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Barbados is an Eastern Caribbean island with beautiful beaches and crystal clear waters. It is one of the smallest islands in the Caribbean and Rihanna’s birthplace! Barbados has a flat landscape, unlike many other Caribbean islands, allowing for a constant island breeze. This breeze makes the island an ideal destination year-round! This article will give you the top things to do and see in Barbados in January (my favorite time of year to visit)!
Barbados Weather in January
Barbados’ weather in January is ideal! January is within the dry season and outside of hurricane season, so there is a low chance of rainfall. Any rainfall that does occur is usually refreshing showers/sprinkles that last only a few minutes. The weather during the day hovers around 80 degrees Fahrenheit while the nighttime gets to the low 70s. The humidity is also low, making Barbados the perfect escape from the cold without being stifling or unbearably hot.
Where to Stay?
- Sandy Lane: This five-star resort offers private luxury villas, multiple golf courses, world-class dining options, relaxing spa experiences, and more. Rooms go for over $1,000 a night. However, they are well worth the price!
- The Sandpiper: The Sandpiper is a luxury beachfront five-star hotel offering a variety of rooms and suites starting at around $500 a night. It also has other amenities including a spa, gardens, pools, a gym, golf courses, and more.
- Bougainvillea Barbados: This 4-star hotel offers beautifully furnished studios and suites starting at around $200 a night. It is located along Maxwell beach and has a fitness center, spa, and three outdoor pools.
- The Crane: The Crane rivals the five-star resorts, with suites starting at around $215 a night. It provides guests access to Crane Beach, five outdoor pools, a spa, and a gym.
- Blue Orchids: Blue Orchids is a three-star hotel in Bridgetown with rooms starting at $70 a night. It is located on a white sand beach on the island’s south side and has a pool and fitness center. It is a great budget-friendly option with the basics and necessary amenities!
- South Gap Hotel: With rooms starting at around $100 a night, South Gap Hotel is a fantastic and highly-rated affordable option. The suites have an ocean view, and the hotel is close to many beautiful beaches!
How to Get Around
Rental cars are one of the most popular transportation options, making getting around the island easy. The roads in Barbados are relatively simple, though space can sometimes be narrow, making drivers nervous. There are barely any lights, with most intersections being roundabouts.
Another option is taking smaller public buses or vans. They are a $2 flat fee to get anywhere on the island! However, be vary that they run on island time (which means they don’t run on a set schedule). I also do not recommend taking these as a solo female traveler as they can become highly packed and sometimes feel unsafe. The blue buses, which are a bit bigger and government operated, have a set schedule, though they also rarely run on time.
Top Things to Do in Barbados in January
Visit Miami Beach
Miami beach is one of the best beaches in Barbados, with beautiful white sand and crystal-clear water, even in January! There is a shallow area without waves, perfect for kids or those who don’t like the waves crashing into them. It is also the best place to watch the sunset, which is breathtaking. You can rent beds and umbrellas, and there is plenty of parking. This beach is a must-visit for a relaxing day under the sun and is my favorite in Barbados.
Go to the Boatyard
The Boatyard is a beach club on a beautiful stretch of white sand in Carlisle Bay. It is perfect for both young adults and families. There are beach chairs and umbrellas, a bar full of tropical cocktails, and fun amenities such as ocean trampolines, a rope swing into the ocean, an ocean slide, and boat tours, including snorkeling gear to see shipwrecks and turtles! It is the perfect place to spend the day and keep everyone entertained.
Relax on a Catamaran Ride
A catamaran ride is a fun and relaxing way to spend the day in this ocean paradise. This one on Get Your Guide lasts five hours, including lunch, snorkeling stops with fish and turtles, and an open bar! You can soak up the sun while enjoying the music and atmosphere of the boat!
Oistins Fish Fry
After enjoying the beaches and water during the day, head to Oistins Fish Fry at night for the freshest fish and most delicious food on the island! The area has multiple vendors, and from swordfish to mahi mahi, the fish is cooked right before you! Enjoy the local music, crafts, and more. Go on a Friday for a more lively experience when the market is open until 11 PM!
Visit the Wildlife Reserve
On one of your days, head to the Barbados Wildlife Reserve in the north parish of St. Peter. At the reserve, you can see all the animals that call this place home, including deer, peacocks, snakes, tortoises, and my favorite, the Barbados green monkeys! Plan your trip during afternoon feeding time to see all of the monkeys gathered in one place! The reserve is open from 10 AM – 5 PM daily, and the admission fee is $15 per adult.
Visit the Animal Flower Cave
The animal flower cave is located on the island’s northernmost point and gets its name from the sea anemones in the cave pools. Visitors can swim in the largest rock pool and see out into the ocean from openings in the cave, creating spectacular imagery.
The cave is a natural sea cave that is wet and slippery, so bring sturdy footwear! It is recommended to take a guided tour, which runs daily from 9 AM to 4:30 PM and costs approximately $12.50 per adult.
Bathsheba Beach is a surfer’s paradise on the rugged east coast of Barbados. Visitors can go there to enjoy the beautiful rock formations along the water. Soak in the shallow coastal pools, but be careful if trying to swim at Bathsheba beach. For those who don’t know the waters, enjoying the park and having a picnic while taking in the scenery is better. The riptides and undertows can make swimming dangerous.
For a true underwater adventure, book a tour with Atlantis Submarine. Choose between a day dive or a night dive for entirely different atmospheres. The battery-powered submarine will take you up to 150 feet below the surface, where you can see the coral reefs and schools of fish passing by. Tours last 90 minutes, with tickets starting at $112 per person!
Have some Rum at Mount Gay Distillery
Rum is one of Barbados’ biggest exports, and Mount Gay has distilled rum for over 30 years. Moreover, this distillery has multiple fun experiences and workshops, including rum tasting starting at $25 and cocktail crafting at $50. Choose your favorite tour or workshop on their website and partake in a bit of Barbadian culture!
Go to a Cricket Game
Cricket is a big part of Barbados’ culture, and games can be enjoyed year-round, including in January! Head to the box office at the Kensington Oval to buy tickets and participate in this island’s sports traditions. It is easy to get caught up in the cheerful atmosphere, even if you are not a sports fan!
Overall, Barbados is a fantastic destination in January, and there are many things to do in the sun! As a bonus tip, all beaches in Barbados are public, so if you are feeling adventurous, grab some snorkeling gear and explore the island on your own to find hidden gems!