Barbados

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About

Barbados Shoreline

  • Barbados is an island located in the North Atlantic Ocean, just east of the Caribbean Sea, northeast of Venezuela
  • The island is portrayed as the Little Britain of the Caribbean because of its long association as a British colony
  • The name Barbados comes from a Portuguese explorer in 1536, who originally called the island Los Barbados meaning The Bearded Ones. He called the island this after the appearance of the islands fig trees, which have long hanging roots that resemble beards.
  • Barbados terrain consists of lowlands separated by rolling hills that run parallel to the coast line. 85% of the surface consists of limestone, with sugarcane crops covering 80% of that.

 

HISTORY

  • The English first arrived in Barbados in 1625, creating a settlement two years later. Approximately 80 settlers and 10 slaves established their camp at Holetown
  • After the Dutch introduced sugarcane in the 1630s, it only took about 20 years for the crop to dominate the rest of the island. Sugarcane became the main source of wealth, investment and profit for the island.
  • Around 1838, after slavery was abolished, former slaves began to fill jobs and important positions on the island.
  • By 1910, the once obsolete sugar industry again became profitable in Barbados.
  • The Great Depression caused extensive unemployment and rioting on the island, therefore quickly reducing the quality of life on the island. The English stepped in to supply Barbados with funding to keep it afloat.
  • The island gained control of its affairs in 1961, and gained full independence in 1966.
  • The island remains within the Commonwealth.
  • Following WWII, tourism quickly became the biggest contributor to the Barbados economy.


FACTS

    Bathsheba Beach

    • Barbados has always flown only the British Flag, until achieving its independence in 1966.
    • Barbados has never been successfully invaded by a foreign power.
    • When first settled in 1625, it was found to be almost totally covered in dense jungle, with a very large population of wild pigs.
    • Barbados has experienced 12 Hurricanes and 15 Gales of sufficient force to cause extensive damage, recorded from Settlement in 1625 until now.
    • The island has a 98% literacy rate, a sign of the island’s sophistication.
    • The furry little creatures that run out in front of your hire car as you travel the country roads of Barbados are mongooses. It is well known that the Mongoose in Barbados never crosses the road unless someone is watching. This is also a sign of good luck.
    • Barbados produced the world’s oldest rum under the Mount Gay label – over 300 years old
    • The whistling frogs that you hear at night give birth to live young, not tadpoles as with normal frogs
    • The National dish of Barbados is Cou-Cou and Flying Fish. Flying fish jump out of the water and can glide for 30 to 50 metres!
    • This is the birthplace of Rihanna, who moved from Barbados to the United States at the age of 16 to pursue her music career.

Avg. Costs

Barbados Balcony

  • Fast food meals/Street stands cost – $5-8 US per person
  • Mid-price restaurant – $10-25 US per person
  • Typical main course dinner $20-40 US
  • Beer (bar) $4-6 US (market 6 bottles) $12 US
  • Hotel maids should be tipped $2 US per room per day, Bellhops $1 US per bag

 

Click here to see The Economist’s Big Mac Index.  It is arguably the world’s most accurate financial indicator to be based on a fast-food item.

Currency

Information is coming soon.

Safety

  • Although Barbados is usually a safe place to travel, there has been a steep incline of crime since 2008.
  • It is wise for tourists to avoid certain high risk activities such as – walking on secluded beaches, walking in unfamiliar residential neighborhoods or secluded areas away from main roads.
  • Tourists, especially women, should always stay in groups.
  • The most common crimes against tourists are taxi fraud, robbery, and shortchanging. However, rape and assaults are becoming more common.
  • Caution should also be taken when going into sea – most people underestimate the power of currents and riptides
  • With Barbados being only 13 degrees off the equator, you can get burnt extremely easily. Drink plenty of water and protect yourself from the sun with sunscreen and umbrellas.
  • It is advisable to use bug spray at nighttime, as mosquitoes are often a nuisance at restaurants.

 

Click here to see Canadian Government Travel Reports and Warnings on http://www.voyage.gc.ca/.  Travel Reports offer information on safety and security, local laws and customs, entry requirements, health conditions and other important travel issues.

Climate

Beach Lifeguard Station

  • Barbados lies within the tropics, setting a warm temperature all year.
  • Temperatures range from 75-82° F (24-28° C) annually.
  • Northeast trade winds help to keep the island bearable on humid days.
  • July to December is when most of the rainfall occurs on the island, while January to June is known as the dry season
  • The weather in Barbados is sunnier and drier than most of the other islands in the Caribbean
  • Barbados has an average of 8-10 hours of sunshine per day from November to March and even in the wettest months from April to October, the average is still about 8-9 hours of sunshine per day.
  • August and September are the peak months for hurricane season. However, hurricanes usually miss Barbados, and instead experience some stunning tropical rainstorms.

Places to See

St. James Beach Resort Hotel

Harrisons Cave

  • A massive underground cave stream in Barbados.
  • It has interesting caverns and crystallized formations.
  • This newly redeveloped attraction is Barbados’ number one visitor attraction.
  • It is located in the central uplands of Barbados.

View Map

 

 

 

Barbados Museum and Historical Society

  • This museum is housed in an 1815 British military prison, and tells the story of Barbados from the time of 400 BC to modern times.
  • Visitors can see a prisoner’s cell as well as period rooms from a plantation house.
  • The museum is also known for its wonderful examples of European decorative arts and paintings, as well as its numerous works by 20th century Caribbean artists.

View Map

 

 

 

Atlantis Submarine

  • Those wanting a voyage to the bottom of the sea should try a trip on the Atlantis Submarine.
  • Visitors can take a one hour underwater tour on one of two 48 passenger submarines, which make their way past coral reefs, marine life and a sunken ship.

 

 

 

Horizon Helicopters

  • Horizon Helicopters offer a full island tour by helicopter.
  • The tour lasts around 30 minutes and includes a sunset tour with champagne.

Etiquette

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