BRIDGETOWN, Barbados (Reuters Life!) - Barbados is a serene Caribbean island that lures visitors with its aqua waters, friendly people and fine dining.
The island also delights tourists and locals with great music, including the Barbados Jazz Festival from Jan 11 to 17. Reuters correspondents with local knowledge offer tips to help visitors get the most out the tropical paradise.
Noon - After settling in your hotel get ready for a bit of sunbathing on some of the top beaches in the world, including The Crane Resort www.thecrane.com
3:30 pm - Catch the last tour at the Mount Gay Rum Distillery and learn about the history of rum, the balm of clipper ship sailors. Become a rummy yourself by learning tasting skills at the bar. www.mountgay.
5:00 pm - Treat yourself to an early dinner at Champers where you can try grilled barracuda. www.champersbarbados.com.
7 pm - Aside from the Las Vegas-style show, the main reason to visit The Plantation is to see a truly amazing Bajan tradition -- stilt dancers. These high walkers dance and even turn flips that can almost upstage the fire eaters. www.plantationtheatre.com/
9:00 pm - Head for Jazz Fest and listen to music. www.barbadosjazzfestival.com
8:00 am to noon - Join an Island Safari and explore the hidden coves and wild places in the island. From Gun Hill Signal Station, a clear day will grant you a view of most of the island. Rugged coasts and clear pools can be tricky if you indulge in the jungle juice rum concoction www.islandsafari.bb.
1:00 pm - Lunch at Waterfront Cafe where jerked pork, pepper pot and other Caribbean dishes are served in the middle of historic Bridgetown, on the marina. www.waterfrontcafe.com.bb.
2:00 pm - Walk along the wharf and shop in boutiques along the way.
4:00 pm - Try your skills at surfing with a lesson given by champion surfer Melanie Pitcher, who can get almost anybody riding on a board. www.surfbarbados.com.
7:00 pm - Head for Oistins Fish Market and settle into a picnic table at Uncle George's, who makes you feel like family. The local flying fish with Cou Cou (corn meal and okra) comes fresh from the ocean to the grill. Dance to one of local bands and get the calypso rhythm.
9:00 pm - Visit the jazz festival or stop in a local rum shop for a few drinks with friendly locals. Be careful about getting into a game of dominoes. It is played seriously here and you may find yourself quickly trounced.
8:00 am - There are two ways to see the most colorful part of Barbados, which is underwater. The lazy way is to go underwater in a ride in Atlantis, a real submarine that plunges down into a coral reef and rides past a shipwreck www.atlantisadventures.com/caribbean/barbados.
More adventurous types can try scuba diving.
11:00 am - Learn to play polo. Jeff Evelyn, former polo team champ, will put you on a pony. Be sure to ask for the light polo mallets. firstname.lastname@example.org.
4:00- 7:00 pm - If you can stay, end Sunday with a Turtles at Sunset Cocktail Tour with Tiami Catamaran. The crew will make you feel part of the party and the swim with the turtles is magical. www.funbarbados.com