Facts... at a Glance
CAPITAL is Bridgetown
POPULATION. Approximately 254,000
CLIMATE. Eight to nine hours of
sunshine most days. Temperature between 75 F and 90 F year round.
GEOGRAPHY. A 21 mile x 14 mile
Caribbean island. West and South Coast have calm Caribbean sea and endless
beaches. Rugged cliffs and Atlantic Ocean on East Coast.
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE is English
with a broad Bajan dialect.
CURRENCY is Barbados Dollar -
US $1 = BDS $2 approx.
DRIVING. A temporary yearly
Barbados license costs BDS$10 and is obtainable from car rental agencies and
Police Stations. Full license must be shown. Drive on left.
Barbados is in the Atlantic Time Zone, which is ZULU (GMT) minus 4 hours. One Hour (1) ahead of
EST, Eastern US Time Zone. There is no daylight saving time in Barbados
ACCOMMODATION. Caters for all
tastes and budgets from luxury hotels and all-inclusive resorts to rooms in
small hotels and self-catering apartments.
SPORTS. Snorkeling, diving,
fishing, sailing, water skiing, tennis, squash. Three 18-hole and three
nine-hole golf courses.
ENTRY REQUIREMENT. Every person entering Barbados should be in
possession of a valid passport and a valid return ticket.
General duty free allowances in Barbados.
Personal Effects: 1 liter of potable spirits or wine, 200 cigarettes (one
carton) or 100 cigars or 50 cigars and cigarettes not exceeding 230 grams in
All articles in excess of this exemption are subject to the relevant duty and
Personal effects are passengers’ baggage containing apparel and articles
for personal use which a traveler may reasonably require during his vacation
e.g. clothing, cosmetics and accessories.
Restricted or Prohibited Items.
The importation of certain articles are restricted or prohibited in order to
protect the community, to maintain animal and plant life, among other reasons.
Prohibited articles such as illegal drugs and pornography will be seized and
persons may face penalties or prosecution.
Restricted items may be released after inspection by the appropriate agency or
detained until conditions of the restrictions are met. Receipts are issued for
all articles detained by customs. Among the restricted items are:
Fruits and Vegetables. All fruits, vegetables, plants, cuttings,
seeds or unprocessed plant products must be declared to customs and presented
for inspection by a Plant Quarantine Officer. Fresh fruits from certain
countries are prohibited in order to prevent the spreading of pest and plant
diseases. Certain plant, seeds or cuttings may require an import permit and a
It is now possible for ceremonies to take place on day of arrival, providing
documents are in order.
Apply to Ministry of Legal Affairs, Bridgetown
Electricity in Barbados is: 110 volts/50 cycles.
Most hotels can provide adapters and transformers for hair dryers and other
Barbados Government pays the cost of education of Barbadian students at
primary, secondary and tertiary levels, this includes provision of textbooks.
This strong emphasis on education has resulted in a literacy rate estimated at
about 98% - one of the highest in the world.
The University of the West Indies (UWI) comprises three
campuses spread across the Caribbean - Cave Hill (Barbados), St. Augustine
(Trinidad) and Mona (Jamaica). The University offers a range of undergraduate
and postgraduate degrees, diplomas and certificates in areas such as the
humanities, science and technology, computer science, engineering, education,
medicine, law and agriculture.
Because of its high educational standards and quality
research, the UWI has been able to attract some of the brightest students
from the Caribbean and beyond, and it maintains strong partnerships with
universities in the U.K., U.S.A, and Canada, including Oxford, John Hopkins
The United Nations Development Index (1996) ranked Barbados third in terms
of quality of life among 160 developing countries worldwide (Hong Kong and
Cyprus ranked first and second respectively). Barbados ranked ahead of
countries such as Spain, Italy and Ireland.
- Our research and surveys show, visitors highlight the friendliness of
Barbadians as its greatest and most pleasing asset. This is reflected in the
highest repeat visitor factor in the region of 39%
- The people of Barbados have a history of long ingrained Christian
principles, a sound and free educational system with a literacy rate of 97%
- Barbados has the third oldest parliament in the world with 358 years of an
uninterrupted parliamentary system of government.
- Barbados is spiritually alive, it
vibrates with enlightenment and vitality. You will see it in the faces of
its fishermen, coconut vendors, shopkeepers, hotel workers, artisans,
policemen and pedestrians. You will hear it in our music, in the laughter of
its people, in their talk and friendly gossip and you will sense it in their
spontaneous, natural and happy disposition.
- Barbados is the only vacation destination in this Hemisphere with a
scheduled Concorde service.
- On this "mustard seed" of an island (21 miles) long and a smile
(14 miles) wide!
- We are the only coral island in the region with all white sand beaches.
- Barbados has pure drinking water and was the first Caribbean island to
have piped water.
- Excellent telecommunications.
- Utilities available 100% island-wide.
- Accessible to everywhere
- It is warm and sunny all year round with an average daytime high of 75 -
85oF. The nights are usually slightly cooler.
- Its mostly sunny and fair in Barbados. Warm days with cool winds and
cozy nights. It rains most in summer and a good rainfall is refreshing and
much needed. Rain is usually followed quickly by sunny skies and within
minutes everything will be dry. Tropical rainstorms sometimes occur in
the hurricane season which runs from June to October (as we say in Barbados
- "June too soon, October all over!"). Tropical rains are
spectacular but the island is very porous and the heaviest rains quickly
drain off into the underground
lakes or the sea.
- The prevailing northeast tradewinds blow steadily so that although it is
bright and sunny, it is not unbearably hot.
- The rain usually comes in quick showers. The dry season lasts from January
to June. We are in the tropics, and believe it or not, some people actually
put on a sweater in the cool night winter time breezes. Barbadians complain
that the sea is cold when its 78oF !!!
Hurricanes usually avoid Barbados. They arise
off the African Coast and head to the Caribbean, swinging North about 100
miles from Barbados. The pattern is reasonably consistent as hurricanes tend
to bounce from one land mass to the next and Barbados is somewhat separate
from the Caribbean island chain. This does not of course make us immune, but
the last occasion which Barbados suffered a direct hit was in 1955.
There is a story of a bus driver who drove his passengers straight through
the worst of Barbados' hurricanes, "was a bit of a breeze" he is
supposed to have said. Other recorded hurricanes to hit the island occurred
in 1898 and 1831.
The Barbados Dollar is converted at the rate of $1.98 BDS to $1.00
U.S. The BDS Dollar is fixed to the U.S Dollar and does not fluctuate. Its
rate to other currencies fluctuate daily based on their fluctuations
relative to the U.S. Dollar.
- Most establishments will accept travelers cheques, U.S. and Canadian
currency. There are many commercial banks that will change most currencies.
- Bring clothes for the tropics.
- Light cotton dresses and light jackets for formal wear.
- Casual slacks and lightweight sports for the times when you are not in a
- Beachwear should also include sunglasses, sunblock and beach
- While Barbados is a fun holiday island, there are dress codes, and because
of 300 years of conservative British heritage, formal attire is still seen
at times other than weddings and funerals. Business men wear a shirt and tie
and sometimes a jacket. Women wear smart dresses. Its a good idea to wear
pants and shirt when visiting the bank, it looks more respectful and gives
you a pocket for your wallet. Bathing suits are best for the beach, beach
bars and the pool.
Web site by Tom Trowbridge
Win Win Solutions