Tips on Barbados Warnings or Dangers – Stay Safe!

Barbados Warnings and Dangers

Barbados is a Caribbean island notable for its beautiful beaches and great surfing conditions. Take a look at some of the dangers that you should be aware of when visiting the island.

Manchineel Trees

Manchineel trees are native trees that are important to the island of Barbados. They have long, strong root systems that help protect the island’s beaches from erosion. However, they’re also extremely dangerous. The trees produce small green apple-like fruits that are highly toxic and can cause death if ingested. When burned, the bark of the tree produces a smoke that causes blindness. The tree sap causes blisters and burns on the skin. Even standing underneath one of these trees when it rains can lead to dangerous burns.

Your best bet is to be aware of what these trees look like and keep well away from them. The manchineel trees are supposed to be painted with red bands to warn people away, but in some cases, the bands may be faded and hard to see, so it’s helpful if you can recognize the trees by their appearance. If you’re traveling with children, watch closely to make sure they don’t attempt to eat fallen fruit or play under these trees.

Reef Beds

Expect to find reef beds close to the shore. While reef beds may be fun to explore while snorkeling or diving, they are not fun to step on. The beaches in front of your hotel may have cleared the rocks and reef beds away to allow guests to swim more easily, but that is not the case on all beaches. Wear swimming shoes and be careful when going into the water.


Island natives dislike having their pictures taken, especially without permission. You’ll avoid arguments if you’re careful to make sure that your pictures only include people who’ve consented to being in the picture.

Barbados is a fun place to visit, but make sure that you are aware of potential hazards so that you can avoid them.

Editor’s Note: The information contained on this page was compiled using real traveler reviews about warnings and dangers in Barbados.

By Christine Sarkis

There's a 95 percent chance Senior Editor Christine Sarkis is thinking about travel right now. Follow her on Instagram @postcartography and Twitter @ChristineSarkis.

Christine Sarkis is an SATW-award-winning journalist and executive editor at SmarterTravel. Her stories have also appeared on USA Today, Conde Nast Traveler, Huffington Post, and Business Insider. Her advice has been featured in dozens of print and online publications including The New York Times, Conde Nast Traveler, and People magazine. She has also shared travel tips on television and radio shows including Good Morning America, Marketplace, and Here & Now. Her work has been published in the anthologies Spain from a Backpack and The Best Women's Travel Writing 2008. She is currently working on a travel memoir.

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Ultimate Bucket List Experience: Seeing the Aurora Borealis from the comfort of somewhere warm, like a glass igloo or hot spring.

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