Barbados is an exotic Caribbean island, which makes millions of people dream about it while browsing the glossy pages with tempting offers of magazines and travel brochures. With 365 days of sunshine per year and high temperatures, fine white sandy beaches and enchanting tropical sunsets, Barbados is an excellent choice for a summer vacation at beach especially in winter season.
Geographic location, boundaries and size of Barbados. Barbados is located in the continent of North America and in the eastern Caribbean. It is one of the so-called Lesser Antilles.
To the west is located the Caribbean Sea and to the east – the Atlantic Ocean. The nearest neighbours of Barbados are Saint Lucia (about 145 km.) and the more remote islands of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines (about 160 km.).
Barbados has coordinates approximately 13° north latitude and 59° west longitude. The small island country covers an area of 431 square kilometres, making it the 197th largest country i.e. among the smallest countries in the world.
In its longest part from the northwest to the southeast the island is only 33.5 km long.
Climate and waters of Barbados. Barbados falls in the tropical climate zone. Temperatures are high throughout the year.
Daily temperatures vary between 28 and 31°C and night temperatures are between 20 and 23°C. The lowest temperatures are in December, January and February, and the highest – in May, June, August and September, although the difference amounts to about 3 degrees.
The local climate is humid. On the island there are no droughts. Most scarce are the rainfalls in the period December – May.
From June to November lasts the rainy season. Precipitations here are usually short, but very intensive. The sky overclouds very quickly and in a moment, the rain falls in torrents.
Feature of local climate is that Barbados usually remains outside the scope of the hurricanes that often hit the Caribbean during the summer months. Of course, hurricanes are possible, but the likelihood is insignificant.
Despite the humid climate, Barbados is a country poor in water. The rivers here are five but are short and shallow.
Relief of Barbados. Entire the island has hilly and flat terrain. The altitude is greater in the central and northeastern parts of the island where the hills sometimes resemble low mountains.
As Barbados has a continental origin, here relief shapes are soft unlike many other islands in the Lesser Antilles. The highest point of the island is Mount Hillaby, only 340 meters high.
The island is composed mainly of light coloured limestone rocks, which rapidly absorb the falling rain. The coastline is slightly indented, and the eastern and western coasts are dramatically different.
The Atlantic Ocean shores are often steep and rocky. Sandy beaches are rarity. The west Caribbean coast is dominated by incredible sandy beaches and the altitude increases smoothly.
Population of Barbados. Barbados is the most densely populated country in the New World. Neither in North America nor South America there is a country with a higher population density from Barbados.
On the island with an area of 431 sq.km. there are about 280,000 people. This means that density is more than 649 people per square kilometre.
The most densely populated are the western coastal areas, especially the capital Bridgetown and its environs. The majority of the population (approximately 90%) are dark-skinned.
The rest consist of Asians and Europeans. European settlers in Barbados are mainly originating from the British Isles.
This is not accidental. Until 1966 the island was a colony of Britain. Today Barbados is an independent state in the composition of the Commonwealth, and the Queen of Britain remains head of state here.
Over 95% of residents are Christians (Catholics and Protestants) and official language on the island is English.
Economy of Barbados. Barbados is a developed country. Official currency here is the Barbados dollar. For the local economy tourism is the biggest source of income.
Another important item for the local economy is oil production. Of course, in this respect, Barbados is much behind the Middle East, but because of the small size of this island country the incomes of black gold are serious and significantly improve the quality of life.
The island has a well developed agriculture. The main grown crop here is sugar cane. It is also the main ingredient for producing of high-quality rum, which is considered as the most valuable export commodity.
Tourism in Barbados
Arrival. Once you arrive in Barbados, you probably like most tourists will be too tired from the long flight and probably will need to take a rest well and to recuperate your energy for the coming holidays.
This is particularly important for people arriving from more distant places such as Europe.
However, note that the duration of the flight from London to Barbados is 8 hours and 30 minutes average.
The real adventure begins on the next day when tourists have already relaxed from the long flight and are ready to indulge in the beauty of this tropical paradise.
Weather and clothes. The temperature, which is usually about 30°C (+ / – 1 or 2°C) may seems even higher, because the humidity here is greater in comparison with the temperate latitudes.
You will quickly notice that it is nice to slow down and just to enjoy everything that surrounds you. If you want to adapt more quickly, you have to dress the lightest clothes you have and always keep on hand a bottle of fresh mineral water.
Light open shoes, sandals or slippers will provide much more comfort in comparison with some sneakers for example.
First impression. Soon after you arrive, you will feel the sweetness of the tropical air.
Everywhere you can feel the scent of unknown flowers, trees and shrubs. The most amazing tropical flavour you can feel after a strong thunderstorm, that here often happens.
Everywhere there is a lot of fresh greenery and this makes the atmosphere even more exotic and relaxing.
Beaches, sea and underwater world. The biggest attractions of Barbados are the magnificent beaches. The sand is white with light pink nuances.
Marine waters are sky blue and transparent, and if you’re into diving, then Barbados was created especially for you! A few meters from the shore in the crystal clear waters reveals a new world – that of the coral reefs.
All sorts of colourful fishes swim undisturbed around and do not care that someone is watching them. For them you are not a danger unless you approach them too much.
Then all together disappear from your sight just for a second. To view the coral reefs in Barbados you do not even need to dive deep. Some fins, snorkel and mask for underwater vision are absolutely enough equipment.
When is the best time for the beach? If you do not plan to dive and just dream about laziness on the sand and swimming, know that the sea water temperature even in January and February is not less than 25°C.
If you are from the people who prefer to spend the warmest hours of the day in the shade and plan to go to the beach in the late afternoon is good to know that here the hours when the sun sets differs significantly from those in temperate latitudes.
For example, in Barbados the sun sets around half past five in November and about 6:30 pm in July.
These are respectively the shortest and the longest days. It is also important to note that here night occurs very quickly, unlike the temperate latitudes.
Plants. On the beaches in Barbados exotic coconut palms grow on the sand alongside with some types of deciduous trees.
Their crowns cast a pleasant shade spotted just a few steps from the water, thus saving you the need for a beach umbrella. Speaking of plants is very important to note that here some species can be dangerous!
Tree MANCHINEEL for example is poisonous! It grows throughout the Caribbean region. In some places you will find warning signs which say that you should avoid any contact with the plant. Its fruits externally resemble apples.
They are also highly poisonous. They are called The Death Apple. With the exception of poisonous plants there are also some animal species that you must avoid.
On the island there are some types of poisonous spiders. Avoid also meetings with centipedes, which are also poisonous and are not particularly friendly.
Mangrove forest. Along with the dangers, the island of Barbados will offer you exceptional natural beauty. On the coast of the Caribbean Sea, adjacent to the capital Bridgetown is located the park GRAEME HALL NATURE SANCTUARY.
Do not miss it! The place really worth to visit it. This park, located among magnificent tropical vegetation gives shelter to malnourished or injured animals. Here you will see what is Mangrove forest and what is Mangrove vegetation.
Organization. We will advise you again to allocate the places of interest on different days, as in the tropical heat one needs more time in which to simply do nothing or hang out aimlessly.
Do not listen to the tales that must visit all the landmarks, running from a trip to another because it would have to go to a second break to take a break from the first.
Best is to hire your own car and to organize alone your time according to your own schedule. And if in the end you miss something – do not regret!
Perhaps even in the place where you live there is a bunch of things that you do not know and you have never seen.
The interior of the island. Many people visiting the Caribbean make the mistake to enjoy only the beauty, offered by the coast without to see what the interior of the islands offer.
However, you have to know that the interior of Barbados is very beautiful and really worth seeing.
Barbados Nature Reserve is located in the north of the island. Trails for tourists pass through the tropical rain forest.
Here one of the most interesting animals is the green monkey who jump around on the branches. But do not abuse the fact that animals are accustomed to seeing people.
On many boards you will find explanations that should not to irritate or feed the animals because they are wild and may become aggressive.
Turners Hall Woods is located south of the Barbados Nature Reserve. This is protected natural forest that thrives because of the abundant sunshine and tropical rains.
The variety of trees is amazing. When you find yourself in this place will most likely remain amazed about what a great diversity of species can have on such a small island like Barbados.
On some higher places of the hiking paths of this fabulous reserve reveals unforgettable views towards the sea and the entire island, covered in emerald greenness.
The capital Bridgetown is a place that most likely you will get to know quite well. Indeed, the city had a slight English atmosphere with its British architecture, churches and traditions.
Some habits of the locals such as playing cricket come from the UK and are very popular here.
On the streets, however, will immediately notice a huge difference between London and Bridgetown.
Capital of Britain is different. In London, everywhere is full of people and everybody runs somewhere. In the same time in Bridgetown the people walk slowly, without hurrying and enjoying the life.
In this respect, Bridgetown brings the vocational and casual atmosphere of the Caribbean.
Rum. You will miss much if, during your stay does not visit any of the hundreds of rum shops on the island, because this drink is one of the best quality and valuable products that are produced here.
Even if you do not drink alcohol a bottle of rum is a wonderful gift for your friends and family at home. It wears the local spirit and local culture and is used in making of a huge repertoire of cocktails.
Which months are best for tourism in Barbados? If you looking for a perfect weather then it is best to choose February, March and April.
During these months the temperature is lowest, the rainfall is most scarce, the sky is blue and clear. Furthermore, during these months, temperatures are slightly lower and pleasant (about 28°C).
The Crop Over Festival. However, for lovers of culture and celebrations is better to say that from May to August continues the Crop Over Festival. During these months of the year locals mark the end of the harvest of sugar cane.
This is the longest festival in the world and the biggest event of this nature in the Caribbean region. This colourful event is a dazzling mix of songs, dances, carnivals and everything combines ancient with modern.