Situated to the east of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean, Barbados is an independent island nation and a tropical getaway with considerable historical sites to boot. With a long British history and settlements dating as early as 300 CE, Barbados offers travelers a tantalizing resort rendezvous and a taste of colonial and slave legacy.
Major airlines service the island’s fairly large international airport from most regions including Canada, Mexico, Europe, and the United States. If you choose to island hop through the West Indies, airfare to Barbados is easily accessible from Trinidad and Tobago to the south, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to the west, and Grenada to the southwest.
Travel to Barbados for the Sweet Life
After cotton crops failed on Barbados, the British introduced sugar cane to the island, which grew very well and also led to the development of rum drinks and molasses production. The plantation economy allegedly gave birth to the first appearance of the spiced island drink and visitors today can take a tour of the Mount Gay Rum factory, which is Barbados’ domestic rum producer.
Barbados is not all sugar and spice; the island is also a haven of white sandy beaches, surfing, fine dining and deep sea fishing. On the southern shore of Barbados you will find privately owned vacation rentals and time shares as well as the middle and lower range accommodations along the water, broken up by small seaside towns like Hastings, Maxwell, Rockley and Oistins. In the capital of Bridgetown, you will find duty free shopping, delectable restaurants and a mix of colonial and modern government buildings. Bridgetown is also the hub for docking cruise ships and mooring private boats. Travel to Oistins on a Friday night for the famous ‘fish fry.’ Dance, drink and eat with the locals until the wee hours of the morning.
Beyond the Beach of Barbados
Barbados has many activities for the active and adventurous if relaxing by the beach is just not enough. Get in with the iguanas at the extensive Barbados Wildlife Reserve and enjoy a pleasant walk through the exotic bird sanctuary or along the many footpaths surrounded by forests of monkeys. Harrison’s Cave, in St. Thomas province, is a very popular subterranean attraction and likely to be a bit crowded during the high season. If you’re still not tired, take a trip to Welchman Hall Gully where stretches of walking path are surrounded by think wooded forest and hundreds of wild exotic species.
Remember that Barbados was a long time British colony and therefore English speakers will have no problem communicating. Additionally, the island nation has one of the highest rates of literacy in the Western Hemisphere, making this tropical tryst hardly third world. Travel to any destination on the island is cheap and efficient by taxi or bus. The equator awaits, what are you waiting for?
Travel to Barbados
When considering a travel holiday to the Caribbean Barbados is considered by many to be the best choice of islands with its beautiful beaches, high standard of living, and amazing people. Whether you are in the market for total relaxation or a holiday packed with activities and parties Barbados will not disappoint.
Barbados, located in the southern Caribbean, is the most easterly of the Caribbean islands, located at Latitude 13° north and Longitude 59° 37W. This isolated pear-shaped island is for 21 miles long and 14 miles wide at its widest point, giving it a total land area of 166 square miles.
Barbadians or Bajans as locals call themselves are among the most educated people in the world with free education a right of each and every Barbadian citizen.
Although there a many private doctors and clinics on the island providing excellent care. Health care is also guaranteed to every citizen and the standard of care is high.
The island’s lone airport. The Grantley Adams International Airport, is one of the most modern in the Caribbean and is serviced by many major airlines including Air Canada, American Airlines, British Airways, Air Jamaica, BWIA International and Virgin Atlantic.
This charming island is made up mainly of coral limestone and is fringed with coral reefs. However, the north-eastern part of the island or The Scotland District which runs through the parishes of St. John, St. Joseph and St Andrew is comprised of sandstone and clay. This area is well known for its lush vegetation and spectacular scenery and is covered in most if not all island tours.
The island is characterized by gently sloping; terraced plains which rise west to east to it’s highest point Mount Hillaby at 1100 ft.
Most of the development in the island can be found along the south and west coasts of the island with the Capital Bridgetown at its centre. Most hotels on the island are also located on the south or west coasts of the island, with the south coast being the most active, the hotels on the south coast in general tend to be mostly 2 to 4 star hotels with many no frills accommodation available while the west coast is where most of the luxury hotels are located, including the exclusive Sandy Lane Hotel, although there are exceptions to the rule in both instances.
The crystal clear ocean of Barbados beaches provide the perfect setting for days spent at the beach engaged in water or beach activities including jet-skiing, surfing, kiteboarding, windsurfing, kayaking, parasailing, sailing, water skiing, snorkeling, wakeboarding and scuba diving. There is also deep sea fishing, boat cruises boat charters available. For the true water enthusiast there are rentals available for almost all disciplines including scuba gear, surfboards, kayaks and kite equipment. Lessons are available for almost all water activities as well.
If you were to travel the coast of the island you would find the calm waters of the west coast meeting the small shore break conditions of the south getting increasingly rougher as we come around the east with the Atlantic waves rolling in and finally the equally rough conditions of the north battering the cliffs.
Transportation on the island is also excellent with the Transport Board which is government run and Route Taxi’s providing excellent coverage to just about every conceivable destination. In addition there are many taxis and Rental Car companies available for those who wish to travel at their own convenience.
The nightlife on Barbados is very varied and ranges from the cultural rum shops to modern nightclubs, beach bars, pubs and also some of the best restaurants to be found anywhere in the Caribbean.
Find the best restaurants in Barbados
When people plan their Barbados vacation they usually think Sea and Sun…. Think again. Restaurant and Food standards in Barbados are extremely high, with chefs from the island winning international culinary awards and competitions year after year. Good food is very important to the average Barbadian with Many young teens already skilled in preparing food at home and I mean preparing food from scratch not instant meals.
There are many highly trained chefs on the island both expat and local and the range of cuisine is astounding and includes Mexican, Chinese, Thai, French, Italian, Indian, Local as well as Caribbean cuisine.
Whatever your mood for the evening or depth of your pocket there is a restaurant that will suit your needs as they vary from casual atmosphere and very reasonable prices to Posh and oooh la la prices.
There are also the dinner cruises or as I like to call them “floating restaurants” which can be quite large boats complete with floor shows or intimate catamaran cruises both of which can be very romantic.
Also popular on the island is “Oistins”. This is a fishing village which has numerous kiosks which prepare local food for sale at night. On Friday nights there is a party as well with music and dancing that usually lasts until Midnight.
There are quite a few establishments on the island who serve dinner from around 6:30 p.m. and then at about 10:30 you realize that the entire atmosphere has changed to a nightclub atmosphere and will continue in party mode till at least 2:00 a.m. Some close their doors as late as 4 or 5 in the morning.
For nights that you just want to stay at home there is also the option of ordering in. While the selection available is not as large as it would be in bigger countries there are a few restaurants and fast food restaurants that do deliver.
Checking out the restaurants is very important when planning a holiday. Remember little lady is on holiday too she does not want to be stuck with the cooking and washing up afterwards. Also relationships are built on memories and what could be more romantic than intimate dinners together not always possible with our hectic lives.
When deciding on where you will eat there are a lot of consideration to keep in mind such as the type of food served, the price, location as well as ambiance. With this in mind it is no easy task in choosing what is right for you. This is where a good travel guide can really come in handy as they usually have pretty in depth information on there restaurants which can include photographs and menus as well to help you make your choice.