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It’s coming into to summer in Barbados and so begin the longer days. However, many first time visitors to the region are always taken aback by the fact that our days are not as long as those in North America or Europe. Remembering we are only 13 degrees north of the equator; our length of days is very stable throughout the year and just as enjoyable no matter the ‘season’! For us Bajans (Barbadian natives) the summer vibe is definitely palpable as the rhythm of every day is marked by the release of brand new local calypso music and the increase in beach parties and holiday days. Days which revolve around beach activities like surfing, kite-boarding, paddle-boarding, kayaking, you name it, abound during the summer months.  With the kids on vacation, Bajans retreat primarily to the beach to pass the time during the day. June also marks the beginning of the Barbados Crop Over Festival. This unique Festival celebrates the completion of the local sugar cane harvest and is deeply rooted in the traditions of our ancestors who gave their blood, sweat and tears for this most important cash crop.  So, in true West Indian style, when the hard work is over the partying begins! To keep up with the pace of activities a car is a necessity. There is simply no other way to maximise your visit. (Note that locals will also be hiring cars to keep up, so book yours early) As mentioned previously, June sees the release of the first of the calypso/soca music for the season. This infectious music is not indigenous to Barbados, but we certainly stamp our high BPM (beats per minute) energy signature on the party songs, with the social commentary element reverting to the more easy groovy speeds. Think of it like Christmas in June/July/August when even standing in line at the local commercial banks is punctuated by the infectious leg shaking rhythms and genuine relaxed vibe of Bajans doing business to the cadence of the day. For the days in between there is plenty to see and to do. While not the prime season for waves and wind, the longer days and brilliant sunshine still lend themselves to epic beach days and long lazy island tours by 4x4 or by car. Discovery is the name of the game as visitors find themselves wandering aimlessly away from the tourist map, but guided by the comfort of their GPS’ ability to get them back to their hotel. For the maximum summer enjoyment we recommend a GPS equipped rental car to get you ‘there’ safely and secure in the knowledge that you can find your favourite beach time and time again, or you can get to your next exciting party location known only to Bajans! Make the most of your June with the freedom of a hired car/van/SUV.    
This month welcomes the 25th running of the Barbados Rally Club’s International All Stage rally. Stoute’s Car Rentals Ltd. has been a proud sponsor and partner to this rally which attracts visitors from all over the Caribbean, Europe, the UK and the wider World! Run as a two part event, SOL Rally Barbados and Scotiabank King of the Hill, this two week rally journey is a motorsport lover’s dream.  Covering much of the island is par for the course over the rally weekend, with a hired car or rental SUV a must for enjoyment. To say that Barbados is motorsport crazy is an understatement. During the month leading up to the largest spectator event on the island there us a palpable buzz in the air and wherever you explore people are keen to know if you’re here for the rally. Between events, visitors to the island spend many of their days visiting all corners of Barbados and familiarizing themselves with the stages.  Learning to get around like a local when the roads are closed and the action is moving from stage to stage. Rallying is not the only game in town, however, and there is plenty of track action to be had during the month as well, with scheduled drags and Suzuki Challenge Series racing planned for the Bushy Park Circuit in St. Philip. Just punch in the venue on your GPS and you’re off on your adventure to the east. While you won’t be able to race your rental car, you will be treated to high quality motorsport action between some of the fastest Japanese cars on the island. Stoute’s Car Rental Ltd. is the preferred provider of hired cars, vans and SUV’s for the SOL Rally Barbados and Scotiabank King of the Hill. Teams, support crews and family & friends depend on the ability to be mobile and flexible with their travel throughout the event, and a rental vehicle provides that. If you’ve never experienced high speed road rallying or if you’re a seasoned follower of the rally, you will not be disappointed with your decision to explore Barbados in May while experiencing what has been described as the ‘best rally in the world’. So whether your GPS equipped rental car is programmed with the rally route or you’re just enjoying an island tour or attractions in between, May in Barbados is for you!   
Water sports are the highlight of the sporting calendar for April in Barbados.  Starting with the annual Carifta Swimming Championships over Easter weekend.  This year marks the 30th edition of the championships, with the Barbados Aquatic Centre having the honour of being the host venue selected.  Young men and women from across the Caribbean will converge on the Centre to test their mettle against their peers, in this FINA approved competition. Again this year, Barbados will go into the contest as a favourite with top level swimmers in every age group contested. Swimming in Barbados is big business with visiting clubs and universities, primarily from North America, choosing to seek out the warm water and sunshine of our climate during their winter months.  It’s not only the Aquatic Centre which sees action, but also the calm and inviting Carlisle Bay: home of open water swimming in Barbados. To truly get the most out of your swim vacation, visitors rely on their hired car to allow them the freedom of schedule to maximise their training or supporting. Also happening on the sea in April is the Barbados Game Fishing Association’s annual International Competition.  Based in the North of the island at the luxurious Port St. Charles Marina , ‘The International’ is an integral part of the Barbadian game fishing landscape, as it not only serves as a focal point for the local season, but also as a reunion, of sorts. Friends from all over the Caribbean and beyond gather annually for this opportunity to tell fishing tales to rival those from the last regional tournament and build each other up over the prospect of that huge marlin which no one has been able to land, but has been on the hook repeatedly. Given the geographic location of the marina relative to the main hotel belt on the south coast rental of a car is a must for the landlocked support crew.  Families generally pass the days with lazy days on the beach or tours of the island’s many attractions.  Evenings are a family affair, literally and figuratively, as the fishermen bring the day’s catch to the scales, the stories of the ones that got away are told up and down the dock over communal dinners and light libations with loved ones.  So whether your GPS equipped rental car is looking for the pool or the beach, there’s a water sport adventure waiting for your arrival in April.  
March in Barbados starts with a bang, with the first weekend reserved for the Annual Sandy Lane Gold Cup.  The premiere horse racing event in the Caribbean, sees steeds from the leading Caribbean stables and some extra-regional runners vying for the prestigious Gold Cup.  If you’re in Barbados, it is not to be missed, as the pomp and pageantry is second to none, with a true carnival flair and atmosphere to be mixed with the formal proceedings of the grandstand.  A novel and memorable experience though is really to enjoy the race day from the grounds of the UNESCO Heritage site Garrison Savannah.  Just drive up, early, in your rental car and secure your vantage point for the day. Tailgating is the order of the day and the atmosphere is uniquely West Indian, with new friends made throughout the day.  It is not to be missed. But, about this arctic blast you’ve been experiencing on the eastern seaboard of the United States Barbados is the perfect refuge from a bitter winter as it drags on and on.  Not only for the tropical climate and close proximity to the Eastern US, but also for those seeking amazing waves.  Yes, for each strong cold front which you get on the east coast, we get the resultant north swells which produce epic surf on the East and West coasts of Barbados. The world famous Soup Bowl in Bathsheba on the east coast is the obvious choice for reliable powerful north  Atlantic swells, which attracts the biggest names in surfing including Kelly Slater.  The true Bajan (what we call ourselves) ‘secret’ is the West Coast of the island. Known for its normally tranquil waters, the arrival of a north swell brings with it some of the most perfect surf anywhere in the world, against one of the most gorgeous backdrops.  From Duppies and Maycocks in the north of the island to Batts Rock and Pebbles at the southern end, perfect barrels await the intrepid. Don’t let the scale of the map fool you though, you will need to rent a car to truly make the most out of your surf vacation, as many breaks are located quite a few kilometres apart on the road.  For some of the more remote spots, a 4x4/SUV option is recommended, but not required. Breaks such as Tropicana and Church Point are definitely not for the faint of heart, as the shallow coral reef demands an expert skill level for true enjoyment. The constant tradewinds and sun kissed white sand beaches all contribute to the warmth of your experience in Barbados. Year-round warm water means that wet suits are made redundant and sunscreen and a couple pairs of boardshorts are all you’ll need for your surfari.  Staying on the West Coast is going to be pricey, in season, but with a vehicle you can make the whole island your playground. So load up your car with as many boards at it will carry, and your good friends, and attack the surf. Sign up for lessons or a full blown adventure and tour the island discovering the break to suit your enjoyment level.  We invite you to come for the sun and we’ll provide the fun. Just make sure that you order the GPS option when you collect your car from Stoutes!
The Barbados winter tourist season is the prime opportunity to combine some of your favourite equine pursuits.  The sport of kings kicks off its season with the Annual Boxing Day race programme at the historic Garrison Savannah. Set on the outskirts of the capital city of Bridgetown, ‘The Savannah’ has been home to local horse racing since its introduction to the island in 1845 by the standing British Regiment of the era.  The parade ground became the local race track pitting the best of the Regiment against the Planters from the country and wealthy city merchants. With its spectacular grand and field stands, the facilities at the Garrison Savannah are enjoyed each Saturday of racing during any of the three annual seasons.  However, the true charm of a day at the races in Barbados is to enjoy a picnic around your car on the perimeter of the track while listening to commentary on the radio, Bajan Style. Vendors, selling everything from nuts to snow-cones and everything in between, wending their way through the parked cars and mingling crowd add to the atmosphere and authenticity of your tourist experience. If you prefer your tailgating with posh nosh and exclusive surroundings, then another local favourite equine pursuit is on your vacation agenda: Polo.  Also at the height of its season during the local winter tourist season, polo has been played in Barbados since 1884 and its traditions remain strong to this day, with the island boasting no less than 4 active polo fields! Many visitors will not only want to be mobile to commute to matches, but also to be able to enjoy all the attractions which the island has to offer on those days between polo matches. Local teams play host to many foreign teams from across the polo world. Annual series are anticipated with a fervor usually reserved for the party crowd, mainly because the post-match socials are epic and legendary. It is not unusual to mix it up with celebrities and the odd royal all enjoying the action from the comfort of the clubhouse or just picnicking adjacent to their car on the outskirts of the field.  If the dexterity and speed of horses is your thing, then you’ve come to the right place. Just make sure that you order the GPS option when you collect your car.
Aerial Photo Courtesy of Above Barbados If it is January in Barbados then chances are a wind sport may be on your agenda.  January heralds the start of the sailing season for the year with the annual Mount Gay Round the Island Race Series. It is also the time of year when the windsurfing and kite surfing mecca at Silver Sands comes alive with visitors from the world over looking for the right combination of warm water, reliable steady trade winds and seemingly endless days. Whether you’re following the regatta as it hosts a series of offshore races along the south and west coasts, or your planning a full island expedition on the day of the Round The Island Race, having access to a car is the only way to go. Having the freedom to take in the action from various vantage points, and take advantage of the best locations for close proximity to shore allows the casual enthusiast and the hardcore salty dog to maximize their enjoyment. If you’re here to enjoy a more personal interaction of wind and water, then being mobile is what you are going to be all about during your stay.  With a variety of wind and sea conditions available off of each coast of the island, wind and kite surfers can take their pick of locations for an exciting expedition. While the jump off point is likely going to be centred around the Silver Sands/Silver Rock area, you can be sure that your vacation will not be complete without a spacious car or SUV to meet your needs. In this, the 79th Anniversary year of the Round the Island Race, faster hulls and more skilled crews were able to overcome the lighter than normal wind conditions to set or establish a couple of records in key classes within the fleet.  The staggered start and varied hulls in competition meant that there were close duels to be observed from every vantage point around the Barbados coastline, culminating in close finishes for much of the fleet. While the competitive element may not be there in the windsurfing and kite-surfing scene during January, the friendly rivalry of travelling friends and training professionals makes for memorable vacation experiences for all levels of practitioner.  Daily excursions and nightly jaunts to Oistins and surrounding night spots are the hallmark of the action sports vacation. There are some who reckon that the best way to see Barbados, is to be looking in from just offshore.
Top 10 property safe havens abroad   By Graham Norwood 7.00am GMT 19 Nov 2011   As an economic hurricane rages through traditional destinations in Europe and the US, buyers must look abroad to these top 10 property safe havens.   The euro is in crisis. Stock markets are in freefall. Two prime ministers have been sacked. Italian debt is at record levels, and Spain faces an early election tomorrow. Across the pond, America’s annual budget deficit is measured in trillions. One by one the traditional destinations for British house-hunters are becoming badlands. Rather than stay in the quagmire, it’s time for buyers to seek new pastures. There are always safe havens if you look hard enough. Even when buying outside the eurozone and the United States, the best tactic is still to purchase more expensive homes in prime locations. This means you will see the best the country has to offer, and your investment stands a better chance of securing good returns. Even at the top end, though, you have to be selective. Here is our guide to where, what and why to buy overseas to minimise your risk. 1 Canada The US housing market is in intensive care. One-in-four homes is in negative equity and mortgage foreclosures are rising. But across the border in Canada, the story is very different. The Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation predicts sales and prices will rise by up to five per cent next year. Brits tend to prefer Eastern Canada, because it is only five to seven hours’ flight from the UK, and has plentiful leisure and ski resorts around Newfoundland and Quebec. The country has a French-style buying process. A notary carries out conveyancing, and transaction costs are often 15 per cent of the price. You pay 25 per cent capital gains tax when you sell but, unlike the rest of North America, Canada is still seeing capital gains. Because space is plentiful, the choice is vast. There are ski chalets in Mont Tremblant, Quebec, for as little as £200,000, while timber lodges in parts of the Rockies can be even less. Websites such as list private sales of cabins at modest prices. More flamboyant buyers may prefer Nova Scotia’s spectacular coastline. For sale A nine-acre estate with a huge four-bedroom house at Chester, Nova Scotia, is £2.1m (Tradewinds Realty, 020 7467 5330; Insider tip Offers are normally made in writing, accompanied by a deposit, so can be hard to withdraw.   2 Hong Kong Crowded, flooded by neon lights over street markets and overlooked by sumptuous tower blocks for expats in the hills. The local housing market is booming, because it is no longer reliant just on foreign buyers. Chinese mainland purchasers now account for a third of all deals. One-bedroom flats go from £200,000 upwards but even so, demand for homes outstrips supply by 20 per cent, according to the Hong Kong Housing Authority. Similarly, Savills says house prices have risen 11 per cent in the past year and about 80 per cent since mid-2005. Yet experts insist this is sustainable. “Given the continual support from mainland buyers and the limited supply of homes – especially high-end ones – we expect prices and rents to grow steadily,” says Knight Frank’s HK representative, Colin Fitzgerland. For sale Azura is a typical high-end new development where four-bedroom apartments, with open-plan kitchens and living areas as well as staff accommodation, start at £3.2m (Jones Lang LaSalle, 00852 2846 5802; Insider tip Best-value areas are Southside, The Peak, Discovery Bay and Kowloon.   3 Switzerland Knight Frank says 12 per cent of buyers here are from the UK, with Russia, Germany, France and Asia close behind. They come for three reasons: to improve their skiing, for their tax status and for stable house prices. Though there were falls of 15 per cent in French-speaking parts of Switzerland in 2008, prices have been stable since. But only some locations, such as Vaud and Valais, permit overseas purchasers and prices can be high. “Montreux, on Lake Geneva in Vaud canton, continues to defy the market conditions of its neighbours,” says Alexander Koch de Gooreynd of Knight Frank. “It’s one of the few lakeside locations in Switzerland with permission for foreigners to buy as a secondary residence.” It also hosts a world-famous annual jazz festival. For sale Two two-bedroom apartments in Clarens, complete with pool house, are for sale jointly for £3.2m (Knight Frank, 020 7629 8171; Insider tip Each canton has different rules regarding maximum sizes of homes foreign purchasers can buy, so do your research.   4 Mauritius Long a favourite with holidaymakers, this island is now open to foreign buyers for the first time thanks to a new scheme to encourage investment. Most people would be happy enjoying the watersports, unspoilt beaches and charming villages that dot this Indian Ocean idyll, but now there are financial perks too. If you pay £310,000 or more for a villa or apartment in a designated coastal zone, you will also have the right to become a Mauritian resident, and enjoy low levels of personal and business tax. “The political situation is strong,” says Maribeth Davies of Hamptons International. “And the economy has grown at an average of 4 per cent a year for the past eight years.” One new designated scheme is Azuri, a beachfront complex with 169 homes for foreigners and 100 for wealthy locals. Properties come with parking, boat moorings, golf membership and access to swimming pools. For sale Prices start at £311,000 for a three-bedroom apartment and go up to £497,500 for a four-bedroom apartment at the Azuri development. Hamptons International (020 7963 0614; For details of the government foreign ownership scheme, IRS, see Insider tip Island transport is slow, so buy near Port Louis, the capital of Mauritius.   5 Gibraltar Little wonder Spain wants to govern Gibraltar. This tiny British colony, still reminiscent of a sunny Sixties Saturday in Surrey, is a haven of stability compared to its mainland neighbour. Better yet, the Rock has no VAT, no capital gains or inheritance tax and relatively low income tax. As well as financial services, shipping and tourism, its economy is geared to telecoms and internet gaming. The latter is a growing sector, that now accounts for 11 per cent of gross domestic product. Buying in Gibraltar is easy, but there are eccentricities. You pay a 2 per cent deposit when you exchange contracts. Many homes are flats, so you should budget for service charges too. Some older houses are freehold, but most homes are leasehold. Do not expect open space. Gibraltar’s tiny size and 30,000 permanent residents put it among the world’s most crowded locations. For sale For a taste of luxury, try the Grand Ocean Plaza in the Ocean Village marina, a complex with seven pools, tropical gardens, a health club, casino and shopping mall. A two-bedroom, two-bathroom apartment here costs £424,000 (; 00350 200 400 48). Insider tip Gibraltar has complicated stamp duty rules, varying from zero to 5.5 per cent of the purchase price.   6 South Africa This is a country like no other. Beyond its cities lies endless countryside with vast open plains, unspoilt villages and a burgeoning wine culture. All in the glow of a wonderful year-round climate. The country is also a natural destination for Britons. Cape Town is only two hours ahead of London, and everyone speaks English. To make it even more attractive, house prices are low by global standards. One-bedroom apartments in Cape Town can cost just £60,000 and a three-bedroom house is £200,000. What’s more, local agents say South Africa’s economy has avoided European and North American volatility. “It’s seen as a safe haven due to exchange control regulations. Cape Town and its environs are the most popular areas for Britons,” explains Lanice Steward of South African estate agency Anne Porter Associates. For sale A three-bedroom house on Oakwood Estate at Hout Bay, a Cape Town coastal suburb, shows why the country is so popular. It is in a gated development, has a pool, three bathrooms and plenty of parking. Yet is only £333,600 (Anne Porter Associates, 0027 21790 8897; Insider tip Crime remains high, but most Britons buy in gated estates with private security systems.   7 Barbados Barbados retains an aura of prestige and a reputation as a safe haven. This is because its legal and political systems are similar to Britain’s. There are daily international flights from the UK, Canada and the US, so tourism and rental rates are high for holiday homeowners wanting to earn a living from their investment. Overseas buyers are welcome, and there is no capital gains tax. Mortgage availability, even for foreigners, remains good. John Morphet owns the Royal Westmoreland resort, where British sports stars including Wayne Rooney, Joe Calzaghe and Rio Ferdinand have villas. He says: “There’s been some discounting of property, up to 25 per cent, but on the west coast this hasn’t really been the case. The market for individual beachfront villas and constructed properties on gated communities has remained strong. Purchasers are more risk-averse, so prefer to buy somewhere built rather than off-plan.” Prices are not cheap. Two-bedroom homes can cost £400,000 or more on the west coast, but properties are truly spectacular. For sale A four-bedroom, four-bathroom high-elevation villa at Windfall golf development on the west coast. The property has a stone and marble interior, terraces and outdoor dining areas. There is also the mandatory swimming pool (£1.84m, Savills, 020 7016 3740; Insider tip Some homes take years to sell. If you hear that a property has been on the market for a while, bargain hard.   8 St Lucia This Caribbean island has long been popular with Britons, even though its roads are poor and some areas can be crowded with owners and cruise ship visitors. There are rugged mountains, rainforests and coral reefs. Barbados, but with lower prices. Many Britons buy by setting up a company (an estate agent will help you), which eases tax payments. Most popular is the north-west area of the island, especially close to Rodney Bay, where more than 20 developments are underway. It’s hectic, but it means the infrastructure is improving thanks to the arrival of swish hotels and better transport links. In any case, there are plenty of quieter areas too. For sale The Six Senses International leisure resort chain has recently opened Freedom Bay, and buyers can use hotel facilities. One and two-bedroom villas cost £660,000 to £975,000 (020 7959 2393, Insider tip Castries, the capital, is the most popular location for cruise-ship tourists and is therefore the most crowded part of the island.   9 Kenya Emerging holiday home locations are few and far between, but Kenya is seeing “consistent growth,” according to Bob Woodhams of Knight Frank, despite the financial crisis and fears of terrorism. There is a 40-plus week tourist season in parts of the country, making this an attractive buy for those wanting rental income. Most land is government-owned, so foreigners buy on pre-built resorts, many of which have a mix of beachfront and interior wildlife. Respected British estate agency brands such as Aylesford ( are becoming more common and will guide you through the buying process. For sale Medina Palms is a new development of 50 beachfront villas and apartments at Watamu in a scheme that has a 24-hour reception and extensive private security. Flats start at £195,000 and four-bedroom villas at £452,000. (Knight Frank, 020 7629 8171; Insider tip Most homes in resorts have small gardens, but owners have use of vast, private and secure estates.   10 The Cayman Islands The Caymans are home to more than 200 banks and expats from 100 countries. They also boast the world’s 14th highest GDP per capita, and the highest standard of living in the Caribbean. The country has the confidence of many from around the globe. Little Cayman (10 miles by one mile, population 150) and Cayman Brac (11 miles by two miles, population 1,800) are relatively untouched. Grand Cayman is bigger and blingier, attracting tax haven lovers as well as those who want sandy beaches and sun. Flights are plentiful, and it’s easy to hop over to neighbouring Jamaica and Cuba. Some apartments, like those at the Riviera Grand Cayman scheme at South Sound, cost just £110,000 (, but foreigners are charged six per cent stamp duty. Yet there is no other property tax. For sale Knight Frank is selling a Grand Cayman villa some 30ft above the sea for £1.2m (020 7629 8171; Insider tip Many foreigners buy land and build their own homes, but imported construction materials attract up to 22 per cent tax.  
  World's 50 best beaches   When sea meets sand, beautiful things can happen By CNNGo staff 17 October, 2011 4:00PM BST 15 Sep 201   Bottom Bay - Barbados   One of the few beautiful beaches in Barbados that has escaped development overkill, Bottom Bay is enclosed by high coral cliffs, making it an almost undiscovered pocket of paradise.    All the colors of a tropical vacation mix and merge on this curve of shoreline -- incandescent white sands, verdant green vegetation and various blue hues of sea and sky.  The waves can be fierce, but it's a great spot for a sandy picnic. Turtles and whales can sometimes be spotted from the tops of the cliffs overlooking the ocean.  Most resorts and hotels provide shuttle transportation to and from the airport, and around the island to beaches and other tourist hot spots. Read more: World's 50 best beaches |   There are so many beautiful beaches on our little island. An easy way to find your way around is by renting one of our GPS Nav Units. This can be done on our reservation page (under Additional Options).
Barbados produced the worlds oldest rum under the Mount Gay label

 The whistling frogs that you hear at night give birth to live young, not tadpoles as with normal frogs. 

 It was the only holiday destination in the world with a scheduled Concord service – up to four flights a week in the winter season As a visitor traveling to Barbados you will need a valid passport to enter and leave the island via Bridgetown Port or Sir Grantley Adams International Airport. The furry little creatures that run out in front of your hire car as you travel the country roads of Barbados are mongooses. 

Originally they were brought to the island from India to control the rat population in the cane fields. 

Being nocturnal, the rats never came into contact with the mongooses  – instead they demolished the snake population who actually did eat the rats. 
 Barbados has the third oldest Parliament in the Commonwealth. Barbados highest point is 1,100 ft above sea level. The first aircraft in Barbados was brought over by ship to Bridgetown, assembled and then flown from the Garrison Savannah in 1913. The oldest Church in Barbados is St. James Parish Church in the parish of St. James. Barbados is the only island in the Caribbean that has daily flights to United States, Canada, and England. Is the birthplace of Rihanna, who moved from Barbados to the United States at the age of sixteen to pursue her music career. 
  Was chosen by Tiger Woods as the location for his wedding in 2004. 
  The name 'Barbados' is derived from the Bearded Fig Trees once found in abundance on the island.  Has never been successfully invaded by a foreign power. 
  When first settled in 1625, was found to be almost totally covered in dense jungle, with a very large population of wild pigs. 
 The English first colonists arrived on the Island on February 17, 1627. The ship landed at site now called Holetown with 80 colonists and 10 African slaves. Britain ruled over Barbados until it gained its independence on the 30th of November 1966. The national flower is the Pride of Barbados or Caesalpinia Pulcherrima, which grows all over the island. Barbados is 166 square miles in size and is divided into 11 different parishes. Barbados has over 3000 hours of sunshine a year and the average daytime temperature is between 29-31degrees Celsius. The time difference in Barbados is 4 hours behind GMT in the winter and 5 hours in the summer, 1 hour ahead of US Eastern Standard Time in the winter and the same during US Daylight Saving Time. Barbados is only 434 Kilometers northeast of the South American country of Venezuela. Its closest neighbours are St Lucia and St Vincent and the Grenadines to the west, Grenada to the southwest and Trinidad and Tobago to the south. Barbados is the most easterly island in the Caribbean and is considered part of the Lesser Antilles. Taxi fares in Barbados are not metered; fares are actually set between certain points. It goes without saying to always ask how much before you get into a taxi. The legal drinking age for alcohol in Barbados is 18.
Roundabouts are designed to make intersections safer and more efficient for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists. As Roundabouts are an integral part of the traffic system in Barbados, it is important to understand how to use them safely. There are a few things to remember about driving Roundabouts Yield to drivers in the Roundabout Stay in your lane; do not change lanes Do not stop in the Roundabout Avoid driving next to oversize vehicles For further driving instructions, please review the information below. 

 What side do I drive on?  
Firstly, please note that as a former British colony, driving in Barbados is based on the British system - that is to say 'PLEASE drive on the left!' The steering wheel of most vehicles is positioned on the right hand side of the vehicle. 

 How many lanes? 
 Roundabouts in Barbados have two lanes: 

(1) The Outside Lane (left most lane): is generally used by those vehicles wishing to exit at the first left exit road. 
(2) The Inside Lane: is used by those vehicles wishing to exit at the second or third exit road. 

Please note some drivers also use the outside lane to access the second exit, while this is not a recommended practice, it is important to exercise caution when using roundabouts. 

 Flow of Traffic and Navigating Roundabouts  
All traffic flows around roundabouts in a clockwise direction. Once you have selected your lane, watch for pedestrians in the crosswalk as you approach the roundabout. Look right and wait for a break in traffic before merging with the oncoming vehicles. Remember, in a multi-lane roundabout, you must yield to both lanes of traffic. Leave the circle by using your indicator and turn left onto the road of your choice. If there is no traffic in the roundabout, you may enter without yielding. 

Each Roundabout in Barbados has signage. Some Roundabouts have been honoured with the name of a prominent Barbadian. These signs therefore assist drivers with navigation of the island and are also a medium through which public recognition and island pride are shown for individuals who have made a positive contribution to the development of the island.  If you are unsure or have any questions about driving in Barbados, please remember to ask our car hire representative when collecting your hire car.

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Kirtons, St. Philip, BB18054, Barbados, West Indies.