The Barbados Lifestyle
Barbados is not only breathtakingly beautiful, it also boasts some of the best standards of living in the developing world. Healthcare, education, housing, utilities and telecommunications are all world-class. Once a British colony, Barbados has evolved to become one of the most stable democracies, with one of the highest literacy rates in the western hemisphere.
The air is clean, the water is pure and the sun shines all year round. What is perhaps most alluring of all, however, is how friendly the people are and the warm welcome that you can always expect to receive. This is a land where vitality and fun pervades every part of daily life.
Beaches and Watersports
The wonderful beaches are undoubtedly one of the biggest drawcards for Barbados. However, they do vary somewhat in character, according to where you are on the island. The popular west coast is the most tranquil area, where white sands and turquoise waters are bordered by swaying palm trees. Jetskiing, kayaking, catamaran cruises, swimming and snorkelling are all popular pursuits here and there are many luxury hotels on the west coast that cater to a beach-loving crowd.
Along the south coast, the beaches are just as pristine but wilder. This is the area to go to if you’re after windsufing, kite-surfing or body-boarding and the accommodation here is more mixed to cater for different budgets. Along the east coast the beaches are wide and very windy. The shoreline is pounded by the Atlantic making it a mecca for surfers. In the less-developed north, coral and sandstone cliffs rise dramatically out of the sea, but it is always possible to find a secluded cove here for a spot of swimming.
Sport is a huge part of Barbadian life.
Golf is a particularly popular pastime for visitors and there are excellent courses to be found all over the island, especially in the west coast resorts of Sandy Lane, Royal Westmoreland and Apes Hill.
Polo is also one of the biggest attractions on the island. The international season runs from January to May when the sport takes centre stage – along with the renowned social scene which accompanies it.
For those who enjoy horse racing, there are lively race days on Saturdays for three seasons of the year at the Garrison Race Track. The best known – and best loved - event is the Sandy Lane Gold Cup, held in early March.
Cricket, motor racing and football are other sports which you are likely to encounter during a visit to Barbados.
No other Caribbean country can rival Barbados for the choice and quality of its restaurants. There are a number of excellent, upmarket options (mostly on the west coast) – as well as a selection of more local eateries where you can enjoy authentic Bajan cuisine such as flying fish and pepperpot.
Marvel at the wonderful ocean view at the fashionable Cin Cin by the Sea in St James or the amazing seafront setting of the infamous Champers in Christ Church. Or for more local cuisine, check out Brown Sugar in St Michael.
Transport around Barbados is extensive. There is a good bus network and taxis are always easy to come by. The land is flat, so the more adventurous may be tempted to hire bikes or mopeds. There are several car hire outlets and mini mokes are a popular way of exploring the island. Driving is on the left.
Barbados is also tantalisingly close to the Grenadines and the gorgeous sands of Mustique and St Vincent are just a short hop away.