McGill University's official Bellairs Research Institute link gives general information about Bellairs.
Follow the Facilities link for concrete information about Accommodations (room rates etc.)

  • General facts about Barbados, an island in the North Atlantic ocean NorthEast of Venezuela are found in the CIA World Factbook.
  • One Barbados dollar is currently worth approximately 0.5 US dollar. US dollars can be used almost everywhere, though change is given in Barbados dollars. If you plan to take the bus to Bellairs from the airport, you need exact change. You can get Barbados dollars at a small exchange place in the airport, just behind the baggage carrousels, after you go through immigration and before you go through customs.
  • As of March 1st 2004, visitors from most countries require a valid passport and return ticket to enter Barbados. The site gives information on visitor documents such as visas for citizens from certain countries, how to obtain a drivers license (car rental companies can issue a drivers license if you have a valid license) and accepted credit cards (most).
  • gives an overview of airlines serving Barbados. gives real-time flight status information for Grantley Adams (BGI), Barbados' international airport.
  • The Barbados Tourism Encyclopedia points out the " Seven Wonders of Barbados". Personally, I find the Barbados National Trust Sunday hikes (usually 6-9am) in less non-touristy parts of the island much more interesting. Search for details under "Special Events".
  • More tourist-oriented facts about Barbados can be found on barbados-beaches-plus.
  • The fishing community of Oistins has a weekly Fish-Fry on Friday evening with island music and local food.
  • The following coastal region and small island paper gives some technical information on currents around Barbados as well as about the Bellairs fringing reef, a coral reef off the Bellairs estate.

Getting to Bellairs
  • The official Bellairs contact information:
             Bellairs Research Institute
             Holetown, St. James Parish, Barbados
             Tel.   : +1 (246) 422 2087 (Erin = main office, Susan = Operations Manager)
             Tel.   : +1 (246) 422 2034 (dining hall)
             Fax    : +1 (246) 422 0692
             e-mail :
             scientific director : Dr. Judith Mendes
  • The Barbados airport is located at the South of the island. Bellairs is located on the North side of Holetown. To get to Bellairs from the airport, you can
    • take a taxi. Ask to be taken to the Bellairs Research Institute in Holetown. Most taxi drivers know where Bellairs is (thanks to the many workshops as well as the field semesters for students). In case they don't know, say it is located in between Folkstone Park and the Coral Reef Club on the North side of Holetown. The taxi price is typically around $70 Bds. There is now a sign at the airport which gives fixed prices for several destinations. In 2009 we paid $90 Bds for a van with 6 people. You can find a list at Some amount is added for each extra passenger and luggage. Note that those prices are only for rides from the airport. You negotiate the price in the opposite direction. You may ask the Bellairs secretary to book a taxi for you to take you to the airport. The taxi ride takes between 40 minutes and 1 hour, depending on traffic. Bellairs frequently uses taxi drivers Jason +1 (246) 256 82 35 and his wife Nicole +1 (246) 256 83 37. Taxi driver John is also very reliable: +1 (246) 420 15 89 (office) or +1 (246) 230 41 99 (cell). You can also e-mail John at If you let him know when your flight arrives, he can pick you up from the airport.
    • take the bus ($1.5 Bds, exact change required, no change given on the blue official government buses). Note that you can change money inside the airport baggage claim hall. That gives you the opportunity to get some small change. Cross the parking lot to get to the bus stop when you come out of the airport's main exit. Don't forget that traffic drives on the left-hand-side of the road! You need to take a bus on the airport-side of the road. If you're really adventurous, you won't take the blue government buses, but rather an orange private one :) There is a direct bus (destination Speightstown) on Sunday and holidays. On weekdays, buses are more frequent, but you need to first take a bus to the Oistins hub (buses to Bridgetown will also stop in Oistins) and switch there to a bus to Speightstown. Switching in Bridgetown is not advised (I'm told one needs to transfer between bus terminals). Note that there is no "transfer" ticket. When you switch in Oistins you need to buy a new ticket. Bus schedules can be found on the Transport Board website. Buses are not always on time. The Airport - Bellairs trip takes around 1.5h, depending on traffic. The bus takes a longer route (along the coast) than a taxi (which takes an internal "highway"). The bus stop is right in front of Folkestone Marine Park, just past Holetown and the Bellairs entrance is 30m farther down the road. Ask the driver to tell you when you've arrived. Just past the Folkstone Park stop is the entrance to Bellairs. On the way back to the airport, take buses going to either Airport or Kirtons (stops at the airport) or to Oistins and switch there to get to the airport. If you have a really early flight out of Barbados, you should book a taxi.

  • A note to those who came to Bellairs before: the gravel road next to Bellairs leading to the beach no longer has an entrance to Bellairs. You can now only enter Bellairs through the main entrance!
  • A detailed map shows where exactly Bellairs is located. And there's always Google Maps.

    View Larger Map
  • Alexandre Denault's Bellairs Games Workshop page gives a good impression of the style and atmosphere of Bellairs workshops. The 2006 CAMPaM workshop pictures give a (slightly) more work-focused view of the place.

At Bellairs: Practical Information
  • You should not book your accommodation with Bellairs directly but rather mail the organizers your arrival/departure information.
  • The cost for the stay (breakfast, dinner, and lodging) needs to be settled before your departure with the Bellairs office. The office accepts Visa and Mastercard credit cards as well as cash. It is possible to us use credit cards such as American Express in banks to obtain cash.
  • The following map [pdf] (thanks to Godfried Toussaint) shows the location of the Bellairs facilities (offices, rooms, dining hall, etc.). Note that as of 2008, the Brace apartment is no more. Instead, a whole new second floor has been constructed with new guest rooms and meeting rooms.
  • When you arrive at Bellairs just go straight to the dining hall. There, you will find either people or a message for you on the bulletin board or the blackboard telling you which is your room. Most rooms are double rooms, so you will most likely share a room. If you don't find anyone in the dining hall, look for us on the beach.
  • At lunchtime we typically walk to Surfside (, (246) 432-2105) along the beach (includes wading through water if the tide is high) for a nice lunch. Here is the [menu] (2009 prices)
  • House rules:
    1. Kitchen and Food
      • Breakfast (toast, pancakes, ... varies daily) is provided by Bellairs (at 5 US$/day, Monday - Saturday).
      • We can make coffee in the kitchen any time we want. The available coffee at Bellairs is of the instant variety. If you wish to bring your own coffee (and share) that is appreciated.
      • Dinner is provided by Bellairs (Gwen, the cook comes in in the afternoon and prepares wonderful roast chicken, local fish, ...). If you need specific food, you will most likely find it at the local supermarket. There is a guest fridge in the dining hall where we can keep our own private food. Please label your food and remove any left-over when you leave.
    2. Showers and Sand
      • Sand in the shower drains can cause enormous blockage problems. Please be sure to rinse off the sand from your feet before entering your rooms. There are water taps outside both blocks of rooms for this purpose.
    3. Locked Doors and Valuables
      • Please leave your room locked when you are not in.
      • You can leave your money and other valuables in the safe in the main office. If you leave some money in your room we suggest you put it in a purse inside a locked suitcase inside a closed closet; certainly do not leave it within arm's reach of the back windows facing the public park.
    4. Telephone and Computers
      • Computers are available. Internet connection speed reasonable, most of the time. The speed is high enough to use Skype, which is far cheaper than buying local phone cards. Since a few years, there is also wireless internet (which works most of the time).
  • Sun, Wind, and Insects
    1. Bellairs is situated on one of the best beaches in Barbados, so don't forget your bathing suit for swims before breakfast and in between work sessions. Above all, don't forget sunscreen !

    2. Depending on the weather conditions and other factors, we may get some mosquitoes (this is typically more of a problem during the rainy season). You should bring some bug repellant just in case. Note that there is no malaria on the island of Barbados.

Maintained by Hans Vangheluwe. Last Modified: 2009/04/12 04:43:35.