Do you want to learn about the island Barbados? You can find all of the insider information into everything you need to know about Barbados.
Don’t let the fact that Barbados is a small island fool you. What Barbados lacks in size, it makes up for in charm.
In fact, the island ranks highly in most global population indexes. Notably, the literacy rate is close to 100% (one of the highest in the world), and according to the 2014 Global Innovation Index, Barbados is the most innovative country in the Caribbean and the world’s 41st most innovative nation.
Barbados – the jewel of the Caribbean
Barbados is the most easterly island in the Caribbean island chain, situated above South America, northeast of Venezuela and north of Guyana. The Atlantic Ocean sits to the east of the isle, and the Caribbean Sea to the west. The capital city is Bridgetown, located in the parish of St Michael.
The limestone rock has created the island of Barbados, and the land area of the isle measures 166.4 square miles (431 km2). It is 21 miles (34 kilometers) in length and 14 miles (23 kilometers).
The terrain is relatively flat in comparison to other Caribbean islands however there is a gentle rise to a central highland region of the isle – Mount Hillaby in the parish of St Andrew being the highest point, measuring approximately 1,115 feet above sea level.
Barbados is just north of the equator, the climate is considered to be moderately tropical, and temperatures typically range from between 80-86 degrees Fahrenheit (27-30 degrees Celsius) and 70 – 76% humidity for most of the year.
December to May is considered the dry season in Barbados and also considered the ‘winter’ period.
The wet season begins in June and runs until November, the ‘summer’ months for the island. This season also brings with it the Caribbean hurricane season, although Barbados continually tends to be spared the direct hit of any major storm.
Want to know more about Barbados? Learn more about Barbados Weather, Hurricanes, Tropical Storms and Depressions.
The People – Best Asset of Barbados!
According to the 2010 Barbados Population and Housing Census, the population of Barbados is approximately 280,000 people.
The Barbadian population is a diverse melting pot of individuals, the majority of whom are of African descent. However, Barbados is also made up of people who are of mixed race, Caucasian or European ancestry, East Indian, Oriental and Middle Eastern.
Barbadians are renowned for being very friendly, and with tourism being a major contributor to the economy, it’s evident that the people of Barbados are this little island’s best-kept asset.
For a more in-depth look at the people of Barbados, learn about the Population and People of Barbados.
British English is the official language of the island
In more formal settings, British English is both spoken and written, however in most casual settings, Barbadians speak a unique Bajan dialect – a version of broken English, or pidgin (a simplified version of) English, mixed with very distinctive ‘Bajanisms.’
This local language can be a bit tricky to follow at times, especially for visitors to the island. However, you’ll soon pick it up and be speaking like an honorary Bajan in no time!
Want to talk the talk? Read about our Language and Dialect.
There’s something in the water
The water in Barbados is very safe to drink as it filtered naturally through coral limestone rock. In fact, over 85% of Barbados is made up of coral limestone, meaning the water of Barbados is of a very high quality.
Swimming in Barbados is safe on both the west and south coasts. However, we recommend you exercise caution swimming on the south east, east and north coasts, due to the unpredictable nature of the currents of the Atlantic Ocean.
Water sports are top-rated in Barbados with waves on the south coast excellent for activities like wind and kite surfing. Bathsheba on the east coast is famous for the ‘Soup Bowl’ – a hot spot for experienced surfers.
When choosing your holiday accommodation, there are many options to chose for choice in Barbados.
You’ll find there really is something for everyone – from luxurious hotels and condominiums to self-catering apartments, guesthouses, and beach cottages. For a comprehensive guide to the island’s accommodation, see our Accommodation guide and local hotel listings.
Regarding Sightseeing, there are tourist attractions galore.
Would you like to tour the island on an organized tour? Or grab a map, hire a car and explore for yourself.
You can visit tropical gardens dotted all over the island or spend a day at the beach, each with their unique character and atmosphere.
If art’s your thing, Barbados also has a thriving art community with lots of local work for sale at various galleries across the country.
Don’t know where to start? See our tourist attractions guide to help you decide where to visit first.
I love the nightlife!
You will miss out if you don’t take the time to spend the nightlife with family and friends in Barbados.
Some of the best restaurants in the world are located right here in Barbados, so be sure to dine at a local restaurant.
You can read all about Barbados’ restaurants in our Places to Eat and Dining Guide which also links you to restaurant contact details – essential when making your dinner reservation.
After dinner, you may wish to party the night away, and again there are lots of places to choose. One of the most popular nightspots is St. Lawrence Gap on the south coast, where there are numerous bars (karaoke included) for you to check out. For more information, learn about St Lawrence Gap.
Maybe you’d like to put your dancing shoes on and venture to one of the island’s leading nightclubs like Harbour Lights, conveniently located just outside Bridgetown. Combining dinner with a show is another popular option at Harbour Lights.
For a more rustic night out, you could go along to a local fish fry and sample the catch of the day while enjoying the local rum. One such place and a popular venue for both locals and tourist alike are the infamous Friday night Oistins Fish Fry. For more information, you can read all about the quaint little fishing village of Oistins, located on the south coast of the island.
Need more nightlife options?
Learn all about the entertainment districts and nightlife options on the island.
And the best part is
The best part about Barbados is that there is something for everyone.
The island caters to suit all styles, tastes, and budgets so your holiday can be as busy, relaxing, high end or low end as you please. Book your ticket today – the island awaits you!
By: Brett Callaghan