in the middle
Gem-shaped Barbados is the poster boy for the Lesser Antilles islands. Kissed by the Atlantic Trade Winds on the one side and washed over with the salty rollers of the Caribbean on the other, this land of shimmering white beaches, bulbous baobabs and elegant colonial mansions rarely fails to enthral.
Search dealchecker for Barbados hotels and get ready to explore a rum-doused (this is the home of Mount Gay after all) island of boulder-dotted bays and paradisiacal beaches. Prepare for a place where luxurious millionaire homes mingle with historic forts and where deep caves and winding coastal boardwalks pierce the wilds. You'll see Jacobean plantations crumbling amidst the palm groves and join fish fries and Bajan dance shows in the Creole shacks every night.
Lively little Bridgetown on the southwest coast of Barbados remains the country's most hedonistic and energetic spot. Every year it draws jet setters and yachters, fashionistas and fun seekers to its Anglophone streets and boutique hotels. They wander between the Gothic Parliament Buildings and the grand statues honoring Nelson, sip potent rums and cheer the cricketers at the Kensington Oval.
Another option for those keeping their Barbados holiday to a budget is to head for the wilder, windswept west coast. Away from the picture-perfect beaches, guesthouses here offer access to rugged Bathsheba Bay and the secluded Walkers Beach.
Meanwhile, chilled-out Hastings on the south coast comes fringed with cotton-white beaches of pure talcum powder. It's the starting point for the famous Barbados boardwalk and is perfectly located for hitting the sands of Rockley Beach or joining Friday night fish fries at Oistins.
Once you've discovered the best cheap hotels in Barbados it's time to start thinking about what you want to see and do on this sparkling Caribbean isle. And there really is plenty on the menu.
In the home of the Caribbean's favorite tipple, it would be a crime not to sample the legendary bottles at the Mount Gay Rum Distillery in Bridgetown – the perfect end (or start) to a day of wandering between the Georgian townhouses and seeking out the English pubs that pepper the World Heritage Site capital. There's more history away from the city too, in spots like St. Nicholas Abbey – an age-old sugar cane plantation from centuries gone by.
However, Barbados' real draw is unquestionably its natural side. Check out the blooming fern gardens and kaleidoscope of colourful orchids and monkey-dotted canopies at Hunte's Gardens. Then, make a beeline for the beaches, checking off everything from blustery Paynes Bay to the soft and sloping coral sands that run the length of the South Coast Boardwalk.