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Bridgetown Travel Guide

Barbadians or Bajans to give them their Caribbean name are warm, friendly, hospitable and genuinely proud of their country and culture. Tourism is the island's number one industry, but there is a sophisticated business community and stable government. Most of the 260,000 Bajans live in three areas: the capital city of Bridgetown, along the west coast north to Speightstown, and along the south coast down to Oistins. Others reside inland in tiny hamlets within the island's 11 parishes. Many British people have second homes or retirement homes on the Island.

Although it doesn't offer casinos, bars and a buzzing night life Barbados more than makes up for its entertainment shortfalls with a unique outdoor lifestyle and beach culture. It is a prime destination for travellers interested in learning about West Indian culture, and it offers more sightseeing attractions than most Caribbean islands.

There are no rain forest in Barbados, no volcanoes and no Wal-Mart! The true Bajan landscape is one of morning mists burning off to expose panoramas of green valleys and the sight and sound of the Atlantic Ocean pounding the beaches. It is an ideal place to take bus or driving tours (hire a mini-moke) to visit the seaside villages, plantations, gardens, and English country churches, some dating from the 17th century.

Children are welcome in all areas of daily life on the island. There are activities and attractions that are family-oriented throughout Barbados.

Consider Barbados if you are seeking a peaceful island getaway. Although the south coast is known for its nightlife and the west-coast beach is completely built up, some of the island remains undeveloped. The east coast is tranquil, and travellers seeking solitude find that they can often be alone there, but within easy reach of the more populated parts of the island.

If you are visiting the island as a cruise stopover you won’t be disappointed, Barbados has a state-of-the-art cruise ship terminal, filled with duty free shops, boutiques, and craft vendors. Excellent shore excursions are available from the terminal.

For those seeking more physical pursuits Barbados has two fine golf courses, horseback riding, horse racing, fishing, scuba diving, tennis, windsurfing, and snorkelling are all first rate. There are even sightseeing submarines (air conditioned with viewing ports) that will give the non-diver an opportunity to view the sea's wonders in comfort. And of course that most English and most mysterious of games, cricket, is played extensively throughout the island. Stop by if you happen to be passing a cricket game in progress and see if you can understand what they are trying to do!

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