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General Information About Barbados Vacations
The island of Barbados, part of the Lesser Antilles, is located in the western Atlantic Ocean, where it meets the Caribbean Sea, just east of the islands of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. As a former British colony, Barbados retains a great deal of British influence in its present state as an independent Commonwealth nation. All-inclusive Barbados vacations, in addition to offering a premium package holiday experience, provide tourists with a great opportunity to discover British colonial history in the place that was once most valued by the British empire as a critical centre of trade. All-inclusive Barbados vacations also present the opportunity to explore some of the slave and pirate history of the region – the Chattel Houses are one such point of historical interest.
All-inclusive Barbados vacations have long been serviced by Air Canada, flying to Barbados for some 60 years. Barbados is a long-standing vacation destination, and all-inclusive Barbados vacations continue to appeal to travellers who are specific about what they want in a package holiday – either repeat clientele, or those who are set on Barbados as their destination of choice. Otherwise, all-inclusive Barbados vacation packages typically appeal to families, couples, seniors, and those who can appreciate a slightly more formal, more reserved vacation environment.
The official language of Barbados is English, and the British influence certainly adds to the appeal of all-inclusive Barbados packages for certain British and North American travellers. Other British influence includes driving on the left-hand side of all roadways as well as 110 V power supply for all of your portable electronic devices. The music that accompanies an all-inclusive Barbados package holiday includes calypso and reggae, and is sure to have toes tapping. The local people, based in part on British colonial influence, conduct themselves with a certain degree of formality and reservedness – appealing characteristics to certain all-inclusive Barbados package holiday goers.
For those who intend to travel on an all-inclusive Barbados package holiday, a passport will be required for entry into Barbados, but medical shots are not necessary. The drinking water at the all-inclusive Barbados vacation hotels is safe to drink. For those who wish to do some exploring on their Barbados vacation, taxis are available, but may be expensive. For greatest mobility and economy, the use of public bus transportation, or the rental of a Moke (a small motorized open buggy type of vehicle) are suggested. Although driving on the left side of the road may take some getting used to, it is very manageable while on a Barbados package holiday.
Major Barbados vacation attractions cover a wide variety of interests, from natural to historical wonders. Sam Lord's Castle provides a beautiful example of an 1820s Georgian mansion for those interested in architecture. From the same historical period, the Statue of Admiral Lord Nelson is another Barbados feature of interest. Bathsheba Coast, with its wonderful rock formations and invigorating Bathsheba Pools, as well as great coastal waves for surfing, provides a variety of natural wonders to attract all-inclusive Barbados vacation tourists of all ages. Likewise, Harrison's Cave, with its beautiful natural geological features, and Andromeda Gardens, with all of its botanical wonders, provide even more attractions for the nature lover. For the history buff, Morgan Lewis Mill provides a museum approach to exploring Barbados' history as a sugar producer in colonial times. And, for those interested in upscale living, St. James Coast provides plenty of dining, duty free shopping, and accommodations to complement the perfect Barbados package holiday.
Sand and Sun on Your Barbados Vacation
All-inclusive Barbados vacation beaches vary in quality and features throughout the island. The St. James coast, located on the west of the island, boasts a relatively wide beach featuring light brown sand, and is the area of greatest all-inclusive Barbados vacation resort concentration. Paynes Bay, located on St. James coast features relatively lighter sands and calmer waters that are perfect for swimming. As well, the west coast of Barbados provides scuba enthusiasts with some unique wreck-diving opportunities. King's Beach is also a popular beach for all-inclusive Barbados vacationers, with no vendors to disrupt the attention to sun, sand, and water. In contrast to other, more groomed Caribbean beach environments, the west coast beaches of Barbados tend to be relatively rocky and natural.
Barbados vacation weather is possibly the most consistent in the Caribbean, and is generally wonderful. Average daytime temperatures sit at around 28?C, plus or minus 5? as seasons vary. Constant breezes can provide both relief from the heat, or make evenings seem rather cool. In general, the weather in Barbados is great throughout the year, and is one of the main features that attract tourists to all-inclusive Barbados package holidays.
The Barbados landscape is rather variable, featuring cliffs on the east/north coast, and more lush vegetation on the west coast. The interior of Barbados is relatively flat and consists largely of cane fields and rain forests that are well worth exploring. The east coast of Barbados is typically considered to have the most striking landscape features, with spectacular views and violent surf.
Hurricane season, with its unpredictability of storm events, typically lasts from July through December, peaking from mid-August to mid-November. Although Barbados vacations are not often impacted by hurricanes, the possibility remains. However, when booking Barbados vacation packages, you can rest assured that tour operators will not fly you into a hurricane and will act fast to get you out in the event of any development if your holiday plans are affected. You can find great Barbados vacation package deals during hurricane season, and the economic advantage is well worth considering. We recommend that you speak with one of our tripcentral agents to fully understand the great value benefit vs. limited risk associated with travel to this region during hurricane season.
Things to See and Do on Your Barbados Package Vacation
If nightlife is a priority on your all-inclusive Barbados package holiday, check out the St. Lawrence Gap ("The Gap") in the parish of Christ Church, famous for its lively nightlife. The Whistling Frog, Reggae Lounge, and The Ship Inn are just a few of the recommended nightlife hotspots worth considering while on an all-inclusive Barbados vacation. There are no casinos to speak of in Barbados, but still plenty to see and do. For dining away from the all-inclusive Barbados vacation resorts, there are a number of restaurants offering great variety, including elegant, local, beach side grills, and some chain restaurants. Local specialties include flying fish, Caribbean curries, and English specialties. Dining is relatively expensive in Barbados, and tipping is typically 15% to 20% of the bill.
Shopping in Barbados is very good, and there are outdoor strip malls, handy crafts, markets and specialty items like rum, hot sauce and Barbados cake to tempt the shopping fanatic on an all-inclusive Barbados package holiday. For duty free shopping, Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados, is the place to be. For additional shopping opportunities, the interior of the island – inland from Almond Breach Club – features a shopping mall worth investigating. For still more options, the cruise ship port offers good shopping for Barbados package holiday travellers and cruise ship passengers alike. Generally, unlike some other sun destinations, bartering in Barbados is not common. Banking options are good while on an all-inclusive Barbados package holiday, including Canadian banks, especially on the west coast of the island.
Barbados vacations also feature a good variety of sporting activity options, including polo, cricket, soccer, water skiing, deep sea fishing, and kite surfing. For scuba and snorkelling opportunities, St. James coast on the west of the island is the place to go and explore the wonders beneath the waters on an all-inclusive Barbados package holiday. Golfing enthusiasts will be delighted to find that they can enjoy a good round while on an all-inclusive Barbados vacation. Royal Westmoreland, a members only club, offers special package arrangements for some all-inclusive Barbados vacation hotels. Sandy Lane offers a good quality course, the Green Monkey Course, designed by Robert Trent Jones Jr. And, for a quick round of light golfing, Almond Beach Village offers a nice 9-hole par 3 course.
Barbados packages offer plenty of day trip opportunities for those vacationers who like to stay active. For the history enthusiast, be sure to pay a visit to the Chattel Houses – mobile housing for indentured plantation labourers from the colonial/slave era. For the nature lover, check out Harrison's Cave, the Botanical Gardens, and the Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary. For those with an interest in pirate history, take a four-hour tour aboard the Jolly Roger, and take your mind back 300 years to a time when pirates roamed the Caribbean.
Al-inclusive Barbados vacations also give tourists the opportunity to take in a number of festivals, including the Crop Over Festival – Barbados' most popular and colourful festival with origins that date back to the 1700s, marking the end of the sugar cane harvest. As well, for the surfing enthusiast, the National Surfing Championship, hosted in October, is sure to be a hit.
All-Inclusive Barbados Vacation Package Availability, Accommodations, and Value
Barbados packages are available daily from Toronto all year round, and weekly from Montreal. Barbados vacation package flights are available on both Air Canada and Westjet, with connecting flights also available. Speak to one of our tripcentral agents to make arrangements for connecting flights, and ensure your all-inclusive Barbados package availability.
Barbados package holiday resort hotels are relatively older, smaller, low-rise structures, ranging from 2-5 star, and many are concentrated along the west coast. Condo-style accommodations are also popular in Barbados, and these efficiency units typically feature all of amenities found at the larger Barbados vacation resorts. There are not as many all-inclusive properties in Barbados, with some offering modified meal plans.
Package holiday tourists will find that Barbados is generally busy outside the hotel properties, with the greatest activity in the capital city of Bridgetown and along the more densely packed west coast. However, the atmosphere on the package holiday resorts tends to be rather laid back.
For those considering an island wedding in the sun, Barbados packages are a great option. Weddings in Barbados are relatively easy to arrange, with no language barriers to complicate the process. Speak with one of our tripcentral travel agents to get all of the information needed, and start planning your dream Barbados wedding.
Barbados vacations are relatively expensive, and generally not considered to be good value for the average package holiday consumer. However, Barbados is unique, and those who can appreciate all that this destination has to offer are willing to pay a premium price. The relatively longer flight time (5.5 hours) may also be a minor deterrent, but is not a problem for those who know that Barbados is the place for them.