Speightstown, Barbados
Speightstown, Barbados

Speightstown

Sea turtle spotted on a dive in the clear waters of Barbados
Photo by Cédric Frixon

BARBADOS

Carribean

Barbados Travel Information

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Key facts

Capital:

Bridgetown

Location:

Caribbean, island in the North Atlantic Ocean, northeast of Venezuela

Currency:

Barbadian dollars (BBD)

Area:

430 sq km

Population:

301,865 (July 2021 est.)

Languages:

English (official), Bajan (English-based creole language, widely spoken in informal settings)

Religion:

Protestant 66.4% (includes Anglican 23.9%, other Pentecostal 19.5%, Adventist 5.9%, Methodist 4.2%, Wesleyan 3.4%, Nazarene 3.2%, Church of God 2.4%, Baptist 1.8%, Moravian 1.2%, other Protestant 0.9%), Roman Catholic 3.8%, other Christian 5.4% (includes Jehovah's Witness 2.0%, other 3.4%), Rastafarian 1%, other 1.5%, none 20.6%, unspecified 1.2% (2010 est.)

TimeZone:

UTC-4

Tel Code:

+1246

Weather

Barbados has a tropical climate, with year-round warm temperatures and plenty of sunshine. The island experiences two seasons: the dry season, which runs from December to May, and the rainy season, which lasts from June to November.

Dry Season

During the dry season, the island is relatively dry and sunny, with daytime temperatures averaging around 85°F (29°C). The sea is also calm, making it an ideal time for swimming, snorkeling, and diving.

Rainy Season

During the rainy season, the island experiences more rainfall, with thunderstorms and occasional hurricanes. But, the island receives less tourist, and the prices are lower.

Temperature

Barbados' average temperature is around 30°C (86°F) all year round, with little variation. The warmest months are typically August and September, while the coolest months are January and February.

Transportation

Barbados offers a variety of transportation options to help visitors navigate the island. Whether you're looking to rent a car, take a bus, or hail a taxi, there's something for every traveler.

Car Rental

Renting a car is a popular option for visitors who want the freedom and flexibility to explore the island at their own pace. There are several car rental companies located at the airport and throughout the island.

Public Transportation

Barbados also has an extensive public transportation system, including buses and minibuses. The buses and minibuses are known as "ZRs" and are a cheap and convenient way to get around the island.

Taxis

Taxis are also readily available on the island, and can be found at the airport and throughout the island. Taxis are metered and prices are regulated by the government, making it easy to budget for your transportation costs.

Bicycles and Motorbikes

Bicycles and motorbikes are also available for rent on the island, and are a great way to explore the island's more remote areas.

Guided tours

Guided tours by bus, van or jeep are also an option for those who want to explore the island in a more organized way. These can be arranged at most hotels or tour operators.

Accommodation

Barbados offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit every budget and taste. From luxury resorts to budget-friendly guesthouses, the island has something to offer for every traveler.

Luxury Resorts

Barbados is home to some of the most luxurious resorts in the Caribbean, offering world-class amenities and services. Many of these resorts are located on the west coast of the island, known for its beautiful beaches and clear waters.

Boutique Hotels

For a more intimate and personalized experience, Barbados also offers a variety of boutique hotels. These smaller properties often offer unique and stylish decor, as well as personalized service.

Guesthouses and Villa Rentals

For a more budget-friendly option, Barbados also offers a variety of guesthouses and villa rentals. These properties are typically family-owned and operated, and offer a more authentic Caribbean experience.

Vacation Rentals

Vacation rentals such as apartments, condos, villas are also available on the island. This option is perfect for those who want more space and privacy during their stay.

Money

Money Tips for Travel

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Notify your bank and credit card companies of your travel plans to avoid any potential issues with international transactions.
  • Bring a mix of cash, credit, and debit cards--and possibly a travel money card.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.
  • Make sure to have a backup option for accessing money in case your primary method doesn't work.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • NEVER accept currency conversion at ATMs! Always get your home bank to convert at much better rates.
  • Think about getting a Wise or other travel debit card; these can provide much better rates and some free ATM withdrawals.

ATM and Credit Cards

  • Research the availability of ATMs and credit card acceptance at your destination before you depart.
  • Keep your ATM card in a safe place and be mindful of your surroundings when using it.
  • Try to stick to using ATMs that are affiliated with major banks.
  • Keep your credit card information safe and secure, and be aware of potential scams.
  • Make sure your cards have the necessary security features, such as chip and pin.
  • Be aware of the fees associated with withdrawing money from ATMs and using credit cards abroad.

Exchange Rates

  • Research the currency and exchange rates of your destination before you depart.
  • Consider using a card with no foreign transaction fees.
  • Be aware of the local customs and etiquette when it comes to paying.
  • Keep an eye on the exchange rate throughout your trip and try to make large purchases or withdraw large sums of money when the rate is favorable.
  • Be careful of places that may offer to exchange money at rates that seem too good to be true.

Mobile

When traveling, getting mobile access is very important these days. If you are working remotely, wanting to update social media, or need to access your banks SMS authentication messages having a reliable service is a must. At WhereNext we recommend:

eSIM

Services such as those offered by our partner, Airalo, allow you to easily order and install an eSIM for different countries or regions that you are traveling in.

Dual SIM phone

If you have a phone that supports dual SIM's then you can get a SIM on arrival for each country, this is probably better done at a telco store rather than at the airport.

Extend your home plan

Depending on where you live and your mobile service provider you may be able to extend your plan to cover mobile roaming at reasonable rates.

Keep your primary SIM

With the amount of accounts we all have that require two factor authentication via SMS, keeping a constant number for these accounts is a must.

Community

There are several online communities and platforms that you can use to meet people while traveling, both for making new friends or for networking professionally. Some popular options include:

Facebook groups

There are many Facebook groups dedicated to connecting people while traveling, from expat groups and travel communities to groups specific to certain cities or regions of the country. You can search for groups based on your interests or location and connect with others who share similar interests.

Meetup

Meetup is a platform that allows you to find groups of people that share your interests in your local area. There are Meetup groups all around the world, and they cover a wide range of topics, such as language exchange, sports, and cultural activities.

Internations

Internations is a social network for people who live or work abroad. It has a large community of expats and organizes regular events, activities and gatherings that allow members to connect and socialize.

Couchsurfing

Couchsurfing is a platform that connects travelers with local hosts, who offer free accommodation and a chance to experience the local culture. It's a great way to meet locals and make friends!

Reddit

Reddit has a large community, and there are several subreddits dedicated to connecting expats and travelers. You can use it to ask questions, get advice, and connect with others who are also living or traveling in the country.

Linkedin

LinkedIn is primarily a professional network, but you can also use it to connect with people who work in the same industry or have similar backgrounds. It can be useful to connect with people before you arrive and establish a few professional contacts to help you get started.

At WhereNext, we use Nomad List as a global community and then research more local ones for our destination. These are just a few examples of online communities you can use to meet people; please suggest any others that you think are appropriate for this destination.

Insurance

Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It covers a wide range of needs--even some you might not expect!

Medical Coverage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for medical expenses if you become ill or injured while traveling. This can include coverage for doctor visits, hospital stays, and emergency medical transportation. It's also a good idea to ensure that your travel insurance covers COVID-19 related illness and delays!

Trip Cancellation and Interruption

Travel insurance can provide coverage if you need to cancel or interrupt your trip due to unexpected events such as illness, weather, or travel bans. It can also provide coverage if your trip is delayed or if your travel provider goes out of business.

Lost or Stolen Luggage

Travel insurance can provide coverage for lost or stolen luggage, as well as personal items such as passports and electronic devices.

Emergency Assistance and Evacuation

Many travel insurance plans offer emergency assistance services, such as providing information on local hospitals and doctors, assistance with replacing lost or stolen documents, and help with arranging transportation in the event of an emergency. At WhereNext we have partnered with Global Rescue for evacuation services, which are highly recommended if you are undertaking dangerous activities or are travelling to dangerous parts of the world.

Liability coverage

Travel insurance can also provide liability coverage in case you cause an accident or harm someone while you are traveling.

Travel insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind for travellers in the event of unexpected situations or emergencies. It can help cover the costs of medical expenses, trip cancellations, lost or stolen luggage, and more. It's always a good idea to review the coverage and compare the different options available before making a decision. At WhereNext we both use and have partnered with Safety Wing for general travel insurance.

Entry Requirements

Here are some general travel tips regarding entry requirements that apply across all countries:

Passport

Make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months from the date of your arrival in the country you are visiting. Some countries will not allow you to enter if your passport is set to expire within a certain period of time.

Visa

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if you need a visa. Some countries require a visa for entry, while others do not. Make sure to apply for a visa well in advance of your trip as the process can take several weeks. Check the latest Visa requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Health Requirements and COVID-19 Rules

Check with the embassy or consulate of the country you are visiting to see if there are any health requirements for entry. Some countries require vaccinations or proof of medical insurance. Check the latest health requirements and if necessary get an online Visa with our partner iVisa.

Travel Insurance

Consider purchasing travel insurance, especially if you are traveling internationally. Travel insurance can cover you in the event of trip cancellation, medical emergencies, and other unexpected events. Our travel insurance partner is SafetyWing. For dangerous activities and/or countries consider a rescue service like those offered by our partner, Global Rescue.

Customs

Be familiar with the customs and laws of the country you are visiting. Some countries have strict laws regarding drug possession, alcohol consumption, and dress codes.

Currency

Check the currency exchange rate and make sure you have enough local currency for your trip. Some countries may not accept credit cards or travelers cheques, so it is always good to have some cash on hand. At WhereNext we recommend use a Wise debit card, which provides low cost currency conversions and ATM withdrawals.

Research the country

Research about the culture, customs and laws of the country you are visiting. It will help you to understand the place more and also prepare you better for the trip.

Contact Information

Make a copy of your passport and keep it in a separate place from your passport. Also, leave a copy of your itinerary and contact information with a friend or family member at home.

COVID Status

I am vaccinated 
Barbados Open
Test
Not required
Quarantine
Not required

Check Visa Requirements

      Things to Do

      Barbados is known for its stunning beaches, crystal clear waters, and vibrant culture. Whether you're looking for adventure or relaxation, there's something for everyone to enjoy on this Caribbean island. Here are the top 10 things to do in Barbados:

      1. Visit Harrison's Cave

      Explore the natural beauty of Barbados at Harrison's Cave, a stunning limestone cave system filled with underground pools and waterfalls. Take a tram tour to see the cave's highlights and learn about the island's geology.

      2. Relax on the Beach

      Barbados is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean. Take a dip in the crystal-clear waters or lounge on the white sands of popular beaches like Crane Beach and Mullins Beach.

      3. Go Snorkeling and Scuba Diving

      Barbados offers excellent snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities, with a variety of reefs and shipwrecks to explore. Keep an eye out for sea turtles, rays, and colorful tropical fish.

      4. Take a Catamaran Cruise

      Set sail on a catamaran cruise and enjoy the island's stunning coastline from the water. Many cruises include snorkeling and swimming stops, as well as a delicious lunch or dinner.

      5. Visit the Mount Gay Rum Distillery

      Learn about the history of rum production in Barbados at the Mount Gay Rum Distillery, the oldest rum distillery in the world. Take a tour of the facilities and sample some of the distillery's famous rum.

      6. Explore the Animal Flower Cave

      Take a guided tour of the Animal Flower Cave, an underground cave system filled with natural sea pools and colorful marine life. The cave is located on the northern tip of the island.

      7. Go to the Oistins Fish Fry

      Experience the island's vibrant culture at the Oistins Fish Fry, a weekly street party featuring local music, dance, and delicious seafood.

      8. Visit the Barbados Museum and Historical Society

      Learn about the island's rich history at the Barbados Museum and Historical Society, which showcases the island's indigenous people and colonial past.

      9. Take a Sunset Cruise

      Watch the sun set over the Caribbean Sea on a sunset cruise. Enjoy a drink and the island's famous rum punch while you admire the stunning colors of the sky

      10. Go Surfing

      Barbados is a great destination for surfers. There are several surf schools on the island where you can take lessons or rent equipment. The best surf spots are located on the east coast, with waves that can reach up to 8ft.

      In summary, Barbados has a lot to offer visitors. From exploring natural wonders, to enjoying the island's beaches and its cultural heritage, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

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