbados: Beaches You Must Visit
With pristine, white-sand beaches, gently swaying palms and beautiful, take-your-breath-away turquoise water, it’s no surprise that 25 million people set their sights on a Caribbean getaway each year. Problem is, with so many tourists flocking to virtually every island, things have gotten a little crowded.
In Barbados, you don’t have to fight the crowds for a small section of the beach, nor must you be subjected to the goings-on of the people who plopped down right next to you. The island’s miles of sun-kissed coastline boast uncrowded, virgin beaches where you really can get away from it all.
Foul Bay Beach
Tucked in on Barbados’ southeast coast is Foul Bay. The name is a misnomer, as there is nothing at all foul about this gorgeous and lightly used beach. White sand and palm trees are set against rugged cliffs, providing great photo opportunities from both above and below. Tables, benches and plenty of shade also make it a perfect place for a picnic. Bring your own food, as there are no beach bars, shops or hotels nearby, but there are showers and restroom facilities. Swimming at Foul Bay Beach is not recommended because of the large waves and undercurrents. However, it is an attractive spot for boogie boarders and body surfers. Go during a weekday and you’ll have the place practically to yourself.
Bottom Bay Beach
When a beach is featured on postcards and ads for Barbados aimed at the U.S. market, it must have something going for it. Bottom Bay Beach is near the easternmost point of the island. Cliffs, palm trees and hidden caves give it a distinct desert-island feel. A remote cove is the perfect place for weekday isolation-seekers; weekends can see a little more tourist action. There are no public facilities, shops or restaurants. The wind and waves can be quite strong, so swimming can be risky, but it’s a great place for wind and kite surfers.
Just north of Foul Bay on the island’s southeast coast is another hidden gem, Crane Beach. With dramatic cliffs, pink-hued soft sand and clear ultramarine water lapping at the shore, it’s hard to imagine a more beautiful place in all of the Caribbean. Plus, it’s safe to swim and snorkel here, and a coral reef creates a barrier from the open ocean. Despite a nearby hotel, it’s generally uncrowded. Crane Beach has shown up on several “best Caribbean beaches” lists over the years.
Batts Rock Beach
Just a few minutes north of Bridgetown on Barbados’ West Coast is the beautiful, family-friendly Batts Rock Beach. The beach is actually part of a park, and there are picnic benches, restrooms, shower and changing facilities, as well as a drink machine and small playground. Bring what you need as there are no food or drink vendors. Its location on the island’s Caribbean side makes this beach great for swimming. There’s also fascinating snorkeling among the corals and rocks on the sea floor. Keep an eye out for Barbados green monkeys scurrying about the trees.
Paynes Bay Beach
If the desert-island feel is a bit too extreme but you still want to avoid the overcrowded, tourist-packed beaches, Paynes Bay Beach is just for you. The guarded beach has showers, restrooms and places to get food and drinks. On the island’s West Coast, the water of Paynes Bay is warm, calm and clear. Water equipment such as kayaks, Hobie cats and jet skis are available for rent.
Freights Bay Beach
On the southern coast of Barbados (facing west) is the small, sheltered Freights Bay. The rocky shoreline is not the best for swimming, but at low tide, it’s possible to take a dip in one of the natural rock pools. There are no amenities or facilities at Freights Bay. Still, it’s worth a visit for the view from the top of the cliffs, gorgeous sunsets and turtle sightings. The beach is practically empty on weekdays, but you may encounter small gatherings of surfers on during weekends and evenings.
Ginger Bay Beach
Carved out of the Atlantic coastline just north of Crane Bay is secluded and splendid Ginger Bay. Pink-white sand, palm trees and crystal-clear water make it an ideal place to stroll the beach, and you might even find a few fossils in the rocks. The waves are moderate but there is lots of undertow, so swimmers should proceed with caution. Ginger Bay is all but empty on weekdays, weekends — pretty much all the time.