You can find a white sand beach, a sprawling golf course or a duty-free shopping plaza just about anywhere in the Caribbean; but you visit Barbados to taste the bittersweet Mount Gay Rum, to lime out to the thrum of a calypso song or to cheer heartily at a polo or cricket match. And though you could spend all your time on the beaches, the point is that here you won't want or need ... continue»
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The best time to visit Barbados is July to November. Hurricanes, schmurricanes -- they rarely hit the island, and you could attend one of the lively festivals if you vacation at that time of year. Temperatures stay between the mid 70s and mid 80s year-round, so there's really very little reason to travel during the peak season from December to April.Best Times to Visit Barbados»
Barbados is divided into 11 different regions, known as parishes, but many writers dissect the flat, coral island into five main areas.
Christ Church is generally the first parish visitors see, as it's home to Grantley Adams International Airport (BGI). Located on the island's southern coast, you'll find many of Barbados' restaurants, bars, hotels and tourist attractions in Christ Church. To the north sits the Saint Michael parish, in which Bridgetown, Barbados' capital, is located. Bridgetown is home to the Parliament Buildings, as well as Queen's Park and the Kensington Oval, which has hosted the International Cricket Council (ICC) Cricket World Cup final. St. Michael parish is also home to several religious sites, such as St. Michael's Cathedral and St. Patrick's Roman Catholic Cathedral.
Holetown in St. James parish is where most of the island's luxury restaurants and hotels are located, along with Speightstown in St. Peter parish. At the northernmost tip of Barbados sits St. Lucy parish, which is characterized by stunning coastal cliffs and small ocean inlets, such as Cove Bay, Little Bay and River Bay. Some of St. Lucy parish's attractions include Harrison's Point Lighthouse and North Point Lighthouse, the Animal Flower Cave and the privately owned Fustic House.
Located southeast of St. Lucy, St. Andrew parish is known as the "Scotland District" because its landscape resemblance to the country. This parish is home popular attractions like the Morgan Lewis Mill -- one of the last remaining working windmills in Barbados -- and the West Indies Sugar Plantation. Farley Hill National Park, where festivals such as Jazz on the Hill and Reggae on the Hill take place, is also located in St. Andrew parish.
St. Joseph parish shelters Bathsheba, one of Barbados' most popular towns. Bathsheba is known for its white sand beaches, on which crowds gather for the annual International Reef Surfing Competition. Bathsheba, which is located on Barbados' eastern coast, also features mineral-rich pools described as invigorating by travel writers. St. Joseph is also home to the Andromeda Botanic Gardens, the Flower Forest and the Tropical Rain Forest.
To the south of St. Joseph is St. John parish, famous for picture-perfect beaches and historical sites such as Villa Nova, a former plantation, which was the holiday home of the late British Prime Minister Sir Anthony Eden and is currently used as a boutique hotel and spa. St. Philip parish, located in the southeast corner of the island, is known for its historical sites like the Sunbury Plantation House or the pirate Sam Lord's Castle. Barbados' first hotel, the Crane Resort, is also located in St. Philip parish.
St. George and St. Thomas parishes make up for their lack of beaches with historical sites and museums. The parish of St. George is comprised of sugar cane fields and is home to the Francia Plantation House and the Gun Hill Signal Station, which was built in 1818 after a large slave revolt. St. Thomas parish is home to some of the island's natural attractions such as Harrison's Cave.
The best way to get around Barbados is in a car -- preferably one you've rented and not a taxicab. Just keep to the left and keep your wits about you for the twists and turns. The aforementioned taxis are an expensive option, but at least the fare is set by the government -- it'll cost between $15 and $30 BBD to get from Sir Grantley Adams International Airport (BGI) to the popular hotels.Getting Around Barbados»