Barbados is an island where its eastern shores are washed by the Atlantic Ocean while the western side is sheltered and look into the Caribbean Sea a unique position relative to the other Caribbean Islands. This contributes to much of the hospitable climate. The island is normally sunny with temperatures between 22 °C to 30 °C and cooled by ocean breezes.
Access to Barbados is via Grantley Adams International Airport. A Departure Tax of BDS $55 (US $ 27.50) applies to all passengers over two years old. Most airlines include this in the cost of the airfare. Visas are not required except for citizens of Eastern European Countries, The Peoples Republic of China, Taiwan South Africa, India, Pakistan, Non Commonwealth Countries of Africa and all Countries in South America except Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, Guyana and Venezuela. Visa are not required for Cruise Ship visitors except for citizens of China, Taiwan, South Africa and Korea.
Bridgetown the Capital has many shops offering an array of products. There are several Commercial Banks including Scotiabank, First Caribbean International, Royal Bank of Canada and The Republic Bank of Barbados. Barbados' judicial, administrative and political systems are closely modelled on the British system of government. Fiscally, the Barbados dollar is tied to the US dollar (B'dos$1.98 to US$1.00). Over a period of 15 years, Barbados has established itself as a major international financial centre. All of the leading international accounting firms are well represented on the island and provide a full range of accounting and management consulting services for international clients. In addition to a number of international commercial banks which provide a complete range of commercial and personal banking services, Barbados is home to over 34 offshore banks with total assets of over US$2.4 billion. Barbados introduced its Exempt Insurance Act in 1983 and in 13 years the island has become one of the top five domiciles for captive insurance activities with over 313 registered.
- Barbados is the only international business centre which offers all the of the following in a single location:
- Exempt Insurance Companies
- Offshore Banks
- International Trusts
- International Business Companies
- Societies with restricted liability
- Foreign Sales Corporations
- Ships Registration
- Double taxation treaties with seven countries, including the US, Canada and the UK.
Shopping hours are generally 8:00 am - 4:00 pm and 9:00am - 5:00 pm except Fridays where most open until 6:00 pm. Banks operate 8:00 am - 3:00 pm daily with an additional two hours on Fridays, most are closed on Saturday, except Butterfield which is open 10:00 am - 3:00 pm at the Big B Supermarket in Rendezvous, and JB's Supermarket in Sargeant Village, both located in Christ Church.
The Bridgetown Port was officially opened on July 1 1961. Since that year the port has gone through revolutionary changes generally associated with the dynamics of the Marine Industry. In conjunction with changes the Barbados Port Authority was formed in 1979. The Function of the Authority as a statutory body is to plan, develop, manage, maintain and operate the Port.
The port of Bridgetown can provide berths for five mega-cruise ships with up 9.6 metre draughts. The port has a cruise terminal offering 20,000 square feet of space of ultra modern duty free shops providing a wide variety of Local and overseas goods. There is a restaurant and bar, as well as immigration,health, customs and security offices. In addition there are fully organised ground tours to heritage beaches and other attractions, there is a reliable services with a fleet of 200 taxis for those who did not pre book tours.
The Bridgetown Port is currently the best in its class, regional ports with similar land size and operations. It has won "Port of the Year" six times between 1992 and 2003 and been awarded the Novaport Cup from the Port Management Association of the Caribbean for Most Improved Port Performance for two consecutive years (2009 and 2010) as well as several awards as an outstanding cruise destination and multipurpose port.
The island's population has easy access to comprehensive health care system which offers preventative and curative services. There are eight Polyclinics throughout the island. Services offered include maternal and child care, family planning, health education,school health services, communicable diseases and environmental health. Specialised services include X-ray facility, yellow fever surveillance,eye clinic, bacteriological analysis, food testing and a skin disease facility at the island's largest Polyclinic, Sir Winston Scott.
The general hospital known as the Queen Elizabeth Hospital services the whole island. It is located on Martindales Road, St. Michael and offers specialised care in areas such as Gynaecology, Paediatrics, Obstetrics, Cardiac Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Psychotherapy, Radiology, Radiography and Ophthalmology.
There is also an ultra modern private hospital, The Bay View Hospital on Beckles Road, St. Michael. Part of the island's health care systems supported by the Barbados Drug Services (BDS) which was brought into operation in April 1980. A system of "walk-in" clinics was started in September 1985 which allows all Barbadians to be seen and to receive medication free of cost irrespective of whether they are on welfare or not.
These services are also available to visitors at a cost.
Entertainment - Places of Interest
Animal Flower Cave
A Series of caverns that open unto the Atlantic. This is home to the colourful animal flowers, Sea anemones and tube worms.
Looking out of Animal Flower Cave
Bathsheba just off Highway 3. This fishing village is surrounded by rolling hill and magnificent landscape, with huge boulders rising out of the bay.
Morgan Lewis Mill
Morgan Lewis Mill was the last working windmill in Barbados, ceasing operation in 1947 it was only recently refurbished in 2000 and has been working periodically. At one time they were over 500 windmills in Barbados all grinding suger cane.
Morgan Lewis Wind Mill
The Barbados Museum
The Barbados Museum, a former British military prison, house extensive collections of the country's flora and fauna. Amerindian artefacts from Barbados and neighouring islands, artefacts from the period of slavery and sugar, Barbadian craftsmanship, porcelain and silverware, toys, dolls and games from the Victorian era, antique maps historic portraits and landscapes and unique West Indian prints along with a fine Museum library, shop and rest rooms.
The Barbados Museum
Farley Hill Plantation
Farley Hill Plantation and National Park built in 1818 was one of the most lavish plantation homes on the island. It was used in the 1950's for the film "Island in the Sun" Starring Harry Belafonte.
The ruins of Farley Hill Mansion
Gun Hill is the site of the giant limestone lion sculptured in 1868 by Henry Wilkinson out of a single piece of rock. Wilkinson served as a military commander at the station, which was also used as a communication post and a convalescent station for the Imperial troops.
The Stone carving of a lion at Gun Hill
Harrison's Cave is the only one of its kind in the Caribbean with limestone caverns formed by under ground streams over the centuries. In 1970 a Danish cave expert Ole Sorenson discovered another section of the caves known as the crystal caverns. It was opened in 1981 to the public by the National Trust exhibiting stalagmites and stalactites. At the lowest point of the cave there is a 40 foot waterfall which flow into a blue-green pool.
The captivating stalagmites and stalactites of Harissons Cave
A statue of Lord Haratio Nelson was erected in 1813 as a memorial to the war hero.
The Statue of Horatio Nelson
Mount Gay Distillery
Mount Gay Distillery with over 330 years of history behind it, lays claim to the world's oldest rum.
The World Famous Mount Gay Rum
St. Nicholas Abbey
St. Nicholas Abbey is the oldest house in Barbados an example of Jacobean - style architecture.
The Parliament Building
The Parliament Building Commonly known as the "Public Buildings" is where the government and appointed representives meet to discuss the business of the country.
The Parliament Buildings of Barbados