The winter months left my ends crunchy and split. I live for summer weather; natural hair tends to thrive in warmer climates. So, with summer upon us, I scoured my traveling friends’ pages, as well as my own, to come up with ideal places for natural girls. This guide gives you a few things to do, sites to see, and foods to eat — all while keeping your fabulous curls intact!
Flight cost from the U.S. — between $1,300 and $2,250
Weather — The tropical climate is a respite from winter weather. Being in the monsoonal part of the world, rainfall varies wildly from the dry season to the monsoon season. Lows in the 70s, highs in the 90s.
Tuk Tuk — This three-wheeled taxi is an experience.
Big Buddha Phuket — One of the island’s most important landmarks, it’s visible from most places on the south of the island.
Karon Beach and Patong Beach — These are the most liked destinations for tourists. Karon is a bit quieter and less crowded than Patong, but Patong features cafes, restaurants, and a scenic nightlife.
Elephant trekking — How often do you get to tour the coast while riding 10 feet up, atop an elephant?
Thai pancakes — One of the most iconic snack for tourists, this savory treat can be found at roadside street stands. It comes in a variety of flavors like the popular Thai Banana Roti.
Flight cost from the U.S. — between $600 and $900
Weather — Lows in the 70s, highs in the 80s with very little rain.
Dover Beach — Dover is a white-sand beach along the south coast of the island; great for water sports.
Traditional foods — Favorite dishes among the Barbadians or Bajans include pudding and souse, cou-cou and salt fish, and coconut bread for dessert. The souse is essentially pickled pork and the "pudding" is steamed sweet potato. Cou-cou, similar to polenta or grits, is often served with flying fish; it’s the national dish. Coconut bread is a sweet delight, buttered to perfection and often filled with raisins (but I had the raisin-free kind).
Scotland District — It’s located on the east coast and nicknamed based of its resemblance to Scotland. I toured this part of town on horseback and rode through the hills and fields to the Atlantic Ocean.
Catamaran ride with scuba diving — You can enjoy a daylong trip on the sea with a tour guide who shares tidbits about the island (like where Rhianna dwells, when in town) and provides food and drinks to keep you full and hydrated. I went swimming with sea turtles and fish I’d only seen in Finding Nemo; it was pretty amazing.
Andromeda Botanic Garden — This is a unique garden on the east coast of the island that boasts abundant greenery … and my favorite part, monkeys. I learned how to not get attacked: never look a male monkey in the eyes or you'll get them clawed out.
Flight cost from the U.S. — between $1,100 and $1,325
Weather — The climate is tropical, with lows in the high 70s, and highs between 80 to 90 degrees.
Cape Coast and Elmina Slave Castle — Being on the coast, you will find a myriad of ancient castles and forts with a dark history of enslavement and torture.
Cocoa Factory — Learn how the beans are collected, dried, and processed to make the chocolate treat Ghanaians delight in.
Aburi — Cooler than the coastline, this lush hillside is north of the capitol city of Accra; it makes for gorgeous scenery.
FuFu — This West African food is rich and full of flavor. Fufu is a staple, often made with cassava flour. Americans might find its texture comparable to mashed potatoes.
Wli (Agumatsa) Waterfalls — With an on-site hotel within walking distance from the waterfall, and high ratings on TripAdvisor, this location offers peace and quiet in rural Ghana.
Whether you decide to travel to one of these destinations or somewhere else, be sure to check the weather report to determine what type of products you should pack. Dry climates will require heavy, moisture rich products while humid climates will call for lighter products and essential oils. Happy Travels!