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Key Facts About Barbados

Key Facts

Barbados flag
  • The United Nations Human Development Index (2011) ranked Barbados in the highest bracket "Very High Human Development", well above the regional average for the Caribbean and Latin America.
  • Visitors highlight the friendliness of Barbadians as the island's greatest and most pleasing asset. This is reflected in the highest repeat visitor factor in the region of 39%.
  • The people of Barbados have a history of long ingrained Christian principles, a sound and free educational system with a literacy rate of 97%.
  • Barbados has the third oldest parliament in the world, with uninterrupted parliamentary governance since 1639.
  • Barbados was the only vacation destination in this Hemisphere with a scheduled Concorde service. One of the retired British Airways concordes now resides at our international airport.
  • The name 'Barbados' is derived from the Bearded Fig Trees once found in abundance on the island.
  • Barbados is completely surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean (see where is Barbados).
  • Barbados is 21 miles long and a smile (14 miles) wide!
  • We are the only coral island in the region with all white sand beaches.
  • Barbados has pure drinking water and was the first Caribbean island to have piped water.
  • The island has excellent telecommunications systems.
  • Barbados' cultural diversity helps make the island so distinctively charming.
  • Utilities are available 100% island-wide.
  • Barbados is easily accessible from everywhere.
  • The maximum daily temperature is 75-90 °F year round. The island is consistently cooled by North-East tradewinds.

Fast Facts and Figures

Barbados fishing boats

Capital: Bridgetown

Population: Approximately 285,000

Climate: Eight to nine hours of sunshine most days.

Geography: A 21 mile x 14 mile Caribbean island. West and South Coast have calm Caribbean sea and endless beaches. Rugged cliffs and Atlantic Ocean on the East Coast.

Barbados Language: English with a broad dialect. See a Street Vendor Talks

Currency: Barbados Dollar - US $1 = BDS $2 approx.

Driving: A temporary yearly Barbados licence costs BDS$10 and is obtainable from car rental agencies and Police Stations. Full licence must be shown. Drive on left. Go to Barbados Tourism Encyclopedia "Documents"

Time: GMT-4 hrs. There is no daylight saving time in Barbados

Accommodation: Caters for 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, golf and lots more.

Getting There: (Flying Times and Airlines)

Electricity: Electricity in Barbados is 110 volts/50 cycles

Entry Requirements: See Travel Documents

Health Requirements: See Health in Barbados

Weddings: It is possible for ceremonies to take place on day of arrival, providing documents are in order.

Laws: Largely based on English common law.

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