Barbados is probably the most developed of all the Caribbean islands, yet it retains a distinct character and is resolutely West Indian. Although the beaches are brilliant and rival those elsewhere, the variety of other attractions and things to do are what mark this particular idyll out.
Swim, dive, kite surf and simply relax on the sand on the sheltered south and west coasts; Carlisle Bay near the capital Georgetown has 200 wrecks to explore. The capital itself has a wealth of history to uncover either in the Barbados Museum or nearby Garrison area.
Head inland though to explore the limestone hills and discover the real Barbados and Bajan culture. Visit seventeenth century plantation houses and botanical gardens, listen out for calypso rhythms and sample real Bajan rums and you'll get an idea of what makes the country tick.
The Practical information displayed here is taken from The Traveller's Handbook, published by WEXAS (2009). While all possible care was taken to ensure accuracy at the time of publication, we are aware that situations change, so for the latest information and up-to-date visa requirements, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0616.
During the dry season from December-June, although even the 'wet' season sees an average of eight hours of sunshine per day.
The island's top event is the Crop-Over Festival, which originated in colonial times as a celebration of the sugar cane harvest. Festivities stretch over a three-week period beginning in mid-July. There are spirited calypso competitions and fairs around the island. The festival culminates with a Carnival-like costume parade on Kadooment Day. In February, the Holetown Festival celebrates the 1627 arrival of the first English settlers on Barbados. The week-long festivities include street fairs, a music festival at the historic parish church and a road race. There are also a handful of international sporting events, including the Barbados Windsurfing World Cup, held at Silver Sands in January, and the Caribbean Surfing Championship, held in early November at Bathsheba.
Bajan specialities include superb seafood, including flying fish, lobster and sea urchins. Sweet potatoes, plantain, breadfruit, yams, avocados, pears, soursops, paw paws, bananas, figs, and coconuts are produced locally. Rum based cocktails, such as rum punch, sangria, and pina coladas. British pubs are emulated.
Social attitudes, like administration and architecture, tend to echo the British provincial market town. Bajans (as the locals call themselves) are known for their optimistic attitude, laid-back manner and sense of humour. Casual wear is acceptable in most places.
Sir Grantley Adams, Barbados (BGI), 11km from Bridgetown.
Good road network. Petrol is comparatively cheap, and cars may be hired by the hour, day or week.
The itinerary ideas listed below are designed to give you a flavour of the things to do in Barbados. We can adjust any element and tailor-make your trip though, to suit your individual needs and available time. To start planning your trip, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0616.
The places to stay listed below only represent a handful of the accommodation options available in Barbados. We can also recommend and arrange accommodation to suit your personal tastes and budget. To start planning where to stay in Barbados, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0616.
The types of holiday listed below are just a flavour of the experiences available in Barbados. We can also suggest and plan alternative types of holiday to take into account your individual interests. To start planning what to do whilst away, talk to one of our destination specialists on 020 7590 0616.
Rachel Mostyn - Caribbean Specialist
To make an enquiry or to start planning your trip talk to our team of specialists on 020 7590 0616