So, where is Barbados? Barbados is a beautiful island located in the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean. It is 34km in length and 23 km wide with an area of 432 km2. Barbados’ largest city and capital is Bridgetown. In 1966, Barbados became an independent state with Queen Elizabeth II as the Head of State. Barbados has a population of approximately 285,000 people, predominantly of African descent. Barbados is one of the leading tourist destinations in the Caribbean, with 40% arriving from the UK followed by the US and Canada. We are providing you with everything you need to know about Barbados in our Barbados travel guide.
Barbados Travel Guide
Barbados experiences two seasons in the year, dry season and wet season. The dry season runs from December to May with temperatures of about 21-31C, this is usually considered the best time to visit Barbados. Whereas the wet season runs from June to November and has temperatures of about 23 – 31C. Barbados is regarded as having a tropical monsoon climate but the trade winds of 12 – 16 km/h produces a moderately tropical climate. Barbados is usually spared the worst effects of tropical storms and hurricanes. Major hurricanes strike about once every 26 years, with the last significant hit being from Hurricane Janet in 1955. In 2010 the island was hit by Hurricane Tomas but was spared any major damage.
Barbados is home to four nesting species of turtles, these include green turtles, loggerheads, hawksbill turtles and leatherbacks. Barbados has the second largest breeding population of hawksbill turtles in the Caribbean. Barbados is also home to the Green Monkey. It was introduced to Barbados from West Africa in the 17th century. You can find these guys at the Barbados Wildlife Reserve.
The culture of Barbados is a blend of West African, Creole, Indian and British cultures. Our largest festival takes place in the summer. This is called the Barbados Crop over festival, thousands of tourists flock to Barbados at this time of year for the event. Crop usually starts at the beginning of July and runs until the first Monday in August where it ends with a huge parade in the streets. Calypso or Soca is the music of choice and local artists produce their own music each year for the festival.
The national dish here in Barbados is Cou – Cou and Flying fish with a gravy. Cou – cou is either made from cornmeal or it can be made from breadfruit. Another classic Barbadian dish is pudding and souse. Pudding and souse is basically pickled pork with spiced sweet potato. Barbados produces its own world famous rums such as Mount Gay, Cockspur and Malibu. The island also produces its own beer, Banks Beer.
Barbados has many festivals during the year. Divefest, Sailing week, Food wine and rum, Crop over, rally Barbados
Barbados – Bim Barbadian – Bajan (Bay – jun) Cuh Dear – an exclamation
How To Get To Barbados
Barbados has many direct flights from places such as London, Manchester, New York, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Boston, Charlotte, Toronto and now Panama! It is easily accessible and the longest flight is almost 9 hours from Manchester. When travelling around Barbados you have many options, taxis which are really reliable and can be booked through hotels. Local buses, which are cheap, not as reliable but will get you from point A to point B.
What To Pack for Barbados
You can definitely get the full list of what to pack for your Barbados vacation here. The majority of your Barbados vacation may end up being spent at the beach so you can keep it casual but definitely bring at least one nice outfit for dinner. Here is a brief overview of some of our essentials.
This is a no brainer, you are going to the Caribbean so don’t forget your swimsuit.
Light & Comfortable Tee
A light breezy tee is perfect for the beach, or even adventuring around the island, we may be a little biased but we absolutely love these.
Protect your eyes with some polarized shades while you are out in the sun! Blenders Eyewear are our favourites, there is definitely something for everyone there! Or opt for some eco-friendly wooden shades.
If you are sensitive or even allergic to mosquito bites, then do not forget your bug spray. During wet season they tend to be around a lot more!
if you are sun sensitive, then do not forget to bring sunblock. You obviously can buy it here, but trust us, it’s cheaper by you. Opt for something reef safe like this.
What To Do In Barbados
We have so many awesome places to visit in Barbados. Here are some of our top recommendations below.
Swim With The Turtles
This is definitely a bucket list item while in Barbados. You can find some great spots to swim with the turtles for free. Remember to observe from a distance, don’t feed them or hold onto them.
Mount Gay Rum Tour
This is one of our favorite tours, you can read about the Mount Gay Rum Tour here. If you like rum or you just want to experience the best Barbados has to offer then this is a great tour for you. There are options for the tours alone, or you can do lunch tours. Just a by the way, lunch tours come with a bottomless rum punches!
St Nicholas Abbey
This beautiful plantation is one of the three Jacobian mansions remaining in the Western Hemisphere. Take the tour and watch a video about old Barbados, and then tour the grounds. You even have the opportunity to see how they make their own rum and even get to try it!
This awesome network of caves is worth a stop when you are exploring Barbados. As you enter the caves you will make your way down to the Great Hall which is about 15 meters high! It’s definitely quite a cool experience.
Take An Island Tour
Barbados is a small island and you can get around it in a day! You can check out our self drive island tour or you can explore some of Barbados’ secret spots by checking out our ‘off the beaten path’ beaches in Barbados. Our favorite spots are Bathsheba, North Point, and Bottom Bay!
Hit The Beach
Obviously you’re going to want to hit a beach that you can actually swim at eventually. Some of our favorite beaches are Pebbles Beach, Alleyne’s Bay and even Speightstown! If you are looking to discover some of Barbados’ secret spots then check out the most instagrammable spots in Barbados and our favorite off the beaten path beaches in Barbados.
Barbados has so many water sports options, from water skiing to paddle boarding and surfing! They are all must dos! Jason loves kitesurfing in Barbados, because we have some of the best winds and waves for it!
What To Eat in Barbados
If you are trying to get a local experience then you need to hit up a rum shop and try some good ole bajan food! If not then here are some other options for you broken down by budget, this is based on one main meal per person.
This awesome place is healthy fast food. The food is so fresh and tasty and is roughly $15usd for a plate of food. Did we mention that the serving sizes are pretty large too! We both love the jerk chicken!
This is hands down one of our favourite places. We head to LemonGrass for a cheap and cheerful date night regularly! The food is consistent and delicious. Mains will cost about $15-25usd depending on what you order. Stacey’s favorite is definitely the radna with fried noodles. Jason’s is the cashew chicken!
Barbados’ fast food chain which offers, rotis, burgers and chicken! Most meals here will cost less than $10usd, not bad for a quick bite.
Looking for some really good sushi? Then Nishi is the place to go. Prices vary from about $30usd and up. They also have a whole bunch of other dishes, not just sushi and they are all good!
Looking for a romantic night out for a special occasion, then Tides is a great spot! Tides is located right on the water of the stunning west coast of Barbados. Meals are about $35usd and up.
The Cliff Beach Club
Stunning views and delicious food basically sums up The Cliff Beach Club. This restaurant is located on a cliff (duh!) and has stunning views over the ocean. It is the perfect romantic night out, our recommendation is to come early and have a couple of drinks while the sun sets and then have dinner! Meals are about $35usd and up.
Where To Stay in Barbados
There are many options for budget accommodation and Airbnb is quite popular here as well. We are going to share some Barbados hotels:
Budget Hotels in Barbados
Mid Range Hotels in Barbados
Luxury Hotels in Barbados
Are you ready for your Barbados trip now! Here are some more of our Barbados posts that you may enjoy!
- Self Drive Island Tour of Barbados by a Local
- Barbados on a Budget
- Top 5 Spots for a Delicious Barbados Rum Punch
- Where to Swim With Sea Turtles in Barbados
- The Best Off The Beaten Path Beaches You Must Visit in Barbados
- Barbados Packing List: 20 Items You Must Have
- Five Off Beat Itineraries for an Epic Day in Barbados
- Most Instagrammable Spots in Barbados
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