While planning our trip to Barbados it seemed as if snorkeling with the turtles (in their own habitat) was a must do. Our daughters would be 2 and 3 months but if you haven't discovered by now this was not a factor that would prevent me from us being able to experience this. We decided that one of us would watch the kids while the other snorkeled and then switch off. Little did I know that the tour we booked would not only allow both of us to snorkel at the same time but also provide the opportunity for our 2 year old to snorkel too!
We booked our tour with Therapy Charters and you can read my review on them here. When I emailed them to book I had spoke with the owner, Leisa, to let her know we had our two children and if it was okay for my husband and I to switch out watching the baby so we could each have time in the water. She immediately offered to stay on board with our 3 month old and let us know they had life vests small enough for our 2yr old as well as kids goggles so she could snorkel too. I was skeptical at first but didn't want to seem rude through email so I just said thank you and knew I would play it by ear.
When Leisa picked us up from our hotel her warm presence was immediately felt. On our ride to the pier she let us know she has four kids herself, varying in ages. She was an absolute delight and we felt like we could trust her to watch Kennedy while we snorkeled, so we did. Jordyn absolutely loves the beach so I knew she would enjoy snorkeling and not be scared of the big ocean but we were a little worried about her floating away. The captain who was our snorkel guide said he would stay with her while we had our heads underwater to make sure she didn't go far from us and that's exactly what he did. She had the time of her life and did not want to come out of the water at all.
We were so happy we were able to truly enjoy this excursion and we know that it was because we chose Therapy Charters. It was private and we got the full attention of our tour guides and we were able to move on when we wanted to.
The trip was $130 total for 2 hours out in the ocean and Leisa picked us up from our hotel and dropped us off. We spent one hour swimming with the turtles (this is out in the open ocean so you are in their habitat, they are not captive). The other hour was spent on a swimming/snorkeling tour of the four sunken ships, this was very cool to see the ships underwater.
What do you do when JetBlue adds nonstop service from Fort Lauderdale to Bridgetown for $165RT, you go for the weekend of course! I don't know anyone who wouldn't want to stay in paradise as long as possible but Barbados is a very small island so a long weekend is more than enough time. We flew out Friday morning and returned on Sunday.
Like a lot of Caribbean islands you de-board directly on the tarmac so be prepared to carry your little one down the stairs. If you gate checked your stroller you do reclaim it on the tarmac which was great so Jordyn could sit in it while we waited in the immigration line.
Where we stayed: Hilton Barbados- it is right on a beautiful beach, with white sand and crystal clear warm water. Every room overlooks the beach, ours overlooked both the beach and pool. It was a quick 25min ride from the airport and a $12USD taxi ride. They don't have cribs but they do offer free pack n plays which we took full advantage of for Kennedy to sleep in. The room we stayed in had both a tub and stand up shower, so great for kids. Children under 5 also eat free so we didn't have to pay for any of Jordyn's meals that we ate at the resort.
We checked in and grabbed lunch at the hotel's restaurant. We got their signature El Dorado fish sandwich. Then we hit the beach as our oldest is absolutely obsessed. After a few hours we washed up and took a nap as we were tired from our early flight and the sun and beach water. We were celebrating Mother's Day and Jordyn's 2nd Birthday and the hotel made her feel very special. When we woke up we headed to Waterfront Cafe for dinner- they have live music on Friday nights and they have indoor and outdoor seating. We took a cab, which they have plenty at the resort, for about $7USD.
We woke up extremely early for a morning adventure of swimming with the turtles and snorkeling to see the sunken ships. Yes we went snorkeling with our 3 month old and 2 year old!! We did our tour through Therapy Charters.
I absolutely loved Therapy Charters because it is a true private trip, it was just the 4 of us, the owner Leisa, and the captain who was also the tour guide/underwater photographer. I had spoken with Leisa before to let her know we had our two children and if it was okay for my husband and I to switch out watching the baby so we could each have time in the water. She immediately offered to stay on board with our little one so we could enjoy the trip with our oldest. I was skeptical at first but didn't want to seem rude through email so I just said thank you and knew I would play it by ear. Leisa has four kids herself and was absolutely amazing and I felt like I could trust her, so we did. They had a life vest small enough for our 2yr old and snapped some great photos of us underwater with the turtles that they later emailed us- this was at no additional cost.
The trip was $130 total for 2hours out in the ocean and Leisa picked us up from our hotel and dropped us off. We spent one hour swimming with the turtles (this is out in the open ocean so you are in their habitat, they are not captive). The other hour was spent on a swimming/snorkeling tour to the four sunken ships, this was very cool to see the ships underwater.
We started the day at 8AM so we were back to the hotel by 10:30AM, we showered and got ready for our next adventure. We asked the taxi driver how much it would be to take us to the Barbados Wildlife Reserve and one of the caves and it ended up being cheaper to higher him by the hour, $35/hr USD- it took us 3 hours to do all that we did.
The Barbados Wildlife Reserve was our first stop. They do not accept credit cards so be sure to have enough cash ($11.75USD for adults, $5.87USD for children 3-12, and free for under 3). They are best known for the Barbados Green Monkeys that roam free, feeding time is at 2PM but we left before they began to feed them and we still saw plenty! They also have tortoises, peacocks, Brocket Deers, and many others. If you have a little one that doesn't walk or can't walk for long I highly recommend you bring your carrier, a stroller will be useless here due to the very narrow, somewhat hilly, and cobblestone path.
We were still deciding between which cave to go to- Harrison's Cave or Animal Flower Cave. Both our snorkel guide and the taxi driver recommended Harrison's Cave so we took their word for it. I regret this decision and wish we would of went to Animal Flower Cave, especially for the apparent breathtaking view from the cliff.
Harrison's Cave is an underground cave known for its caverns and formations. We did the tram tour which lasts about 45mins- 1hr. It is $30USD per person and we were very disappointed. If you haven't been to a cave before I guess it is a nice thing to see but having been to other underground caves in other countries I thought this one was sub-par and not worth the $30USD, more like a $10 tour, which is probably more of the reason why I was disappointed.
We had dinner at highly talked about Brown Sugar, which we could walk to from the hotel. The food was okay but we didn't understand the big fuss made about it.
Unfortunately it was our last day :-(. What else would we do but spend the day at Jordyn's favorite place, the beach! She enjoyed it as usual and then it was time to shower, pack, and head to the airport!