A beloved destination for many, the dreamy island of Barbados is known across the world for its idyllic beaches bordered by golden sands, swaying palm trees and indulgent resorts. But, with so much to do and so much to see on your visit, you may not realise that the island of Barbados is also home to some incredible eco experiences, designed to ensure that the only impact remaining from your visit is a positive one. With plenty to capture your interest both on water and land, why not enjoy a luxury yet mindful escape and discover what this island has to offer? Read on to discover our 5 favorite Barbadian Experiences for the eco-conscious traveler.
1. Save endangered turtles at Walkers Beach
Home to the second largest nesting population of Hawksbill turtles in the Wider Caribbean with up to 500 females nesting on the beaches every year, the island of Barbados is a safe haven for many of the world's rarest sea creatures. The inhabitants of Barbados understand the importance of marine life and the island is dedicated to protecting these magnificent creatures, working with local charities such as The Barbados Sea Turtle Project, who have been supporting the conservation of these critically endangered marine turtles for over 30 years. Operating a 24-hour monitoring and response service, the BSTP welcome visitors to go out with them, responding to calls about sightings of nesting females, female monitoring, hatchling rescues and releases.
Create unforgettable memories with your family as you spend a day searching for these magnificent creatures with local experts, responding to calls on turtles nesting, hatching of eggs, or lost or injured turtles. The team keeps a close eye on any rescued eggs and when they are ready to be released, they can inform you of this heart-warming event, letting you experience a truly once-in-a-lifetime moment as the hatchlings make their way towards the waters.
2. Plant vegetables in the Coco Hills Forest
Located in St. Joseph in Barbados, Coco Hills Forest is spread out over 53 acres of land and is home to more than 1,400 trees (including 80 different varieties of plant trees!). An unspoilt place of tranquility and peace, Coco Hills Forest offers visitors the chance to completely immerse themselves in nature. From the Jamaican ackee and pineapple to plant crops such as ginger and turmeric, Coco Hills Forest is proud of its 'forest-to-table' concept which not only boosts tourism but also supports local agriculture and is taking steps to become a tropical flora repository, regrowing the plants that were lost in the sugarcane monoculture.
Find your green fingers with a trip to the Coco Hills Forest and let yourself get closer to nature with unique forest baths and picturesque hiking opportunities. Learn new skills and try something new as you plant crops, herbs and spices with your family and the local community for a lasting impact.
3. Join a beach clean-up at Bathsheba Beach
Across the globe people are taking to the beaches and participating in beach and ocean clean-ups, aiding in beach restoration and reducing the amount of debris in the waters that can harm turtles, seagulls, whales, dolphins, and many more species. Many local charities are working hard to make a difference to the beaches of Barbados and encourage visitors to the area to join.
Grab your friends and family and join in on one of the monthly beach clean ups at Bathsheba Beach, both above and below water. Compete with each other to see how much you can pick up in an hour (or more) and return home with the knowledge you've made a difference to the local environment and community.
4. Plant a tree at Barclays Park
Overlooking the Atlantic Sea, Barclays Park stretches over 50 acres and is the perfect spot for a day in the sun. With native trees offering shade and blankets of grassy slopes covering the park, it is easy to see why this park is so popular for get-togethers and picnickers, especially at weekends and during public holidays.
Spend a day as part of the Barbadian community and plant a fruit tree allowing you to leave a lasting positive impact on the local environment. For a small monetary contribution to the park, find your favorite spot and take steps to reconnect with and protect our planet by planting a native tree. Not only are you helping to regenerate the land, but you can leave the island with treasured memories of your planting and return year after year to see its growth.
5. Treat yourself to a meal in a local restaurant
After spending time on a beach clean or planning trees, there is nothing better than enjoying some delicious local gastronomy. From the locally caught fish to sweet plantains, sample delicious Caribbean cuisine at local restaurants for an authentic experience in picturesque locations.
For something special, we recommend a meal in Local & Co, where food consultant, TV presenter and writer, Sophie Mitchell serves up fresh and fragrant dishes using local produce working alongside artisans, producers, farmers, fisherfolk and butchers on the Island. Complementing the fresh food and beachfront views is a Rum Bar, where the island's expertise in producing this tasty tipple is perfectly demonstrated in delicious rum cocktails. You can also stop by the Marketplace, a space for local artists to present their crafts, all made by hand on the island.