Know Before You Go

4 Things to Know Before Visiting Barbados

Renowned as the birthplace of rum—as well as the homeland of beloved billionaire songstress and cosmetics genius, Rhianna—Barbados is one of the most beautiful island nations. Barbadians are crazy for afternoon tea, cricket, golfing, and scuba diving. With gorgeous beaches, intriguing Barbados tourism opportunities, and fascinating Caribbean culture and colonial history, Bimshire also extends some of the friendliest people and mouthwatering cuisine. Best of all, Barbados has some of the world’s best and most luxurious hotels and resorts in its bustling, historic Bridgetown area. Plus, visiting Barbados is simple. This island nation is one of the easiest islands to get to with direct flights from most major US and Canadian cities as well many mainland European hubs — but these are all things you probably already know.

Here are four lesser-known interesting Barbados facts that’d be good to realize before you go!

You Can Explore an Underground Geological Treasure by Tram

Harrison’s Cave is one of the most loved Barbados excursions. Found in the jungle-covered highlands of the country, this limestone cave is a beautiful place to explore. There’s even a small tramway that works its way through the extensive and unique cave network of stalactites hanging from the roof of the cave, and stalagmites that emerge from the ground (the oldest known stalagmite in the world is 2.2 million years old!). A natural phenomenon, Harrison's Cave also has crystal-clear running water that drips from waterfalls to form deep emerald pools.

A little-known fun fact about this area is that it is being expanded to include an eco-park featuring a nature trail to a bird aviary, an infinity pool, new shops, a climbing net, free fall tower, a monkey experience, and more! Construction is expected to be completed by the summer of 2022!

You Can Bet Your Bottom Dollar You’ll See Monkeys

Monkeys bask in the more than 3,000 hours of sunshine the island gets each year. All over Barbados, you’ll encounter these mischievous, playful little green monkeys. The green monkey was initially brought over to Barbados as a pet from West Africa during the slave trade more than 350 years ago. Many monkeys then escaped or were released and became established in Barbados. Unlike the green monkey, something that is often heard but rarely seen around the island are the elusive whistling frogs (also known as tree frogs). Their alluring musical chirps can be heard all over the island.

You Can Try Your Fertility Luck at a Highly Rated Treatment Facility

This one surely won’t make the popular activities in Barbados list. Couples from all over the world, though, seek out The Barbados Fertility Centre (BFC) which claims that the Barbados paradise is the perfect location for offering the peaceful, stress-free environment that couples need when undergoing IVF treatment. The BFC reports success rates that are higher than that of the centers in the UK and the US. Also, the treatment costs are significantly lower than what you would pay in the UK or the US. Couples who have tried the center have said the process and locality allow you to forget about the fertility struggles and just enjoy each other while on a tropical island vacation—doing things like swimming with the turtles, snorkeling (Barbados snorkeling is a top adventure), and just relaxing in the sunshine while awaiting results. With international accreditations, The BFC states to have achieved thousands of pregnancies for couples from the Caribbean, US, UK, Canada, Europe, and Barbados.

You Can Avoid These Two Things for a Carefree Barbados Vacation

For years, camouflage has been a big part of urban style. Although soldiers have worn it since the 18th century, it became a fashion trend in the 80s and hasn’t really wavered since. However, wearing camouflage here would be considered a major no-no. In Barbados, all forms of camouflage are strictly reserved for the armed forces, and you may be fined, or your items confiscated if you’re seen wearing camouflage by an official!

Don’t let this spellbinding tree ruin your Barbados sightseeing. Once here, be sure to avoid the manchineel tree. These trees are among some of the most poisonous trees in the world. They ooze a milky-white sap which contains numerous toxins and can cause blistering and poison ivy-type consequences. The delicious looking apple-berry too carries its own caustic properties. If ingested, the fruit is reportedly “pleasantly sweet” at first, but gradually progresses to a peppery feeling that causes eventual burning, tearing, and tightness of the throat. These trees are mostly found on beaches and provide lots of shade when sunny. You might be tempted to stand under them on a really hot day or seek shelter underneath them during a tropical downpour—but avoid this tree at all costs! And no need to worry, the manchineel trees are clearly marked with a red band around the trunk or unmissable warning signs.

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