|Government||parliamentary democracy; independent sovereign state within the Commonwealth|
|Currency||Barbadian dollar (BBD)|
|Area||total: 431 sq km |
water: 0 sq km
land: 431 sq km
|Population||276,607 (July 2002 est.)|
|Religion||Protestant 67% (Anglican 40%, Pentecostal 8%, Methodist 7%, other 12%), Roman Catholic 4%, none 17%, other 12%|
|Electricity||115V/50Hz, American plugs|
Barbados is an island (Area: 431 sq km) in the Caribbean, or West Indies, northeast of Venezuela, in Central America, lying between the Caribbean Sea and the North British colony.
Barbados has the following towns and cities:
- Bridgetown - Capital
- UK and Canada as well as the US.
Buses run from a stop across the road from the airport up the coast to Bridgetown, but a taxi is the most convenient way to get to your hotel on arrival.
Many cruise ships dock in Bridgetown, and in fact the Bridgetown deep water harbour has just been expanded to accommodate even more vessels. Private moorings are available around the island. Note- stiff penalties prohibit the dropping of anchors on coral reefs.
The bus system is extensive, cheap, and fast -- if you're headed to somewhere on the main route, but a car (or mini-moke) is the only way to see many of the out-of-the-way sights.
There are also more then enough taxi's to take you wherever you need to go on the island for reasonable prices.
Mopeds and bikes can also be rented, on the island, to explore sites that aren't easily reached by cars.
Bajans speak English with plenty of local terms thrown in.
- barbados.org people (http://barbados.org/people/index.htm/)
- Bajan Talk (http://barbados.org/vendor.htm/)
The local currency is the Barbadian dollar, but US dollars are accepted just about everywhere in shops and restaurants. The exchange rate is fixed at 2 Barbadian dollars to the US Dollar. Lots of duty free shops in Bridgetown catering to the cruise liner trade, where you can buy jewellery, etc.
- Flying fish -- the icon of the islands is found on coins, bills, and menus. Try "fish cutters" a local sandwich.
- Every Friday night the place to be is the town of Oistins (on the south coast) for the "fish fry". This is a market where you can buy fresh fish cooked according to local recipes. Locals stay there late and dance until the early hours of the morning. This is now the second most popular tourist attraction on the island, after Harrison's Cave.
- There are many fine restaurants on the island with the top two being The Cliff (on the west coast) and The Restaurant at South Sea (on the south coast).
- barbados.org/eat.htm - Where to eat in Barbados (http://barbados.org/eat.htm/)
Rum and rum drinks are featured at every bar. Beer and wine is easy to find as well. Banks beer is Barbados' own beer and very good.
You will find inexpensive guest houses with bed and breakfast from under $40.00 U.S daily for a single in the summer to luxury accommodations at some of the world's best hotels at $1,600 in the prime season. From large hotels to small intimate guest houses, Barbados has it all. Stay in a cosy country inn, rent self contained apartments or an elegant villa, on the beach, in town or far away in the quiet countryside. And there are hotels for the sports enthusiasts, from water sports to tennis lessons and professional golf courses. Barbados offers accommodation in every class, for every budget and for every taste. Barbados apartments and apartment hotels offer the comfort of a hotel room combined with the convenience of your own cooking facilities. Most are located on/near the beach and are especially suitable for families. There is a wide selection of luxury villas and cottages available for rent throughout Barbados. Many of these villas and cottages are located on or near the beach, and provide all the facilities needed to make your stay in Barbados truly relaxing and enjoyable. Privately owned vacation rentals are often rented at much lower costs than hotel or resort rooms. There is a wide selection of these holiday properties available throughout Barbados and many are located on or near the beach. Vacation properties range from beach houses to condos and apartments.
- Barbados.org/stay.htm- lists of all accommodation in Barbados (http://barbados.org/stay.htm/)
- Bookingsbarbados.com - find, compare and book resort matching your criteria (http://www.bookingsbarbados.com/)
Although a very safe place to travel, it is generally suggested to avoid certain high risk activities Most notably, walking alone on the beach during the evening or late at night is generally regarded as a bad idea as it makes for an ideal situation for robbers to attack tourists.
Beware of the sun, Barbados is only 13 degrees off of the equator and you can burn very easily. It is very important to keep your water intake high. Drink plenty of water.
Despite, or maybe because of the tropical climate, Bajans tend to dress conservatively when not on the beach. A bikini probably won't be appreciated in town and certainly not in church.
- barbados.org/contacts_travel_contacts.php/ Travel Contacts (http://barbados.org/contacts_travel_contacts.php/)
- barbados.org/brochures/ Brochures (http://barbados.org/brochures/index.html/)
- barbados.org/contacts - General Contacts (http://barbados.org/sales.htm/)