Barbados is an island country with Bridgetown, its largest city, as the capital. It is in the Lesser Antilles in the west North Atlantic by the Caribbean. Its closest neighbours are Saint Vincent, the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago. Barbados is one of the Caribbean’s leading tourist destinations, possibly because it’s well outside the main hurricane zone. It was originally a British colony and, although it became independent in 1966, Barbados retained the status of realm of the Commonwealth.
The most popular resorts are at the southern and western coasts of Barbados, where the azure calm waters of the Caribbean Sea lap on picture-postcard, pristine sandy beaches. For surfing, try the Atlantic Ocean along the island’s east coast, but always take advice before venturing into unknown waters.
Bridgetown’s in the parish of Saint Michael. Also worth visiting are Speightstown in Saint Peter, Oistins in Christ Church and Holetown in Saint James parish.
The Barbados “wet season” covers June to November and the “dry season” December to May. Despite the heat, gentle breezes throughout the year mean Barbados has a moderately tropical warm climate.
You’ll see abundant evidence of the beautiful national flower (Pride of Barbados; Caesalpinia pulcherrima), mostly growing wild.
Popular tourist pursuits include visiting and diving the wildlife reserves, cave exploration and hiking the pretty coast. You’ll be spoiled for duty-free shopping and jewellery stores, while the night-life can be extremely entertaining, particularly at the Saint Lawrence Gap. You can also splash out on the lifetime experience of a private island helicopter trip, while for the more sedate golf courses are both plentiful and manicured.
The Barbados Crop Over festival (July/August) is a huge Caribbean/Latin American carnival type cultural event. It celebrates the end of the sugar cane harvest and ends with official best harvester crownings, followed by a fancy dress parade (Kadooment Day, on the first Monday of August).
Getting around the island is relatively straightforward. Route taxis (ZRs) departing from either Bridgetown or from Speightstown in the north go almost everywhere, mostly following very scenic routes.
Posted : Thursday, October 27th, 2011 at 11:00
As well as writing about travel, Karen Bryan offers tips on saving money, frugal living and how to live well on less, on her site Help Me To Save