Located northeast of South America in the Lesser Antilles, Barbados is a magical island with an incredible climate and diverse culture. Festivals, beaches, sporting events and more make it a place for discovery and relaxation anytime of the year. For both residents and visitors, Barbados is home to one-of-a-kind excitement.
Barbados history includes influences from Great Britain, Africa and the West Indies. No matter where early settlers came from, however, the island’s sugarcane made a powerful impression. Rum has been made in Barbados for more than 370 years; legend has it that English sailors used the spirit to prove to homeland skeptics that they had indeed crossed the Atlantic. Mount Gay Rum began distilling rum in 1703 and, today, many people consider Barbados the birthplace of this favorite beverage. Take a tour of one of the local distilleries and learn how this “liquid gold” became such an important part of the identity and economy of Barbados. Check out Mount Gay Rum at www.mountgayrum.com for information about tours and tastings.
With more than 70 miles of awe-inspiring beaches, you’ll always find a perfect spot in the sand. The western shoreline has dusty white sand and calm waters while the east coast offers coral sculptures and waves made for surfing. For adventurers, the south’s reef-protected waters are perfect for snorkeling, and windsurfing is best done in the southeast.
Both the natural landscapes and manmade landmarks of Barbados are unlike those of any other place in the world, and thanks to The Barbados National Trust, these precious treasures are preserved for education and enjoyment. Visit the Morgan Lewis Sugar Mill, the largest and only complete sugar windmill still standing in the Caribbean. At the Andromeda Botanic Gardens, see six acres of award winning tropical plants. The Barbados National Trust is headquartered at the Wildey House, a Georgian-style mansion featuring an antique furniture collection. Discover more historic places at www.trust.funbarbados.com.
It’s estimated that Barbados enjoys over 3,000 hours of sunshine every year with warm air and a breeze from the northeast trade winds. The average daytime temperature is between 84 and 88 degrees Fahrenheit, yet summer temperatures rarely rise above 90 degrees. If you choose to drive in Barbados, remember to stay on the left side of the road. You can also use taxis, buses and hired cars to get around. English is the island’s main language, but you may hear a Bajan dialect spoken in some areas.
Find out more about Barbados at www.visitbarbados.org. Whether you love to learn about the history of Bajan culture or are thinking of taking a tropical vacation, this irresistible island is worth a look.