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We're Andre & Lisa, adventurers and experienced budget travelers.

We have over two decades of travel experience and since 2018 have led a full-time nomadic lifestyle.

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BARBADOS TRAVEL GUIDE

The easternmost island in the Caribbean, Barbados juggles two different cultures to create a distinctly Bajan personality. Even after gaining its independence from Great Britain in 1966, this island still holds tight to British traditions like afternoon tea, cricket and horse races. Trademarks of the Caribbean and West Africa are still evident, however, in the island's sugar cane fields, rum distilleries and lush landscapes. And then there are the many beaches.

COUNTRY PAGE
  • Capital: Bridgetown
  • Currency: Barbadian dollar (BBD) / US dollars are widely accepted
  • Area: 431km²
  • Population: 286 641 (2018)
  • Language: English
  • Electricity: 115V, 50Hz (North American plug)

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POSTS ON BARBADOS

SEASONS AT A GLANCE

Most destinations have different times of the year when they’re more or less popular with tourists. 

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Peak Season

Shoulder Season

Off Peak Season

JANUARY

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AUGUST

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OCTOBER

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NOVEMBER

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Climate Chart with avergae monthly temperatues and rainfall

BEST TIME TO VISIT BARBADOS

Located in the windward part of the Caribbean’s archipelago, Barbados enjoys a tropical, oceanic climate with hot and humid conditions that persist year-round. The country enjoys an average temperature of 26.8°C, with no drastic changes in either seasonal or daily temperatures. Weather seasons can be classified as either wet or dry, with the wet season coinciding with the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June to November.

 

The best time to visit Barbados is between July and November. Though these months fall within the Caribbean's hurricane season, hurricanes rarely hit the island, and you could attend one of the lively Crop Over Festival activities if you vacation during this time of year. Temperatures stay in the mid to high 20C's all year round, so there's little reason to travel during the peak season, which occurs from late December to mid-April.

BEST TIME FOR:

Barbados enjoys a hot, tropical climate suitable for beach-going all year round. The driest and least humid months are typically from December to May, so these are best for enjoying the beaches. From June to November, the rain usually falls in brief, very heavy showers with the peak of the hurricane season from August to October.

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BARBADOS TRAVEL COSTS

The Caribbean is not cheap, but there are ways to get the most bang for your buck with a little forward planning and some savvy choices

 

  • Budget less than US$150 Room away from the beach: under US$100, Meal at a locally popular restaurant: US$10, Ride local buses: US$3

  • Midrange US$150–300 Double room in the action: US$200, Visit parks and beaches that are free, rent bikes or snorkel for US$10 per day Rental car for exploring: US$40 to US$60 a day.

  • Top end over US$300 - Beautiful rooms at the best resorts in high season: US$400 and over, Activities in beautiful places: US$100 and up, World-renowned meals: US$100 per person and more.

 

Here are some of the best ways to save money:

  • Travel in groups Bring your friends and other couples along with you and rent a villa.

  • Book far in advance For high season deals.

  • Book at the last minute For incredible deals as hotels dump empty rooms.

  • Follow the divers They demand great value near beautiful waters.

  • Ride buses and ferries You meet folks and may have an adventure.

  • Live like a local Save money while having a more authentic visit.

  • Travel in low season Prices can drop 40% or more.

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TRAVEL TIPS FOR BARBADOS

GETTING AROUND:

The best way to get around Barbados is in a car – preferably one you've rented and not a taxi. Just keep to the left and keep your wits about you for the twists and turns. The aforementioned taxis are an expensive option, but at least the fare is set by the government – it'll cost between 13 and 83 Barbadian dollars (US$ 6.50 - 41.50) to get from Grantley Adams International Airport (BGI) to various parts of the island.

 

Compared to some Caribbean destinations, Barbados' roads are easy to navigate and renting a car can add convenience for making the most of exploring Barbados. That said, roads can be winding and narrow and the traffic is frustrating (by any country's standards). Still, this is the most efficient means of getting around. If you want to give it a try, you'll need a temporary permit from the rental agency (you can buy a two-month permit for about 10 Barbadian dollars, or about US$ 5).

 

Although taking a taxi is certainly a hassle-free way to get around you'll pay a steep price for the convenience, with rather hefty fares that are set by the government. Anticipate paying anywhere between 31 and 46 Barbadian dollars (or US$ 15.50 - 23) for a one-way trip from the airport to the hotels of Bridgetown or St. Lawrence Gap.

 

The government-operated buses are a cheap way to get around town and to popular sights like Harrison's Cove and Bathsheba Beach. (They're easy-to-spot – blue with yellow stripes – and their final destinations are clearly visible on the front). Most hotels sit along bus routes, making them a viable option for tourists. However, less populated areas are harder to navigate by bus. Bus passengers are also charged per ride, which includes route transfers. Bajan buses cost 3.50 Barbadian dollars (around $1.75) one-way and you'll need exact change. No foreign currency is accepted for payment.



REGIONS & HIGHLIGHTS OF BARBADOS

With plenty of golf courses, historic homes and sporting events, Barbados is an ideal vacation spot for active travellers. Avid surfers flock to Bathsheba Beach on the east coast while swimmers looking for calmer waters head to the south coast's Dover Beach. Carlisle Bay near Bridgetown (Barbados' capital) is another popular shoreline, thanks in part to the various shipwrecks and abundant wildlife that await scuba divers and snorkelers. Inland explorers must not pass up an opportunity to visit the lush Hunte's Gardens or Harrison's Cave, a famous Barbadian cave system that is more than a mile long. And a trip to Barbados wouldn't be complete without sampling some of the country's world-famous rum.

 

Wandering bustling Bridgetown with its many sights and old colonial buildings can easily occupy a day. There is good shopping, especially along Broad St and on pedestrian-only Swan St, which buzzes with the rhythms of local culture. The entire downtown area and south to the Garrison was recognized by UNESCO in 2012 for its historical significance.

 

The South Coast is the island’s midrange tourism epicentre. This virtually uninterrupted stretch of development – and beach – runs from the outskirts of Bridge-town all the way to the airport. Hastings and Rockley are home to some attractive, popular beaches. Commercialism rules, although there’s an attractive new boardwalk on the waterfront east of Hastings. Worthing is a good base if you’re on a tight budget but still want to be near the action. Along the stretch between St Lawrence Gap and Dover beach there is good nigh-time strolling. At the southernmost tip of the island, between Oistins and the airport, is the breezy, kitesurfing-mecca of Silver Sands.

 

Barbados’ West Coast has lovely tranquil beaches that are largely hidden by the majority of the island’s luxury hotels and walled estates. In colonial times, the area was a popular holiday retreat for the upper crust of British society. These days, the villas that haven’t been converted to resorts are owned by the wealthy and famous. That’s on the water side of course. On the other side of Hwy 1 are modest huts and simple vacation retreats. Although the beaches are in theory all public, the near constant development means that you only get a few coastal glimpses.

 

Download map waypoints for Barbados here: KML / GPX

WHAT TO SEE AND DO IN BARBADOS

More location information and points of interest are available in the above map

 

WEST COAST

Barbados’ West Coast has lovely tranquil beaches that are largely hidden by the majority of the island’s luxury hotels and walled estates. In colonial times, the area was a popular holiday retreat for the upper crust of British society. These days, the villas that haven’t been converted to resorts are owned by the wealthy and famous. That’s on the water side of course. On the other side of Hwy 1 are modest huts and simple vacation retreats. Although the beaches are in theory all public, the near constant development means that you only get a few coastal glimpses.

 

CENTRAL BARBADOS

Several roads cross the rolling green hills of the island’s interior. There’s a wealth of historic and natural sights here and you can spend days winding around small roads far from the crowds. Following the road into the hills east of Speightstown, Hwy 2, you will steadily climbs through historic sugarcane fields with ruins of old mills dotting the landscape. At Portland, turn off Hwy 2 and follow a narrow road winding under a cathedral of huge mahogany trees arching overhead to St Nicholas Abbey, a Jacobean-style mansion that is one of the oldest plantation houses in the Caribbean and a must-see stop on any island itinerary. About 700m southeast of the abbey, the road passes Cherry Tree Hill, which has grand views right across the Atlantic coast. Re-join Hwy 2 and head toward the coast. You will pass through the little town of Belleplaine and along the rugged coast through low sand dunes - the road here is one of the great ocean drives - right until you reach Bathsheba.

 

EASTERN BARBADOS

The wild Atlantic waters of the east coast are far removed from the rest of the island. The population is small, the coast craggy and the waves incessant. Bathsheba is prime surfing country. It’s also good for long beach walks as you contemplate feeling you’ve reached the end of the world. It’s an idyllic image of sand, sea and palm trees.

WHAT TO EAT IN BARBADOS

An array of Caribbean and international cuisine, with African, Indian and British influences can be found in Barbados, though the island's fresh seafood is the focal point of many restaurant menus. Bridgetown is the best place to enjoy genuine local food and genuine local prices.

 

Look out for:

  • Flying fish - Served fried in delicious sandwiches all over the country. It’s a mild white fish that is great sautéed or deep-fried.
  • Conkies - A mixture of cornmeal, coconut, pumpkin, sweet potato, raisins and spices, steamed in a plantain leaf.
  • Fish cakes - There are myriad Bajan recipes, made from salt cod and deep-fried. Look for them being sold from food trucks.
  • Cutters - Meat or fish sandwiches in a salt-bread roll. Best absolutely fresh and dripping with juice and a dash of hot sauce.
  • Jug-jug - A mixture of cornmeal, green peas and salted meat.

 

The following dishes can be found across the Caribbean:

  • Callaloo - A creamy thick soup or stew blending a variety of vegetables (eg spinach, kale, onions, carrots, eggplant, garlic, okra) with coconut milk and sometimes crab or ham. The base can be spinach-like.
  • Roti - Fiery chutney sets off the curried chicken, beef, conch or vegetable fillings in these burrito-like flat-bread wraps.
  • Conch - Look for farm-raised versions as conch in the wild are endangered. This large pink mollusc is cooked with onion and spices in a stew, fried up as fritters, or sliced raw and served with a lime marinade.

 

Take time to meet the locals by doing what they do – you’ll enjoy a more affordable and authentic experience.

  • Eat at lunch wagons or stalls. The local fare is cheap and often incredibly good.
  • Drop by a local bar – often the de facto community center. Besides a drink, you’ll get all sorts of useful – or wonderfully frivolous – advice.
  • Look for community fish fries or barbecues in the Eastern Caribbean.

LGBTQ IN BARBADOS

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WHERE TO STAY IN BARBADOS

When visiting Barbados for the first time, choosing the right area or region to stay in can greatly influence your experience of this Caribbean gem. Here are some recommendations along with accommodation suggestions for each category: budget, mid-range, and luxury.


Where to stay in Bridgetown:

Bridgetown, the capital city of Barbados, offers a blend of history, culture, and modern amenities, with its colonial architecture, vibrant markets, and bustling streets, making it an ideal base for exploring the island's heritage and urban charm.

  • Budget: Pirates Inn - Affordable accommodations located near Bridgetown's historic Garrison area, offering basic amenities and easy access to public transportation.

  • Mid-range: Hilton Barbados Resort - A beachfront hotel with comfortable rooms, multiple dining options, and amenities such as pools, tennis courts, and a spa.

  • Luxury: The Crane Resort - A luxurious resort set on a cliff overlooking Crane Beach, featuring elegant suites, gourmet dining, and a spa with panoramic ocean views.


Where to stay in St. Lawrence Gap:

St. Lawrence Gap is a vibrant strip on the south coast known for its nightlife, restaurants, and beautiful beaches, offering a lively atmosphere and plenty of entertainment options.

  • Budget: Yellow Bird Hotel - Affordable boutique hotel offering comfortable rooms with kitchenettes, located within walking distance of Dover Beach and St. Lawrence Gap's nightlife.

  • Mid-range: Southern Palms Beach Club - A beachfront resort featuring spacious rooms, a swimming pool, and beachfront dining options, all within close proximity to St. Lawrence Gap's attractions.

  • Luxury: Sandals Barbados - An all-inclusive luxury resort offering luxurious accommodations, gourmet dining, and a range of water sports and activities.



For hassle-free bookings, use platforms like Booking.com for competitive rates or Holiday Swap for unique homes worldwide. Ensure to book in advance, especially during peak seasons, and align your preferences with nearby activities such as surfing, snorkeling, or cultural exploration.

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FLIGHTS
Find a cheap flight by using Skyscanner or Momondo. These are our favorite flight search engines. They index other travel websites and airlines across the globe to easily find you the best deal.

ACCOMMODATION

Booking.com is our number one resource for researching and booking accommodation. In addition to Booking.com, we have found Agoda.com to consistently returns the cheapest rates in Southeast Asia. For longer stays, find unique homes worldwide on Holiday Swap, the most affordable travel platform that allows you to book homes anytime, anywhere in only a few clicks.

TRANSPORT

DiscoverCars.com is a leader in online car rental bookings; we compare car rental deals from many companies so that you can choose which is best for your trip. 12Go connects the world door-to-door, from transfers to flights, under the same user-friendly ticket.

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