Holidays in Barbados – Facts & Figures First-Time Travelers Should Know

The Caribbean has been a preferred vacation destination for millions of tourists, whether they are from the United States, Europe, Asia or the Middle East. The island of Barbados is also one of the top tourist favorites in this part of the planet. This Caribbean paradise is a relatively flat island, gently rising to the central highland region, and its highest point is Mount Hillaby, which is 1,100 feet above sea level and located at the Scotland District. The island is located in the Atlantic Ocean, and has a tropical climate, having a rainy season from June to October. What’s good about the island is that, it’s relatively spared the worst effects of the hurricanes and tropical storms that wreak havoc in this region, because it’s lucky enough to be situated practically outside the main hurricane strike zone. Tourism accounts for more than a half of the island’s economy, therefore being located outside the hurricanes zone is truly a blessing for the area’s local tourism industry.

Languages Spoken & Currency: The residents of Barbados speak English, which would be very favorable to most visitors. It also has a high literacy rate, and is considered to be among the most literate countries on the planet. English influence is prevalent among locals, and is more noticeable compared to on other West Indies islands, and cricket is the area’s favorite sport. The country’s currency is the Barbadian Dollar, and 1 Barbadian Dollar would go for about 2.8 British pounds for instance at the local forex shop. Generally, most tourist establishments, restaurants, cafes, bars and food stalls accept every major credit card, as well as Travellers Cheques.

Weather & Beaches: Going back to the weather, the area’s dry season runs from January to June, and the rainy season runs from June to October. Temperatures here may range from around 75 to 90° F, and most days are hot, but nights are generally cooler. With regard to the area’s beaches, the safest area for swimming, according to local experts, would be on the West Coast, and the South Coast should be a preferred spot for surfers and other water sport enthusiasts. The north Coast, however, is deemed unsafe for swimming. Those who fear the threat of sharks need not worry, as most locals say that the fringing reef which rings most of the island, keeps these tough predators out. Nude bathing is not allowed in all public and private beaches, so better keep those swim wear on.

Dining & Shopping: When hopping around the island, those who want to go shopping or follow up some stuff with the local government agency, should take note that business hours run from 8:30 am to 5:30 pm, and most offices are open half day on Saturdays. The island has one Department store, and it’s located in Cave Shepherd, Bridgetown and St. James. The island’s food specialties include Fried Fling fish, Salt Fish Cakes, Cou Cou, Conkies and the ever-popular Rum Punch. The area’s shopping districts provide a wide assortment of duty-free shopping amenities and products. Saint Lawrence Gap is also an exciting location, where you will find a wide offering of nightlife, dining and other clubbing activities.

Generally, visitors here are greeted with a friendly welcome by locals, who are known for their warm hospitality. The residents of this country are officially referred to as Barbadians; but they are locally called “Bajan”. First-time visitors to this island can relax in a hammock or lie down on one of its many white-sand beaches, go snorkeling, cruise on a yacht or catamaran, go dining, join a diving expedition and see some sunken pirate ships, or visit the many historical spots on the island.

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