A slew of cheap airfares have hit the Caribbean this winter, and the most exotic among these newly affordable destinations is the thriving country of Barbados. One of the most economically stable islands in the region, Barbados is a lively, colorful, delicious place that’s equal parts authentic and relaxing.
Though the country has produced some renowned chefs, food here isn’t unapproachable. Sure, you can go high end for dinner at The Cliff, a fine-dining joint that looks straight out of a Bond film. But you can find just as great a meal from a fish shack on the beach, or at Oistins Fish Fry on Friday nights. Here tourists and locals both jam the port city, where the smell of fresh seafood and soca music fills the air. It’s a perfect beginning to a night out in Barbados, that absolutely needs to include a trip on the Reggae Bus, an island equivalent to the late-night dorm shuttles you remember from college that’ll only run you a dollar.
When you’re not eating, Barbados also has the best surfing in the Caribbean outside of Haiti, and the region’s best circuit racing course at Bushy Park. You can sample rum at Mount Gay, the oldest active rum distillery in the world. Or just lounge at Bathsheba or Bottom Bay, the idyllic picture of relaxing Caribbean beaches.