Country: Barbados
Currency: Dollar (BBD)
Peak Season: December-April
Shoulder Season: April-June, October-December
Median Temperature: 26.00 C / 78.8 F
Main Languages: Bajan, English
Primary Modes of Transportation: Bus, taxi, car rental
Recommended Duration of Stay: 7 days
Recommended Pocket Money: $90.00/day
Tourist Passes: n/a
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The Portuguese didn’t realize that they struck gold when they landed on Barbados; fortunately, the British finished the job for them by culminating it into one of the wealthiest nations taking into consideration natural resources, quality of life, and more importantly—eco-tourism.

Today, Barbados is one of the most sought-after Caribbean destinations. Its position outside of the hurricane belt assures you of pleasant, tropical winds throughout the year. The coastal region, billed as the “Platinum Coast” is dotted with excellent beaches, including Paynes Bay, Sandy Lane, St. James, and St. Peter. The southwestern coast, on the other hand, is business-centric and flourishes with trade and nightlife due to calmer prevailing winds and it being the location of the island capital, Bridgetown. Tantamount, of course, to Barbados’ esteemed reputation are the relatively higher expenses, which can be buffered if map out affordable places to visit before departing from home. Places like Pelican Village, North Point and the Plantation Houses offer are worth the visit and are great picnic spots as well.

Snorkelers, scuba divers will enjoy reef explorations at the southeastern coast, while surfers and parasailers will marvel at the ferocity of Atlantic waves crashing down on the rocky cliffs of the eastern coast. No side of the island is exactly the same, and that’s reason enough why nearly a quarter-million Bajans prefer to not go elsewhere.

Packing List

  • Your immigrant slip and travel documents should you wish to purchase from duty-free shops; you’ll also like to bring a couple of credit cards and duffel bags if you’re intent on purchasing textiles and handicraft
  • Smart, sophisticated clothing, beachwear, and a good amount of accessories; restaurants are picky with clothes (and won’t admit bikini-clad guests), while resorts and beaches have different takes on bikini size
  • Essential medication and toiletries, particularly sun tan, insect repellants and anti-diarrheic pills; expect most items sold outside of the duty free zone and those near resorts to be marked up significantly
  • A decent (waterproof) camera, plenty of film and batteries; if you’re planning to get married in Barbados, consider taking along personal professional photographer, as services here are quite high
  • Portable electronics and books to keep you company; a recent guidebook on the island’s best deals and establishments is highly recommended, as it may save you a lot of money and precious time

Things to Do

  • Visiting the famed Jacobian retreat, St. Nicholas Abbey, one of the earliest affluent establishments built during the early 17th century, during which Barbados was a key sugar importer of England
  • Appreciating verdant horticulture at Hunte’s Gardens at St. Joseph’s; the exotic plants’ formation in a gulley adds a surreal experience to the exotic culmination of native and foreign plant species
  • Frolicking along the beautiful strip of sand along Crane beach, considered to be one the world’s best beaches; the beachfront is an eclectic spot for family getaways, group excursions and honeymoons
  • Basking in the sun at Carlisle Bay; the natural harbor has been fitted with artificial palm trees, restaurants and resort houses; its relatively safe inland position is ideal for scuba and snorkeling
  • Visiting the amiable (and temporary) abode of George Washington during his two-month stay in the country; it’s the only one he visited outside of the mainland, housing 18th century war memorabilia

DON'T

  • Haggle or bicker over prices in front of a salesperson, much less a street vendor—it’s not a very common practice here; you can, however, get good deals at Broad Street and in places outside Bridge Town
  • Eat the green apples you see on the beach—they’re from the Manchineel tree, a poisonous species endemic to the Caribbean; do others a favor and throw it in the dumpster if you see one lying around
  • Eat the green apples you see on the beach—they’re from the Manchineel tree, a poisonous species endemic to the Caribbean; do others a favor and throw it in the dumpster if you see one lying around
  • Limit yourself to public transport; given that most tourists are in a tight budget with very few days to explore, one will save a lot more renting a car—keep in mind that vehicles are driven on the left
  • Walk around the beaches late at night, especially when you’re alone—there have been rare cases of tourists being robbed in these places; don’t get us wrong—Bajans are good people—but be precautious