The climate in Barbados is warm and pleasant throughout the year, although it can become a little sticky during the more humid months of the hurricane season where rain can also be expected. Light showers that pass relatively quickly are more common than torrential rain or storms, however.
When to fly to Barbados
Barbados’ high season is from mid-December to May, due to this being the driest period of the year. December and January are also busy months due to the popularity of Christmas and New Year visits.
Flights and accommodation are usually cheapest from September until mid-December, because this period includes the height of the hurricane season which begins in June and continues until November. The months of September and October in particular are the most humid of the year and most prone to rain.
From November to mid-December, Barbados’ rainy season has usually passed but visitor numbers and prices will not yet have risen again to peak levels. June and July - when the showers begin and the weather starts to become more humid - are also a time when prices drop but hurricane season hasn’t yet entered full swing.
Getting around Barbados
Public buses of various kinds are an inexpensive way to get around the island. Blue government-operated buses (which require exact change), yellow privately operated ones, and white route-taxis (sometimes known as “ZRs”) all charge B$1.50 per person , per trip, which is around 80 Australian cents.
Taxis, not as cheap and more popular among visitors than locals, are easily found, especially in tourist areas. They are unmetered but fares are regulated by the government. Be sure to agree upon the fare before entering the taxi.
The usual international car-rental chains don’t operate in Barbados, but instead you will find a variety of smaller local operations. At the cheaper end of the scale, small open-sided buggies called mokes or mini mokes are frequently available among other options.
A short-term drivers’ permit is required and rental companies will likely be able to arrange this for a fee.
Barbados insider information
- Bridgetown, the capital, is worth visiting to understand Barbados's past a little more. Settled in 1624 and known previously as the town of St. Michael, the colonial flavour of many of the buildings here gives visitors a sense of Barbados in bygone years. The Barbados National Museum, based on the premises of a prison, is here too, in a historically rich part of town known variously as St. Anne’s Garrison or the Garrison Historic Area.
- Cricket fans are in good company in Barbados. The Kensington Oval in Bridgetown's western outskirts is the island’s most celebrated cricket ground and a place to see top-class players, but other options include watching regional First Division matches or just playing a friendly match or two of beach cricket with enthusiastic locals who live and breathe the game.
- The windier Atlantic-facing east coast of the Barbados is the best side for surfers. The area in Bathsheba known as the Soup Bowl has often been the site of surf championships and is famous for its large, rolling waves.
- Barbadian rum is one of the island’s most well known exports and many local distilleries are open for visitors, which includes the Mount Gay Rum distilleries in St. Michael. The tour takes in their museum, a historical reconstruction of a rum shop, production facilities, and ends at the bar. Rum cake is a tasty treat too.
- If you’re visiting the island over Easter and are partial to seafood, Oistins Fish Festival is well worth visiting. Fish is a staple of the Barbadian diet all year round, however, and you can find fresh catches cooked near fish markets in particular.