Barbados

Barbados

Etymology

The name Barbados is either the Portuguese word Barbados or the Spanish equivalent los Barbados, both meaning “the bearded ones”. It is unclear whether “bearded” refers to the long, hanging roots of the bearded fig-tree (Ficus citrifolia), indigenous to the island; or to the allegedly bearded Caribs once inhabiting the island; or, more fancifully, to a visual impression of a beard formed by the sea foam that sprays over the outlying reefs. In 1519, a map produced by the Genoese mapmaker Visconte Maggiolo showed and named Barbados in its correct position. Furthermore, the island of Barbuda in the Leewards is very similar in name and was once named Las Barbudas by the Spanish. [wikipedia]

Places to Meet People

Places to Meet People

Barbados Outdoors & Social Club (35+)- Welcoming … fellow sportsmen and friends in Barbados … singles/couples, 35+ years, who enjoy the outdoors (just relaxing or sport!) while also expanding your social circle. [meetup]

Barbados Social Dancing – This is a group for persons who enjoy social dancing. There are two different sessions per month. The first is for those who enjoy dancing but are not focused on any particular trained dance style. The second meeting is for dancers practiced or practicing in popular dance styles. [meetup]

Marina Bar & Restaurant – Welcome to Marina Bar & Restaurant. We created the menu and the ambiance with you in mind. The preferred choice for Family Dining. [facebook]

Meet N’ Build Barbados – Our goal is to create an ecosystem where great connections are forged and after a fun and exciting event people are able to leave with the tools, resources and partnerships to go out and build their dreams. [meetup]

Ryanne’s Restaurant and Bar – Ryanne’s serves delicious local and international cuisine to satisfy your appetite… [facebook]

The Verandah Book Club – This club is a bookish gathering on the island of Barbados for people who love reading and intellectual discussion. We meet once a month at each others’ homes, bars and restaurants around the island to discuss literary fiction and taking over the world. We try to read work of authors from varied backgrounds. [meetup]

Volleyball Browns Beach – Competitive coed volleyball on Browns Beach. [meetup]

How to Find a Date

How to Find a Date

Connecting Singles – Have you tried all the traditional ways to find someone special in Barbados? Are you tired of the Barbados bar & club scene, coming home to an empty house, lonely tables-for-one at those romantic Barbados restaurants, disastrous blind dates set up by your matchmaking friends, Barbados local singles groups, singles events and meetings with no results?? [connecting singles]

Interracial Dating Central – Get sexy. Get flirty. Get InterracialDatingCentral. Meeting other singles in Barbados has never been easier than when you have an account with us. If you’re sick of being the only single adult in your social circle, it’s time to get proactive with your love life! InterracialDatingCentral allows you to have full control and proceed at your own pace. Whether you’d like to move fast or slow – it’s completely up to you. [interracial dating central]

Mingle2 – Mingle2.com is a 100% Barbados Free Dating Service. Meet thousands of fun, attractive, Barbados men and Barbados women for FREE. No gimmicks, no tricks. Stop paying for online dating now. [mingle2]

Walking Tours

Walking Tours

Barbados – Hike Barbados takes you through cane fields, gullies, tropical forests and coastal communities to explore the unique geological and social structure of Barbados. Along the way you will meet new friends, enjoy healthy exercise and observe the delicate balance of the unique heritage and environment of Barbados. [barbados]

Fun Barbados – Come be part of our Guided Historic Bridgetown Heritage Tours, as we take you on a historical journey back to the 1600s in Barbados, when this world heritage site was chosen as a harbour by the early British settlers. Our entertaining and informative guided Tours of Historic Bridgetown are conducted by knowledgeable guides, and will not only educate you about the island’s rich history, but will also afford you the opportunity to visit many stately sights and sites in the Bridgetown area. [fun barbados]

Island Routes – Take in the wealth of history the lies within the city boundries of Bridgetown. On this guided walking tour view the Parliament Buildings (oldest in commonwealth), Jewish Synagogue (the oldest in the western hemisphere), historic churches, Queens Park, Heroes Square and Nelson’s Statue to name a few. Once the tour is over head to Broad Street to enjoy shopping in Barbados at your own pace and leisure. [island routes]

Mraville Travel Limited – Marville Travel is a wholesale and retail agency located in the town of Port Credit, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. Marville Travel is considered by many to be a major travel agency selling the Caribbean in Canada, and is clearly a leader among travel agencies selling Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean. [marville]

Tours By Locals – Welcome to sunny Barbados! The bustling capital of Bridgetown, with its lovely natural harbour and colonial buildings, is a delightful place to explore. Take a private Bridgetown tour and explore the capital, and other parts of the island, with your own friendly private guide. [tours by locals]

Free Things to Do

Free Things to Do

Barbados Wildlife Reserve: macaws and green monkeys await – Situated on the edge of the historic Farley Hill National Park, where the mahogany woods give way to the manicured gardens of the St. Nicholas Abbey, the Barbados Wildlife Reserve is the closest this island gets to a bona fide zoo. [the crazy tourist]

Delve underground at Harrison’s Cave – Head for the rising hills around Walkes Spring and Carrington in the very heart of Barbados and get ready to delve underground, following the winding tunnels and caverns of Harrison’s Cave – one of the island’s most breathtaking natural wonders. [the crazy tourist]

Get a sense of the real Barbados in Speightstown – Offering something of a more authentic picture of island life, away from the beach resorts and preserved historic towns around Bridgetown and the south coast, Speightstown beckons travelers with its rows of ramshackle fishing shacks and some age-stained architecture from centuries gone by. Check out the exhibitions at the Arlington House Museum, where the restored 18th-century rooms exude stories of buccaneers and British slave drivers. [the crazy tourist]

Go rum tasting at the Mount Gay Distillery – No trip to this rum-drenched gem in the midst of the Lesser Antilles chain could possibly be complete without at least a sampling of the island’s most popular liquid export: Mount Gay. The distiller’s visitor center can be found on the harboursides of historic Bridgetown, offering exhibitions that chronicle the over 300 years of rum production on the island. [the crazy tourist]

Go supersonic at the Barbados Concorde Experience – Who would’ve thought that the final resting place of the legendary Concorde would be a small aircraft hangar on the edge of Barbados’ Grantley Adams International Airport. But it is, and today thousands of visitors a year make a beeline for the spot to learn all about the world’s first supersonic commercial flier. [the crazy tourist]

Hug the baobab of Queen’s Park – Living up to the reputation of the bulbous baobab in grand style, the colossal trunk of Barbados’ largest tree can be found (and hugged, at least if there’s a group of you!) on the lawns of pretty little Queen’s Park in the heart of Bridgetown. [the crazy tourist]

Party and eat at the Oistins Fish Fry – Oistins Fish Fry has risen and risen to become a veritable rite of passage for first-time visitors hitting Barbados. Erupting every Friday and Saturday night (Friday is particularly lively!) on the streets between Welches Beach and Miami Beach on the south coast, the shindig is one to remember. [the crazy tourist]

Relax in the midst of Hunte’s Gardens – A patchwork of blooming orchid flowers and emerald-green fern explosions, of looming palm boughs and yellow-tipped craboo trees, this gorgeous enclave of horticultural majesty is a fine place to get acquainted with the sheer wealth of biodiversity that graces the tropical Caribbean. [the crazy tourist]

See a heritage wonder at St. Nicholas Abbey – Head through the green fields and palm groves east of Moore Hill in northern Barbados to discover the elegant Jacobean facades of St. Nicholas Abbey. One of only three heritage sites of its kind in the Western Hemisphere, the site dates way back to the 1600s, which is when sugarcane was first raised and harvested on the fields around the central house. [the crazy tourist]

See horses and history at the Garrison Savannah Historic Area – Just a stone’s throw from central Bridgetown on the southern side of the island is where travelers can delve into the medley of history and sporting action that is the Garrison Savannah Area. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the spot hosts buildings like the George Washington House, where the erstwhile first President of the United States once took refuge in the 1750s. [the crazy tourist]

See the cliffs and waves of Bathsheba Beach – Whether you come to Bathsheba to wax up the surfboard and don the board shorts for a ride over the swells of the iconic Soup Bowl (experts only!), or to gawp up at the striking cliffs and protruding rocks that sprawl and pepper the sands and the shoreline alike, you can rest assured that you’re in for a real treat. [the crazy tourist]

See the eerie ruins of Farley Hill – Now a national park, Farley Hill offers both a glimpse at the island’s long colonial history and a truly eerie experience amidst the swaying mahogany groves in the middle of Barbados. The centrepiece of the preserve is the dilapidated manor house at its heart, which was completely ravaged by fire in the 1960s. [the crazy tourist]

Start the day at Bliss Café – Just a stone’s throw back from the sun-kissed sands of Dover Beach, amidst the sleepy streets of the St Lawrence Gap, Bliss Café continues to serve up some of the most acclaimed breakfast dishes on the island. The menu is a medley of sweet waffles and uber-fresh panini sandwiches, topped with a hearty offering of continental and full English options to boot. [the crazy tourist]

Stroll around historic Bridgetown – Cut-through the middle with the lively shopping strip of Broad Street, it’s loaded with pretty little historic sites like the Chamberlain Bridge and the gorgeous neo-Gothic Parliament Buildings, built in the high style of Victorian England. [the crazy tourist]

Walk the length of the Barbados Boardwalk – The first of its kind in the entire Caribbean, the Barbados Boardwalk links up almost two kilometers of beachfront around the southern coastal stretches of the island. Flat and well-maintained, it attracts walkers and joggers, who can go all the way from the pearly sands of Rockley Beach in Hastings in the east to the coconut groves of Coconut Court Beach in the west. [the crazy tourist]

Festivals

Festivals

Barbados Jazz Festival – Established in 1992, the Barbados Jazz Festival is a week-long celebration featuring performers such as Lee Ritenour and Erykah Badu, with performances in diverse venues such as historic plantation homes, a rum factory, and Farley Hill National Park. [go caribbean]

Gospelfest – The Caribbean’s leading showcase for international, regional and local gospel talent features bands and singers from around the world. This family oriented festival is held at venues throughout Barbados over a week in mid-May; some events are free, some charge a fee. [go caribbean]

Holder’s Season – Held over two weeks in late February and early March, the Caribbean’s top cultural festival features a dizzying array of performances, from Shakespearean drama to gospel and blues music and comedy shows. The 17th-century Holder’s House, a historic plantation home, hosts the annual festival. [go caribbean]

Oistins Fish Festival – This festival on the south coast of the island honors those who are part of the Barbados’ fishing industry with calypso and reggae music and traditional Bajan fare like fish cakes, fried fish, souse (a kind of pickled pork), and head cheese. [go caribbean]

The Crop Over Festival – The annual Barbados Crop Over festival runs from May to August and is the highlight of the island’s annual social calendar. The festival has its roots in celebrations of sugar-cane harvests dating back to the 18th century, and today includes calypso concerts, carnival parades, marketplaces selling goods and food, and the crowning of a festival king and queen. Crop Over culminates in August with the Grand Kadooment — a huge carnival parade with spectacular costumes and calypso music that ends at the beach in true Caribbean style. The Kadooment bands also show off their costumes at Cohobbelpot, a festival in its own right with music, food, and lots of dancing! [go caribbean]

Public Transit

Public Transit

Bus – The bus system is extensive, cheap and fast if you are headed to somewhere on the main route. Many drivers will hold a bus for you if they see you are from out of town, reflecting the typical welcoming spirit. Buses are run by the Barbados Transport Board (blue) and are quiet. Private operators include the yellow buses, which play very loud music, and private mini-vans (white), which are usually cramped and crowded. [wikitravel]

Car Rental – Renting a car is expensive. If you are driving, be aware that the roads on the island are generally quite narrow, with the exception of the ABC highway. It is advisable to be extra cautious as many roads on the island have sharp turns, steep inclines, and are generally quite bumpy, although most are paved. [wikitravel]

Mopeds and bikes – Mopeds and bikes can also be rented to explore sites not easily reached by cars. This not recommended however due to the poor condition of many of the secondary and residential roads. Except for the main highway, all the other roads provide a hazardous journey to the moped or bike rider due to no sidewalks, frequent pot holes, sharp corners and speeding local buses. [wikitravel]

Taxis – There are also more than enough taxis to take you wherever you need to go on the island for reasonable prices. They do not use meters and it is best to negotiate the price before you get in. However, most taxi drivers are honest and you are unlikely to be overcharged. Be sure to ask the management of the hotel or the friendly locals what the going rate is for a cab ride to your destination. [wikitravel]

Professional Groups & Events

Professional Groups & Events

Barbados Association of Future Office Professionals – The Barbados Association of Future Office Professionals (BAFOP) is an association geared towards business oriented persons both male and female between the ages of 15 and 25. We offer a social and business environment to our members. [facebook]

Barbados Association of Office Professionals – Barbados Association of Office Professionals (BAOP) is the leading Association in Barbados for administrative support personnel. [facebook]

Caribbean Association of Security Professionals – Our goal is to harmonize public – private security/law enforcement agencies through the promotion of professional best practice and occupational standards. [facebook]

Kiwanis Barbados Young Professionals – Are you someone looking to give back to the community, make new friends and develop professionally? Join Kiwanis Club of Barbados Young Professionals Club! [facebook]

LinuxBarbados – LinuxBarbados is for people who are passionate about Linux and building great things with open source hardware & software. The group is based at the University of the West Indies (UWI) at Cave Hill, Barbados. Meetings happen via live video (like Google Hangout) so you can join from any place that connects to the Internet. [meetup]

Salon Professionals Ltd. – Caters to the needs of beauty professionals, ranging from hair care, nail care, barber supplies and salon equipment. [facebook]

Language Exchange

Language Exchange

Expat Barbados – ExpatFocus.com page for anyone moving to or living in Barbados. [facebook]

Living in Barbados – Barbados is a tourist’s dream; it’s a small island with white sandy beaches and blue seas. Many expats who move there will find work in the tourism and off shore financial services industries. The capital city is Bridgetown and this is where most people settle in Barbados. The economy is largely dependent on agriculture with its main exports being sugar, rum and molasses. We have an extensive guide for all expats moving to Barbados right here. [expat woman]

The Expatriate – The Expatriate offers a support service to individuals and companies to assist with relocation to Barbados. [facebook]

LGBT Groups

LGBT Groups

LGBT Barbados – LGBT Resources for Bajans ~ If you’d like to be in the LGBT Barbados group send this page a message. [facebook]

Resources

Resources

Places in Barbados

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