EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT BIM !!!
Barbados Travel Blog› entry 1 of 2 › view all entries
FACTS & TRAVEL INFORMATION
Size - 166 square miles
Population - 265,000 people
Capital - Bridgetown
Political Status - Independent nation & member of British Commonwealth
Language - English
Currency - Barbados dollar US dollar widely accepted
Climate - 75F winter 85F summer
Electricity - 100 volts/50 cycles same as US
Time Zone - Eastern Standard Time
Telephone - Area Code 246 with direct dial capabilities to USA
Getting to Barbados
US and Canadian citizens are not required to present a passport but will need to show a proof of citizenship (Birth certificate and a photo i.d.) along with their return airline ticket or continuation to another island. Departure tax is $25.00 Bajun Dollars per person.
Airlines serving Barbados from North AmericaAmerican Airlines- Service from New York, Miami and San Juan, Puerto Rico
BWIA- Service from New York and Toronto
Air Jamaica- Service from New York
Air Canada- Service from Montreal and Toronto
Airlines serving Barbados from EuropeBritish Airways- Service from London
BWIA- Service from London
Virgin Air- Service from London
Condor- Service from Frankfurt
Martinair- Service from Amsterdam
LTU- Service from Dusseldorf
Service from South America to BarbadosBWIA- Service from Guyana
LIAT- Service from Guyana
Suriname Airways- Service from Surinam
Intra-island air serviceAntigua- British Airways, BWIA and Liat
British Virgin Islands- Liat
Dominica- Cardinal Airlines and Liat
Grenada- Liat and British Airways
Jamaica- Air Jamaica and British Airways
St. Vincent- Liat
Trinidad & Tobago- Air Caribbean, BWIA and Liat
Getting to Barbados & Getting Around Barbados
Sea Ferry Service
It is not easy to go to or from Barbados via boats. However Windward Lines Limited runs weekly service from Barbados via St. Vincent, St. Lucia and Trinidad.
There is occasional service to Venezuela and you can arrange one day mini-cruises to St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Grenada and Dominica. Contact Caribbean Safari Tours in Barbados for information. Barbados has a clean, modern and efficient international airport. In the airport look for copies of the tourist information magazines named Visitor or Sunseeker. They will give you a wealth of information on the events and "happenings" on the island.
Though the island is small (166 square miles) and has modern roadways, the small winding roads and congested city traffic can make driving tricky. Not to mention they drive on the left side of the road! There are rental car agencies located at the airport, but most companies deliver rental cars to wherever you are on the island. It is highly recommended that you call ahead of your trip to book your rental car, as they can be quickly booked up in high season. *Note- you will also have to purchase a Barbados Temporary Driver's License for $5.00 which can be provided from the rental agency.
Courtesy Rentals - (246) 431-4160
National Car Rentals - (246) 426-0603
P & S Rentals - (246) 424-7591
Stoutes Car rental - (246) 435-4456
Regency Rental Car - (246) 427-5663
Moped & Bike RentalsFunseekers- (246) 435-8206
Taxi's are plentiful and easy to get on the island.
Private Taxi Tours
This is a great way to get to know the island first hand from a local with some of the best knowledge of the island to point out highlights and "inside" information to you. Again you can negotiate with the driver or talk to a hotel concierge but plan on about $70-80 for a full day tour. One that is probably well worth it.
Buses in Barbados are clean and provide an inexpensive way of exploring the island.(The flat rate to go anywhere on the island is about $2.00 US!) There are two bus stations in Bridgetown. The Jubliee Bus Town runs buses along the north coast and Fairchild runs buses along the south and east coasts. Just ride a bus with the mindset that they will be crowded and move at their own pace.
Barbados Culture & History
People, History & Culture
Several mysteries concern the ancient history of Barbados. It is thought that Arawak Indians lived on the islands for centuries before the arrival of European explorers.
The island again sat in relative isolation until the arrival of the first British settlers in 1625. This group of settlers claimed the island for England and set about the cultivation of fields.
As time would pass the island grew prosperous as a major sugar cane producing business. So valuable was the island that 26 forts guarded its 21miles of coastline and English-style parliamentary buildings, churches and homes soon rose up in Bridgetown. In 1639 Parliament was established on the island. Britain ruled the island for the next 300 years.
The island also served as a military staging area to help in the colonization or protection of other British colonies in the Caribbean. Its mild climate was also thought to contribute to better health and visitors flocked to the island in the 1700's to improve their health. One of the most famous visitors at that time was George Washington, who made a trip there in 1751!
The people of Barbados are often called by their nickname- Bajuns. The island has a literacy rate of 98%. They are proud of their ties to England and enjoy cricket and afternoon tea.
Check out the dancing action located along a 1 mile stretch of road known as the St. Lawrence Gap. Famous for its lively entertainment, shops, jazz bars and diverse lodging accommodations.
Live EntertainmentHarbour Lights/Beach Club/The Ship Inn/The Waterfront Cafe/After Dark/Le Mirage/The Bamboo Bar/The Reggae Lounge
Pubs & SportsbarsThe Boatyard/The Coach House/The Ship Inn/Dillion's
More Barbados Nightlife
Sunset Party Cruises
The Jolly Roger and Bajan Queen offer fun 4 hour evening party sails
Bajan streetlife used to really hum here, especially on Friday and Saturday nights. Be careful when going here.
After Dark is a popular and extensive bar that offers outdoor dancing and live music.
The Ship Inn
The Ship Inn has live DJs and bands to dance to throughout the week.
The Reggae Lounge
The Reggae Lounge is an open-air bar surrounded by natural vegetation that serves as a nice backdrop as you dance to the rhythm of reggae, calypso, jazz and the blues beneath the stars!
Beaches in Barbados
The beaches of Barbados range from long, narrow strands of sand lapped by calm waters to rockbound, cove-type beaches that are scenic but pounded by high Atlantic surf. The following is a guide to some of the best beaches on the island.
All beaches on Barbados are open to the public, and public access ways must be provided. Most hotels will charge beach goers to use their facilities, which can range from dressing rooms, restaurants, bars, beach chairs, towels and watersports concessions.
The Gold Coast
This refers to the beaches on the calm west coast and swinging into the southeastern parts of the island.
The waters off the beaches on this side of the island are not safe for swimmers. The Atlantic sea contains undercurrents and sends large swells up against the shores. It is not wise to ever swim alone are where warning flags or signs are posted. The coastline is ragged and rockstrewn and is incredibly scenic, and the strong ocean winds are refreshing and inspiring
More Barbados Beach Hotspots
Just outside of Bridgetown, this is a local favorite and a great snorkeling spot.
Great beach with watersports concessions and restaurants.
In the Holetown area near the historic St. James Church. Beachgoers can enjoy the watersports concessions and restaurants of the hotel at this beach.
Another gorgeous spot and the restaurant is noted for its great food.
Located in Speightstown, beachgoers can enjoy the beach and restaurant facilities at the Almond Beach Resort.
Also known as Rockley Beach. This is a popular local beach with a car park.
Just past the South Point Light House. This is a popular windsurfing beach.
Long, sandy beach with palm trees that is usually empty.
Its limestone bluffs and beautiful sands makes this one of the most photographed beaches on the island. The Crane Beach Hotel charges a day fee for beachgoers to enjoy their beach facilities.
Is the most famous beach on the east coast. From nearby restaurants, with their decks open to the sea breeze, patrons can watch the surfers challenging the waves off the scenic beach.
Sam Lord's Castle
Beachgoers can use the hotel facilities at this famous and beautiful sandy beach.
This scenic cove has limestone cliffs, palm trees and surf
*Note: Use caution when on the East coast beaches due to high surf and undertow