Barbados is the most eastern island in the Caribbean, and is a tiny dot on most world maps. It is 34 kilometres (21 mi) in length and as much as 23 kilometres (14 mi) in width, amounting to 431 square kilometres (166 sq mi). Barbados has an estimated population of 284,000 people, with around 80,000 living in or around Bridgetown, the largest city and the country’s capital. Barbados is one of the Caribbean’s leading tourist destinations and is one of the most developed islands in the region. Barbados is divided into 11 cities called parishes and contains 4 towns where the majority of business takes place.
The 4 towns in Barbados are Bridgetown in the parish of St. Michael, Speightstown in the parish of St. Peter, Holetown in the parish of St. James and Oistins in the parish of Christ Church. Bridgetown is the capital of Barbados and the place where you can conduct most of your shopping. The places to shop in Bridgetown are Broad Street for all your duty free shopping, Swans Street where the locals do their shopping and Pelican Village where you can get a good deal on any locally made souvenirs or arts and crafts. Barbados’ main mall Sheraton Center, located in Christ Church is also another venue where you can shop for almost anything. Duty Free shopping is accommodated in specific stores within the mall and it also facilitates the island’s most popular movie theatre the Olympic Cinema.
All driving in Barbados is conducted on the left side of the road as is done in Europe. If you plan on hiring a car and driving in Barbados you may contact your tour representative and have her make the arrangements. Please note that the highways have roundabouts at the intersection and be very careful to pay attention to the directions on the road when driving. Taxi cabs are usually marked with a sign and can also be identified by their license plate that starts with a Z. The taxi cabs can range anywhere in price from $10 USD to $30 USD. A taxi can be arranged for you via the front desk at your hotel and they are also available at most of the tourist destinations. A wide variety of public transportation is also available via our transport board buses (primarily blue), mini buses (primarily yellow) and our ZR vans (white with a maroon stripe). Public Transportation is $1 USD per person equivalent to the rate of $2 BDS per person. Sidewalks are intermittent in Barbados so if you plan on walking please be careful and be sure that you are facing the direction of the oncoming traffic.
Barbados is generally sunny and humid. The hours when the sun is hottest are from 12 noon until 3 p.m., therefore it is imperative that you wear your sunscreen protection especially during those peak hours. Rain is quite unpredictable here on the island and it can vary from brief showers for a few minutes to lengthier showers that can last a few hours. Please note that the rain also falls sporadically so rain falling in one part of the island does not necessarily mean that it will be falling in another part.
The drinking water in Barbados is of the purest water in the world. Therefore, you can opt not to purchase bottled water since the water can be drunk straight from the tap. Water in Barbados is pumped from wells within natural coral aquifers. The water is then treated with chlorine to comply with World Health Organization (WHO) standards.
Please implement precautionary methods with your personal belongings as you would if you were travelling anywhere else. You can ask your front desk about safety deposit boxes that are provided for you to put away any large sums of money or priceless belongings. It is in your best interest to take a taxi when going out at night; it is NOT ADVISABLE TO WALK THE STREETS TOO LATE AT NIGHT. Manchineel tree has green shiny leaves, its fruit are small and apple–shaped and the tree is usually marked by the red bands around them: DO NOT TOUCH the Manchineel Tree or its Fruits as they are poisonous. Also, DO NOT STAND UNDER the Manchineel Trees when it’s raining as the liquid from the trees may cause BLISTERING.