Weather

Barbados enjoys warm, sunny weather year-round, with average daily highs of around 31ºC/87ºF and average lows of 24ºC/75.2ºF.

The dry season lasts from January to June, while July through December is known as “the rainy season”; however, the rains typically come in quick, passing showers. Tropical rainstorms sometimes occur in the hurricane season, which lasts from June to October.

Given its geographic location, Barbados has historically been able to avoid being directly affected by hurricanes as they have tended to intensify as they head North West through the islands of the Caribbean.

Culture

The culture of Barbados is a blend of its strong West African and British heritage.

The island's British influence dates back to settlement in the early 1600’s and became so prevalent that Barbados eventually earned the name, Little England. Barbados’ strong British connections can be seen in many aspects of local culture, including a strong love of cricket. Barbados earned its independence from England on November 30th 1966.

The African influence on the island can be seen in local music, dance and art. These art forms are showcased in the summer months, during Crop Over Season, which begins in July and culminates in the costumed street carnival, Grand Kadooment, which takes place in August.

Barbados food and drink is another example of its combined British and African heritage. The island’s local cuisine combines British flavours with Caribbean spice. The national dish is cou cou and flying fish.

Barbados is also known as the birthplace of rum. According to Bajan legend, sailors brought back bottles of Barbados rum to England as proof of having sailed across the Atlantic. Rum lovers enjoy the tours given at the Mountgay Visitors Centre, where one can learn how rum is made and its history in Barbados. Another aspect of Barbados’ rum culture is the many rum shops (bars) that can be found throughout the island.

Lovers of history and architecture are spoiled for choice in Barbados. Two of only three remaining Jacobean mansions in the Western Hemisphere – St. Nicholas Abbey and Drax Hall – are found here. The island is also home to the oldest synagogue in the Western Hemisphere, built in 1654. Next to the synagogue, the Nidhe Israel Museum houses a painstakingly curated collection of artefacts and interactive displays bearing witness to the history and experience of Barbados’ Jewish community and its contribution to the island’s development, particularly in the sugar industry.

Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison were designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2012 and various tours around this intriguing city can be arranged. The Barbados Museum, located within the Heritage Site, is not only an educational experience but a great starting point for visitors with Barbadian ancestry wishing to trace their lineage.

Beaches

Barbados’ beaches are famous, not only for their beauty but also for their diversity. On the South Coast, one will find the more commercial beaches that are surrounded by shops and are frequented by young people. These beaches are calm with small to medium waves and on weekends are a favourite for wind and kite surfing. On the West, or Platinum coast, one will find the serene Caribbean sea that sits in front of the more upscale hotels. These beaches are less crowded, and are a great venue for people watching, especially during the winter months when celebrities tend to visit Barbados. The North and East Coasts are home to the more dramatic, rustic beaches- a nature lover’s paradise. The Atlantic Ocean on this side of the island is virtually impossible to swim, but provides perfect conditions for surfers.

The Crane Beach is one of the more dramatic beaches on the South East of the island and was rated "one of the ten best beaches in the world".

People

Bajan’s are famous for their hospitality, warmth and proclivity for story-telling and advice. Many say that this is due to the country’s ancestral heritage as a former British colony combined with the African roots of the majority of the population. The history of the country is so rich that it has made for interesting people, with colourful backgrounds and animated personalities. Barbados boasts a low crime rate, and enjoys a supportive and service-oriented culture.

There are many famous Bajans, including recording artists, Rihanna and Shontelle, Cricket sensation, Sir Garfield Sobers and award-winning writer, Austin Clarke. Some celebrities with Bajan parentage include LL Cool J, Cuba Gooding Junior, Jada Pinkette-Smith and Denzel Washington.

Getting Around

Barbados has a strong public transport system. There are three types of buses: government operated buses, private minibuses and route taxis. These are safe and make it possible to travel around the island inexpensively.

Visitors to the island generally chose to get around via taxi or car rental. There are a large number of taxi and car rental companies on the island. Bicycle and motorcycle rental are also possible.

Nightlife

Given its strong focus on tourism combined with its rich culture, Barbados is considered to be one of the party capitals of the Caribbean. There is something going on in Barbados every night of the week, from ocean front bars and restaurants, fine dining, cruises, dinner shows and night clubs. Reggae and calypso are the two most popular types of music enjoyed by Bajans, but American and European music are also widely enjoyed.

Shopping

Barbados is well-known for its extensive opportunities for duty free shopping, resulting in prices that are often 30 to 50% less than in Europe and North America. Some popular duty free locations on island include Broad Street in Bridgetown as well as the Limegrove Lifestyle Centre in Holetown, St. James, which is home to some of the world’s most famous luxury brands.

Arts and Crafts and Souvenirs can be found at Pelican village on the outskirts of town or at Best of Barbados, which has several locations on the island.

Events

Barbados has an extensive number of festivals and events that take place year-round. Some of the more popular annual events include Crop Over, the Sandy Lane Gold Cup, Holder’s Season, and the Mountgay Regatta.

The most anticipated event of the year is the annual carnival, known as Kadooment or Crop Over. The costumed street festival occurs during August, but the actual season lasts for approximately 5 weeks, beginning in July, to celebrate the end of the local sugar cane crop harvest.

The main event of the Barbados horse racing season is the Sandy Lane Gold Cup which attracts jockeys and entrants from around the world. It usually takes place on the 2nd Saturday in March.

Holder’s Season, which is a highly anticipated cultural showcase of comedy, music, acting and art, featuring world famous local and international performers, takes place in March.

The Mountgay Regatta is an international sailing event that takes place during January each year.

For an up-to-date calendar of events, click here

Fast Facts
  • Location: Latitude 13.1 degrees North, Longitude 59.4 degrees West
  • Size: 166 sq. mi
  • Population: 286,100 (2014 estimate)
  • Official language: English
  • Capital: Bridgetown
  • Highest Point: Mount Hillaby: 1,104 feet
  • Local Currency: Barbados Dollar. US Dollar and credit cards widely accepted.

ABOUT US:

Altman Real Estate Group is a full service real estate provider specializing in luxury property for sale and holiday villa rentals in Barbados and the Caribbean. For more than 40 years, we have developed a reputation for delivering first-class service to our clients around the globe who seek to invest in Caribbean real estate. Our core services include property for sale, holiday rentals, long-term rentals, property management, property consulting, and commercial property for sale and rent.

We offer clients the finest selection of properties on the island, especially on the sought-after West Coast. These include magnificent luxury villas, historic plantation homes, beachfront condos and Barbados lifestyle developments such as: Apes Hill, Lion Castle, Royal Westmoreland, Sugar Hill Resort, Sandy Lane Estate, Port Ferdinand, Port St. Charles and Saint Peter’s Bay.

Our qualified team of agents and professionals are on hand to expertly guide you through your search for the ideal Barbados property to your unique lifestyle.

Altman Real Estate is an international affiliate of Savills

        
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