Visit once and you will return again and again....
This tiny island, the most easterly of the Caribbean island chain and measuring 21 miles long by 14 miles wide, is a mere dot on most world maps! This tiny dot is a gorgeous coral island surrounded by spectacular beaches and warm waters which are highly enjoyed by locals and tourists alike…., definitely a dot worth visiting!
The island’s coasts are scenic but very diverse. The East is a surfer’s delight with the Atlantic Ocean crashing onto the wide, windy beaches while the West coast, in total contrast has flat water like a placid lake gently lapping the shore. The North coast is characterized by spectacular coral and sandstone cliffs that rise straight out of the sea in some areas to a height of 100 feet punctuated by sheltered coves. The south coast boasts flawless white sand beaches protected by coral reefs.
Carlisle Bay – the swim location
This magnificent, yet tranquil, crescent shaped bay is located off the south-west region of the island and the Bay is lined by a white sand beach that stretches from the Pebbles Beach all the way to Bridgetown, the capital city. The calm, warm waters provide safe haven for the yachts moored there and the proliferation of fish and sea turtles that enjoy the protection of this “marine park”. Snorkeling and scuba diving opportunities abound especially at any of the man-made wrecks in the Bay. The Bay is very appealing to open-water swimmers especially the “Regulars” who swim the Bay weekly.
The inaugural “Barbados Open Water Festival” took place on July 6, 2013 and a second event in October 2013. Since then the event has been held annually. Hundreds of swimmers ranging in age from 6 years old to 86 years old from more than 20 countries have attended. Recreational swimmers, elite swimmers, Olympians, World Champions, Triathletes, Paralympians.... its a wonderful mix of people of varying ages and abilities from across the globe with one love in common - swimming!
Driving Tips Measuring just 21 miles long and 14 miles wide, it’s never difficult to find a way to get around an island of this size. From public buses to taxis to car rentals to private limousines there is a transportation option suited to every preference and budget. Just remember that in Barbados you will be driving on the left side of the road. The island’s narrow causeways, roundabouts and occasional blind corners make it a good idea to pay careful attention while driving here. It’s probably best to organize car rentals in advance of arrival.
Weather The weather November is warm with daytime temperatures averaging about 28 degrees Celsius. Water temperatures average about 27 degrees Celsius.
Dress Code Lightweight, comfortable clothing is recommended. The dress code is casual (shorts or slacks and tee-shirts), though excessive exposure is frowned upon. Several of the fine dining restaurants require long pants especially on evening. Please do not wear bathing suits or skimpy beach wear beyond the beach. There are no nude beaches in Barbados and public nudity and topless bathing are prohibited by law.
Currency Barbados has its own currency and US$ are also accepted. Credit and debit cards are also widely accepted.
Medical Facilities: There are several doctors offices, after hour emergency centres, a small private hospital and the main public hospital minutes away from the swim site and from the south coast hotels. (FMH Medical, Elcourt Clinic, Diagnostic Clinic, Bay View Hospital and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital). In the St James area, on the west coast there is a 24 hour clinic (Sandy Crest Medical Centre).
Ambulance service: Medic Response (246)-228-8633
Drinking Water Tap water is safe to drink but bottled water is available.
Groceries there is a large grocery store (Massy) located just off the the south coast road. The Imart at Lanterns Mall is a useful convenience store.
Pharmacies There are numerous pharmacies in the south coast area. Lewis Drug Mart is located on the south coast road between Accra Beach and Bubbas Sports Bar.
Internet Access Internet/email access can be found at numerous restaurants and internet cafes as well as at libraries and post offices. Many hotels also provide in-room access for a daily charge although several hotels now offer free WiFi.
Capital City is Bridgetown. Offers duty free shopping, dining, sight seeing and is pick up point for several day cruises. Bridgetown is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Sightseeing & Attractions There is much to see and do in Barbados for the young and the more mature. Island attractions and activities abound. Browse the recommended Barbados Tourism Websites below.