Barbados is busiest in the high season, which extends from December 15 through April 15. Off-season hotel rates can be half of those charged during the busy period. During the high season, too, a few hotels may require you to buy a meal plan, which is usually not required in the low season. As noted in the listings, some hotels close in September and October, the slowest months of the off-season, for annual maintenance and renovations. Some restaurants may close for brief periods within that time frame, as well.

Festivals and Events

In mid-January the Barbados Jazz Festival is a weeklong event jammed with performances by international artists, jazz legends, and local talent.

In February the weeklong Holetown Festival is held at the fairgrounds to commemorate the date in 1627 when the first European settlers arrived in Barbados.

Holders Season, held the last two weeks in March, is an annual performing arts festival (opera, theater, and concerts) hosted at Holders, a traditional 17th-century plantation house.

In April, Reggae Music Festival performances draw huge crowds to Kensington Oval, Farley Park, and other venues.

Gospelfest occurs in May and hosts performances by gospel headliners from around the world.

Dating from the 19th century, Crop Over, a monthlong festival similar to Carnival that begins in July and ends on Kadooment Day (a national holiday), marks the end of the sugarcane harvest.

In mid-November, the annual Food, Wine & Rum Festival attracts international chefs, wine experts, and local rum ambassadors who provide demonstrations and tastings at some of the island’s most exciting venues.