Book flights to Barbados for romance and fun

I’d had high hopes before embarking on my trip to Barbados, and I certainly wasn’t disappointed. One of the things that struck me most about this small but perfectly formed island in the east of the Caribbean was the sense of romance that seemed to pervade virtually every street, beach and bar. Benefiting from superb weather, stunning beaches, sumptuous cuisine and welcoming locals, it makes the ideal vacation spot for loved up couples.

Follow my Footstep to the Sunset. Barbados
Image by Berit Watkin , used under the Creative Commons license

Where to stay

I’d received mixed advice about where to stay on this sun kissed island. If it’s surf you’re after, head to the east coast. There, you’ll find stunning scenery and plenty of waves. However, like many of the people who venture to Barbados, my partner and I opted for one of the relaxing resorts on the west coast. This sheltered stretch benefits from beautiful sandy spots, calm seas and plenty of luxurious hotels and restaurants.

Take a picnic tn the beach

Turtles !
Image by Shayan (USA), used under the Creative Commons license.

It’s easy to spend day after day simply sunbathing and swimming while in Barbados, but if you really want to make the most of your time there, it’s a good idea to organize the occasional special date. You certainly won’t be short of options. One of my favourite holiday memories involved taking a simple picnic to Gibbes Beach. This 300-meter stretch of sand has to be one of the most scenic on the entire island and it lacks the commercial look and feel of many of the other coastal spots. The beach is bordered by tall trees, adding to the sense of seclusion. This also means there’s plenty of shade if you want to escape the sun. Take along a picnic and taste the island’s famous rum.

Dine in style

No trip to this destination is complete without at least one high-end meal. You’ll be spoiled for choice when perusing the array of eateries on offer. Wherever you end up, look out for local delicacies like flying fish. Another unique flavour comes in the form of sea urchins, known in Barbados as ‘sea eggs’. Around 17 different species of these creatures can be found around the coastline and they are usually steamed, but if you’re feeling brave, you can eat them raw.

Head inland

Another top date tip is to head inland to the island’s lush interior. Boasting fields of sugar cane and beautiful botanic gardens, this rolling terrain is superb for a romantic stroll. It’s also well worth checking out one of the island’s plantation houses. For example, right at the heart of the island lies the 350-year-old Fisherpond Plantation House. Set in immaculate grounds, this fascinating building lets you step back in time to the island’s colonial past. We missed it, but if you’re there on a Sunday, you can also sample a planter’s buffet lunch while listening to live piano music.

Time your trip

To get the most from your holiday, it’s a good idea to book your flights to Barbados and time the trip carefully. Travelling in the winter, we enjoyed virtually unbroken sunshine. January through to April is generally considered to be the best time to visit the island as these months are the coolest and least humid. Of course, you don’t have to restrict yourself to this window, but if you don’t want to get wet, avoid the official hurricane season. This runs from June to November.

With a little planning, you can enjoy a romantic break like no other in this corner of the Caribbean.

Back on the isla

12 noon. Habagat is here, blowing its winds while the June sun bore down really hard.

We are back on the island, back on one of our favorite haunts, waiting for one of our favorite comfort food — a bowl of agedashi tofu, which unfortunately is prone to inflation, as is everything else in this place.

Exactly a year ago we were probably doing exactly the same thing, seated on the same table, famished but happy. We’ve come twice more between then and now, and Owen and I would always find ourselves in this spot.

Everything looks as I remember it from a year ago: the umbrella tree in front and the plastic lounge chairs surrounding it; foreign families just off the beach coming in — spattering water all over the floor in the process — to order fresh fruit shake to be delivered later to their spot under the tree; somebody kitesurfing on the beach; the beach’s sundry hues of blue.

But this year, there was something else.

There were giggles and laughter as the surf crashed into shore and the wind blew harder.

On the beach were kids — tiny specks of brown against the blanket of blue — swimming naked without a care in the world.

It was a perfect day in Boracay.

White Beach, Boracay

~
Words by Nikka, Photos by Owen
Other Boracay posts

El Nido, finally

Sleeping on the floor of a hut on an uninhabited island was a new thing, and we did it in El Nido.

TWO2TRAVEL El Nido, Palawan

Earlier that night, our group of five tourists and three boatmen dined on an assortment of grilled and fried things; our only source of light was a piece of cloth stuffed inside a bottle of Coke filled with gas. There was a guitar, and the guys who were steering our boat earlier were now belting out Freddie Aguilar songs over copious amounts of rum coke. One of them was marrying the love of his life soon and seemed jittery about it; the other one kept poking fun at him. Our guide also told eerie tales from the islands (“May araw talaga na mangunguha ang dagat“), and one of my friends got help finding her way to the bathroom from somebody who looked like one of our other friends.. who happened to have been somewhere else at that time. We stayed long enough to see the moonrise, until the sky went completely dark and we decided it was time to retire to our hut. That was Owen’s birthday salubong, the end of the only sunny day we would have in El Nido.

And we didn’t have a single photo to show for it.

So it probably did not happen, depending on your life’s beliefs. After all, this was fabled El Nido, where anything from the mundane to the magical to the eerie can happen.

TWO2TRAVEL El Nido, Palawan

TWO2TRAVEL El Nido, Palawan

TWO2TRAVEL El Nido, Palawan

TWO2TRAVEL El Nido, Palawan

TWO2TRAVEL El Nido, Palawan

TWO2TRAVEL El Nido, Palawan

TWO2TRAVEL El Nido, Palawan

TWO2TRAVEL El Nido, Palawan

TWO2TRAVEL El Nido, Palawan

TWO2TRAVEL El Nido, Palawan

TWO2TRAVEL El Nido, Palawan

TWO2TRAVEL El Nido, Palawan

TWO2TRAVEL El Nido, Palawan

TWO2TRAVEL El Nido, Palawan

TWO2TRAVEL El Nido, Palawan

TWO2TRAVEL El Nido, Palawan

TWO2TRAVEL El Nido, Palawan

TWO2TRAVEL El Nido, Palawan

TWO2TRAVEL El Nido, Palawan

TWO2TRAVEL El Nido, Palawan

TWO2TRAVEL El Nido, Palawan

TWO2TRAVEL El Nido, Palawan

TWO2TRAVEL El Nido, Palawan

TWO2TRAVEL El Nido, Palawan

TWO2TRAVEL El Nido, Palawan

TWO2TRAVEL El Nido, Palawan

TWO2TRAVEL El Nido, Palawan

TWO2TRAVEL El Nido, Palawan

You may also want to read:
Drenched Tales from El Nido
Moody Bacuit Bay
Also check out:
Hotels in El Nido

~
Words by Nikka, Photos by Owen

Drenched tales from El Nido

So how is El Nido, that fabled place north of Palawan, when it decides to rain?

First, it doesn’t, and you are hopeful.

After all, you did sit through the eternity that it took to reach this place. You’ve read all there is to read online about it. Everyone wants to be here. Everyone who’s been here wants to return. A lucky few who visited have never left. So yeah, you’re damn optimistic and you can blame everyone but yourself for it.
Continue reading “Drenched tales from El Nido”

Snapshots from Albay: Pinamuntugan Island and Bacacay

Although it is home to one of the Philippines’ most recognizable landmarks, Bicol still has way too many secrets. This island in Albay is one, despite being next-door neighbors with the ritzy Cagraray Island, home to Misibis Bay. We’re talking about Pinamuntugan, an hour’s boat ride from the town of Bacacay in Albay. Our stay on this island was short, sweet, and (relatively) cheap, since there’s really nothing to do here—dolce far niente, ladies and gentlemen.

TWO2TRAVEL: Bicol - Pinamuntugan Island, Bacacay, Albay
Continue reading “Snapshots from Albay: Pinamuntugan Island and Bacacay”

Boracay on the cheap

During Happy Hour, beer in Boracay averages P70 for two, which makes it P35—or less than a dollar—a bottle. We don’t know about you, but that’s cheap, especially if you factor in the ambiance—beautiful sunset, fine sand on your toes, cushy chairs under coconut trees. Meanwhile, a tricycle ride is P10, a filling meal P50, a liter of water P5, a bed for the night P400—that is, if you’re not picky. And, not to forget, four kilometers of white sand—one of the best in the world—costs absolutely nothing.

Diniwid Beach, Boracay, Philippines - by www.Two2Travel.com
Continue reading “Boracay on the cheap”

Kalanggaman Island, Leyte: Beauty in the middle of nowhere

We could taste the saltwater on our lips.

In fact, saltwater was all over our face.

Our eyeglasses—yes, both of them—were pockmarked with beads of water. We could barely see ahead of us, and besides, there seemed nothing else to see except the rough open seas ahead.

Our boat carried around 20 tourists—brown-skinned, pale-skinned, black-haired, golden-haired, big-eyed, chinky-eyed. And it was big, just as any good dive boat should.

But the waves were bigger.

Kalanggaman Island, Palompon, Leyte - Two2Travel.com

It was a sunny day, yes, but for some reason the waves weren’t friendly.

Continue reading “Kalanggaman Island, Leyte: Beauty in the middle of nowhere”

On the other side of Boracay’s White Beach

Bone-shaped Boracay was not well loved. We have always thought it was a hostile place for the average Pinoy with the hard-earned vacation leave and even more hard-earned vacation money. We’ve had more fun for less in other places.

But we found ourselves staying in this island for a month, partly for work and entirely by choice. The people we had met during this time—people with easy smiles who welcomed practical strangers like old friends—compelled us to look at the island the way they do. And in this respect, Boracay the pricey island was shoved, and in its place came an island that’s easygoing, laidback, and generous. It was generous in its natural beauty, and even more so in its people.

But then again we also had to live with things that lead many to call the island a sh*thole. I won’t be calling anybody’s home that, but this doesn’t make the bad drainage, choking traffic (both vehicular and pedestrian), and many other unpleasant images, mostly at the expense of the environment, any less real. They are.

White Beach itself isn’t as placid as I remember it from two years ago, and the changes in the tides have become drastic. There were days when we could barely walk along White Beach from Diniwid, as crashing waves lent some parts practically impassable with the slightest rains.

Diniwid Beach, Boracay, Philippines - by www.Two2Travel.com
Diniwid Beach is pretty when the sun is out, very pretty indeed.

Continue reading “On the other side of Boracay’s White Beach”

POSTCARDS: Diniwid Beach, Boracay

TWO2TRAVEL | Diniwid Beach, Boracay
 





On the other side of White Beach in Boracay Island is Diniwid Beach, whose sand is just as fine and white but whose turquoise waters and jagged rock formations make for a unique beach experience altogether. With thinner crowds and less establishments, Diniwid Beach gives you peace and quiet—save of course for the crashing of wave against rock—a sound that lasts all day, every day.