When it comes to land sports, the locals are as crazy about cricket as the British are about football. As the national sport of Barbados, cricket is engrained into Barbadians from birth—they eat, sleep, and breathe it. At any time of day, a game can be found, whether it’s a professional match at the Kensington Oval or a friendly scrimmage on the beach. Per capita, there are more world-class cricket players from Barbados than from any other country in the world. Native Barbadian Sir Garfield Sobers is considered the world’s best cricket player of all time.
If golf is more your speed, Sandy Lane has three beautiful courses. The Old Nine weaves through the gardens that surround the resort. The Country Club hosted the 2006 World Cup. And the challenging championship-style Green Monkey was designed by famed golf-course architect Tom Fazio.
For those looking for an unusual adventure, a trip to Harrison’s Cave is a must. Often regarded as the No. 1 attraction on the island, this complex network of underground caves, streams, and waterfalls measures at least 1.4 miles long; its largest cavern, the Great hall, is some fifty feet high.
Just minutes from Harrison’s Cave is Welchman Hall Gully, a tranquil nature reserve. Rumor has it that the first grapefruit was created on this former plantation—the result of cross-pollination between an orange and a pomelo, a fruit that was brought over by the Europeans from Asia. Welchman Hall Gully is filled with exotic plants and trees and troops of tricky little green monkeys.
On the northern end of the island, Barbados Wildlife Reserve is set within a natural mahogany woodland. Here, visitors mix and mingle with roaming troops of Barbados green monkeys, colorful parrots, flamingoes, and peacocks as the exotic creatures move through their natural habitat. Opposite the reserve, Farley Hill National Park is a tranquil setting with breathtaking island vistas, especially around the ruins of a former great house tucked within the hillside forest.
Orchid World is another must-see for nature lovers. This six-and-a-half-acre botanical garden displays more than twenty thousand orchids—the largest collection of the species in the West Indies. A meandering path winds its way between beautiful outcrops of coral, rock gardens, and shady gullies as hummingbirds and the soothing sound of running water add to the natural beauty of the terrain. The picturesque setting is one of the most popular sites for weddings in Barbados.
Barbados claims to be the birthplace of rum, and Mount Gay backs up the claim. Mount Gay was founded in 1703 and is the oldest brand of rum in existence. Take a tour of its factory and learn how the spirit is made, sample different flavors, and pick up some bottles to share with your less fortunate friends back home. The Foursquare Rum Distillery is a popular tour stop. Set in the beautifully landscaped eight-acre Heritage Park, the former sugar factory dates to 1636. The factory and plantation buildings have been restored to a remarkable condition, and the attraction also features a sugar machinery museum, folk museum, bottling plants, and a glass-fusing studio.
Descend into the nearly mile-long Harrison’s Cave via electric tram for a narrated exploration. Marvel at cascades, flowing streams, emerald-hued pools, stalactites, and towering columns formed over thousands of years.
Discover the underwater world of giant sea turtles and a shipwreck swarming with tropical fish at two snorkeling sites, then relax and recharge on the beach with a rum punch.
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