Barbados is one of the most breathtaking travel destinations in the world. It is an island nation that is located in the Lesser Antilles, and forms a part of the North American Caribbean countries. With an area of 432 square kilometers, the heavenly country is located only a hundred kilometers east of the Windward Islands, while Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is only 170 kilometers away. This puts it comfortably outside the range of tropical storms that ravage other islands in the area.
With a population of almost 285,000, most of whom are of African descent, the island nation is known for its hospitality and openness to foreign tourists. The rich and diverse culture of the island nation has a lot to offer to its visitors. From local festivals and carnivals, to mind soothing music, like that of the pop star Rihanna, there is an amazing variety for the tourists to sample and enjoy.
Barbados has a cosmopolitan feel. Its urban areas, resorts and beaches are luxurious. Bridgetown, the largest city on the island, is home to a vibrant nightlife and has a number of five star hotels. Transport on the island is very easy for tourists as they can either take the bus or use taxis. Both of these are cheap and safe. The local taxi routes, called the “ZRs” take their passengers through scenic routes and are highly recommended for adventurous tourists.
Their hospitality has led to a boom in the industry in the past couple of years. Tourists can rest easily in the country as it has been rated as one of the least corrupt nations in the world, coming at number six in recent lists.
History of Barbados
The island has a rich and diverse history. It was first visited by the Spanish in the fifteenth century and their influence is still visible in the architecture and languages. For example, although English is the official language, Bajan is spoken extensively as well. The first permanent settlement was created by the British in 1627, and they ruled it as a colony until 1966. It was then that Barbados became an independent nation and was recognized as a Commonwealth realm by the British crown.
One of the most amazing aspects of Barbados is its mouthwatering local cuisine. A unique combination of flavors, featured in African, English, and Asian cuisines, has made it one of the most popular food choices in the world. The national dish is Flying Fish, cooked with Cou-Cou and local herbs. Other dishes of fish are also common and cooked to perfection in the local restaurants. Street food vendors at Baxter’s Road in Bridgetown and others at Oistins offer a wide verity of local dishes such as souse, black pudding, and local sweet dishes such as tamarind balls.
Flora and Fauna
For those who wish to visit the island on more adventurous note, Barbados is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna. An amazing array of nesting turtles call the island nation their home. These include the incredible green turtles, the reclusive loggerheads, the beautiful hawksbills, and the enormous leatherbacks. Most of these can be sighted with the help of local guides. A pleasant surprise is the presence of green monkeys on the island. A native to the Volta river basin, this incredible mammal somehow found its way to the Caribbean in the seventeenth century with slave ships.