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Overview

Standing slightly outside the arc of the Lesser Antilles, Barbados is one of the most visited of the Caribbean islands. Resorts abound, especially along the west and south coasts, taking full advantage of the white sands and crystalline waters where coral reef snorkeling and swimming with sea turtles are just some of the myriad recreational pursuits available. While not the most pristine of the Caribbean islands, Barbados does offer a vast selection of dining and nightlife options (though rates here are among the highest in the region). What wilderness remains on the small, teardrop-shaped isle is concentrated in the rural interior, where ...

Standing slightly outside the arc of the Lesser Antilles, Barbados is one of the most visited of the Caribbean islands. Resorts abound, especially along the west and south coasts, taking full advantage of the white sands and crystalline waters where coral reef snorkeling and swimming with sea turtles are just some of the myriad recreational pursuits available. While not the most pristine of the Caribbean islands, Barbados does offer a vast selection of dining and nightlife options (though rates here are among the highest in the region). What wilderness remains on the small, teardrop-shaped isle is concentrated in the rural interior, where patches of forest harbor abundant birdlife.

The British influence of this former slave colony turns up in the genteel manners of the Bajans (as the locals identify themselves), in their manicured gardens and fanatical devotion to cricket. Nevertheless, the Afro-Caribbean character predominates: rum shops are the preferred social venue and islanders celebrate events to the rhythms of calypso and soca. Though most visitors stick to the resorts, independent travelers who venture outside the package holiday enclaves can enjoy a splash of genuine island culture at a Friday night fish fry or at the numerous festivals.

Daniel C. Schechter
About the Expert

Daniel C. Schechter has contributed chapters to more than a dozen Lonely Planet guidebooks, including the Mexico, Caribbean Islands, Andalucia, Guatemala, and Pacific Northwest guides.

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Daniel C. Schechter for Triporati

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Now Happening in Barbados

Facts at a Glance

  • Location: Barbados is a sovereign island country in the Lesser Antilles. It is situated in the western area of the North Atlantic and 100 kilometres (62 mi) east of the Windward Islands.
  • Language: English, Barbadian Dialect
  • Currency: Barbados Dollar
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Daylight | Rainfall
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Late autumn, winter to early spring