Barbados is the most easterly island in the Caribbean chain of islands and it was first settled by the British in 1627 and remained a British colony until it gained full independence in 1966. Barbados maintains ties to the British monarchy as a member of the Commonwealth.
The name Barbados comes from the bearded fig tree which grew in abundance when the Portuguese discovered Barbados in the 16th century and christened the island Los Barbados. The tree is so called as it sends aerial roots from its branches making it look as if it is bearded. The name was later shortened to Barbados.
The official language of Barbados is English, the dialect widely spoken on the island by locals is called Bajan.
Barbados is a mainly flat coral island, (the highest point being Mt. Hillaby, 1,089 ft), fringed with white sandy beaches and stunning blue waters. The island is approximately 14 miles wide and 21 miles long and offers a wealth of things to see, do and experience in its 166 square miles. The population of the island is approximately 270,000 people and the year round temperature is a very pleasant 75 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit fanned by the gentle North East trade winds. Barbados generally has two seasons – the dry season which usually runs from December to June and the wet or “hurricane” season which normally lasts from June to November. Even during the wet season showers are generally short and the island has not experienced a major hurricane since 1955.
Barbados has one airport, Grantley Adams International (BGI), located approximately 35 – 40 minutes from Beach View. Barbados is serviced by a number of international airlines including – Air Canada, West Jet, American Airlines, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, US Airways, Caribbean Airlines, LIAT, Jet Blue, Condor, Delta and many others. Visas are not required for nationals of CARICOM, USA, UK or Canada. All visitors to the island must have onward or return tickets to their country of residence or origin and a valid passport.
The currency of Barbados is the Barbados dollar which has an exchange rate of BDS$1.98=US $1.00. All major credit cards are accepted in Barbados.
Barbados offers a wide variety of things to see and do – exciting sights and activities from historic homes and gardens to exciting dinner shows – wonderful attractions and a host of leisure activities such as golf, surfing, sailing, kite surfing, cricket, hiking and much more – fabulous restaurants from chic and sophisticated to beachside casual – world class shopping at a number of boutiques and stores - great nightlife and a festival for almost every month of the year - there is truly always something happening in Barbados. No matter which coast you’re on, what month of the year or what the time of day, Barbados has something wonderful to offer.