Barbados is the most easterly of the Caribbean Islands. It is 34 kilometres (21 miles) in length, 23 km (14 mi) in width at its widest point, with an area of 432 km2 (167 sq. m2). Barbados is outside the central Atlantic hurricane belt. Its capital is Bridgetown.
The physical characteristics of Barbados are its lowlands or gently sloping, terraced plains, separated by rolling hills that generally parallel the coasts. Elevations in the interior range from 180 to 240 meters above sea level. Mount Hillaby is the highest point at 340 meters above sea level.
The culture of Barbados is a blend of West African and British cultures present in Barbados. English is the nation’s official language, reflecting centuries of British influence, but the Bajan dialect in which it is spoken is an iconic part of the Barbadian culture.
How to Get There
The IAM Jet Centre in Barbados is a premium private jet terminal (FBO), one of few purpose-built 5-star facilities in the wider Caribbean and Central America.
Discerning business aviation operators and their passengers are afforded a private, stress-free way to arrive and depart Barbados. The FBO also provides premium services to British Airways for their First Class clientele leaving daily to London – giving them a taste of the ‘business aviation experience”. In addition, the UK and US security standards provide state-of-the-art passenger and baggage screening.
IAM Jet Centres provide special VIP services for discerning passengers travelling on some of the world’s premium airlines, including British Airways and Virgin Atlantic Airways. Guests enjoy a unique private jet experience, including luxurious lounges and meeting spaces and in-house Immigration, Customs, and security screening. An exclusive and stress-free escape from the noise and bustle of busy airport terminals.
- American Airlines and JetBlue from the United States of America;
- British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Monarch, and Thomson Airways from the United Kingdom/Europe;
- Air Canada and West Jet from Canada;
- Condor from Germany;
- LIAT and Caribbean Airlines operating within the region
Private Charter Flights
Private charter flights can be arranged through several regional private charter companies.
Barbados is a golfer’s paradise, with perfect weather, sunny days, and some of the Caribbean’s best courses. So whether you’re a pro or a complete beginner, there’s a course for you in Barbados.
With some of the best courses on offer, Barbados is a golfer’s paradise with Golf Courses integrated into the dramatic natural landscape. At the top of every keen golfer’s wish list is the renowned ‘Green Monkey’ at Sandy Lane, one of the most exclusive courses in the world.
Year-round sunshine and an excellent climate mean the all-year play is a given, and between June and October, even the occasional tropical rain shower rarely lasts long enough to stop your day on the greens.
State-of-the-art treadmills, cycling machines, steppers, and elliptical machines – are at your disposal.
Snorkelling in Barbados
This tiny Caribbean island in the Lesser Antilles is a popular vacation destination among those seeking beauty above and under the sea. It has nature, wildlife, culture, history, and nightlife. No matter your interest, it is easy to find exciting things to do; moreover, the area is a paradise for beach lovers and underwater adventurers. Kids and adults will enjoy chilling out on the island’s soft-sanded beaches and snorkelling in Barbados while exploring shipwrecks and the spectacular marine life. Find out where to find the best snorkel spots, most transparent water and most spectacular coral formations!
Barbados snorkelling conditions
Barbados doesn’t have many deep-water diving sites; however, shallow reefs are found close to the shore all over the island, making it an effortless destination for snorkelers.
The trade winds are blowing from the northeast; therefore, only the south and west coasts have a calm sea. Here the beaches have white sand, easy water access making the conditions ideal for some underwater exploration.
Weather-wise, the island can be visited thanks to its tropical climate anytime, but we think the best time to go snorkelling in Barbados is between March and June. This is the driest time of the year, with around 6-7 rainy days per month; the air is not too hot, humidity is lower, and a pleasant breeze.
And also, this is the time when you will have the highest chance to spot nesting turtles! The leatherback turtle nest from February to July, while the green and hawksbill species between May and September.
The sea temperatures don’t go below 79 F/26 C, while the average temperature is between 84-86 F/ 22-30 C year-round. The months from July to October are less popular because it is the Caribbean Hurricane Season; however, the region is outside of the Caribbean Sea Basin, so it is largely unaffected by hurricanes.
Best beaches for snorkelling in Barbados
Carlisle Bay has three beaches; Brownes, Pebbles, and Bayshore Beach. To go snorkelling, we recommend Brownes and also going out approx. 200 meters past the end of the swim area where there is a shipwreck in 15-30 ft (4.5-9 m) deep water with its top approx. 10 ft (3 m) deep.
After exploring the beautiful undersea world, you can chill out on the stunning sandy beach (umbrellas are available to rent) or enjoy cocktails in nearby beach clubs. Tip: due to boat traffic in the area, carry a surface marker dive flag when swimming!
The water is crystal clear at Folkstone Marine Park. This underwater park also sits in Carlise Bay. The artificial reef here and the Stavronikita Shipwreck belong to the island’s top diving sites, but the Folkstone Marine Reserve’s inshore reef is considered the best beach snorkelling in Barbados.
Thanks to the area’s protected status, the shallow water is teeming with life. Nice corals with large shoals of blue tang, parrotfish, barracudas, angelfish, and filefish are found here, as also moray eels, squids.
You can leave your car next to St. James Church to get to the park. There are two small beach areas with picnic tables, food trucks, and bathrooms, and you can rent sunbeds and umbrellas. Snorkelling in front of these beaches is safe because no jet skis and boats are allowed in the designated area. If you feel like it, there is even a museum you can visit.
Dover Beach is where the whole family can enjoy an expansive beach along the south coast of Barbados in Saint Lawrence. It has white sand and blue sea, plenty of places to get snacks, lots of sun loungers and umbrellas to rent, so definitely a beach worth visiting if you wish to enjoy the sun and sea.
Dover Beach is very popular for water sports, including windsurfing, jet skiing, and sailing; because the reef is quite far from the shore. In addition, it’s a popular Barbados snorkel spot because it is one of the best places to swim with turtles that come to feed in the shallows.
Usually, there is a lifeguard on duty, but make sure to take the necessary precautions to stay safe when snorkelling!
An ideal beach for snorkelling in Barbados is Paynes Bay on the island’s west coast, where the water is calm, and the sand is soft. With various facilities available (beach and sports gear rental, shaded areas, places to get snacks), it is the perfect spot for families and couples who seek out a relaxing place with services around. If you like seafood, visit the Cliff restaurant, where you can buy freshly caught fish at reasonable prices!
The best time to snorkel here is early in the morning because the bay gets busy during the day, and water sports activities make the water cloudy. This is when you can swim around undisturbed, observing the small reef and swimming with turtles! It is also good to come in the afternoon when most people leave. Don’t miss out on watching the sunset; they are magical from this beach!
A beautiful white sandy beach along the south coast is a not-to-miss-out spot if you are a sea lover! This Barbados snorkelling spot is excellent for families with children and beginners with calm and shallow waters (the maximum depth is approximately 6-7 ft / 1.8-2.1 m).
The reef runs just off the shore. Several smaller coral heads are close to the shoreline, but the main reef starts when the water gets deeper (on the beach’s western end). Wait, did we mention that often turtles hang around here? Look for them when there is seaweed!
Heywoods Beach is definitely one of our favourite Barbados snorkel spots since it is a long beach on the north-western coast with lots of parking and barely anyone there. It would be best if you came here prepared though since there are no facilities around.
The sandy seabed provides safe water access to the shallow reef, but there are small tide pools around the rocky area where children can play and observe small fish and crabs. If you get bored at the beach, you can go for a walk in Port St Charles and to the Speightstown Pier, a nice vintage photography spot!
Polo is one of Barbados’ most popular sports and hosts teams from all over the world. Whether you’re a keen Polo fan or new to the sport, Polo is an exciting scene. Mingle with glamourous crowds, spot a celebrity or two and enjoy a glass of champagne while watching some of the best players in the world.
The Barbados Polo scene is home to internationally distinguished clubs such as Buttals Polo Club, Lion Castle, Clifton, and the Barbados Polo Club; the polo scene is a permanent and popular fixture in Barbados’ social and sporting calendar. Polo players, teams, and visiting clubs are well looked after throughout the season, from January to May.