Barbados Island Guide

Barbados is the most easterly island in the Caribbean island chain, otherwise known as the West Indies or the Lesser Antilles. The island is east of Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines – 250 miles northeast of Trinidad and Tobago.

The UNESCO World Heritage List features the world’s greatest wonders, such as Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and China’s Great Wall. Since 2011, Barbados’ capital city, Bridgetown, and its Garrison area are now internationally recognized for their beauty, history, and significance.

Caricom in the Caribbean

Barbados, Belize, Guyana, Jamaica, Suriname, and Trinidad and Tobago were the first six to implement the CARICOM Single Market (CSM) on January 1st, 2006. Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, Grenada, St. Kitts, Nevis, St. Lucia, and St. Vincent and the Grenadines followed about six months later.

Government and Legal System

Our island has one of the oldest Westminster-style parliaments in the western hemisphere and one of the oldest constitutions In The Commonwealth. The Prime Minister, Mia Amor Mottley, is the head of government. The House of Assembly has 30 members (MPs), and the political party that has the most members, currently the  Barbados Labour Party (BLP), constitutes the government.

The public votes every five years. Members of Parliament are appointed by The Governor-General (GG), who acts as the domestic representative for the Chief or Head of State (Queen Elizabeth II).


Known as “The Land Of The Flying Fish,” the national dish is cou-cou and flying fish and “The Birthplace of Rum.”

With over 300 years of experience, Mount Gay distillery is the oldest rum distillery in the world. Mount Gay Rum is infused with the quality, sophistication, and classic style achieved through a long history of excellence and tradition.

Sugar was introduced to the island by the early settlers in the 15th century and provided Britain with sugar, rum, and molasses.

While our island boasts several elevated areas, it is not considered mountainous. However, near the island’s center, just west of the Scotland District in St. Andrew (on the east coast of the island), one will find the highest point – being that of  Mount Hillaby.

Official Language 

The local language is often referred to as the Bajan dialect. Although our native language here on the island is British English, the dialect can very often seem like a whole other language in itself.


The Barbadian dollar is divided into one hundred cents. There is also one (1) dollar coin. Robust, stable, and secure, the dollar has been pegged to the US dollar (USD) at 1.98 (BBD) to 1 – since 1975.

Barbados  Gross Domestic Product (GDP)

As Published by H. Plecher, Nov 26, 2020 – the statistic shows the gross domestic product (GDP) per capita from 1985 to 2019, with projections up until 2025. GDP is the total value of all goods and services produced in a country in a year.

It is considered a significant indicator of a country’s economic strength, and a positive change is an indicator of economic growth. In 2019, the GDP per capita in Barbados amounted to around 18,139.48 U.S. dollars.

Life Expectancy

  • The current life expectancy for Barbados in 2020 is 79.27 years, a 0.16% increase from 2019, and is higher for women at 80.1 years compared to 77.6 years for men, making the island the highest-ranking in the Caribbean.
  • The island ranks as the 34th topmost country with the highest life expectancy of 184 countries (source The United Nations Human Development Report 2019.)


Anglican is officially the national religion; however, various denominations of Christianity and non-Christian religions are practiced throughout the island.


Barbados is one of the most sought-after vacation and tourism spots in the Caribbean.

Tourism has come out above the rest of the world and has landed the number one spot in the 2017 Destination Satisfaction Index (DSI) by “The World Economic Forum.” The DSI is a metric that measures the overall valuation of a holiday destination based on the factors travelers find most attractive.

Our island was named the highest-ranking destination in the  West Indies and the world’s 58th most innovative nation within the Travel and Tourism Competitiveness Index 2017 Report.

The island has attracted many West Indian and visitor arrivals from significant markets and cruise ship passengers. Sports and health tourism are viable economic options for bringing more visitors to the island seeking sports, fun, entertainment, and health-related treatment.

The best part about the tropical island is that you do not need to be a tourist to experience all it offers. As a country of deep historical foundations, whether you are a local or a visitor on vacation, you can always learn more about the island.

Many of the hotels and apartments listed offer exclusive deals and special packages to locals and visitors on vacation.

As a  Bajan at heart, you can learn exciting facts about the island while recognizing and appreciating the culture and its unique flavor.

With so many great things to do, see, and experience, many have become excited and have chosen to LIVE, STAY, WORK, and have FUN in this island country paradise.


The natural spring water found on the island is among the purest in the world.

The state-run  Barbados  Water Authority Limited (BWA) is the exclusive supplier of potable water on the island.

Water supplied by the BWA is pumped from wells within natural coral aquifers. The result is a  freshwater source of naturally high quality.

Despite this, to comply with World Health Organisation (WHO) guidelines, The Water Authority treats its potable freshwater with chlorine.

According to one BWA survey, groundwater has always provided the largest supply source, providing nearly 90%. Around half was drawn from just two wells, both of which were operating at near full capacity.



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