Barbados has a long history
of satisfying visitors and so a wide range of outdoor recreation activities are available.
The warm waters off the coast of Barbados make it an ideal game fishing destination for
Barracuda, Tuna, Wahoo, Dolphin (Dorado), and the Marlin species. The months of January
through April offer particularly ideal fishing when all of the game fish are in full
season. You are likely to catch Blue Marlin, White Marlin, Sailfish, Tuna, Wahoo, Dolphin
(mahi-mahi), and Barracuda. Chartering a boat for either a half day or full day fishing
trip is very easy as there are many charter boats with the majority moored along the
Carenage in Bridgetown. Most charters include drinks,
all tackle and bait.
Barbados is the surfing paradise of the Caribbean. The island's location far out in the
Atlantic Ocean allows waves to travel thousands of kilometers across the sea before
finally unleashing their power over Barbados' coral reefs. Barbados receives waves to surf
from all directions thus providing for unlimited surfing conditions all over. The number 1
surfing location in Barbados is the internationally recognised Soup Bowl in Bathsheba. All
over the island however there are beaches suited to surfing, from Brandons Beach near
Bridgetown to Accra Beach. South Point Beach has a fairly powerful and clean wave while
the shorebreak at Inchcape on Silver Sands Beach seems to break 365 days a year. For those
who do not know how to surf but want to learn while on vacation, Barbados has many surfing
shops to provide instruction. You can learn more about surfing in Barbados by visiting our
Barbados Surfing Page.
Windsurfing & Kite Surfing
If a recreational activity has surfing in its name then it is done in Barbados. Both
wind and kite surfing are popular forms of recreation in Barbados. November to July is the
best time for these sports as the Trade Winds blow consistently. Equipment can be rented
from the many surf shops.
Scuba Diving & Snorkeling
Barbados has a multi-faceted underwater world that will enchant anyone who is looking
for underwater recreation. The crystal clear waters off the white sand beaches of Barbados
are perfect for snorkeling and scuba diving, with visibility between 80 to 100 feet for
most of the year. There are barrier reefs located between a half mile and two miles off
shore with large coral heads that will excite the scuba diving enthusiast. The calm waters
along the western coastline are perfect for snorkeling and there are fringing reefs with
abundant plant life of sea fans and barrel sponges plus Sea Horses, Frog Fish, Giant Sand
Eels and many other marine creatures. Barbados has numerous ship wrecks and several
excellent sites for wreck diving. Carlisle Bay, with 200 reported wrecks, and the
Stavronikita, located at Folkestone Marine Park, are two of the most popular sites.
Barbados has several dive shops handling from the beginner to the advanced scuba diver.
Diving certificates can be had, ranging from one day resort courses to a full instructor's
course. If you're bringing your own equipment there are service areas to handle
replenishment of air. There is also a decompression chamber available. You
can learn more about the snorkeling areas in our article
Snorkeling and Scuba in Barbados.
Watersports are a major form of recreational activity in Barbados and as such there are
numerous watersports shops. You can easily rent kayaks that will allow you to glide over
colourful coral reefs and see the enchanting marine life.
Jet Skis are available for rent from most bays, beaches and coves around Barbados.
Rentals are usually in 30 minute increments and prices will vary in and out of season. All
reputable operators will provide appropriate life vests and comprehensive instruction for
There are several yachts and catamarans available for charters in Barbados. You can
join a scheduled cruise or customise your own personal sailing tour. Boat cruises around
the island are popular as well as guided sailing tours down the scenic West Coast of
Barbados. You can choose to relax on board a catamaran and watch the beautiful coastline
of Barbados slip by, then drop anchor in a quiet bay for a swim in the crystal clear
waters, followed by lunch or you can join on a party boat and dance to the sound of
calypso while sipping rum punch.
Although the island does not have a high number of resident species, there is much to
interest a birder in Barbados; over 230 species have been recorded. The island has scored
some notable firsts for the Americas e.g. Garganey, Black-headed Gull, Little Bittern,
Alpine Swift, Collared Pratincole, Whiskered Tern, Common Cuckoo, Little Egret. Currently
Barbados is the only place in Western Hemisphere where Little Egret is known to breed.
The best location for bird watching is the Graeme
Hall Nature Sanctuary which, is home for up to 40 resident / seasonally resident bird
species in addition to the migratory species that visit. This sanctuary is the location of
the first known nesting site in the Americas for the Little Egret (Egretta garzetta). Designed
around a 10 acre mangrove lined lake, the sanctuary is perfect for viewing birds. There is
a wooden boardwalk that weaves its way around portions of the lake and around various
Bicycling is a great form of outdoor recreation and often enables you to see things
that you would not normally see while in a car. In Barbados you can arrange private
mountain-biking tours with experienced guides or rent a bike and cycle through quiet
country lanes framed by lush tropical vegetation.
Many of the resorts and large hotels have tennis courts that you can rent. In addition
at Folkestone Park outside Holetown there is a free tennis court that operates on a first
come first served basis. There are also public tennis courts at the Sir Garfield Sobers
Sports Complex in St Michael which must be reserved beforehand.
The Kendal Sporting Club in St Phillip offers Clay target shooting and is open to the
public. There is also a 10 metre indoor pistol range and a 30 meter outdoor pistol range.
The club supplies all required equipment including weapons and ammunition. There is a bar
and restaurant for relaxing afterwards.
The Archery club is located at The Kendal Sporting Club and allows you to experience
archery in peaceful surroundings. With a range of distances from 5m to 90m, beginners and
advanced archers alike can have a great time while learning or honing their skills.
Excellent club equipment is available, including: Recurve bows, carbon fibre arrows, and
The Kendal Sporting Club offers paintball on a 120ft X 180ft speedball field. Obstacles
and bunkers on this field make things interesting offering sufficient cover for many
strategic options during game play. Essential facemasks are provided and for added
protection, optional chest/ back protectors and gloves are available. Reservations are
There are several stables in Barbados that offer horseback riding to visitors, with
helmet rental usually included in the price. These