Barbados is a sovereign island country in the Lesser Antilles (also known as the Caribbees), in the Americas.
The official name of the country is Barbados.
The closest island neighbors to Barbados are Martinique to the northwest, Saint Lucia and Saint Vincent and the Grenadines to the west, Trinidad and Tobago to the south, and Grenada to the south-west.
The official language is English.
As of 1 January 2016, the population of Barbados was estimated to be 284,735 people.
Barbados is 34 kilometers (21 miles) in length and up to 23 kilometers (14 miles) in width, covering an area of 432 square kilometers (167 square miles).
Bridgetown is the capital and largest city of the nation of Barbados. It’s known for its British colonial architecture, 17th-century Garrison and horse-racing track.
The physical characteristics of Barbados are its lowlands or gently sloping, terraced plains, separated by rolling hills that generally parallel the coasts.
Mount Hillaby is the highest point in Barbados at 340 meters (1,115 feet) above sea level.
Its coastline is 97 kilometers (60 miles) in length.
The west coast has white sandy beaches and calm water, but the east coast faces the turbulent Atlantic.
Barbados is a coral island and most of its beaches are made from finely ground coral forming a clean fine grain.
Barbados beaches are truly some of the most beautiful in the Caribbean, in fact the beach at The Crane [photo below] was rated “one of the ten best beaches in the world” by Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous.
Barbados is almost totally ringed with undersea coral reefs.
Harrison’s Cave, near the center of the island, is a large underground cave with stalactites and stalagmites. Streams flow through the cave, spilling over rock formations to form waterfalls which feed into deep pools of emerald-green water.
The Flower Forest is a tropical paradise located in the heart of the Barbados countryside! This botanical garden is home to a multitude of majestic palms, colourful shrubs and tropical flowers. The 20-hectare (50-acre) property was formerly a sugar plantation.
The Andromeda Botanical Gardens, found in the parish of St.Joseph, is a 2.4 hectares (six-acre) garden containing several varieties of orchids, palms, ferns, heliconia, hibiscus, bougainvillea, begonias and cacti.
Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison, an outstanding example of British colonial architecture consisting of a well-preserved old town built in the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, which testifies to the spread of Great Britain’s Atlantic colonial empire. On 25 June 2011, Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison were added as a World Heritage Site of UNESCO.
The name of the country, “Barbados,” is derived from “the Bearded Fig Trees” once found in abundance on the island.
Barbados is thought to have been originally inhabited by Arawak Indians. By the time Europeans explored the island, however, it was uninhabited. The Portuguese were the first Europeans to set foot on the island, but it was the British who first established a colony there in 1627.
Barbados became independent from Britain on November 30th, 1966.
The island of Barbados plans to remove Queen Elizabeth II as its head of state in November, 2016. This change also coincides with their 50th independence day.
Barbados is the second-smallest independent country in the Western Hemisphere and the easternmost Caribbean island.
Barbados is the most densely populated Caribbean state and ranks as one of the world’s most densely populated countries.
The people of Barbados are called Barbadians or Bajans.
Barbadian cuisine is a mixture of African, Indian, and British influences. A typical meal consists of a main dish of meat or fish, normally marinated with a mixture of herbs and spices, a number of hot side dishes, and one or more salads. The meal is usually served with one or more sauces. The national dish of Barbados is Cou-Cou & fried Flying Fish with spicy gravy.
Barbados has a stable democracy and a relatively prosperous economy, based largely on tourism and sugar.
Barbados also exports $57 million of rum per year across the world.
“Pride and Industry” is the Motto of Barbados.
Barbados is known as “the land of the flying fish”, with flying fish being a common sight around the island and one of the national symbols of the country.
The country is home to a large Mongoose population. Originally imported from India to take care of the rats in the sugar cane fields. Instead they ate the snakes, which was the original predator of the rats. And surprisingly, it is considered good luck if a mongoose crosses your path.
The grapefruit was invented on the island, by combining a pomelo and sweet orange tree.
Barbados has the world’s rarest collection of 17th century English iron cannon! These were used by the British during the 17th & 18th centuries to protect the island from invading forces.
George Washington, the future First President of the United States, was an early tourist. He visited Barbados in 1751, the only time he ventured outside America. George Washington House in Barbados can be visited today.
Rihanna, the international singer, is from Barbados.