Part fishing village and part tropical paradise, this secluded and peaceful town on the east coast of Barbados is becoming as popular with digital nomads as it is with surfers.
Bathsheba is the primary fishing village in Saint Joseph parish, on the eastern coast of the tiny Caribbean island of Barbados. Its main claim to fame is its dramatic coastline, with pristine white sand beaches stretching between towering cliffs and rock formations. The impressive waves along the coast have made Bathsheba a top destination for surfers, with local surf competitions bringing in athletes from around the world. It’s a popular spot for more laid-back travelers, too, who enjoy the relaxed vibe and unspoiled natural beauty. Though Bathsheba is only about 14 miles up the coast from the capital of Bridgetown, it feels much more wild and secluded than it is. Between the green landscape and the many historic churches, living in Bathsheba feels like stepping back in time. Unlike other small villages in the Caribbean, many residents work in the same family-run fishing businesses as past generations and it doesn’t have the touristy vibe of more developed resort areas.
Where to live in Bathsheba
The town of Bathsheba has a small-town feel and relaxed vibe that’s a refreshing contrast from the bustling, resort-filled west coast of Barbados. You’ll find this same atmosphere throughout St. Joseph Parish. The question of where to live will likely come down to convenience. Living in or around the main town gives you easy access to the beach. On the other hand, living further inland gives you quick access to other parts of the island, and could be a better choice for those looking to explore more of Barbados during their stay.
Best Neighborhoods in Bathsheba
There are several residential properties right in the Bathsheba Beach region. This and Atlantic Park up the coast are the top spots for beach-side living. You’ll also get easy access to the coast in Foster Hall, and its abundant green space gives it an even more secluded, wild vibe than other east coast towns and villages. Keep in mind you’ll never be that far from a beach anywhere on Barbados, so you don’t have to sacrifice sunbathing if you live further inland. Areas like St. Elizabeth’s or Airy Hill are a bit closer to the shopping centers and coworking spaces around Bridgetown, as well as the parks and nature preserves at the island’s heart.
Amazing Apartments, Coliving Spaces and More
We've been rounded up the best housing options in Bathsheba. All are available on flexible terms, so you can stay one month or as long as you want
Quick Facts About BathshebaWith its massive boulders and rich biodiversity, the landscape around Bathsheba is uniquely picturesque. Here are some more facts you might not know about this fishing village:
The Queen of England is still Barbados’ head of state.Barbados declared its independence from England in 1966 and uses the Westminster system of government. All political power is held by the country’s Parliament but they still consider the British monarch to be their ceremonial head of state. She’s represented in the Barbados government by an appointed Governor-General.
Its Saint Joseph Anglican Church dates back to 1640.The English quickly colonized Barbados after their first ships arrived in 1625, and the speed with which Saint Joseph was built is a testament to this. The church you’ll see today isn’t the original, however--it had to be rebuilt in 1839 after the first building was damaged by a hurricane.
The beach isn’t for swimming.The same water conditions that make Bathsheba ideal for surfing also create potentially dangerous undertows and rip tides. If you want to go swimming, the inland Bathsheba Pools are a safer option.
The locals speak BajanBajan is a Creole dialect with West African influences and is unique to Barbados. While English-speakers can learn it with a bit of practice, Bajan can be difficult to understand at first, especially since locals tend to speak quickly.
Its name has Biblical roots.Bathsheba is the wife of King David. According to legend, she kept her skin soft and youthful by bathing in milk. The mineral-rich water in the pools around Bathsheba is said to have similar healing properties to these legendary baths, giving the town its name.
It hosts the Barbados National Surf Championship every November.Bathsheba is built on a bay known as the Soup Bowl that’s a top surf destination any time of year. It’s particularly popular in November when top surfers from around the world compete in this annual event.
The highest point on the island is close by.Mount Hillaby in Barbados’ Scotland District isn’t particularly tall as mountains go, with a gentle slope and roads most of the way up, but it’s nonetheless the highest point on this relatively flat island. You’ll see the best views of Bathsheba and its coast from the top.
It’s near two of the island’s most notable botanic gardens.The 50-acre Flower Forest is the largest garden in Barbados and one of the island’s most popular attractions. The smaller Andromeda Botanic Gardens has more than 500 plant species and is the only garden in the West Indies to have been granted Partner Garden status by the UK Royal Horticultural Society.
Work in Bathsheba
From Bathsheba, you can get to any town in Barbados in 40 minutes or less (usually much less). This opens up the entire island if you’re looking for employment. While fishing and tourism are the primary industries in Bathsheba, the island-wide economy is more diverse and has been growing at a rate of 3-5% per year since the mid-’90s. Barbados has been growing as an international business center and is known for being friendly to remote workers, something reinforced by the recent addition of their digital nomad visa program. Aside from tourism and the services sector, major industries include agriculture, mining, off-shore oil production, and manufacturing. Rum production remains particularly big on Barbados even though sugarcane cultivation has dropped in favor of food crops, with three commercial rum distilleries (Mount Gay, West Indies Rum Distillers, and Four Square) as well as smaller craft operations on the island.
How good is Bathsheba for Digital Nomads or Remote Work
Remote work is changing how the global workspace operates. In a trend that is showing no signs of slowing down, remote work is rapidly on the increase all around the world—especially in a place like Bathsheba. And about 25% of remote workers describe themselves as digital nomads—those who like to travel or stay in cities around the world while they work. So, how good is Bathsheba for both of these growing movements?
Average Internet SpeedInternet speeds across Barbados have been steadily improving over the last 10 years. The average download speed on the island is about 16Mbps. Public Wi-Fi is widely available, as well, thanks to an initiative started in 2011 to provide Wi-Fi hotspots across the island.
Work-friendly Coffee ShopsThe cafe scene in Barbados is relatively new. If you’re looking for a dedicated coffee shop you’ll find a decent number in Bridgetown. There are some spots to work remotely in Bathsheba, too, they’re just more restaurants and bars than cafes. Here are some top choices: Round House: Located right on the beach, this hotel’s restaurant area has free Wi-Fi and a mix of indoor and outdoor seating, along with a delicious all-day menu. Dina’s Bar: Another beach-side option, Dina’s can get busy in the afternoon but the outdoor area is spaced out enough you can still find a peaceful place to work. You’ll definitely want to get a meal while you work since they have some of the best food on the island. Senses Marche: If you’re looking for a true coffee shop, this spacious cafe in Bridgetown is ideal for remote workers. There’s outdoor as well as indoor seating, along with ample power outlets and free Wi-Fi.
Coworking SpacesNothing is that far apart on the compact island of Barbados. While there’s only one coworking space in Bathsheba (Outsite), spots in Bridgetown or along the west coast are within a 30-minute drive and accessible by public bus, as well, making them viable options for digital nomads living anywhere on the island. Here are the top-rated options: Outsite Barbados: Outsite is a co-living and coworking space aimed at building a community for digital nomads. The space is staffed 24/7 and has unique amenities for members, like an on-site yoga deck. Regus Barbados: This coworking chain’s Barbados location offers flexible workspaces, with both private offices and open desk space available. It’s also convenient to bus stops and a shopping mall with restaurants. TEN Habitat: For entrepreneurs and nomads in business and tech, TEN Habitat in Bridgetown is the top coworking space in Barbados. They provide mentorship and networking opportunities along with an innovative and flexible workspace. If none of Barbados’ coworking spaces meet your needs, you can also check with local resorts. Many have free Wi-Fi in their lobbies and common areas, and may offer conference room rentals and other amenities.
Suitable Level for Digital NomadsDigital nomads who love the outdoors will be particularly happy in Bathsheba, and not just because of its easy access to the beach. The jungles, forests, and parks further inland offer everything from hiking to caving expeditions, and the consistent temperatures mean you can explore them any time of year. You’ll also find it an easy place to find a community since it’s a popular destination for nomads. While the cost of living is higher than in most Caribbean nations, it’s comparable to larger US cities, so it’s not prohibitively expensive for most.
Visa RequirementsThe majority of world nations have a visa abolition agreement with Barbados. The length of permitted stay varies. Citizens of the United States, Canada, Australia, and many other nations can stay up to 6 months as long as they have a valid passport. Barbados recently launched a new 12 month Barbados Welcome Stamp program, a special visa program for digital nomads and remote workers. The fee to apply is somewhat steep ($2,000 USD for individuals or $3,000 USD for families) and you’ll need to declare your ability to earn at least $50,000 per year. This visa isn’t restricted by nationality and permits stays of up to 1 year. If you want to apply, submit the online form at https://barbadoswelcomestamp.bb.
Food and Drink in Bathsheba
The beach-side restaurants along Bathsheba’s coast serve some of the best Caribbean food you’ll find anywhere. The historic Round House is a favorite with both locals and tourists. Further down the coast, Dina’s Bar and De Garage Bar & Grill are similarly renowned for their take on local cuisine. For a fine-dining take on local fare, the restaurant at Atlantis Hotel is the top local spot. You can find international cuisine in Bathsheba, too. If you’re in a sushi mood head to Nishi Restaurant, whose eclectic menu also includes homestyle British dishes. When you’re craving American fare, Uncle Joe’s Bar & Grill is a great place to get classic burgers and fries with a Caribbean twist. There are some great spots further inland, too. Farm House Cafe (Easy Hall) is a favorite breakfast and brunch spot, and it’s great for dessert, too. The delightful jungle views at Naniki (Surinam) are just as worthy of a visit as the homestyle dishes on the Sunday lunch buffet.