Barbados is the most easterly island in the Caribbean island chain, all on it's own with the Atlantic Ocean to one side and the Caribbean Sea to the other.
Barbados is made of limestone and only measures 166 square miles, it reaches 21 miles in length and 14 miles in width, however you will find this small island as rich in culture and history as it is in beauty.
Barbados is a relatively flat country with only one major incline and that is Mount Hillaby, which measures 1,089 feet above sea level.
The weather in Barbados rarely drops below 75 degrees Fahrenheit in the winter months December to March, and rarely goes above 85 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer months May to October. The hurricane season runs from June until December when humidity can be quite unpleasant but the rest of the year enjoys cooling trade northeast trade winds.
English is the official language spoken with a Barbadian dialect, which can sometimes be tricky to understand, even if you understand what a Bajan says it doesn't necessarily make any sense. You may have to visit the island on a few occasions until you get to grips with 'bare Bajan' talk.
The population is roughly 270,000 and the capital city is Bridgetown located on the southwest coast. Here you will find plenty to do from shopping, sightseeing, horse racing to historic churches and museums.
Barbados is a very safe island for tourists with crime rates being the lowest in the Caribbean region, however you still need to exercise the same caution as you would at home by not leaving valuables on display and not walking around unlit roads at night.
Overall the Barbadian population is a very friendly one, and with tourism being a major contribution to the economy, most Barbadians are keen to ensure that you have a good time while visiting. Barbadians are very proud of their country and love to tell visitors about their heritage and history, so please make the most of your surroundings and talk to the locals.
The water in Barbados is safe to drink as it filtered naturally through the coral limestone rock; make sure you drink plenty of it as dehydration in this hot climate can happen quite easily. You also will need to wear a high factor sunscreen as you can burn even on cloudy days.
Swimming in Barbados is safe on the west and south coasts, but you need to exercise caution as you venture up the south east to east and north coasts, as this side is the Atlantic Ocean with unpredictable currents.
Water sports such as Kite boarding, wind surfing and surfing are popular in Barbados as the waves on the south coast are excellent for wind and kite surfing. The most popular beaches for these two sports are Silver Sands, Silver Rock and Long Beach. Bathsheba is located on the east coast and is famous for the 'soup bowl' a very hot spot for experienced surfers.
When choosing your holiday accommodation you will be spoiled for choice in Barbados, as there is something for everyone from luxurious hotels and condominiums to self-catering apartments, guesthouses and beach cottages. Please see our accommodation section for a comprehensive guide.
There are many tourist attractions on the island including a thriving art community with a lot of local work for sale at various galleries across the country. You can tour the island on organised tours or grab a map and hire a car. There are some delightful tropical gardens to explore and of course endless white sandy beaches to laze on.
With so much to fill your days, you may not have much energy left for the evenings, but Barbados nightlife is not to be missed. There are some of the best restaurants in the world located in Barbados so make sure you try at least one of the famous ones while venturing out.
After dinner you may want to party until dawn and there are lots of places to choose from to dance the night away. You could try one of the many bars located in St. Lawrence Gap on the south coast, please see our guide to St. Lawrence Gap below.
Or maybe you would like to dance on the beach at one of the leading night clubs, either at the Boatyard or Harbour Lights just outside Bridgetown or for a more European feel you may like to cool down with air conditioning inside Club Xtreme on the south coast main road.
Combining dinner with dancing is another great option at the Plantation Theatre, where you can enjoy a fantastic 3-course meal followed by the spectacular Bajan Roots and Rhythms floorshow, which depicts Barbadian life and history through song and dance. After the show the floor is yours to dance the night away.
For a rustic night out you could go along to a fish fry at one of the local fish markets, where you can sample some of the local rum and eat the fresh catch of the day. A popular venue for tourists is to go to the fish fry at Oistins on the south coast on either a Friday or Saturday night.
The best part about Barbados is that there is something for everyone and your holiday can be as busy or relaxing as you please.
We invite you take the time to browse through and search for anything in particular at Totally Barbados. Learn more about Barbados at Wikipedia.
By: Brett Callaghan