I have no idea what the name of this shipwreck is, as tour companies simply refer to it as, "The Shipwreck", but I guess the name doesn't really matter, as it's nothing special.
The shipwreck is located at Dottins Reef, in the Folkstone Marine Reserve, in Holetown, just a couple hundred yards off shore, and is a popular stop for tour groups. In fact, when you hear about the "Turtle and Shipwreck Tours", this is most likely the shipwreck they are referring to.
I thought we were going to visit the Stavronikita, which is a very nice shipwreck, but we visited this one instead.
I actually got separated from the rest of the group, long story, and ended up missing the shipwreck. One of the guides found me, and told me, it was time to go. I told him, I never saw the shipwreck, so he took me. It was a bit of a swim from where I was at, and I barely had any energy left, but since I paid to see a shipwreck, I wasn't about to leave without doing so. However, had I known ahead of time what it looked like, I wouldn't have wasted my energy. We eventually made it out to where the wreck was, and it was nothing special. It was small, and not very attractive, and the water was murky, so it was barely visible. It was also a bit of the ways down, so you couldn't even swim right next to it, without holding our breath and diving down, which I wasn't about to risk.
The only nice thing about this wreck, were the huge schools of fish swimming around it. I didn't care much for the coral growing on it, as I was much nicer coral on the reef.
If this was my first ever shipwreck, I probably would've been fascinated by it, but after seeing some nice shipwrecks in Aruba, this one didn't fascinate me at all.
That being said, I'm not gonna suggest skipping it, as some people may find it interesting. You can look at my pictures, and decide for yourself, whether or not its something you want to see. The tour company I went with, didn't mind people swimming off on their own. Other companies on the other hand, may not be so relaxed, and you may have no choice but to see it.
That being said, the wreck is close enough to reach from shore yourself, that's if you know where it is, so you don't even need to take a tour to see it. If they're gonna do a tour out to a shipwreck, they should pick one, that you can't easily access yourself. I guess that's another reason it could be considered a tourist trap. Thankfully, the wreck is just a small bonus, to the beautiful coral reef, located here, which is the main attraction of this part of the tour. If the tours just came out here for the wreck, it would be a real rip off, and complete waste of time.
Unique Suggestions: See the large schools of fish, that live around the wreck.
Fun Alternatives: Skip the wreck completely, if possible, and just explore the reef.Related to:
- Diving and Snorkeling
St. Lawrence Gap
While I hesitate to call it a tourist trap, St. Lawrence Gap seems somewhat overrated to me. It is mentioned in most "things-to-do" lists regarding Barbados as being the "center of Barbados' shopping, restaurants and night life." We took a walk from our hotel and we're underwhelmed. It began raining while we were out and the highlight was cuddling with my wife under a gazebo located on the grounds of a very nice resort hotel at the end of the Gap. Never did get the name of the hotel.Related to:
- Budget Travel
- Women's Travel
After seeing all the advertising in the brochures in my hotel about Pelican Village, I was very excited to check it out during my excursion to Bridgetown. I was hoping to get some clay masks that I has seen at some of the restaurants and some Earth Works pottery. Boy was I disappointed. After walking to the village from the main street in Bridgetown, past the post office and through the parking lot of buses (I think it was a bus station of some sort) I arrived at the village to find most of the stores/workshops closed. Also, those that were open did not have much to sell- lots of trinkets and trash.
Fun Alternatives: I found that there were some nice art galleries that sold what I was looking for. One in the Hilton Hotel and one above Champers restaurant. I also found some Earth Works pottery at the Women's Rescue Center in Bridgetown.
Okay, if you're as white as I am, for pete's sake, DON"T DO IT. You look silly. Don't believe me? Didn't you ever see that episode of friends when Monica got HER hair braided in Jamaica? 'Nuf said. But besides looking cheesy--white folks can get some SERIOUS burn between those corn rows. It takes FOREVER. It takes longer to take them out. And your hair is horribly crimped afterwards.
Unique Suggestions: Okay, so the nice lady talks you into it, or your child INSISTS that she MUST get her hair braided.
#1 Scalp burns are AWFUL. (I got a particularly bad one at a soccer tournament--I used to braid my hair with a part down the middle to keep it out of my face. Lets just say it turned PURPLE, SCABBED UP, and peeled for a long time. I was praying for dandruff compared to this. Brushing hurt like hell. I haven't parted my hair down the middle sense). SOOOO be sure to rub sunscreen down those cornrows. They do make a special hair and scalp spray sunscreen, but at last check it wasn't water proof.
#2 Coat your hair with leave in or that VO5 conditioner when you are ready to take the braids out, wrap your head (not your face!) in saran wrap, and take a shower or a bath. The heat will help the conditioner penetrate the hair, and the extra oil will (a) replenish lost nutrients in your hair and (b) make it easier to take out the braids. Afterwards, Shampoo like normal, twice if necessary, and condition the ends again if they need it. Let it air dry, its been through enough!
Fun Alternatives: Try a french braid--it gets your hair out of the way for a day, is easy to undo at the end of te day, and it protects your scalp!Related to:
Taxis in Barbados are a big rort. There are supposedly fixed fares based on the destination, but in reality they charge according to the number of passengers. A 10km taxi ride with four people on board will set you back BB$50-60, whereas the same ride with two people will be BB$20-30.
Unique Suggestions: If you are travelling in a larger group, the taxis can be a good idea. Just ask for a maxi-taxi - they can seat up to 15 passengers and cost BB$50-60 between any two points in the southern part of the island.
Watch out for the ones who charge too much
be aware of the price you are paying-sometimes we as tourists just don't care and this encourages them to pursue ridiculous prices and makes it harder for ''real people''travelling to get reasonable prices....
Unique Suggestions: Be nice but firm-paying 300.00 for a car is not something you would normally do back home-so why would you do it on vacation?
Fun Alternatives: Their are organised tours for those who do not want to risk the roads-onboard the crusie and if your just going to Barbados as a vacation for a week-once again,be reasonable.
If there is one thing that makes me mad is those time share people who stop you, talk you into going to a breakfast/lunch or something like that, and you sit through about 2 hrs of blurb, and pressurised into buying time share. Do not get me wrong, some people would like to own time shares, but do not agree if you do not want to.(
Unique Suggestions: To avoid this, when you see them, do not walk with your partner, they do not ask single people, they go for couples. I always walk 10 paces behind !!!
Also if you do go for the free voucher, meal etc., and are prepared to accept the taxi ride to the time share appartments, do not take your credit card, then you cannot complete forms, and they take your credit card away, phone to see if you are credit worthy, !!! I do not let my credit card out of my sight.
The time share apartments are usually very high standard, but think hard about your investment for the long term.
If you want time share, then go for it .
When you are driving around Barbados, you may be stopped by somebody who says he wants to help you out, maybe by telling you that there is a broken bridge at the end of the road, etc. Of course there is no such danger, but he will then ask you for money.
Unique Suggestions: If you are stopped by somebody like this, let them tell you what they want to tell, say thankyou and just carry on driving. They shouldn't get angry or violent, they'll just wait for the next sucker who might give them something. I don't advise you to give them any money for two reasons. 1. Once they've got something off you they'll keep pushing for more, they are NEVER grateful. 2. It just encourages them to try it on with more tourists.Related to:
- Road Trip
Animal Flower Cave
We drove out to the northernmost part of Barbados (St. Lucy Parish) to see the Animal Flower Caves. daily 9-17 : 809-439-8797. I expected to see the anenomes.
We were told we had to pay a guide a fee to go through the caves, and there was no one available at that moment, so we bought sandwiches at the bar there and took them outside to eat. When the guide took us through the cave (you go down a lot of steps into the caves) he didn't show us any anenomes, so I feel I paid my money and didn't get the moneys worth. It may be that we didn't get a good guide because it was the off season.
Unique Suggestions: Many people think these caves are really wonderful. There are supposed to be pools deep enough to swim in. (I understand the water is cold.) So be sure your guide is really good and ask what you will see before you pay your money.
Also try to go on a relatively calm day, because I am told that the anenomes will not come out and show themselves if the sea is rough.
Fun Alternatives: Just standing on the point and watching the waves is not only free, but is a real photo opportunity.Related to:
- Adventure Travel
- Family Travel
I was a bit disappointed with these caves because I thought they had been too "manufactured" for the tourist market. However the journey there was definitely worthwhile. We got the local bus from the bus station just by St Mary's church and had a wonderful journey across the centre of the island.
The Animal Flower caves. There...
The Animal Flower caves. There used to be (maybe decades ago), a large population of sea anemones in these caves. They have long gone. Instead, someone made animal carvings in the rocks of the caves, that they claim are natural, and there are probably only two sea anemones left. There's really nothing to see.
Drive to North Point, enjoy the beautiful cliffs and blowholes, but keep your money in your pocket and pass on the tour to the 'Animal Flower' caves.
Just the usual-the dreaded...
Just the usual-the dreaded timeshare has hit the Caribbean! Lots of new resort hoteld are being built, and the usual'just an invitation to look' and 'only 10 minutes of your time'. Easy to spot-just say no. Unless you want to spend hours of your precious holiday cooped up in a hard-sell situation with a free t-shirt at the end of it!
Dont be sucked in to buying...
Dont be sucked in to buying Aloa Vera. On your first 'white' day the locals will come along the beach with a bottle (usually an old rum bottle) of aloe vera and start to put it on you. It does work but there is no point in paying them for it when you can find the plant yourself for free.
Cabs are very expensive be...
Cabs are very expensive be sure to ask what the rate is!!!! They are very aggressive following you down the street whilst you are trying to walk down the side walk.....way to pushy, we finally had to vanish into the fish market to get away from them. By the time all the cabs at the pier told us their rates and at least a dozen stopped us walking the sidewalk to town approx...6-7 blocks we were ready to head back to the ship.....none of them seem to know what NO meant.....weird!
I went to see the Tropical...
I went to see the Tropical Spectacular show. If you like these kind of shows, it's nice. I think it's mostly geared towards tourists and really overpriced. You can see much more Bajan culture by going where the Bajans go.
Enterprise Coast Rd, , Barbados, Caribbean
Good for: Business
Rockley Beach 1, Christ Church, Caribbean
Good for: Solo
Travelled to this hotel shortly after 9/11 so it was extremely quiet. It is a very large hotel...more
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