Barbados Island Basics
Before you leave the Customs area go over to the Tourism Board's little office. There you can ask them for a Barbados In a Nutshell booklet - this is pocket sized and you can easily take it with you everywhere. It has a great map. It also lists sightseeing possibilities, diving information, shopping, sailing, nightclubs, and also highlights the best restaurants on the island. Also in this little office sometimes they have the Ins and Outs of Barbados, as well as a Restaurant Guide. These are all free.
There is a new arrival hall with lots of customs agents that will make your entry to the island go quickly. Also, 6 new baggage carousels will help you find your luggage quickly.
The porters are there to help you. Please be sure to tip $.50 to $1.00 (US) per bag.
POPULATION: Approximately 254,000
CLIMATE: Eight to nine hours of sunshine most days. Temperature between 75 F and 90 F year round.
GEOGRAPHY: A 21 mile x 14 mile Caribbean island (166 square miles). West and South Coasts have calm Caribbean sea and endless beaches. Rugged cliffs and Atlantic Ocean on East Coast.
OFFICIAL LANGUAGE: English with a Bajan dialect.
Passports - Every person (infants included) entering Barbados, including all North American citizens (Americans and Canadians), should be in possession of a valid passport and a valid return ticket.
CURRENCY: Barbados Dollar - US $1 = BDS $2 approx.
DRIVING: You can obtain a Barbados drivers license on producing a valid national or international license. The cost is US$5 for a 2-month permit and US$50 for a 1-year permit. All authorized car rental companies can issue you a drivers license if you have a valid license.
TIME: GMT-4 hrs. There is no daylight savings time in Barbados
ACCOMMODATION: Caters to all tastes and budgets from luxury hotels and all-inclusive resorts to rooms in small hotels and self-catering apartments.
SPORTS: Snorkeling, diving, fishing, sailing, waterskiing, tennis, squash kiteboarding, windsurfing.
Three 18-hole and three nine-hole golf courses. See Barbados Golf.
ELECTRICITY: Electricity in Barbados is 110 volts/50 cycles
CREDIT CARDS & TRAVELERS CHECKS
Most Barbados hotels, restaurants and businesses (including grocery stores) will accept credit cards. Travelers cheques in U.S., U.K. and Canadian funds are also cashable at many outlets. Debit cards are also accepted.
There are many commercial banks in Barbados (mostly British and Canadian) and most have ABMs that will accept credit cards. They all dispense funds in Barbados dollars at the current rate of exchange.
The major credit cards that are readily accepted are: