If you’re on the fence about booking a Barbados vacation because you’ve heard it’s plagued by sargassum seaweed, here’s proof that it’s not. It’s true, the past few months have been unpleasant for tourists and residents from Texas to Tobago, as the region has been hit by a massive algae bloom. Piles of brown, smelly seaweed have accumulated over some beaches 5 to 10 feet high. Normally, sargassum undergoes seasonal cycles of growth and decay that are vital to the local ecosystem, but this year’s has been a doozy. Most scientists believe climate change and water pollution are factors in the rise of this natural phenomenon. The summer was a challenging one for Barbados tourism, but there’s absolutely no need to avoid the island. There are countless beaches that are completely free and clear of it, you’ll have no trouble filling a holiday with a variety of idyllic shorelines.
I traversed the coast of Barbados from the northwest to the southeast yesterday to document the current state of its prized beaches. I was pleasantly surprised to find the vast majority of them to be pristine, as in no trace of the stinky stuff whatsoever. These are my amateur snapshots with an average camera on a random Tuesday, no special filters or Photoshop enhancements, just to provide evidence that Barbados is as stunning as ever. Sargassum is a complex issue that the region has to confront, but these photos will let you know that the island is still a desirable destination for beach lovers and water sports enthusiasts to embrace and enjoy.
1. Six Men’s Bay
I started my journey near Six Men’s Bay in the northwest of the island, in front of the understated boutique hotel of Little Good Harbour and its celebrated restaurant, The Fish Pot. They’re just gearing up for the coming tourist season, but the beach out front is as crystal clear as it gets right now.