Tag: Barbados

38 Pictures of Barbados You’ll Fall in Love with | SANDALS

By MM Travel and Tours in Travel

Experience the Royal Treatment at Sandals Royal Barbados, the all-new, all-suite Caribbean all-inclusive resort in the spirited St. Lawrence Gap area.

Barbados-Carnival

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Crop Over Carnival is an epic Caribbean celebration, and its beginnings have something to do with the last sugar cane harvest of the season.

Find out more about Crop Over Carnival, and other celebrations in the region by checking out our complete Caribbean Carnival calendar.

Barbados Enterprise Beach

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Described often as “the perfect little beach”, Enterprise Beach is a great choice for a Caribbean beach adventure.

Barbados Andromeda Botanic Gardens

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Andromeda’s Botanical Garden is the handy work of Iris Bannochie, a horticulturist who founded it as an extension of her home. To this day, it is still located on the eastern parish of St Joseph, near to Bathsheba.

Sandals Royal Barbados Beach Wedding

A Sandals all-inclusive destination wedding takes the worry out of planning, giving you more time to enjoy the moment.

Barbados Bridgetown Food Stall

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“Bajan culture, history, and food” in a nutshell, the Original Bajan Walking Food Tour is a great option for a fun-filled tour where you’ll be able to eat like a local.

Barbados Bathsheba Beach

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Bathsheba Beach is a sight to behold with its striking coral rock formations and natural pools. Take lots of pictures as you explore what is possibly one of the most scenic spots in Barbados.

Barbados Green Sea Turtle

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Turtles are among the gentlest sea creatures that you can swim with, and this opportunity should not be missed while in Barbados. You can do this on a private charter, or on a catamaran tour which will take you out into the ocean where you’ll be able to swim with hawksbill and leatherback turtles.

Barbados Harrisons Cave

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Probably one of the most popular attractions in Barbados, you are unlikely to be disappointed with Harrison’s Cave. Here you’ll be able to see signature cave features like stalagmites and stalactites up close, but that’s just the beginning of it.

Barbados Huntes Gardens

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While in Barbados you can enjoy one of the most amazing sights of your life at Hunte’s Garden, where nature’s ambiance also falls under the spell of Barbados resulting in a truly unique experience filled with blooming orchids, idyllic palms, and lush, magnificent greenery.

Also read: 15 Incredible Things Barbados Is Known For.

Barbados Antillean Crested Hummingbird

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Get up close and personal with the island by embarking on a hiking trip. You’ll get to see a variety of plant species, native animals such as the Antillean Crested Hummingbird, and historical sites like forts.

Sandals Royal Barbados Beach View

Sandals Royal Barbados is set along the white sands of Maxwell Beach–one of the islands most unspoiled beaches–you’ll find mesmerizing seascapes and lush gardens everywhere you turn. It’s a perfect natural backdrop for a resort of unsurpassed luxury where everything is included.

Barbados Animal Flower Cave

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The Animal Flower Cave features the island’s only accessible sea cave. Once there, you’ll be able to take in fantastic views, and even dip into the rock pool inside the cave. From inside you’ll be able to look out of the naturally formed windows, right onto the ocean.

Barbados Building Arquitecture

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The island of Barbados is packed with more stunning historical architectural buildings than anywhere else in the Caribbean. The Mutual Life Assurance Society, better known to Barbadians as “The Mutual”, was a Caribbean insurance company that supplied a significant number of loans to local plantations after being formed in 1840.

Barbados Fish Patties Bajan Food

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Fish cakes are a Caribbean delicacy, and like in most of the other islands in Barbados, they are made by battering and deep frying them. You won’t have a hard time finding fish cakes in Barbados; they’re available from most local food vendors, and even at some of the more upscale restaurants on the island.

Sandals Royal Barbados Lovers Lanes Bowling Alley

Lovers Lanes, Sandals first 4-lane bowling alley, features a colorful backdrop for a romantic evening of couples bowling and Sandals first ever craft beer bar serving 19 different types of beers.

Barbados Farley Hill

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Barbados isn’t known to be a mountainous island, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get amazing views from some vantage points. Farley Hill is an ideal spot to picnic, escape into nature, hide in the shade of a comforting tree and to simply stare out to sea.

Sandals Royal Barbados Pool Sunrise

From the moment the sun rises over the eastern horizon, the natural beauty of Barbados is revealed. Sunshine bathes the island further into the Caribbean ocean in a splendid display of orange, yellow and pink.

Barbados People

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The Caribbean island of Barbados is known for its colorful and rich culture.

Barbados Carlisle Bay

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Carlisle Bay is known for its calm waters, which adds to its swimming and scuba diving appeal, making it one of the top things to do in Barbados. Carlisle Bay is a family centric spot, though thrill seeking types can also enjoy the abundance of water sports and other activities available here.

Barbados Parliament

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Of course, Barbados is now home to modern buildings, infrastructure and architecture, but the locals are in no hurry to sweep the past aside. These historic Parliament Buildings (once known as the Public Buildings) are home to the House of Assembly and Senate. Packing more than 350 years of history, these buildings were built from local limestone and completed in 1874 by a Gothic Architecture.

Sandals Barbados Swim Up Bar

Pool areas have been completely reimagined to take full advantage of the island’s sultry, tropical landscape, and nowhere is that more apparent than at Sandals Barbado’s ocean-side pool. Complete with Sandals signature pool bar and a seaside infinity whirlpool.

Welchman Hall Gully Green Monkey

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Monkeys are a rare find for most of the smaller islands of the Caribbean, but not so in Barbados. The Green Monkey is a common sight on the island, and sometimes even pops up in people’s gardens. Locals believe that Green Monkey came from Senegal and the Gambia in West Africa 350 years ago.

Barbados Garrison Savannah

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Near Bridgetown and inland from Carlisle Bay, the Garrison is part of the World Heritage area and was the home of the British command in the 1800s. Standing along the west side of the Savannah are some of the Garrison’s more ornate colonial buildings, where you’ll find the world’s largest collection of 17th-century cannons.

Barbados People Culture

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Each Thursday the historic Garrison area in Barbados comes alive with the “Changing Of The Sentry” ceremony! The sentries officially take their position in front the Main Guard House and the band parades directly in front of this historic building. Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison, including the Main Guard House, are a UNESCO designated historic site.

Sandals Royal Barbados Main Pool Front View

Enjoy amazing views from Sandals Royal Barbados’s oceanfront infinity pool.

Barbados Bottom Bay

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If you venture into the south east coast of Barbados, you will find Bottom Bay just after Crane Beach and Sam Lord’s Castle. This secluded beach is marked by tall palm trees, rugged coral cliffs and a scenic view of the south of the island.

Barbados Church Building

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Built in 1846 to replace the church that was destroyed by the Great Hurricane of 1831, St. John’s Parish Church is solid and soaring. The church grounds are serene and the cliff-edge site commands a sweeping view of the picturesque east coast.

Barbados Colorful Houses

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As you travel around the island you will see many examples of the Chattel House, a distinct form of architecture that is unique to Barbados.

Barbados Bajan Mailman

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A Bajan mailman poses with his motorcycle near Bathsheba Park on the east coast.

Barbados Bridgetown

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Named Bridgetown from its original title ‘the Indian Bridge Towne’ – a reference to the rustic bridge left by the Amerindians, built over the Careenage River – the capital enjoys a formidable strategic location on the southwest coast of Barbados.

Barbados Dover Beach

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Dover Beach in St. Lawrence Gap on the south coast of Barbados is ideal for those who prefer less crowded beaches, with opportunities to try out watersports like sailing, jet skiing and windsurfing.

Sandals Royal Barbados Rooftop Pool

Overlooking the ocean from its rooftop setting, this zero-entry, glass infinity pool is a Sandals first and one of 31 pools featured at Sandals Royal Barbados. While its rooftop location makes it the perfect place to sunbathe, the surrounding lounge areas and rooftop bar are a great place to relax, cool off and take in the breathtaking vistas.

St Nicholas Abbey

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Built by Colonel Benjamin Berringer in 1658, this plantation house, museum and rum distillery opens its doors to visitors who want to know more about its transformation over the years. St. Nicholas Abbey remains one of three authentic Jacobean mansions in this part of the world, and on the extensive estate where the plantation house is located.

Barbados Fish Market Worker

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Thousands of Barbadians work in the fishing industry as boat builders, fishermen and vendors. The Bridgetown Fish Market is very popular with locals. Located on the outskirts of the capital city, Bridgetown, this large market offers a wide selection of fish.

Barbados Holetown

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Holetown was the first town in Barbados and was discovered in 1625 by an Englishman called Henry Powell, who was blown off course and discovered Barbados by accident.

Sandals Royal Barbados Sky Pool Suite

This all-suite resort features Sandals signature accommodations including Skypool Suites, Millionaire Suites and Swim-up Suites – all featuring Tranquility Soaking Tubs™ for two.

Find out more and read Things guests love about Sandals Royal Barbados.

Book your next vacation today through M & M Travel and Tours! (810) 877 1814

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All content is property of the owner, unless otherwise specified. This content is not owned, or maintained by M & M Travel and Tours, and is used only for informational purposes. Please visit the content owners link via the source link for more information.

Barbados Food & Drinks To Try While On Vacation | SANDALS

By MM Travel and Tours in Travel

People who identify themselves with the country of Barbados, often call themselves “Bajans”. Bajans are proud people, and you can tell this by the way they carry themselves, their love for their island, and of course the amazing local dishes enjoyed by locals and tourists alike. This love translates to a beautiful experience for all who visit the island, who discover for themselves just why Bajans are so passionate about the land that they call home.

Where food is concerned, Bajan cuisine is literally a mixing pot of cultures. Flavors from places like Africa, Portugal, and India stand out, and there are also Irish, Creole, and British influences that are apparent even with tasty, tropical touches mixed in. Bajans often use fresh ingredients and home-grown herbs and spices in their cooking, which means even if you think you’ve tried something before, you may still be surprised at its Bajan transformation and upgrade!

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Of all the interesting food options on the island, seafood is somewhere at the top in terms of popularity, and you’ll frequently see items like fish, shrimp, lobster, sea eggs, and crab on the menu. Apart from that, some of the things you see might be a little unfamiliar, as at most local restaurants, indigenous food is often incorporated into the menu.

If you’re planning on going on vacation to Barbados, pudding and souse, pepperpot and cou cou are some of the things you’ll need to get familiar with ahead of your holiday, and as you read on you’ll learn a bit more about what goes into these amazingly unique Bajan dishes which will definitely keep you coming back for more!

Ten traditional Bajan main dishes

 

Flying Fish

Flying Fish Barbados Food

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Fish of all varieties are popular among the islands, which makes it not at all surprising that flying fish, with a side of cou cou, is the national dish of Barbados. Considering that flying fish is also the most popular fish catch on island, it explains even further why this dish is loved so much by locals who have various ways of preparing it. Most commonly, you’ll find it next to cou cou, which is cornmeal cooked with okra and water (more on the traditional Bajan side dish cou cou later in this article). Frying, steaming, baking, or pickling are the most popular methods of preparing flying fish in Barbados, and though the basic aspects of making this dish remain the same, seasonings may vary depending on where you get it. Nevertheless, it is one of those things that you shouldn’t leave Barbados without trying.

Fish Cakes

Fish Cakes Barbados Food

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Fish cakes are a Caribbean delicacy, and like in most of the other islands in Barbados, they are made by battering and deep frying them. The filling usually consists of salted cod or white fish and an assortment of herbs and spices. You won’t have a hard time finding fish cakes in Barbados; they’re available from most local food vendors, and even at some of the more upscale restaurants on the island. Some people eat their fish cakes with hot pepper or mayonnaise on the side, while others make a sandwich called “bread and two” with their fish cakes, and this is done by sandwiching the fried fish cake into a bread roll with pepper sauce.

Chicken Curry

Chicken Curry Barbados Food

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Who can resist a hearty chicken curry? You might have tried chicken curry before, but what makes this dish extra special in Barbados is the signature Bajan seasoning, which adds the perfect blend of spices, and an overall richness. Curry is best over plain rice, with baked macaroni pie or in flatbread… and in the latter case it would be known as chicken roti. These are the most popular ways to serve it, but chicken curry is so versatile that you can pair it with just about any Bajan side.

Pepperpot

Pepperpot Barbados Food

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Bajans know good food, and Barbados is one of the Caribbean islands which has mastered the art of pepperpot. You’ll find meat of all varieties in the classic Bajan pepperpot stew, including pork, mutton, beef, and more. Bajan spices and hot peppers bring the stew together, and pepperpot is usually served alongside rice or bread. It is a popular holiday dish, but you can also find it at some local restaurants throughout the year. If you plan on recreating this dish at home, keep in mind that it works best for a family meal, or for a party, since pepperpot is usually cooked in large proportions.

Jug Jug

Jug jug is one of those seasonal delights that make people happy around the holidays, and it can be compared to the Scottish dish known as haggis. Traditional jug jug is made with guinea corn flour, pigeon peas, salted beef brisket, ham or other salted meat, pork or chicken, onions, and other herbs and spices. Pepper is optional. Bajans are very particular about how this dish is made, and the perfect jug jug will resemble the consistency of Cou Cou, and not a regular soup. Some people like preparing this dish, refrigerating it, and warming it up and serving it the next day.

Mahi Mahi/Dolphin

Mahi Mahi Barbados Food

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Don’t worry, it’s not the playful and amazing marine animals that people fly thousands of miles to the Caribbean to swim with in the ocean that we’re talking about here. When it comes to food, Mahi Mahi or Dolphin in Barbados refers to a popular sport fish that Bajans often serve pan-seared or blackened. The best way to have this is with a side of fries, or with a full meal that includes seasoned rice, lentils, and a fresh salad.

Pudding and Souse

Pudding and Souse Barbados Food

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Pudding in Barbados refers to steamed sweet potatoes made with onions, salt and pepper. Souse is a pickled pork dish. The pudding serves as the filling for the pickled pork, and the two are combined expertly for an end result that’s bursting with flavor. Pudding and souse is one of the most loved food duos in Barbados, and while there you can experiment with sweet versus spicy variations to see which you like best. Though pudding and souse are always in high demand, it may take some asking around to find the best spot to pick this up. When in doubt head for the vendor with the biggest crowd!

Roti

Roti Barbados Food

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Roti is notorious in the Caribbean, and it is a common menu item in Barbados. You can get roti of every variety on the island, flavored with local herbs and spices. Consider it the island version of a burrito and enjoy it with anything from curried potatoes and vegetable filling, to chicken, beef, and fish varieties. Try the local Chefette fast-food joint for a quick roti on the go.

Barbecued Pig Tails

Grilled Pig Tails Barbados Food

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This dish isn’t as weird as it might sound, and you don’t have to worry about ending up with a full pig’s tail on your plate. In fact, many people liken it to barbequed ribs in terms of look and taste, especially when slathered with barbeque sauce. Before they get to your plate, BBQ pig tails would have been boiled, barbequed, and thrown around in a delicious barbeque sauce. If you see these on the menu, they are certainly worth a try.

Brown Stew Chicken

Brown Stew Chicken Barbados Food

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Brown stew chicken is at the heart of Caribbean cuisine. This chicken stew, cooked the Caribbean way, is so popular that it has made its way into the international realm, being served up at Caribbean restaurants across the globe. In Barbados you can try an authentic version of this classic dish, made even better for the fact that local spices and other seasonings are at the disposal of all who make it. You can get brown stewed chicken at almost every local restaurant in town. Don’t forget to ask for extra gravy!

Five traditional Bajan side dishes

 

Cou Cou

Locals make the well-known cou cou dish with cornmeal and okra, or breadfruit and green bananas. Some people compare it to grits. Cou cou is part of Barbados’ national dish, and surprisingly, it is also the national food of the British Virgin Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Antigua. The dish is said to have origins with African settlers in the region, and in Barbados this is one side dish you’ll frequently find on your plate.

Bakes

Bakes Barbados Food

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If you’re looking for something delicious to eat while in Barbados that you can recreate easily back at home, bakes are a great option. All you’ll need is flour, sugar, nutmeg, and Bajan spices, which you can pick up at the local market during your time on the island. Once the batter for bakes are combined, it is then deep fried until golden brown. Once fried, bakes are either served plain, with fish cakes, as a side for fish or barbeque dishes, or with anything you like stuffed inside.

Rice & Peas

Rice Peas Barbados Food

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Bajan rice and peas goes with just about anything, but it is often served with fried fish. On this island, rice and peas refers almost solely to pigeon peas and rice. The cooking process for rice and peas is simple; the peas are cooked first with seasonings, and the rice is added after. Some people choose to boil the rice with coconut milk to give it a fluffier texture and a sweeter taste. As rice and peas sets the foundation for a scrumptious meal, precision is key!

Macaroni Pie

Macaroni Pie Barbados Food

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You just might fall in love with macaroni pie in Barbados as it has much more zeal than the conventional mac and cheese. Macaroni pie is often served with fried fish, as well as curried or stewed meats. Ingredients for Bajan macaroni pie include tubed macaroni, grated cheddar cheese, evaporated milk, ketchup, yellow mustard, onion, egg and breadcrumbs. The ingredients are all placed into a casserole dish and baked. When this dish is done well, it is extremely rich, and may just be the best thing you’ve tasted in your life.

Salt Bread

Salt Bread Barbados Food

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Freshly baked and delicious, however you decide to eat it, salt bread is a great choice for dinner rolls or cutters. Though sweeter bread varieties are preferred in Barbados, salt bread definitely has its place, and locals enjoy it as a snack, sandwich, or as a side. Even though the name suggests otherwise, salt bread isn’t saltier than regular bread, but it is when compared to other sweet bread treats.

Five traditional Bajan snacks

 

Cutters

Cutters Barbados Food

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Cutters are essentially simple sandwiches made with salt bread. To make these, a roll of salt bread is cut in half to make room to stuff your choice of filling inside. Fillings include egg, sausages, ham, or fish – but you can put pretty much anything you desire into a salt bread roll. Salt bread can be eaten all day round, and you’ll find it at most local food spots. Spice yours up with a dash of local pepper.

Conkie

Dive into your journey of culinary exploration in Barbados with conkie, a much-loved Bajan snack. With corn at its base, conkie is a snack that is especially popular around the island’s Independence Day which is observed annually on November 30th. Aside from corn flour, other ingredients for this local snack include pumpkin, sweet potato, grated coconut, and raisins; these are all steamed in a banana leaf that is wrapped and tied up. Though you may not spot it as often all throughout the year, sometimes you can order it from a local deli.

Guava Cheese

Guava Cheese Barbados Food

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Guava cheese is a real treat, just don’t expect it to look or taste anything like regular cheese though; its color is that of cranberry, and it has a fudge-like appearance. Guava cheese is sweet with a hint of citrus. It’s made by combining guava pulp with sugar, lime juice, and other ingredients. Guava cheese is sometimes eaten with salt bread, or on its own.

Breadfruit

Breadfruit Barbados Food

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Breadfruit’s starchy nature makes it unlike most other fruits, and its unique texture means that it also is never served up in a fruit bowl. In the Caribbean breadfruit is considered a ground provision, along with things like yam, dasheen and the like. There are various ways to cook breadfruit, and most people choose to either boil or bake it or make it into chips. Breadfruit is delicious alongside steamed fish, or brown stew chicken.

Paw Paws

Paw Paw Papaya Barbados Food

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Paw paw is an interesting fruit with a wild flavor. Many people describe it as a mango-banana-citrus blend that’s super sweet. Paw paw is rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, magnesium, iron, and other nutrients. It has a short shelf life, which means your best chance for the freshest variety might be right on island. Try the local fruit and vegetable market to pick up some paw paw while in Barbados.

Three traditional Bajan desserts

 

Sweet Bread

Sweet Coconut Bread Barbados Food

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Sweet bread, also known as Bajan coconut bread, is a staple at most Bajan homes particularly around Christmas, or on other special occasions. Inside the crispy crust of this bread you’ll often find raisins, coconut chunks, and cherries. Coconut bread looks like any other loaf of bread, but it’s a sweet treat you’re sure to love.

Cassava Pone

Cassava Pone Barbados Food

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Cassava pone is made with frozen grated cassava and coconut. It is a dessert that satisfies your sweet tooth, without being overly sweet. Cassava pone is known for its stickiness and gooey texture, and it is best described as a combination of cake and pudding. Other ingredients in this dessert include grated sweet potato, cinnamon, nutmeg, and sometimes carrots and raisins.

Bajan Black Cake

Bajan Black Cake

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Making Bajan Black Cake is a process that includes soaking fruits like cherries and raisins in rum with spices, but you won’t have to worry about baking your own during your holiday as this dessert is readily available during most of the year. If you travel during Christmas or the holiday season however, you’ll be able to have more than your fill of this delicious treat which usually incorporates Bajan rum.

Five popular Bajan drinks

 

Rum Punch

Rum Punch Barbados Drinks

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You haven’t tried rum punch until you’ve tried rum punch in Barbados, or at least that’s what the locals will tell you. Waste no time arguing with bartenders, or any islander, where to get the best rum punch. Just order and drink up. No matter where you order, you’re sure to agree that rum punch in Barbados is absolutely delicious and refreshing. What more could you want during your Caribbean holiday?

Want to enjoy unlimited free Rum Punch on the beach or at the swimming pool? Guests of Sandals all-inclusive resorts in Barbados get unlimited signature cocktails and other drinks. All created by the best bartenders on the island, using premium brand liquors.

Mauby Drink

Mauby Drink Barbados Drinks

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As it tends to be a little bitter, Mauby is one of those drinks you’ll either detest or love unconditionally. There is no in between, but this drink is certainly worth trying for an authentic taste of Barbados. Ingredients in mauby include mauby bark, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Locals believe there are several health benefits for mauby, including cholesterol reduction, treatment for arthritis, and more.

Ginger Beer

Ginger Beer Barbados Drinks

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If you travel to Barbados around Christmas time, ginger beer is one of those things you might be offered everywhere you go. Even though it is considered by some to be a holiday drink, you can find it at other times of the year. In Barbados, this non-alcoholic drink is made with ginger, sugar, water, and lemon juice. It is available in carbonated or non-carbonated versions.

Sorrel

Sorrel Barbados Drinks

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Another popular Christmas drink, sorrel has plenty of health benefits that you’ll appreciate, especially since it is so delicious to begin with. Sorrel is made from dried petals of the sorrel flower (hibiscus), which is believed to help lower blood pressure and it is also high in vitamins and minerals. Other ingredients include clove, ginger, and sugar. Even though it is most popular around the holidays, you can still find sorrel at some local shops at other times of the year.

Banks Beer

Banks Beer Barbados Drinks

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Banks Beer’s has done a notable job with marketing over the years, so much so that you may even recognize the name of this beer when you come across it in Barbados. Banks Beer is so popular in Barbados in fact, that it is considered by some to be a national symbol. Pack it into your beach cooler along with your other drinks to have something cold and refreshing to sip on out in the sunshine.

Did you know? Sandals Royal Barbados comes with a bowling alley and a craft beer bar, serving 19 beers from all over the world – for free, unlimited. All drinks are included in your stay!

FAQ’s

 

What alcohol is Barbados known for?

Barbados is also known as “The Rum Island”, which makes it more than apparent what the most popular thing to drink there is: rum! This equates to rum punch and lots of it as you’ll probably be able to tell right off the bat as you’re sipping on your welcome rum punch drink, and sampling rum punch specials at local bars.

See what else Barbados is known for.

What is the national food of Barbados?

The national food of Barbados is Cou Cou and Fried Flying Fish. Second in popularity is pudding and souse, but as with all other Bajan food, it all depends on your individual taste, and what you’re looking for.

What’s the best resort in Barbados for amazing food options?

All-inclusive resorts like Sandals Barbados are a great choice if dining and having lots of food options are an important part of your holiday. Sandals Barbados offers guests unlimited food and drinks 7 bars, including swim-up bars, and 18 themed restaurants. It just doesn’t get any better than that when it comes to having so many amazing options in one place in Barbados!

Book your next vacation today through M & M Travel and Tours! (810) 877 1814

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All content is property of the owner, unless otherwise specified. This content is not owned, or maintained by M & M Travel and Tours, and is used only for informational purposes. Please visit the content owners link via the source link for more information.

Barbados Has its Sights Set on New Hotels, Better Accessibility

By MM Travel and Tours in Travel

At Caribbean Week New York, Travel Agent sat down with Hon. Kerrie D. Symmonds, Barbados’ minister of tourism and international transport, to get the latest on the island.

New Hotels: You can expect a handful of new properties catering to a variety of travelers to open in the coming years. Symmonds says he has identified three or four greenfield sites in the southeast of the island near the Hilton Barbados, which are being put to the market. He adds, the island hosted a “successful” investment conference at the end of April to bring awareness to these sites.

“New government has to meet new thinking and it makes no sense having car parks on one of the most beautiful beaches to be found in the Caribbean,” he tells Travel Agent.

And on those sites, you can expect some new types of property. Currently, Symmonds tells us, the zoning laws in Barbados have a building cap at seven stories; new permits, however, would let buildings reach as high as 15 stories. This would give investors an opportunity to get a better ROI—but it would also allow for sizable expansion in terms of room numbers without occupying large plots.

What’s also interesting is that, in these newbuilds, gaming tables will be allowed—a first for Barbados. While the process to bring in casino-type properties only got rolling in April, there’s already one signed agreement; Symmonds expects the project to take up to two years before it opens. Unfortunately, there is no word on what brand may be opening shop—although Symmonds said Barbados reached out to numerous international brands during the investment conference, as the island mostly has locally operated hotels. In addition to the gaming hotels, Symmonds says Barbados has its sights set on bringing romantic hotels to the island.

On the immediate horizon, The Sands is opening on Worthing Beach (near the Ocean Two Resort & Residences on the Saint Lawrence Gap). It will have 175 rooms and should be open this summer.

It’s also important to note that the occurrence of sargassum seaweed has increased as of late; however, it’s not as bad as last year and only the east (Atlantic) coast is affected, Symmonds says. He adds that they are trying to capture as much seaweed before it reaches land to save the beaches but to also use agriculturally—as it has many benefits for farmers.

Access: Barbados recently expanded its partnership with JetBlue, launching year-round flights from Newark Liberty International Airport to Grantley Adams International Airport. Symmonds says he wants to expand this relationship even further and had plans to meet with the JetBlue team while he was in New York. “I think the Mint service is working exceptionally well out of New York, and I am very keen on seeing that expanding,” he tells Travel Agent. “I think there’s a wealth of opportunity now, and JetBlue has been a major developmental partner.”

From Europe, Barbados has just signed the first deal to bring Lufthansa Group to the Eastern Caribbean. The flights will be operated by Eurowings and start in October. Symmonds adds that Lufthansa Group chose Barbados and Mauritius as the first two destinations for this expansion.

Barbados set a record for arrivals in 2018, topping 200,000 visitors from the United States for the first time. With those numbers, American visitors now make up roughly 30 percent of the total visitors to the island, which trails the U.K. (at 33 percent) but leads Canada and the rest of Europe, which make up a combined 27 percent. “So, we are becoming more global and that keeps me happy,” Symmonds says.

Symmonds says a major focus of his is accessibility—but not to the island. Rather, he’s concerned about how people get around the island, and how people with disabilities can get around. “The infrastructure is not the best,” he tells us.

So, with the new hotels, travelers can also expect more accessible rooms. The same goes for restaurants and other attractions on the island: These, in time, will cater better to those with disabilities better than they do now. Symmonds adds, “It works not only for us as a tourism destination, but it also helps us develop as a country—our people have disabilities, too.”

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