Significantly different from the more sheltered western coast of Barbados, the eastern coast has more powerful crashing waves, battered rock formations and world class surfing. Swimming is generally not recommended due to the medium to large waves and unpredictable strong currents and undertow. Like elsewhere in Barbados the mouth-watering freshly caught fish is abundant. All of this, and so much more, is the East Coast of Barbados.
Bottom Bay is tucked away on the South East Coast of Barbados, in the parish of St. Philip, with Cave Bay, Sam Lord’s Castle and Crane Beach to the south and Palmetto Bay, East Point Lighthouse and Ragged Bay to the north. This is a wide expansive beach with smooth rolling waves riding onto shore. The views from the top of the cliff are said to be fantastic. These cliffs also provide the opportunity of spotting turtles and whales in the waters below. Although there are car parking facilities on the cliff top, you will need to be reasonably able bodied to get down the steps leading to the beach. There are no restaurants or restrooms nearby, which adds to the secluded feeling.
Further south is Crane Beach, considered by many to be one of the island’s most beautiful beaches. The natural beauty of the beach when I visited was scarred by seaweed, a type of brown algae called sargassum, which had washed ashore in unprecedented quantities.
Crane Beach gets its name from when it was a boat landing where cargo was unloaded and lifted by a crane atop the cliff. Today, it’s one of the most famous beaches in Barbados. Public access to the beach requires a descent down many stairs, while the Crane Resort hotel has its own elevator to sand level. Even though Crane Beach appears to be part of the Crane Resort, it’s actually open to the public. In fact, all Barbados beaches are public access according to Bajan law, which means anyone can visit them.
Despite the less than appealing looking waters covered in sargassum, adventurous swimmers couldn’t seem to resist the warm Bajan waters.
The oldest continually operating hotel in the Caribbean (since 1887), The Crane Resort is huge, with 252 rooms, five pools, five restaurants and bars, a “village” area complete with an art gallery, and numerous amenities spread out over 40 acres.