Portuguese explorer Pedro Campos named the island “Barbados” in 1536. He originally called the island Los Barbados (“The Bearded Ones”), after the appearance of the island’s fig trees, whose long hanging aerial roots resembled beards.
The British formally settled the island in 1627. Tourism here has flourished since the 1980s. The island has developed into a stable democracy. It also has one of the highest rates of literacy in the Western Hemisphere.English is the official language here.
The official currency is Barbados Dollar. The approximate exchange rate is BD$2 per US$1. Commercial banks offer the best rates of exchange. Major credit cards are acceptable in the resorts. ATMs are also widely available.
Taxis are multiple. Although they don’t have meters, prices are regulated by the government and depend on the distance. Drivers accept both US Dollars and Barbados Dollars. However, the best way to explore the island is by hiring a car. A wide variety of vehicles is available for hire, from a mini moke to a limousine. Car rental service is available at the airport, at offices in Bridgetown and at major hotels. Cars drive on the left side of the road here. You have to be between 21 and 65 years to rent a car. Main roads are in good condition, but many small ones have poor condition and potholes.
In Barbados, they use electric sockets of types A and B. The standard voltage is 115V. So, you don’t need to bring an adapter, if you come from the USA.
The island is divided into four regions. The west coast holds numerous deluxe resorts. Both the west and the interior highlands feature several historical sites with picturesque views.The southern and the western coasts of the island are popular among tourists, due to the calm light blue Caribbean Sea and white sandy beaches. At the same time, the coast of the Atlantic Ocean is perfect for surfing, due to its tumbling waves. However, some areas of the east coast are risky to swimmers, because of undertow currents.
Tourism in Barbados has become the significant part of country’s economy since the 1960s. At least, 10 per cents of working population are employed in the tourism industry. Barbados offers a wide choice of tourist facilities and accommodations. Numerous internationally known hotels are situated on the island. There is also a significant amount of small local hotels, private villas, and timeshares available.
Duty-free shopping and vivid nightlife are also the features, which attract visitors to Barbados. Other popular tourist activities are scuba diving, visiting wildlife reserves, helicopter rides, festivals, sightseeing, cave exploration and trying exotic drinks.
Barbados has some of the purest water in the world. It is pure enough to drink straight from the tap! Cruise ships often refill their water supplies here. Before leaving, make sure to fill your bottles!
July 13, 2016 12:00 am 1 Comment