Cruise and Beach Destinations
in the Caribbean, Mexico & Beyond

Barbados Beach Vacation Tips

Hotels, Attractions, Weather and When to Go
Copyright Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.
Copyright Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.
Hotel and resort visitors to Barbados will find one of the most commercialized islands in the Caribbean. But the island has a full range of great vacation experiences.

Barbados has a population of more than 280,000 people, a vibrant economy and a prominent English colonial past. It gives American, Canadian and British tourists a strong sense of comfort and familiarity.

Hotel and Resort Tips

The island has more than 500,000 hotel and resort vacationers each year, according to the Caribbean Tourism Organization. It has another 500,000 tourists came from cruise ships, making the two types of visits roughly equal.

Hotel and resort visitors fly into Grantley Adams International Airport near the southeast coast of the island. From there, they need transportation to the places where they are staying because most of them are on the west coast of the island. A rental car from the airport makes sense on an island as large as Barbados for anyone who wants the freedom to see more than just their hotel and resort beach.

The capitol at Bridgetown is 11 miles from the airport on the west coast. Many of the hotels are clustered in a tight group just south of Bridgetown. Others are strung out to the north of the city.

A hotel or resort near Bridgetown has an advantage because of Bridgetown attractions.

Barbados Attractions

Bridgetown is the capital of the country and the most active place to visit for things to do. Hotel and resort visitors will usually need a rental car to get there.

Broad Street is the location of many shops, restaurants and historical places. Attractions include St. Mary's Anglican Church, built in 1825, and the Barbados Parliament Building, which has a beautiful clock tower and vaulted windows.

St. Michael's Cathedral, which was built in the mid-17th century, is another interesting historical attraction. Anyone walking around may want to have lunch at restaurants on Constitution River right by the Independence Arch.

The Bridgetown harbor is the location of an "Atlantis" submarine. The 48-person submarine dives as much as 150 feet on a 45-minute tour to view shipwrecks, sea life and coral reefs.. Prices start at about $100 per person.

Barbados has one of the better experiences of swimming with sea turtles. Excursion boats take visitors to an area offshore near Bridgetown. They get into the water with snorkeling gear and swim with giant turtles that are looking for food.

Major attractions outside of Bridgetown include Harrison's Cave, a lengthy cave system with underground streams and a 40-foot waterfall. The cave is eight miles northeast of Bridgetown, so visitors need transportation to get there.

Other unique attractions include the Flower Forest that combines a botanical garden and nature trail. Andromeda Natural Gardens has six acres of tropical plants and flowers.

The island has five public golf courses: Barbados Golf Club, Rockley Club, Sandy Lane, Apes Hill Club and Almond Beach Village.

Tourism / When to Go

Barbados surfing
Barbados has a full range of water sports including surfing. © Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc.
The most popular month to visit is December and the least popular is September.

Other popular months are January through March as people up north seek to escape the winters.

September and October are the most unpopular months to visit because they are the peak months of the Caribbean hurricane season.

U.S. and Canadian stopover visitors require a passport. Cruise visitors simply need to have their ship ID cards available when leaving the ship and returning.


The average daytime temperature ranges between 75 and 85 degrees Fahrenheit year round.

Summer temperatures rarely exceed 90 degrees. The climate is tropical with a rainy season from June to October. In contrast, a dry season runs from January to June. Hurricanes are infrequent.

Rainfall averages about six inches a month from August through November. It averages about two inches a month from January through May.

Currency / Tipping / Taxes

Currency is the Barbadian Dollar. It is tied to the U.S. dollar at a fixed rate of U.S. $1.00 = BD $1.98. U.S. currency, travelers' checks and credit cards are accepted at most establishments throughout the island.

Most restaurants automatically add 10 percent to a bill, with 10-15 percent being the norm for all bills. A 15 percent VAT (Value-Added Tax) is put on bills in all shops, supermarkets and restaurants.

Culture / Geography

English is the dominant language. Historically, the economy depended on the sugarcane industry, but it has diversified in recent years into light industry and tourism.

The geography is relatively flat and rises gently to a central highland region.
Scott S. Bateman is a professional journalist who has traveled widely throughout the Caribbean and the Americas.

Barbados Hotel Map

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October 24, 2019