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Travel Security Advice for Barbados





Barbados is an independent Caribbean island nation with a developed economy. The capital is Bridgetown. Facilities for tourism are widely available. The U.S. Embassy in Barbados has consular responsibility for Antigua and Barbuda, Dominica, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, as well as the British dependent territories of Anguilla, British Virgin Islands and Montserrat, and the French islands of Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Barthélemy and St. Martin. Read the Department of State Department of State Background Notes on Barbados for additional information.


Americans living or traveling in Barbados are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy through the State Department's travel registration website, and to obtain updated information on travel and security within Barbados. Americans without Internet access may register directly with the U.S. Embassy.  By registering, American citizens make it easier for the Embassy to contact them in case of emergency.  The U.S. Embassy is located in the Wildey Business Park in suburban Wildey, south and east of downtown Bridgetown.  The main number for the Consular Section is (246) 227-4399; after hours, the Embassy duty officer can be reached by calling (246) 227-4000.  The website for Embassy Bridgetown is http://barbados.usembassy.gov/.  Hours of operation are 8:00 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, except Barbados and U.S. holidays.


The Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004 requires all travelers to and from the Caribbean, Bermuda, Panama, Mexico and Canada to have a valid passport to enter or re-enter the United States.  U.S. citizens must have a valid U.S. passport for all air travel, including to and from Mexico. All sea travelers must also now have a passport or passport card.  We strongly encourage all American citizen travelers to apply for a U.S. passport or passport card well in advance of anticipated travel.  American citizens can visit travel.state.gov or call 1-877-4USA-PPT (1-877-487-2778) for information on how to apply for their passports.

U.S. citizens must have a valid U.S. passport to enter Barbados.  No visa is needed to enter Barbados for stays up to 28 days.  For further information, travelers may contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , 2144 Wyoming Avenue, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20008, telephone (202) 939-9200, fax (202) 332-7467, Internet e-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; or the consulates of Barbados in Los Angeles, Miami or New York.

Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our web site.  For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information sheet.


For the latest security information, Americans traveling abroad should regularly monitor the Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs’ website at http://travel.state.gov/, where the current Travel Warnings and Public Announcements, including the Worldwide Caution, can be found.

Up-to-date information on safety and security can also be obtained by calling 1-888-407-4747 toll free in the U.S. and Canada, or for callers outside the U.S. and Canada, a regular toll-line at 1-202-501-4444.  These numbers are available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays).

The Department of State urges American citizens to take responsibility for their own personal security while traveling overseas.  For general information about appropriate measures travelers can take to protect themselves in an overseas environment, see the Department of State’s A Safe Trip Abroad.


Crime in Barbados is characterized primarily by petty theft and street crime.  Incidents of violent crime, including rape, do occur.  Visitors should be especially vigilant on the beaches at night.  Recently tourists have been targeted during daylight hours on isolated beaches such as Long Beach, Christ Church and Maycocks Beach, St. Lucy.  Visitors should avoid these beaches or exercise caution if visiting these and other isolated beaches alone or in small groups.  Visitors should always secure valuables in a hotel safe, and should always lock and secure hotel room and rental home doors and windows.


The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to the local police and the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.  If you are the victim of a crime while overseas, in addition to reporting to local police, please contact the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate for assistance.  The Embassy/Consulate staff can, for example, assist you to find appropriate medical care, contact family members or friends and explain how funds could be transferred.  Although the investigation and prosecution of the crime is solely the responsibility of local authorities, consular officers can help you to understand the local criminal justice process and to find an attorney if needed.

The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in Barbados are:  Fire: 311, Police: 211, Ambulance: 511.

See our information on Victims of Crime.


The main medical facility in Barbados is Queen Elizabeth HospitalMedical care is generally good, but medical transport can take hours to respond and ambulance attendants are prohibited from applying lifesaving techniques during transport. Minor problems requiring a visit to the emergency room can involve a wait of several hours; private clinics and physicians offer speedier service.  Serious medical problems requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United States can cost thousands of dollars.  Doctors and hospitals expect immediate cash payment for health services, and U.S. medical insurance is not always valid outside the United States.  U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not provide payment for medical services outside the United States.

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

For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad consult the World Health Organization’s (WHO) web siteFurther health information for travelers is available from the WHO.


The Department of State strongly urges Americans to consult with their medical insurance company prior to traveling abroad to confirm whether their policy applies overseas and whether it will cover emergency expenses such as a medical evacuation.  Please see our information on medical insurance overseas.


While in a foreign country, U.S. citizens may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States.  The information below concerning Barbados is provided for general reference only, and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

Driving in Barbados is on the left-hand side of the road.  Registered taxis and large public buses are generally safe.  Private vans and small buses are often crowded and tend to travel at excessive speeds.  Travelers are cautioned against riding in private mini-buses, known as “Z buses”, as the owners frequently drive erratically.  Night driving should be done with caution because of narrow roads with no shoulders and pedestrian/bicycle traffic.  Visitors are warned to be extremely careful when driving, riding in a vehicle, or crossing roads on foot.

Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information.  Visit the website of the country’s national tourist office and national authority responsible for road safety.


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’ Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards.  For more information, travelers may visit the FAA’s web site.


All Caribbean countries can be affected by hurricanes.  The hurricane season normally runs from June to the end of November, but there have been hurricanes in December in recent years. General information about natural disaster preparedness is available via the Internet from the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) .  Please see our Customs Information.


While in a foreign country, a U.S. citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States and may not afford the protections available to the individual under U.S. law.  Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe than in the United States for similar offenses.  Persons violating Barbados laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested or imprisoned.  Penalties for possession, use, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Barbados are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines.  Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime, prosecutable in the United States.  Please see our information on Criminal Penalties.


For information see our Office of Children’s Issues web pages on intercountry adoption and international parental child abduction.

This replaces the Country Specific Information for Barbados dated January 31, 2008, to update sections on Entry/Exit Requirements, Crime, Medical Facilities and Health Information.


The Foreign & Commonwealth Office also has advice on Barbados HERE....

Looking for an Embassy ?, You can check out our World Wide Embassy Listings Section HERE (For US Citizens) or HERE (For UK Citizens)........


The SW Team.......


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