Barbados Tourism Authority
Harbour Road, PO Box 242
Tel: 4272623. Telex: 2420 WB. Fax: (809) 426-40-80
Bridgetown, Barbados, W.I.

Physical geography

Located in the south eastern Caribbean (13ۤ' N 59°F37') some 500 kilometres north of Venezuela, Barbados is the most easterly of the West Indian islands and is the focal point of air and sea communications in the region. Its total land area is 166 sq. miles (30km2). The island is 21 miles (34km) long by 14 miles (22.5km) and its highest point is Mt. Hillaby, which is 1,105 feet (330 metres) above sea level. A coral island, protected by offshore reefs, Barbados has a surprisingly varied scenery for its small size. The northeast or Atlantic side is rugged and mountainous with long, lonely beaches and dramatic cliff scenery, pounded by large breakers. The west or Caribbean side is tranquil, with crystal clear water lapping white sandy coves fringed with coconut palms and other trees.


Tropical, cooled by the ever present tradewinds which blow all year at an average speed of ten knots. The mean annual temperature is 75°-85°F (23.9°-29.4°C). The highest rainfall occurs in September and October.

Economic geography

The main product of the island is sugar and its by-products, molasses and rum. There is also a secondary manufacturing sector which produces for local consumption and export. Tourism, however, is the major foreign exchange earner.


Population 258,000: 90 per cent are Afro-West Indian, five per cent white and five per cent mixed. Capital City: Bridgetown.

A brief history

The island was first populated by successive waves of Amerindian peoples from South America - 300 BC Saladoids, 600 AD Arawaks; 1,200 Caribs. When English settlers landed in 1627 the island was deserted, the Indians having fled to the more mountainous neighbouring islands to escape marauding Spaniards. In 1639 the first Parliament was established. In 1834 slavery was abolished. 1951 brought full adult suffrage. In 1954 a ministerial government was introduced. 1966 saw independence within the Commonwealth. Queen Elizabeth II became the Head of State and is represented by a governor general. The function and the powers of the government are vested in the cabinet, presided over by the prime minister.


Predominantly Protestant (Anglican), with Roman Catholic Moravian, Baptist and Pentecostal communities.

Languages spoken by nationals

English is the principal language, although an English-based creole, 'Bajan' is widely used.


Local time four hours behind GMT.


The Barbados dollar is linked to the US dollar at a fixed vaue of US$1 = Bds$1.98. The following exchange rates qouted may vary, depending on fluctuations in the money market: UK£1 = Bds$3; Ffr.10 = Bds$4; DM1 = Bds$ 1.15; It. Lire 1,000 = Bds$ 1.70; Sfr.10 = Bds$10.

Official holidays (all offices and shops closed)

1 January, New Year's Day; 21 January, Errol Barrow's Day; Good Friday; Easter Monday; first Monday in August, Kadooment - Crop Over Festival; first Monday in October, United Nations Day; 30 November, Independence Day; 25 December, Christmas Day; 26 December, Christmas Bank Holiday or Boxing Day.

What one should not fail to see


The capital with bustling side streets full of shoppers, forming a veritable kaleidoscope of colour and sound. City marketplaces where one can buy any kind of tropical fruit, and elegant stores with duty free shopping. Swan Street which used to be known as Jews Street in the seventeenth century. St. Michael's Cathedral with fine memorials dating from the mid seventeenth century, the House of Assembly, the Barbados Museum with its excellent collection of West Indian prints, the Careenage with yachts and Baxters Road, always busy at night.

The East Coast

Bathsheba and Cattlewash, vast stretches of beach where Atlantic breakers crash on offshore reefs; beautiful scenery in the Scotland District, where sharp peaks conceal valleys filled with sugar cane and tropical fruit plantations. Turners Hall Woods, the last remaining rainforest on the island with monkeys and various tropical birds. Andromeda Gardens; Codrington College, with its annexe dating back to about 1630; Farley Hill National Park; Villa Nova Great House; St. John's church, where lies buried one of the Paleologus; direct descendant of the last emperors of Constantinople. Martin's Bay, Consett Bay and the Crane Beach, one of the most spectacular in the entire West Indies.

The South Coast

Christ Church Parish Church, site of Chase Vault, whose moving lead coffins induced a 19th century mystery still unsolved. Oistin's fishing village. Graeme Hall Swamp, where thousands of egrets and herons nest. Accra Beach.This is the liveliest part of the island with concentrations of discotheques and restaurants.

The West Coast

Speightstown, an old town with shipping links with Bristol, unchanged since the 18th century. St. James Church, site of the first church on the island, about 1640. Folkestone Underwater National Park, an extensive coral reef with protected sea life. The elegant homes of the island elite and winter mansions of wealthy visitors opened to the public under the auspices of the Barbados Nahonal Trust Programme.

Most favourable seasons for sojourns and touring

Barbados is an agreeable year-round resort. In December, January and February night temperatures are about ten degrees cooler, but never go below 20°C. The rainy season is between July and November. The rainfall, although sometimes quite strong, only lasts for short periods and clouds are quickly dissipated by bright sunshine. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>How to dress</H3> Casual light cotton clothing is suitable for day and evening wear. Formal wear is rarely needed on the island, but it might be good to have a jacket or cocktail dress packed for that special occasion. Very scanty clothing such as swimming suits or bikinis should not be wom when shopping, on the streets or in business areas. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Main holiday resorts</H3> Barbados has two main holiday areas, the west coast and the south coast. Generally, the more luxurious hotels are concentrated on the west coast and the accent is on gracious living against the backdrop of the tranquil Caribbean Sea. On the south coast, one finds a more hectic pace of life. This is a mixed area, with the middle class suburbs of Bridgetown intermingled with medium-priced hotels favoured by a younger clientele. Most of the nightclubs and discotheques are found in this area, and the quicker pace of life is reflected on the beaches where the Atlantic and Caribbean meet and swimming is more exhilarating with good surfing spots. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Main holiday sports</H3> Game fishing for marlin, sailfish, barracuda, bonito, king fish sailing; water-skiing; surfing; horse-riding; cricket; football; polo, golf; squash; tennis; horseracing and windsurfing. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>What to eat and drink</H3> Good Creole cuisine is available on Barbados. Typical native foods include flying fish and cou-cou (ground corn boiled with okra), chubb, sea urchins, bread fruit and yam pies, pigeon peas, pepper pot, conhes and jug-jug. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>What to buy</H3> Native handicrafts and paintings. Duty free shopping for imported woollens, silverware, porcelain and crystal, cameras and watches . <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Frontier formalities</H3> Every person entering Barbados is required to be in possession of a valid passport or travel document. A visitor who is a citizen of the United States of America or Canada travelling direct from those countries to Barbados may be admitted without a passport for a period not exceeding three months, provided he establishes his identity and national status to the satisfaction of the Immigration Authority. This may be done by means of an original birth certificate or citizenship papers and a document which gives positive identification of the person, eg, a) driver's licence with photograph; b) university or school identification with photograph; c) job identification card with photograph; d) senior citizens' card with photograph. <H3>Visas</H3> With the exception of Indians and Pakistanis, Commonwealth citizens who wish to visit the island for a period not exceeding six months are not required to have visas. Subject to the exemptions noted below, no alien, ie, non-Commonwealth citizen, may land unless he has endorsed in his passport the visa of a Barbados or British consular officer. <H3>Exemptions</H3> Visas are not required from: <BR>a) nationals of the following countries who wish to visit the island for not more than six months: Austria, Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Greece, Italy, Liechtenstein, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Mali, Mauritania, Netherlands, North Korea, Norway, Spain, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, Turkey, United States. <BR>b) Nationals of the following countries who wish to visit the island for a period not exceeding three months 30 days: b) Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Japan, South Korea <BR>c) Nationals of Costa Rica who wish to visit the island for a period not exceeding 30 days <BR>d) Nationals of the following countries who wish to visit the island for a period not exceeding 28 days: Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cuba, Curacao, Czech Republic, Estonia, Goergia, Hungayr, Kazakhstan, Kyrghzstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mexico, Moldova, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia, Slovenia, Suriname, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uzbekistan, Vennezula. <BR>e) in-transit passengers in possession of through tickets and bona fide tourists in possession of return tickets who satisfy the immigration officer that they do not intend to remain on the island for a period exceeding 28 days. (This does not extend to citizens of the People's Republic of China); <BR>f) passengers on tourist vessels except citizens of the People's Republic of China and Taiwan <BR>g) Passengers taking connecting flights on the same day who are not leaving the air/sea/port to enter Barbados. <H3>Duration of visit</H3> Visitors coming to Barbados should provide proof of adequate means of support for the duration of their stay to the satisfaction of the immigration officer at the port of entry. They should also be in possession of valid tickets to their homeland or to a country which will accept them. <H3>Health regulations</H3> There are no vaccination requirements for passengers arriving in Barbados unless in those special cases where six days prior to arrival on the island the individual has been in an area of the world where cholera or yellow fever still exist. In this case, and in the case where passengers are arriving from areas infected with cholera, it is the duty of the passenger to inform the health personnel stationed at the airport and be duly inoculated. <H3>Customs</H3> Personal items duty-free are limited to one litre of potable spirits or wine; 100 cigarettes (one carton) or 100 cigars or 50 cigarillos or tobacco not exceeding 230 grams in the aggregate. Animals and birds of any country require six months' quarantine in Britain prior to entry by approved routes. Contact the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. <P>No meat - cooked or uncooked - may by imported into the island unless a permit has been obtained from the same Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development in Barbados. <H3>Currency regulations</H3> There are no restrictions on funds brought into the island by bona fide visitors. Citizens and residents may obtain from commercial banks a maximum of Bds$ 2,000 in foreign currency per year for travel purposes. Persons requiring above this amount must apply to the Central Bank of Barbados for permission. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Travelling around the island</H3> <H3>South Coast</H3> Visiting the famous movin coffins, the vault at Christ Church, Parish Church, Crane Beach, Samord's Castle. <H3>West Coast</H3> Including St. James Parish Church, Folkestone Underwater National Park, Speightstown - the 18th-century shipping port; North Point and River Bay - the northernmost part of the island, for wild cliff scenery, returning via Farley Hill National Park. Variation: at Speightstown, cross to the east coast via Nicholas Abbey, the oldest Jacobean house built in the hemisphere at around 1650, on to Cherry Tree Hill for panoramic views, then to Morgan Lewis, the ancient sugar windmill, down to Barclays National Park on the east coast, for wide beaches and rolling Atlantic surf. <H3>Across the island route</H3> Takes you inland across the richest agricultural lands, past sugar factories and 18th-century plantation great houses to Welchman Hall botanical gardens and the Harrison's Cave, a splendid complex of crystal caves with underground rivers, lakes and waterfalls. On through wild hill scenery to Belleplaine, along the East Coast Road to Bathsheba's Andromeda Gardens for beautiful tropical flower displays, to St. John's Church and Codrington College, the oldest English theological seminary in the new world, with its lodge built in about 1640; returning to Bridgetown via Villa Nova, the plantation great house open to the public. There is a highway linking the west and south coasts, saving a great deal of time (the Adams Barrow Cummins (ABC) Highway). <H3>Additional route</H3> Barbados Wildlife Reserve, St. Peter; Flower Forest, St. Joseph; Sunbury Plantation House, St. Philip. Atlantis Submarine, dive-tour along the west coast of Barbados. Helicopter tours from Bridgetown across the island. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Miscellaneous</H3> <H3>Calendar of events</H3> January - Barbados Jazz Festival; Barbados Windsurfing Championship <BR>February - Holetown Festival; <BR>March - Holders Season, opera and Shakespeare; <BR>March - Cockspur Cup horserace, a prestigious event heralded with a colourful parade; <BR>April - Oistins Fish Festival; international cricket, Congaline Carnival - dubbed 'the World's Greatest Street Party' <BR>May - Gospelfest <BR>July-August - Crop Over Festival <BR>July - Sir Garfield Sobers International Schools Cricket Tournament <BR>August - Bank Holiday Festival <BR>October - International Bridge Festival - Sun, Sea and Slams <BR>November - National Independence Festival of Creative Arts; <BR>December - Run Barbados Series, 10km and marathon. <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"><H3>Representatives abroad</H3> <H3>Offices of the Barbados Tourism Authority:</H3> Canada: 5160 Yonge Street, Suite 1800, North York, Ontario M2N 6L9. Tel: (416) 512-6569/6570/6571. Toll Free: 1-800-268-9122. Fax: 416-512 6581. <P> Germany: Barbados Tourism Authority, Neue Mainzer Strasse 22, D-60311 Frankfurt/Main. Tel.: (069) 232366. Fax: (069) 230077. <P> United Kingdom: 263 Tottenham Court Road, London WlP OLA England. Tel: 011-44 171 636-9448/9. Tx: 051-262081. Fax: 011-44 171 -637 1496. <P> USA: 800 Second Avenue, New York, New York 10017, USA. Tel: 212 986-6516/8. Toll Free: 800-221-983L, Tx: 023-666-387. Fax: 212-573 9850. 3440 Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 1215, Los Angeles, Califomia 90010 USA. Tel: 213-380-2198/9. Toll Free: 800-221-9831. Fax: 213-384-2763. <P> <P><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="3"> <I><P>We have been able to publish the present tourist inforrnation on Barbados thanks to the co-operation and the participation of the Barbados Tourism Authority in Bridgetown.</I> <!-- End of article --> <P> <CENTER><IMG SRC="../NEWPICS/Strip.gif" WIDTH="532" HEIGHT="4"></CENTER> <P> <CENTER><A HREF=#TOP><IMG SRC="Countrypics/WhiteTopbut.gif" BORDER="0" hspace="5"></A> <A HREF="../../../watanetwork/NTOs/Countrieslist/"><IMG SRC="Countrypics/WhiteNTObut.gif" BORDER="0" hspace="5"></A></CENTER> </TD> </TR> </TABLE> </BODY> </HTML>