Barbados & Fun


Barbados is small country in the Caribbean Sea as indicated in wikipedia.

This page will list some of the fun ideas and activities that Barbados has to offer.  This is a modest, biased start: hopefully more things will get added over time.

Snorkeling Around Bellairs

The reef right behind Bellairs institute offers some pretty radical snorkeling opportunities.  Make sure to bring a snorkel and mask (consider buying one), otherwise you might feel left out!


Written selfishly by Brian Tanner ( ) to try to find some dive buddies.

While there is some great snorkeling right near Bellairs, personally I love being able to stay under and breath and move freely.  I like looking underneath the coral structures, peeking into holes, and going down deeper.  Diving is an experience that I really have longed to repeat every since my first  open water dives in 2008.  

There are many good scuba diving opportunities for beginner  (ie: non-divers) and advanced divers in Barbados.  

Resort Course

Last year, a group of 6 or so did a "resort course".  This is for non-divers.  You get a quick introduction to scuba, about 30-60 minutes of instruction in a pool, and then you go on a short (30 minute) dive in about 30 feet of water.  All equipment was provided.  This was a great first-time experience, a low-pressure opportunity to try out the gear and explore the underwater world.   We even got to see some pretty neat things!  This set me on the path to getting certified.

Update March 24

I've done a bit of research and have contacted various dive places in Barbados. Looks like the cost of the resort course is about $80-$100 USD per person.  This includes all equipment, some time in the pool, and a shallow dive on a reef or a wreck.  I will try to create a list of interested people when we get to Barbados, and plan an outing for mid-late week.  If you know already that you are interested, please e-mail me at any time.

Getting Certified

Maybe you have always thought about becoming a scuba diver.  It's easier than you think, and your certification is forever!   The classes cost (in Edmonton), about $200.  It takes a few classroom sessions, and a few pool sessions, and then 4 open-water certification dives.  I did it the classroom/pool over 6 sessions at the University, but many places offer courses where you can do the whole thing in a single weekend.

Apparently PADI (the largest certification association) even has online classes... so you can skip the classroom time.

The certification dives need to be done in open water, so if you are someplace frozen right now (like Edmonton), you'd have to do your certification dives in Barbados.  The cost for 4 dives (in Barbados) is ~$200 USD, and is done in roughly 2 x 3 hour sessions (not on the same day).  If you need to do your certification dives in Barbados, I would personally recommend going to Barbados a couple of days early, so that they don't interfere with the workshop.  There is at least one person (unnamed for now) seriously interested in doing this, and I'm sure it would be even better with a small group.  Please contact me if you are interested.

Diving Around Bellairs

I (Brian) recently became a certified open-water scuba diver.  This means that I am certified to plan scuba dives (with a buddy) to a depth of about 80 feet.  Bellairs offers full scuba tanks (and I assume weight belts) at a cost of $5 each!  This means that for $5 (if I bring or rent gear for the week), I can go diving on the reef, instead of snorkeling.  This is a very exciting prospect for me!  Maybe even some night diving.... :)

But I need a buddy!  So, if you are a certified diver, and you are interested in diving in Barbados, please contact me !

Gear Rental

Just wanted to share some local price information.  In Edmonton, I've received quotes to rent: BCD, regulators, and gauges for 7-10 days of between $70-$100.  In addition to mask and fins, this is all you need to bring.  I'm quite pleased at that price.

Update March 24 :: Extra Rig (BCD + Regs + Computer Available)

I have contacted many places in Barbados, and nobody there seems willing to rent equipment for diving without their group.  This means that a certified diver cannot show up in Barbados, rent equipment, and then come back to Bellairs and do shore dives on the reef there for $5 a tank.  Any certified divers that are interested in shore dives at Bellairs will need to bring equipment with them.  As I said, I've found full rentals for $70-$100 here in Edmonton, so it's not a significant expense. The larger issue is that you have to plan ahead a little bit. 

I'll be bringing two rigs with me, and my buddy is willing to have his rig used by someone else before he arrives on Saturday (April 18th). If you are "extra large", then you'd be all set to use his rig.  If you are smaller, you'd have to rent/bring your own BCD.  Note that fins/mask are not included, this is just regulators, gauges, BCD, and computer.

Diving Around Barbados

Aside from doing self-planned dives around Bellairs, there are tonnes of dive sites all around Barbados.  The idea here is that you hire a divemaster and a boat and they take you to some cool places for a guided dive.  There are many wrecks and some deep wall dives, and lots of other types of dives I think.  I did a few dives like this in Mexico and it was the coolest experience of my life.  If anyone would be interested in some guided dives, please contact me. Maybe we can get a group together!

I will be staying in Barbados after the workshop until April 23rd to do some extra diving.  My buddy (my dad) is coming down from the 18th - 23rd to join me.  If you're interested in getting some diving in with us during this time, please let me know.

Feel free to contact me with any questions or to express interest!


Oistins is a fishing community in Barbados.  On Friday night, the place turns into a big party!  There is music, dancing, vendors, crowds, and fantastic food.

Last year, our group sought out the fish vendor with the longest lineup.  We consumed a couple of beverages  while waiting in line, and then we had swordfish steaks.  It was the greatest meal of my life.  After eating, some members of our group started dancing on the stage (there was a DJ), and before long we were the center of a huge dance party!

Later we hit some nearby nightspots, which were not as fun/exciting.

Overall, Oistins is not for everyone (loud music, big crowds), and there was high variance in the average fun that was had.  However, if this is your sort of thing, good times will be had on Friday!

Saturday also has a fish fry but is a more subdued atmosphere.

Turtle Swim/Snorkel Tours

There are numerous opportunities to hire a boat/tour to go snorkeling around the island.  These tours usually take you to 1-3 locations to snorkel over reefs, shipwrecks, and with giant sea turtles!  Overall, an awesome experience!

Crane Beach (Bodyboarding)

Historically, a group has gone to crane beach on the far side of the island.  Big waves and body boards for rent!  A fun time is usually had by most. Be warned, there are almost no services at this beach (no bathrooms or food vendors), so come prepared!

Surfing? Beach

There is a different beach (near crane) where you can do proper surfing.  I don't know the name of this beach.  It's apparently quite rocky.  If you are a surfer or you want to try surfing, then this might be for you!


Link from Carlos Diuk.  Some people tried to surf here last year but I think it was super dangerous, not for beginners.  Otherwise apparently Bathsheba is just a very cool place to visit.

Harrison's cave

Take a trip underground into a real-life cave!

Flower forrest

Welchman Hall Gully (A Rainforest)

A real rainforest, with lots of interesting things to see.  When we went a couple of years ago, there was a guide that pointed out all sorts of things we would not have noticed (guide was free).

Other Things To Know


Some advice on transportation:
  • They drive on the wrong side of the road, and very fast, so don't rent a car, but instead take a bus, which are very affordable


  • If things are the same as before, then you are on your own for lunch.  This means a restaurant, or food from the grocery store.
  • There is a grocery store at the mall, about a 15 minute walk from Bellairs.  It is a large store, local shop there.
  • They have cheap rum!
  • Most things are closed on Sunday.