Key Facts About Barbados
- The United Nations Human Development Index (2011) ranked Barbados in the highest bracket "Very High Human Development", well above the regional average for the Caribbean and Latin America.
- Visitors highlight the friendliness of Barbadians as the island's greatest and most pleasing asset. This is reflected in the highest repeat visitor factor in the region of 39%.
- The people of Barbados have a history of long ingrained Christian principles, a sound and free educational system with a literacy rate of 97%.
- Barbados has the third oldest parliament in the world, with uninterrupted parliamentary governance since 1639.
- Barbados was the only vacation destination in this Hemisphere with a scheduled Concorde service. One of the retired British Airways concordes now resides at our international airport.
- The name 'Barbados' is derived from the Bearded Fig Trees once found in abundance on the island.
- Barbados is completely surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean (see where is Barbados).
- Barbados is 21 miles long and a smile (14 miles) wide!
- We are the only coral island in the region with all white sand beaches.
- Barbados has pure drinking water and was the first Caribbean island to have piped water.
- The island has excellent telecommunications systems.
- Barbados' cultural diversity helps make the island so distinctively charming.
- Utilities are available 100% island-wide.
- Barbados is easily accessible from everywhere.
- The maximum daily temperature is 75-90 °F year round. The island is consistently cooled by North-East tradewinds.
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Fast Facts and Figures
Population: Approximately 285,000
Climate: Eight to nine hours of sunshine most days.
Geography: A 21 mile x 14 mile Caribbean island. West and South Coast have calm Caribbean sea and endless beaches. Rugged cliffs and Atlantic Ocean on the East Coast.
Barbados Language: English with a broad dialect. See a Street Vendor Talks
Currency: Barbados Dollar - US $1 = BDS $2 approx.
Driving: A temporary yearly Barbados licence costs BDS$10 and is obtainable from car rental agencies and Police Stations. Full licence must be shown. Drive on left. Go to Barbados Tourism Encyclopedia "Documents"
Time: GMT-4 hrs. There is no daylight saving time in Barbados
Accommodation: Caters for all tastes and budgets from luxury hotels and all-inclusive resorts to rooms in small hotels and self-catering apartments.
Sports: Snorkeling, diving, fishing, sailing, waterskiing, tennis, golf and lots more.
Getting There: (Flying Times and Airlines)
Electricity: Electricity in Barbados is 110 volts/50 cycles
Entry Requirements: See Travel Documents
Health Requirements: See Health in Barbados
Weddings: It is possible for ceremonies to take place on day of arrival, providing documents are in order.
Laws: Largely based on English common law.