Traveling Luck for Barbados

Barbados is located in Caribbean, island in the North Atlantic Ocean, northeast of Venezuela.

Land in Barbados is relatively flat; rises gently to central highland region.

Barbadian or Bajan (colloquial) land covers an area of 431 square kilometers which is 2.5 times the size of Washington, DC

As for the Barbadian or Bajan (colloquial) climate; tropical; rainy season (June to October).

Barbadian(s) or Bajan (colloquial) speak English.

Barbadian or Bajan (colloquial) National Map

Barbadian or Bajan (colloquial) Map

Regions of Barbados

The island was uninhabited when first settled by the British in 1627. Slaves worked the sugar plantations established on the island until 1834 when slavery was abolished. The economy remained heavily dependent on sugar, rum, and molasses production through most of the 20th century. The gradual introduction of social and political reforms in the 1940s and 1950s led to complete independence from the UK in 1966. In the 1990s, tourism and manufacturing surpassed the sugar industry in economic importance.


Barbados Country Profile

Historically, the Barbadian economy had been dependent on sugarcane cultivation and related activities, but production in recent years has diversified into light industry and tourism. Offshore finance and information services are important foreign exchange earners. The government continues its efforts to reduce unemployment, to encourage direct foreign investment, and to privatize remaining state-owned enterprises. The economy contracted in 2002-03 mainly due to a decline in tourism. Growth was positive in 2005, as economic conditions in the US and Europe moderately improved.

Barbadian or Bajan (colloquial) natural resources include petroleum, fish, natural gas

easternmost Caribbean island

Barbadian or Bajan (colloquial) religion is Protestant 67% (Anglican 40%, Pentecostal 8%, Methodist 7%, other 12%), Roman Catholic 4%, none 17%, other 12%.

Natural hazards in Barbados include infrequent hurricanes; periodic landslides.

Travel Advice on Barbados

Barbados

This advice has been reviewed and reissued.  The overall level of the advice has not changed.

SUMMARY

  • Security and personal safety are generally not a problem, but do not be complacent.  Cases of robbery, personal attacks on tourists and other crimes do occur.  You are advised to be vigilant at all times.

  • Most visits to Barbados are trouble-free.  The main type of incident for which British nationals require consular assistance is for lost and stolen passports.

  • The threat from terrorism is low.  But you should be aware of the global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by foreigners.

  • The hurricane season in Barbados normally runs from June to November.  Please see the Natural Disasters section of this Travel Advice and Hurricanes on the FCO website for more information.

  • If you are travelling to Barbados for the ICC Cricket World Cup, which runs from 11 March to 28 April 2007, with warm-up games in the region beginning on 5 March 2007, you should see the FCO's ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 on the FCO website for general advice you may need before you travel.

  • We strongly recommend that you obtain comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling.  You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.  Please see: Travel Insurance.


SAFETY AND SECURITY


Political Situation

Barbados Country Profile.

Crime

Over one million tourists visited Barbados last year and most visits were trouble-free.  However, petty theft and street crime does take place.  Personal attacks and rapes of foreigners do occur.  You are advised to remain vigilant at all times.  Maintain at least the same level of personal security awareness as in the UK.  This should include ensuring that your living accommodation is totally secure.  Avoid isolated areas, including beaches, after dark.  Do not carry large amounts of cash or jewellery.  Valuables and travel documents should be left, where possible, in safety deposit boxes and hotel safes.

Road Safety

Motorists drive on the left in Barbados.  There is a high incidence of road accidents, including fatalities, for the size of the island.  Most roads are paved but, with the exception of the main highways, many have potholes.  In rural areas they are narrow, usually unlit and often have obscured side roads and blind corners.  Road surfaces lack grip and become very slippery when wet.  Speed limits are posted in kilometres per hour (40, 60 and 80 kph maximum) and are lower than the UK.  Road signs are poor.  Vehicle directional indicators are used intermittently; exercise caution, particularly on roundabouts.  Pedestrians walk on the roads because of a lack of pavements.  In the event of an accident, leave your vehicle where it comes to rest and call the police.

Standard taxi fares exist for some destinations but not all.  It is sensible to clarify the fare in Barbados dollars with the driver before beginning the journey.  You can often pay in US Dollars (fixed exchange rate $2 Barbados Dollars = $1 US Dollar) as well as Barbados Dollars.


LOCAL LAWS AND CUSTOMS

You should note that there are severe penalties for all drug offences.  Pack all luggage yourself and do not carry anything through customs for anyone else.
You should be aware that it is an offence for anyone, including children, to dress in camouflage clothing.
Although not illegal, topless bathing is frowned upon.
Certain homosexual acts are illegal under Barbadian laws.


ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

UK passport holders do not need visas to enter Barbados for visits up to 6 months.  But you are normally only granted 28 days entry on arrival.  You should note that overstaying without permission from the authorities is an offence, as is taking any form of employment without a work permit.  Visa extensions and work permits must be applied for at the Immigration Department, Careenage House, The Wharf, Bridgetown.
You are banned from bringing meat products into Barbados from the United Kingdom in your personal luggage.
Entry requirements may change from time to time and should be checked with the Barbados High Commission in London.


HEALTH

We strongly recommend that comprehensive travel and medical insurance before travelling.  This should cover medical evacuation by air ambulance.  Medical treatment can be very expensive, with very serious cases and those requiring specialist treatment being transferred overseas (usually to USA) and incurring air ambulance costs.  You should check any exclusions, and that your policy covers you for the activities you want to undertake.  Please see: Travel Insurance.
The dengue fever mosquito is found throughout Barbados.  There has been an increase in recorded cases.  You should take normal precautions against mosquito bites, including using insect repellent during daylight hours and after sunset..

You should be aware of the high prevalence of the HIV/AIDS virus and take precautions to avoid exposure to it.

You should seek medical advice before travelling and ensure that all appropriate vaccinations are up to date.  For further information on health, check the Department of Health’s website at: www.dh.gov.uk.
NATURAL DISASTERS

The hurricane season in Barbados normally runs from June to November.  You should monitor local and international weather updates from the World Meteorological Organisation at: World Meteorological Organisation.  You can also access the National Hurricane Centre at: for updates.  Please also see Hurricanes on the FCO website for more detailed information about what to do if you are caught up in a hurricane.


GENERAL

If things go wrong when overseas, please see:  What We Can Do To Help

Keep a copy of the photopage of your passport and relevant entry stamp in case your documents are stolen.

We strongly recommend that all travellers abroad take out adequate comprehensive insurance covering theft and unexpected losses or expenses (eg stolen bank/credit cards and cash, lost luggage, cancelled/missed flights).

If you are on a package holiday, you must travel on the specified return date.  If you fail to do so, you will have to pay the additional costs of accommodation and a replacement air ticket.

You will have to pay a departure tax when leaving Barbados.  In February 2006, this departure tax amounted to 25 Barbados Dollars (for each traveller aged 12 years or older).