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Barbados is its own independent nation and lies 90 miles north of Trinidad and Tobago. These islands are north of the coast of Venezuela and are part of the Windward Islands of the Lesser Antilles. We flew from Miami to Trinidad and then used Caribbean Airlines to fly to Tobago and Barbados. We spent four days in Barbados and the following are the highlights of our time there.
From glass-bottom boat tours to snorkeling, just about all the tour operators in Barbados will make a stop at Carlisle Bay because of the high concentration of gentle sea turtles and colorful fish. The bay itself is a protected cove with warm, gentle waters and no sharks or other predators to worry about. The water itself is only around 20 feet deep so it's very easy to see the bottom, plus the fish and turtles are never far away.
The half day tour we took also offered separate snorkeling over old WWI and WWII shipwrecks near the edge of Carlisle Bay, snorkeling over a coral reef, catered lunch on board the catamaran sailboat and unlimited drinks (both alcoholic and non-alcoholic.) Here we are swimming with a sea turtle.
The entire island nation of Barbados is roughly 1.5 times the size of Washington, DC (but smaller than the area encompassed by the beltway which surrounds the city.) Its population is only roughly 45% of that of Washington, DC, making it much less congested.
They are English-speaking, democratic, peaceful and use the same electricity and outlets as the United States. Barbados is even in the same time zone as the eastern United States. Bajan currency is pegged to the US dollar at BD$2=US$1, but US currency is widely accepted if you choose not to convert money. All of this makes travel to Barbados very easy and convenient for Americans.
Bridgetown is the only real city in Barbados but, because the island is so small, don't be afraid to look for accommodations outside of the tourist enclave of Bridgetown and surrounding suburbs. We rented a room from a local Bajan family. We found the room on AirBnB.
As far as getting around the island, for less than the cost of renting a car you can hire your own personal chauffeur and tour guide! It sounds extravagant but the cost is reasonable, plus you get the benefit of a local who can suggest places to go and things to do or fill you in on the history of villages and points of interest.
If you go: Barbados Blue Snorkeling,