Bobbing in the Atlantic Ocean, east of the Lesser Antilles islands, you'll find the idyllic island nation of Barbados. The name alone conjures up images of swaying palm trees, celebrity sightings, upscale restaurants, and white sand beaches — which the island has in spades.
After you've explored the St. Nicholas Abbey (a historical plantation home and rum distillery), visited the stalagmite-filled Harrison's Cave and eaten and danced the night away at the Oistin's Fish Fry, it's time to enjoy a day of lazing on the beach with a rum punch in hand.
Barbados is blessed with numerous beaches, which are located all around the island. On the east coast you'll find the Soup Bowl, which is a surfer's paradise, while in the south and west of the island, you'll find pristine stretches of sand worthy of spending an entire day.
One of the best beaches in the Caribbean is Carlisle Bay. While it's just one bay, it's broken up into different beaches — Browne Beach, Pebbles Beach and Bayshore. Here's my guide to enjoying Carlisle Bay.
Getting to Carlisle Bay
Not only does this Caribbean island offer a plethora of beaches, it also offers an organized public bus system, making it easy for guests and locals to get around. Many of the hotels in Barbados are located in the south and western sides of the island, meaning you can easily get a bus to Carlisle Bay.
Look for the blue buses with yellow stripes, and check the window for the destination. When in doubt, just flag one down and ask if it's going to Carlisle Bay.
If you're near Accra Beach, another great way to get to Carlisle Bay is by strolling on the boardwalk. This walkway hugs the coastline from Accra all the way to Camelot. From there, you'll need to join up with the road and walk another 10 minutes or so to Carlisle Bay. The boardwalk is a stunning feature of Barbados, make sure you take advantage of it!
If you're arriving to Barbados by cruise ship, this beach is just a few steps south of the port at Bridgetown, making it a great destination for those on a 24 hour stay, or less.
Of course, you could always rent a car or take a taxi to Carlisle Bay.
Things To Do at Carlisle Bay
Whether you're interested in relaxing with a good book, getting active, partying all night, or enjoying a good meal, there's something for everyone at Carlisle Bay.
You can walk along the beach with your toes in the sand and the sea gently lapping at your feet, or opt for swimming in the calm, crescent-shaped bay. Early morning and late afternoons are popular times at the bay, with locals using the space to work-out. You'll often see people jogging up and down the beach, doing sit-ups and push-ups in the sand and swimming lengths as well. Scuba diving is also popular here, as there are some shipwrecks just offshore.
Another great way to get active at the beach is to try SUP. Stand up paddleboarding has taken off in recent years and thankfully, this bay is calm enough that you won't get knocked off the board!
You can rent SUP boards from The Boatyard Beach Club. In fact, if you're coming off a cruise ship, you can purchase a day pass at the club which includes use of their amenities, umbrellas and chairs, a boat trip, a welcome drink, and transport back to the cruise ship.
If you're staying on the island, you can grab a day pass, which includes restaurant credit. A great deal.
Harbour Lights is a fun beach bar offering drinks and relaxation during the day, with umbrellas and chairs available to rent, and dinner and a show packages in the evening.
Where to Eat at Carlisle Bay
When it comes to food, the top place I recommend trying is Cuz's Fish Shack. Located in the parking lot at Pebbles Beach (south end of Carlisle Bay), is a blue wooden shack serving up tasty fish sandwiches, locally known as "cutters".
A fish cutter is a popular sandwich in Barbados — both with locals and tourists — it’s made with salt bread, lettuce, tomato and fish (flying fish, marlin, tuna, mahi-mahi or billfish). Even though it's called salt bread, it's not salty at all. Make sure to top your sandwich off with some spicy Bajan pepper sauce!
Other food options include the bar at the Beach Club, a meal at Harbour Lights, bringing a picnic and enjoying some food on the sand, or purchasing some snacks from one of the vendors wandering up and down the beach.
Pack your towel, sunscreen and enjoy Carlisle Bay!
Of all the beaches Barbados has to offer, this is one of the best if you're looking for safe swimming, some amenities, and soft sand. There is some shade, but not a lot, so your best bet is to rent an umbrella and chair from either the Beach Club or Harbour Lights. Kick back, relax and enjoy a day at Carlisle Bay!
About the author
Dariece and Nick are the couple behind Goats On The Road a top travel and lifestyle website which shows you how to work remotely, from anywhere in the world. Visit their website for information and inspiration on traveling, living abroad, working overseas, and running a successful business online.