Currency: The local currency is the Bajan dollar, but US dollars are accepted in almost all shops and restaurants. The exchange rate is fixed at 1.98 Bajan dollars to the US dollar but almost everyone uses US$1 = BD$2. Keep in mind that exchangers in hotels may insist on taking an additional percentage of the exchange (typically 5%).
Climate: Tropical; rainy season (June to October)
Average Temperatures throughout the Day
|January||78.0° F||81.3° F||81.5° F||79.2° F||76.6° F||77.9° F|
|February||78.0° F||81.4° F||81.6° F||79.4° F||76.5° F||78.0° F|
|March||78.8° F||82.3° F||82.5° F||80.0° F||77.2° F||78.7° F|
|April||80.3° F||83.2° F||83.4° F||80.9° F||78.4° F||79.8° F|
|May||81.6° F||84.4° F||84.4° F||82.0° F||79.9° F||81.2° F|
|June||81.9° F||84.4° F||84.6° F||82.2° F||80.4° F||81.6° F|
|July||81.6° F||84.2° F||84.5° F||82.2° F||80.3° F||81.4° F|
|August||82.1° F||84.7° F||84.8° F||82.6° F||80.4° F||81.7° F|
|September||82.2° F||84.9° F||84.9° F||82.6° F||80.4° F||81.6° F|
|October||81.7° F||84.3° F||84.3° F||81.7° F||80.0° F||81.2° F|
|November||81.0° F||83.6° F||83.3° F||80.8° F||79.3° F||80.5° F|
|December||79.2° F||82.2° F||82.2° F||79.6° F||77.5° F||78.9° F|
|Annual||80.5° F||83.4° F||83.5° F||81.1° F||78.9° F||80.2° F|
Water Temperature: Water temperature in Barbados averages 78 degrees F (25 degrees C) year-round and water clarity is excellent.
Language: The official language they speak in Barbados is English, however, Bajan is a recognized regional language also spoken.
Dive Landscape: The fringes and reefs found off Barbados blossom with healthy sponges, coral and plant life. There are several types of reefs, each one unique in its own special way.
The barrier reefs, located 1/2 – 2 miles from shore contain large coral heads which form the habitat for thousands of beautiful fish and are perfect for snorkeling. Larger organisms are also found on these reefs, feeding on the smaller fish. The Hawksbill turtle can also be found on these reefs.
Fringes and patching reefs are found closer to shore and have smaller coral formations and more abundant plant life then the barrier reefs. These reefs are home to Sea Horses, Frog Fish, Giant Sand Eels and many other marine creatures.
Wrecks form fascinating habitats for marine life and Barbados has several excellent sites for wreck diving. Carlisle Bay, with 200 reported wrecks, and the Stavronikita, located at Folkestone Marine Park, are two of the most popular sites.
Barbados is ideal for year-round diving but is probably best in the summer months. The visibility ranges from 40 to 70ft and the water temperature is a consistent 80 degrees F.
Signature Dive Sites:
Carlisle Bay Marine Park:
The beautiful marine park features six (6) wrecks that are visited on the same dive. An excellent dive for beginners, re-entry divers, photographers and the site of choice for night dives. Lots of tropical fish and marine life are concentrated on these wrecks. Frog Fish, Sea Horses and various popularly elusive marine critters are spotted often. Lots of old anchors and cannon litter the bottom.
BERWIND: Carlisle Bay ~ 25′
A 70ft long World War French Tug boat sunk in 1919.
CE-TREK: Carlisle Bay ~ 45′
The Ce-Trek, a derelict boat constructed of cement was sunk in January 1986 and has attracted lots of marine life.
EILLON: Carlisle Bay ~ 55′
An 110ft freighter sunk 8th June, 1996 to form part of Carlisle Bay Marine Park . The ship was a former drug boat, and was tied up for 6 years. The wreck is easily accessible for penetration.
BAJAN QUEEN: Carlisle Bay ~ 40′
She was Barbados ‘ first tug boat ‘Pelican’ when the Bridgetown Harbor was being constructed in the 1960′s. One decade later, as more modern tugboats were purchased; the Bajan Queen was converted into a ‘Party Boat’ which holds many memories for thousands of Barbadians. She was sunk on 19th May, 2002 . She is already started to become a home to many tropical fish.
CORNWALLIS: Carlisle Bay ~ 15′
A Canadian freighter sunk by a torpedo from a German U-boat during World War II. This wreck was relocated to this Marine Reserve on 22 October 2000 because it was lying in a high traffic area and was suffering anchor damage.
BARGE: Carlisle Bay ~ 10′
A Naval Landing Barge found in Carlisle Bay.
OLD FORT: Off Needhams Point ~ 30′ – 90′
Shallow barrier reef, lots of small fish life, cannon balls and antique bottles found on this reef. A drift dive.
HAROON’S DEEP: (Formerly The Deep) Break off from Castle Bank ~ 60′ – 130′
Deep reef dive, lots of fish life, good photography and a good drift dive.
Through the Barbados Divers Association, this site was officially renamed in memory of Haroon Degia.
LOBSTER REEF: Off Drill Hall ~ 30′ – 80′
Inner reef, can be done in combination with Friar’s Craig as a drift dive, good marine life, occasional sightings of stingrays.
FRIAR’S CRAIG: Off Asta Hotel ~ 30′ – 90′
A 170ft freighter sunk 2nd July, 1985 after 10 years at anchor in Carlisle Bay . Lots of bottom growth, has broken into three (3) pieces due to a lot of surge.
ASTA REEF: This reef is done as a combination dive with Friar’s Craig. Lots of marine life including snappers, barracudas, angel fish & stingrays, great for photography.
CASTLE BANK: Off Drill Hall ~ 50′ – 120′
Barrier reef slow drop off either side of the reef, great for macro photography (lots of Barracuda).
CARLENES: Off Coconut Court ~ 80′ – 100′
On this drift dive you usually see turtles, barracudas with lots of marine life.
FORK REEF: Off Hastings ~ 60′ – 120′
Barrier reef, drop off on both sides of the reef, lots of barracudas, snapper and cavalea.
PIECES OF EIGHT: Hastings ~ 40′ – 60′
Lots of fish (snappers, small groupers and parrot fish) and marine life. This is an excellent drift dive and good for photography.
ACCRA: Off Rockley Beach ~ 20′ – 60′
Shallow reef dive good for novice divers and photographers. Regular sightings of large schools of Bermuda Chubs on this dive.
CARIBBEE REEF: Off Caribbee Hotel ~ 60′ – 120′
Barrier reef great dive for all types of photography, lots of marine life. A drift dive.
BOOT: Off Sandy Beach ~ 40′ – 80′
Nice drift dive, lots of turtles to be seen on this dive, regular sightings of Eagle Rays. Good marine life, small derelict Coast Guard boat sunk here.
THE MUFF: Off Worthing ~ 60′ – 130′
Virgin reef, great fish life (horse-eyes, blackjacks and barracudas) excellent for photography. Home of the famous sponge.
MOUNT CHARLIE: Off Dover ~ 70′ – 120′
Deep reef dive, outer barrier reef, lots of marine life, turtles, snapper, horseye, and barracuda. An excellent dive for photography.
HIGHWIRE: Off Dover ~ 70′ – 120′
This reef is between Mount Charlie and Close Encounters. There are underwater cables that are suspended over this reef. Plenty of small creatures can be found good location for photography.
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS: Off Dover ~ 40′ – 80′
Inner reef that is good for feeding fish and interacting with stingrays, lots of marine life. This reef also has underwater cables passing over it.
BOTTLE GROUND: Carlisle Bay ~ 45′ – 100′
This area was anchorage for wooden sailing vessels and the bottom is littered in 18th & 19th century bottles. You get to keep what you find. Lots of interesting marine life can be found here.
CLARKES BANK: Off Brighton Beach ~ 30′ – 130′
Good dive site, lots of horse-eye, eels & barracudas. Location of the Atlantis Submarine Dives, you may even get to see the Submarine on some dives.
STAVRONIKITA: Off Fitts Village ~ 25′ – 130′
This 365ft long wreck is considered to be an advanced dive due to the depth. Sunk on 22nd November 1978 in a Marine Reserve. Easy access to interior through cut out areas. Great for photography, maximum depth is usually 100′ on this dive. Resident barracudas, eels & snappers.
PAYNES BAY: Off Fitts Village ~ 30′ – 50′
Shallow patch reef, good for novices. This reef has big coral heads, lots of small tropical fish, usually done after Victors or Stavronikita as a second dive.
VICTORS: Off Fitts Village ~ 50′ – 120′
This reef is located on the outer side of the Stavronikita. One of the more underrated reefs in Barbados not dived on very often. Soft and hard corals combine to make this site very different.
DOTTINS: Off Holetown ~ 40′ – 100′
This is a very popular reef, it has beautiful corals, barracuda, bar jacks, yellowtails and turtles can be found regularly on this dive. You can dive this site on more than one occasion and not be tired of it. One of the more popular of the dive sites on the west coast.
SANDY LANE: Off Sandy Lane Hotel ~ 70′ – 140′
Barracuda and other small tropical fish are found on this reef. Lobsters can also be found but they are usually hiding in the reef.
JOHNSONS: Off Paynes Bay ~ 70′ – 80′
A typical west coast reef, well worth a dive as the corals remain as beautiful as ever harboring all the small reef creatures often missed when you are concentrating on not missing bigger fish. Abundant with soft corals, barrel sponges, tube sponges, and a large variety of schooling tropical fish, barracudas, turtles, parrot fish, and much more. Very consistent conditions make this a popular dive site.
EAST COAST: Consett Bay to Bathsheba ~ 30′ – 130′
On the Atlantic side of the island, there are about ten (10) different sites available depending on the weather conditions as seas are usually rough. Best times are in the summer months. Plenty of big fish including sharks can be seen here.