Local information - Barbados

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Capital

Bridgetown

Official Language

English (often mixed with a Bajan dialect)

Money

The Barbados Dollar is the official currency ($ Bds). The exchange rate is pegged to the US dollar ($1 US = $2 Bds). Many shops and restaurants are happy to accept US dollars.

It is better to exchange foreign currency at commercial banks because they give you a better rate and you can save money by not using foreign currency for purchases. There are several cash machines within the vicinity of the villa that accept credit cards and your switch cards. Credit cards are widely accepted in most establishments in Barbados including American Express, Barclaycard, Diners Club International, MasterCard, Visa, Bank Americard and Eurocard.

Climate

Barbados is sunnier and drier than that of many of the other Caribbean Islands and boasts 8 to 10 hours of sunshine most days. The fresh breezes, warm sunshine and sufficient rainfall make the average daytime highs of 75-80 (Fahrenheit) (24-29 Celsius).

The dry season spans from December to June and during the so- called wet season (July to November) some brief showers are likely. These showers usually occur during the early hours of the morning and are extremely quick. They simply act to wash the dust away and cool things off before the sun comes back out.

Average Daily High Temperatures (degrees F)

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

82.1

82.3

83.1

84

85.3

85.5

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

85.2

85.7

85.8

85.2

84.3

82.9

N.B: The sunrises at approximately 5.30am and sets at approximately 6pm all year round.

Driving

Driving is on the left in Barbados.

Area

Barbados is 430 sq. km. It is 21 miles long by 14 miles wide.

Population

Approximately 262,000.

Time

GMT 4 in the winter and GMT -5 in the summer.

Electricity

110V, 50Hz

Water

The water around the island is filtered through the coral rock, so it is safe to drink but plenty of bottled mineral water is available to buy if you would prefer.