See the Department of State’s Fact Sheet on Barbados for information on U.S. - Barbados relations.
Passports and visa: U.S. citizens must have a valid U.S. passport to enter Barbados. No visa is needed to enter Barbados for stays up to 6 months.
NOTE: Be aware that Caribbean cruises that begin and end in the United States (closed loop cruises) do not require that you travel with a valid passport. However, should you need to disembark due to an emergency and you do not have a valid passport, you may encounter difficulties entering or remaining in a foreign country. You may also have difficulty attempting to re-enter the United States by air because many airlines will require a valid passport before allowing you to board the aircraft. As such, we strongly recommend that you always travel abroad with your valid passport.
HIV/AIDS: Some HIV/AIDS entry restrictions exist for visitors to and foreign residents of Barbados. Please contact the Embassy of Barbados before you travel at:
2144 Wyoming Avenue N.W.
Washington, DC 20008
(202) 939-9200 through 9202
Crime: Crime in Barbados is characterized primarily by petty theft and street crime. Incidents of violent crime, including rape and armed robbery, do occur. Do not leave valuables unattended in public areas,unsecured hotel rooms or in rental homes.
The U.S. Embassy has directed its staff to avoid the following areas at all times: Crab Hill, St. Lucy and The Ivy, St Michael. The Embassy has also directed its staff to avoid three additional areas at night: Nelson Street, Wellington Street, and Jolly Rogers Cruises. The Embassy has advised its staff to exercise extreme caution in the following areas: New Orleans, Deacons, Black Rock, Pine, Carrington Village, and Green Fields.
Don’t buy counterfeit and pirated goods. These are illegal in the United States, and you may also be breaking local law.
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.
See the Department of State and the FBI pages for information on scams.
Remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.
See our webpage on help for U.S. victims of crime overseas.
Domestic Violence: U.S. citizen victims of domestic violence may contact the Embassy for assistance at (246) 227-4000.
For further information:
Watersports Advisory: You should carefully assess the potential risks inherent in recreational water activities and measure your participation in them against 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 traffic in the area. When in doubt, stay out!
Criminal Penalties: If you violate local laws, even unknowingly, you may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned.
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, request that the police or prison officials notify the U.S. Embassy immediately. See our webpage for further information.
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. Also, be aware that it is against the law, even for children, to dress in camouflage clothing or carry items made with camouflage material.
Firearms: Firearms entry restrictions may exist. Please contact the Embassy of Barbados before you travel.
Faith-Based Travelers: See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report.
LGBTI Travelers: Although rarely enforced, the law criminalizes consensual same-sex sexual activity between adults with penalties of up to life imprisonment No laws prohibit discrimination against a person on the basis of real or perceived sexual orientation in employment, housing, education, or health care. Activists reported that stigma against LGBT persons persists. Activists reported few violent incidents but suggested that social stigma and fear of retribution or reprisal due to their sexual orientation rendered the problem underreported.
Anecdotal evidence suggested LGBT persons faced discrimination in employment, housing, and access to education and health care. Activists suggested that while many individuals lived open LGBT lifestyles, disapprobation by police officers and societal discrimination against LGBT persons occurred.
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 disabilities. 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 for disabled persons.
The Town and Country Planning Department set provisions for all public buildings to include accessibility to persons with disabilities. As a result, many new buildings have ramps, reserved parking, and special sanitary facilities for such persons.
Students: See our Students Abroad page and FBI travel tips.
Women Travelers: See our travel tips for Women Travelers
We do not pay medical bills. Be aware that U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs do not apply overseas and that doctors and hospital will expect immediate cash payment for health services.
Medical Insurance: Make sure your health insurance plan provides coverage overseas. We strongly recommend supplemental insurance to cover medical evacuation.
See our webpage for more information on insurance providers for overseas coverage.
The main medical facility in Barbados is Queen Elizabeth Hospital. 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.
Chikungunya dengue fever, and the zika virus are all present on the island. Travelers should carry and use CDC recommended insect repellents.
Zika Virus: Zika virus is a mosquito-borne illness that can be spread from a pregnant woman to her unborn baby as well as through sexual contact. The CDC has concluded that the Zika virus is a cause of microcephaly and other severe fetal brain defects in some fetuses and babies born to infected mothers. For additional information about Zika, including travel advisories, visit the CDC website.
Carry prescription medication in original packaging, along with your doctor’s prescription.
Vaccinations: Be up-to-date on all vaccinations recommended by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Further health information:
Road Conditions and Safety. Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information.
Traffic Laws: Driving in Barbados 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. Drivers in Barbados are extremely courteous to pedestrians and will usually stop anywhere for anyone attempting to cross a road. A stopped vehicle, whether travelling in the same or the opposite direction, might indicate that pedestrians are crossing and you should exercise caution.
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. Travelers are cautioned against riding in private mini-buses, known as “Z buses,” as the owners frequently drive erratically.
See our Road Safety page for more information. Visit the website of the country’s national tourist office and national authority responsible for road safety.
Aviation Safety Oversight:
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has assessed the government of Barbados’s Civil Aviation Authority as not being in compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards for oversight of Barbados’s air carrier operations. Further information may be found on the FAA’s safety assessment page.