Island Information

Barbados is located at 13.1939° N, 59.5432° W and is the eastern-most Caribbean island measuring a compact 21 miles by 14 miles.

Divided into 11 parishes, in which a diverse landscape exists, Barbados is unlike many other Caribbean islands--it is not volcanic. Barbados is a mixture of flat land, rolling hills and steep cliffs. Much of the island is composed of coral or limestone, and is without an abundance of surface water as a result of these permeable substances. Thus, there is a scarcity of ponds, rivers and streams in Barbados, despite a sufficient amount of rainfall. There is, however, an abundance of beaches.

The year-round climate of Barbados is mild and sunny, with typical temperatures ranging between 24 and 30 degrees Celsius (75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit). Moderate trade winds affect Barbados, which helps keep humidity levels rather low. Whilst rain generally comes in quick bursts, except during the months from June through November, Barbados usually experiences about 3,000 hours of sunshine per year.

There is always something new to catch the eye. As with all true islands the sea claims its right to be the indomitable spirit of the environment. From the invigorating sight of the East Coast to the tranquilizing effect of the West Coast, Barbados can offer a range of coastal scenery and sea-bathing that is sure to accommodate even the most whimsical of tastes.

Guests visiting with us can do as much (or as little) as they desire. The warm sunshine and white beaches may not be enough for some. Other activities include hiking, tennis, polo, scuba diving, boating and deep sea fishing. All can easily be arranged just for the asking. Barbados boasts three beautiful golf courses enticing golf enthusiasts and professionals from all over the world. There is something for everyone!

Options for sightseeing are varied: you may choose an exciting island tour, rigorous 4 x 4 Land Rover “off road” tour of the hills and scenic features on the east coast, or just hire a vehicle, pack a cooler and use a map to locate the many points of interest. Coastal sailing cruises offer many options – calypso party cruises, sunset cruises, private champagne cruises – are very enjoyable and a great way to see the island’s coastline and beaches while relaxing and enjoying the island breezes. Most cruises include food and drink and make a number of stops for swimming or snorkeling.

Barbados History

A look back at Barbados' history gives a sense of what makes the island tick. The Portuguese were the first Europeans in Barbados' history to explore there, drifting ashore the coral and limestone mountain peak in search of fresh water in 1536. They did not stay for long, but left the island with the name that would stick throughout the rest of Barbados' history - the roots of fig trees native to the island reminded them of beards; Barbados is Portuguese for "the bearded ones"

A new period in Barbados history began with the first permanent settlement almost a century later, when the British established the city of Holetown on the island's western coast in 1627. From then on, Barbados' history as a British colony continued virtually uninterrupted, with the island becoming an important trading port reliant mainly on sugar exports to survive. Sugar cane dominated the economy throughout Barbados' history until a few years after it achieved independence from Britain in 1966, when airline travel increased allowing tourism to grow exponentially.

Today's Bajans, most of whom descend directly from either former plantation owners or their laborers brought to Barbados during the 16th and 17th centuries, are intensely proud of Barbados' history and the nation it has produced. Though tourism is Barbados' most important industry, Bajans have worked hard to build upon the infrastructure left by the British period of Barbados history to diversify and strengthen their business community. British customs and traditions remain strong here - afternoon tea and cricket are national institutions - but Barbados' history has also evolved an independent nation whose standard of living rivals any in the West Indies.

The People: Barbadians, called Bajans, are warm and friendly souls, always ready to greet you with a sincere smile. Barbadians make you feel welcome and special, in this lovely Caribbean Island. You will feel its your home and will want to come back again and again to Barbados: A unique Caribbean paradise, surprisingly sophisticated, friendly, fun and always naturally charming.

Barbados Island Currency: Barbados island has its own currency, the Barbados dollar, but US dollars, credit cards, and traveler's checks are also widely accepted on the island. A number of international banks operate branches on Barbados island, where currency can easily be exchanged. The Barbados dollar changes approximately at the rate of Bds$2 for US$1.

Barbados Island Entry Requirements: All other travelers, including those from the USA, Canada, Britain and other Commonwealth countries, must present a valid passport issued by their respective governments and out-going ticket to gain access into Barbados.

Time Zone in Barbados: Barbados is on Atlantic Standard time, four hours behind Greenwich Mean Time.

Driving in Barbados: In Barbados, cars drive on the left-hand side of the road, as in Britain.

Voltage in Barbados: Electricity is supplied in Barbados at 50 Hertz, and there is the option of 115 or 230 volts. Adapters for European plugs are available.

Language: English is the official language spoken. Bajan dialect, which is a broken form of English, is also widely spoken throughout the Island.