Island Safari's Barbados tours go off-road

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ST. PETER -- Island Safari tours feature 4x4 vehicles that can get to spots inaccessible to typical tour coaches.

Guests are picked up at their hotels in the vehicles, which are outfitted to accommodate eight in the open-air passenger seating. Drivers describe the history, folklore and culture of the island while winding through remote neighborhoods along back roads.

Several vehicles travel in a convoy first to Gun Hill Signal Station in the heart of the island. The station dates back to 1697. Guns here were used to sound warnings of impending invasions.

The trip ventures to Joe's River Forest, where green monkeys frolic in the treetops; to the dramatic rock formations at Bathsheba, and along East Coast Road, with its continuous view of the roaring Atlantic surf.

The vehicles leave the road to rumble along paths through fields of sugar cane, swaying in the breeze.

At Paul's Point, guests stop atop the 60-foot cliffs to view the Atlantic crashing into Cove Bay below. Here, drivers cut open coconuts with machetes, give guests a taste of the milk and carve the fruit for a snack.

The four-hour tour is followed by a buffet lunch of Bajan fare at the Chattle House restaurant. Tours begin at 8 a.m. and cost $50 per person.

Island Safari, Phone: (246) 432-5337, Fax: (246) 422-1966.

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