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Barbados Country Travel Infomation

Travel Transportation

Road Conditions and Safety:

Traffic Laws: Driving is on the left-hand side of the road. Barbados traffic law requires that vehicles involved in an accident remain unmoved until the police arrive. Main roads are generally safe and well-marked, though they often have potholes. Secondary rural roads tend to be narrow, are sometimes inadequately marked, are potholed and rough, and have frequent blind curves. Use caution on these roads, especially at night. Slow down if you see a stopped vehicle, whether travelling in the same or the opposite direction, as this could mean that pedestrians are crossing.

Public Transportation: Registered taxis and large public buses are generally safe. Private vans and small buses are often crowded and tend to travel at excessive speeds. Avoid private minibuses, known as ?Z buses? because of license plates which begin with the letter Z, as drivers frequently drive erratically.

See our Road Safety page for more information. Visit the website of the Barbados national tourist office.

Aviation Safety Oversight: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Barbados, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Barbados?s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA?s safety assessment page.

Maritime Travel: Mariners planning travel to Barbados should also check for U.S. maritime advisories and alerts. Information may also be posted to the U.S. Coast Guard homeport website, and the NGA broadcast warnings.

Health

Medical care is good for the region, but medical transport can take hours to respond and ambulance attendants are prohibited from applying lifesaving techniques during transport.

We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not apply overseas.

Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.

If traveling with prescription medication, check with the government of Barbados to ensure the medication is legal in Barbados. Always carry your prescription medication in original packaging with your doctor?s prescription.

The following diseases are present:

  • Chikungunya
  • Dengue
  • Zika

Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Further health information:

Local laws and Special Circumstances

Criminal Penalties: You are subject to local laws. If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.

Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs or firearms are severe. Convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.

It is illegal, even for children, to wear camouflage clothing or carry items made with camouflage material.

Furthermore, some laws are also prosecutable in the U.S., regardless of local law. For examples, see our website on crimes against minors abroad and the Department of Justice website.

Arrest Notification: If you are arrested or detained, ask police or prison officials to notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.

Firearms: Do not enter Barbados with firearms or ammunition without prior express consent from the Barbados government. Please contact the Embassy of Barbados with questions regarding travel with firearms.

Faith-Based Travelers: See the following webpages for details:

LGBTI Travelers: Same-sex sexual relations, even when consensual, are criminalized in Barbados. Although this law is rarely enforced, potential penalties include life imprisonment.

See our LGBTI Travel Information page and section 6 of our Human Rights report for further details.

Travelers Who Require Accessibility Assistance: Access to buildings, pedestrian paths, and transportation is extremely difficult for persons with mobility issues. Sidewalks (if they exist) are very uneven and will only occasionally have ramps at intersections. Pedestrian crossings are also very infrequent and can be poorly marked. Buses and taxis do not have special accommodations.

The Town and Country Planning Department set provisions for all public buildings to include accessibility infrastructure. As a result, many new buildings have ramps, reserved parking, and special sanitary facilities.

Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.

Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers

Safety and Security

Crime: American citizens are not specifically targeted for crime in Barbados. However, crimes of opportunity such as petty larceny, burglary, automobile break-ins; as well as incidents of violent crime, such as murder, sexual assault, robbery, shootings, and drug related crimes do occasionally occur. As you would in any major metropolitan area of the U.S., use the below personnel security measures while traveling:

  • Do not leave valuables unattended in public areas, on beaches, unsecured in hotel rooms, or in rental homes.
  • Avoid walking alone, especially at night, on beaches, and in isolated or poorly lit locations.
  • Go out in groups or with a companion and restrict nighttime activities to established safe and reputable venues.
  • Use only clearly marked taxis and avoid rides with strangers.
  • Stick to well-lit and well-traveled routes.
  • Avoid displaying flashy jewelry, expensive electronics, and large amounts of cash.
  • Be aware of your surroundings at all times. If you see something suspicious or unusual contact local police at #211 to report immediately.
  • Use added caution when shopping in crowded areas, especially during the holiday season.
  • Use added caution when attending crowded events, such as Crop Over, Kadooment celebrations, music festivals, etc.
  • Do not leave drinks unattended in public venues as this could create a potential vulnerability for the use of ?date rape? drugs in furtherance of criminal activity.
  • Do not be predictable; vary your daily routes and schedules.
  • Prostitution and drug use (to include marijuana) is illegal, do not engage in illegal activity.
  • Do not wear camouflage as it is illegal to wear in public.

*Abide by the above security measures at all times, be aware of your surroundings in all areas, and use added vigilance while in isolated areas where tourists do not normally frequent.

For Barbados:

  • Avoid Crab Hill at all times (located Northwest of the island).
  • Avoid Nelson and Wellington Streets (located in Bridgetown) at night.
  • Use added vigilance while on non-reputable nighttime party cruises.

Do not buy counterfeit or pirated goods. These are illegal in the United States, and you may also be breaking local law.

Firearms: Do not enter Barbados with firearms or ammunition without prior express consent from the Barbados government. Please contact the Embassy of Barbados with questions regarding travel with firearms.

See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.

Victims of Crime: Report crimes to the local police at 211 and contact the U.S. Embassy at (246) 227-4000. 

The emergency lines in Barbados are: Fire: 311, Police: 211, Ambulance: 511.

Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.

See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.

We can:

  • help you find appropriate medical care
  • assist you in reporting a crime to the police
  • contact relatives or friends with your written consent
  • explain the local criminal justice process in general terms
  • provide a list of local attorneys
  • provide our information on victim?s compensation programs in the United States
  • provide an emergency loan for repatriation to the United States and/or limited medical support in cases of destitution
  • help you find accommodation and arrange flights home
  • replace a stolen or lost passport

Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance at (246) 227-4000.

Watersports Advisory: Carefully assess the potential risks of recreational water activities and consider your physical capabilities and skills. Never venture out alone, particularly at isolated beaches or far out to sea. Avoid entering the water above your waist if you have been drinking and always be mindful of jet ski and boat traffic in the area. 

Tourism: The tourism industry is unevenly regulated, and safety inspections for equipment and facilities do not commonly occur. Hazardous areas/activities are not always identified with appropriate signage, and staff may not be trained or certified either by the host government or by recognized authorities in the field. In the event of an injury, hospitals are able provide urgent medical treatment, though very serious injuries often require medical evacuation. U.S. citizens are encouraged to purchase medical evacuation insurance. See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.

Entry exit Requirementsh

U.S. citizens must have a valid U.S. passport to enter Barbados. No visa is needed for stays up to 6 months.

NOTE: Generally, all U.S. citizens are required to present a valid U.S. passport when traveling to Barbados, as well as proof of anticipated departure from Barbados. This includes travelers arriving by airplane and by private sea-going vessel. Those traveling to Barbados on a cruise may use another Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) compliant document. However, we strongly recommend visitors obtain a passport before travel in case of an unforeseen emergency that requires a cruise passenger to disembark and return by air.

HIV/AIDS: 
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Barbados.

Find information on dual nationality, prevention of international child abduction and customs regulations on our websites.

Destination Description

See the Department of State?s Fact Sheet on Barbados for information on U.S. – Barbados relations. 

Travel Embassy and Consulate

U.S. Embassy Bridgetown

Wildey Business Park
Wildey
St. Michael BB 14006
Barbados, W.I.
Telephone: +(246) 227-4399
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(246) 227-4000
Fax: +(246) 431-0179

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