Barbados — Overview
Having previously been a British colony, Barbados is the most ‘British’ of all the Caribbean islands. This clean, safe, well-run, and unspoiled beach is a hugely popular destination spot. Visitors will find British institutions such as playing cricket and polo still alive on the island, as well as the tradition of afternoon tea. The island attracts both budget and sophisticated travelers, with plenty of amenities to suit both types of tourists.
The island is a tropical paradise, with beautiful white sandy beaches and azure waters, and of course great weather. Barbados is known for its superb diving, with vibrant coral reefs home to many species of marine life. Even experienced divers will find plenty of interesting underwater gems. Diving among the hundreds of wrecks – new and old – can be extremely exciting, especially given the possibility of finding sunken treasure.
Barbados offers a rich landscape more than just sand and shore. The tropical forests and mountains provide a nice reprieve from the heat and sun on the coast. Many of the forest areas are protected and provide a way to see local flora and fauna. Popular attractions are the Welchman Hall Gully and the Flower Forest.
Visitors stay busy with the numerous events and festivals that take place on Barbados throughout the year. Festivals tend to be colorful and fun, showcasing the best of Caribbean culture. Sporting events are also popular, from marathons, surfing championships, and horse racing to regattas. Take part or simply watch world-class athletes compete. All festivals give visitors a chance to taste the great local cuisine and signature rum.
Barbados attracts a huge range of visitors, and accommodations mirror this. Whether a five-star luxury resort or self-catering apartment fits your style, there is something for every budget. Book early during peak summer and winter seasons is a must to get the best accommodation options.
Getting to this island paradise is done via air or cruise ship. Grant Adams International Airport offers direct connections to North America and Europe. Barbados is a popular cruise ship stop and during the peak summer season, numerous cruise ships dock at Bridgetown.
Options for exploring the island include hiring a taxi or driving. The island is relatively small, so renting a car is easy, even if some of the roads are not up to international standards. North Americans will have to drive on the ‘wrong’ side of the road, so if this seems frightening, then simply hire a taxi with a local driver for the day – and don’t forget to negotiate the rate.
- Go scuba diving at the barrier reef to uncover an underwater wreck
- Explore the ocean without getting wet by taking a submarine tour
- Learn about the history of rum and taste some of the best in the world
- Discover historic Bridgetown and its many colonial buildings
- Take part in the vibrant, annual Crop Over Festival
- Swim and sunbathe at the famous Crane Beach
- Canter along Barbados beaches on horse back