Best hikes in Barbados – Lonely Planet

Whereas it could not boast the nationwide parks and rainforest-covered interiors of neighboring islands, Barbados is a surprisingly good strolling vacation spot the place it’s simple to get away from the crowds to discover windswept seashores, dramatic cliff tops and pockets of tropical forest.
Most guests to Barbados keep on the built-up western and southern coasts, however the perfect climbing on the island is discovered amongst the rugged nature of the japanese and northern reaches of the island. These are the perfect hikes in Barbados.

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Tub to Bathsheba Railway Line
Finest for nature
three.75 miles (6km), 2.5 hours, Simple
The previous Barbados Railway line as soon as transported sugar cane from the estates of St Andrew to the port of Bridgetown. Whereas the trains are lengthy gone – the final wagons rolled alongside the road again within the 1930s – components of the observe now type among the finest climbing trails in Barbados.
Probably the most dramatic stretches of the road runs between Bathsheba and Tub within the coronary heart of the Atlantic Coast, the place the road hugs the wild, boulder-strewn shoreline. The path is shaded by many casuarina bushes and passes beneath pure tunnels of sea grape bushes and vines to succeed in blustery outcrops that afford sweeping views. Your complete journey is accompanied by the booming sound of the highly effective waves rolling off the Atlantic into the rock formations beneath.
The hike might be walked in each instructions, however it’s finest to start in Tub for higher transportation choices dwelling. Upon arrival at Bathsheba, stroll to the northern fringe of city to seek out the refreshing bathing swimming pools which seem at low tide – the one secure place for a dip close to city.
Mountaineering the cliffs of Cove Bay is a straightforward half-day journey © Hemis / Alamy Inventory Photograph
Northern Cliffs Hike
Finest for journey
four miles (6.4km), 2.5 hours, Simple
With sheer cliffs towering over churning waters, St Lucy parish within the distant northern reaches of Barbados couldn’t really feel additional away from the resorts to the south. Sparsely populated and with little visitors, the world is a dream for hikers with caves, tranquil hidden inlets, and even eerie deserted motels to discover.
This hike begins on the picnic space at Cove Bay, the place the path heads north alongside the highest of the cliffs. At first look, these cliffs appear barren and desolate, however they’re truly dwelling to scurrying hermit crabs and small teams of butterflies that in some way keep their formation regardless of the roaring winds that whip up off the Atlantic. Make sure that to maintain nicely away from the cliff edges as sturdy gusts can seem out of nowhere.
Take a break at Cuckold Level, a spectacular inlet the place earthy ocher cliffs distinction brilliantly with the frothing brilliant blue waters beneath, and tranquil River Bay, the place a recent stream has carved a big opening between the cliffs leaving a secluded, virtually completely enclosed inlet. After crossing the stream, the path climbs again as much as the cliff high and continues west earlier than lastly reaching Animal Flower Cave with its urchin-filled caverns reducing deep into the cliffs.
Barclays Park-Chalky Mount Loop
Finest for panoramic views
three.1 miles (5km), 1.5 hours, Average
Climbing quickly above the coastal plain to unbelievable panoramic views of the Atlantic, this brief however reasonably difficult hike leads from Barclays Park close to Bathsheba as much as the placing white rocky bluff at Chalky Mount.
Start from the picnic space at Barclays Park, the place the bluff resembles an immense stone face gazing skywards, identified to locals because the Chalky Mount Large. The primary a part of the hike is sort of steep, however recent Atlantic breezes all through make sure that it by no means will get too scorching. The views of Lengthy Pond and Walker’s Seashore from the highest are ample reward for the exertion. Make sure that to make use of the rope to succeed in the highest of the rocks, the place a selfie-ready stone arch gives key-hole views of the unspoiled shoreline beneath.
Heading again to Barclays Park, the descent passes by the charming little village of Chalky Mount, dwelling of Barbados’ artisanal potters, the place thirsty hikers can get away with a cheeky rum punch or two contemplating the light path by wildflower-sprinkled grasslands again to the sandy seashore beneath.
BARBADOS, Inland, Mount Hillaby: Late Afternoon view of forest from Barbados' Highest MountainMount Hillaby is the best mountain in Barbados © Danita Delimont / Alamy Inventory Photograph
Mount Hillaby Loop
Finest for getting in form
6.5 miles (10.3km), three hours, Average to Troublesome
Positioned proper in the course of the island, this inviting path winds round after which as much as the highest of Barbados’ tallest peak, Mount Hillaby. At 340-meters, it solely simply qualifies as a mountain, however a hike right here is extra in regards to the lush heliconia and palm-filled landscapes than the height itself. The views of the island are additionally magnificent, particularly wanting eastwards to Bathsheba and north to St Lucy.
Residence to among the final remnants of the tropical forest that after lined Barbados earlier than the introduction of the ruinous plantation financial system, the slopes of Mount Hillaby boast a cool microclimate that makes for a completely satisfying trek. On the summit, a number of steps result in a survey marker from 1957 that marks the precise location of the island’s crown.
The path begins and ends close to the village of Welchman Corridor and traverses quiet rural roads earlier than finally turning right into a slender path that typically requires beating by the bush – so convey lengthy trousers and stable footwear.
Walkers Savannah to Lengthy Pond Loop
Finest for seashore combing
three miles (four.8km), 2 hours, Average
For a solitary, windswept seashore hike all to your self, head to the aptly named Walkers Seashore on the northeast of the island. Starting at Walkers Savannah simply east of St Andrew Church, this hike runs south for 2 kilometers alongside driftwood-strewn sands to Lengthy Pond, one of many final remaining coastal wetlands on the island. The hike then heads inland over the dunes and again north alongside a dust observe by the parched savannah.
This can be a dry a part of the island, and it is even potential to identify clumps of cacti and different attention-grabbing vegetation, together with the splendidly named fats pork – an edible crimson plum with a white pulpy flesh that may be a favourite of native faculty youngsters.
Rockley to Bridgetown Southwest Stroll
Finest for teenagers
three.5 miles (5.6km), 2 hours, Simple
Regardless of traversing among the most built-up areas in Barbados, this nice and breezy hike takes in first-class seashores, spacious parklands, and among the island’s most fascinating historic websites.
Starting on the vigorous Rockley Seashore Park with its buzzing little market, the stroll follows the breezy boardwalk north for simply over a kilometer earlier than spilling out onto the sunbather-laden sands that lead as much as Drill Corridor seashore. The route then heads inland to soak up the Garrison Savannah and its historic monuments and mysterious tunnels.
Lastly, the hike turns again to the coast on the southern finish of Brownes Seashore, the place good blue waters lap gently at pristine white sands all the way in which north to the Careenage waterfront space on the Structure River in Bridgetown. There are many light swimming spots (superb for teenagers) alongside the way in which – pack a snorkel to take a look at the marine life.
Suggestions for Mountaineering in Barbados
Whereas it’s potential to observe every of those hikes by yourself, as a result of distant location of most of the beginning factors, becoming a member of a bunch is commonly simpler – and extra enjoyable.
The Hike Barbados Group, run by the Barbados Nationwide Belief and the Barbados Mountaineering Affiliation, organizes common hikes which might be an effective way to get to know locals and new components of the island. Most hikes are round three hours, and there are totally different graded paths to go well with quite a lot of health ranges. Additionally they run occasional cross-country and moonlight treks. 
Because of the scorching, humid local weather, the perfect occasions to hike are early within the morning and within the late afternoon, with most organized hikes departing between 6 and 7am or after 3pm. Whether or not you go along with a bunch or alone, a superb hat, sunscreen and loads of fluids are important as there’s usually little shade, and retailers are few and much between.

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