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Barbados Facts

Essential Knowledge

Language: English.

Located: Eastern Caribbean.

Time: GMT minus four hours (winter), minus five hours in summer.

Literacy: Considered one of the most literate countries in the whole world.

Currency: Barbadian Dollar - Exchange 1 BDS = 2.8 GBP (Call it £3 for ease of conversion). Major credit cards widely accepted. Also GBP, US$ and CAN$ Travellers Cheques.

Getting there from the UK: BWIA, Virgin Airlines and BA and a scheduled Concorde service. Approximate flight time is 7½ hours or 4 hours on Concorde.

Cost: Anything between £350 to £900 (economy) depending on time of year and airline.

Immigration: UK citizens do not need a Visa, just a valid passport and a valid return ticket. Remember the BDS$25 departure tax per passenger.

Weather: Dry Season: January to June. Wet Season: June to October

Temperature: Between 75 - 90 F year round. Hot days, but cooler nights.

Beaches: West Coast: Safest for swimming. South Coast: Good for surfing and water sports. East and North Coast: Not recommended for swimming.

Dress/Nudity: Keep Beachwear on the beach. Nude Bathing is illegal.

Sharks: Swim without fear as the fringing reef keeps them out.

Food: Specialities include Cou Cou, Conkies, Fried Flying Fish, Salt Fish Cakes and Rum Punch.

Business Hours: Between 08:30 and 17:00, half day on Saturday. Closed Sunday.

Shopping: There is only one Department Store - based in Cave Shepherd, Bridgetown and in St James.

Sporting Hero: Sir Garfield Sobers - an international cricketing celebrity knighted by the Queen in 1975.

Electricity: 110 volts AC 50 cycle

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