Barbados is sovereign island country in the Lesser Antilles, in the Americas. It is 34 Kilometers (21 miles) in length and up to 23 km (14 mi) in width, covering an area of 432 km2 (167 sq mi). It is situated in the western area of the North Atlantic and 100 km (62 mi) east of the Windward Islands and the Caribbean Sea; therein, it is about 168 km (104 mi) east of the islands of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines and 400 km (250 mi) north-east of Trinidad and Tobago. Barbados is outside of the principal Atlantic hurricane belt. Its capital is Bridgetown. Barbados is 1,600 mi (2,600 km) Southeast of Miami.
Inhabited by Kalinago people since the 13th century, and prior to that by other Amerindians, Barbados was visited by Spanish navigators in the late 15th century and claimed for the Spanish Crown. It first appeared in a Spanish map in 1511. The Portuguese visited the island in 1536, but they left it unclaimed, with their only remnants being an introduction of wild hogs for a good supply of meat whenever the island was visited. An English ship, the Olive Blossom, arrived in Barbados in 1625; its men took possession of it in the name of King James I. In 1627, the first permanent settlers arrived from England, and it became an English and later British colony.
In 1966, Barbados became an independent state and Commonwealth realm with the British Monarch (presently Queen Elizabeth II) as hereditary head of state. Due to their colonial history and connection to the United Kingdom, even after independence, it is sometimes referred to as Little England. It has a population of 280,121 people, predominantly of African descent. Despite being classified as an Atlantic island, Barbados is considered to be a part of the Caribbean, where it is ranked as a leading tourist destination. Forty percent of the tourists come from the UK, with the US and Canada making up the next large groups of visitors to the island.
Places of Interest
Dame Ruth Nita Barrow GCMG FRCN was the first and only female Governor-General of Barbados. She was a nurse and humanitarian activist from Barbados. She served as Governor-General of Barbados from 6 June 1990 until her death on 19 December 1995. Read More →
The Crop Over summer festival is Barbados' most popular and colourful festival. Its origins can be traced back to the 1780's, a time when Barbados was the world's largest producer of sugar.
At the end of the sugar season, there was always a huge celebration to mark the culmination of another successful sugar cane harvest - the Crop Over celebration.
As the sugar industry in Barbados declined, so too did the Crop Over festival and in the 1940's the festival was terminated completely. However, the festival was revived in 1974 and other elements of Barbadian culture were infused to create the extravaganza that exists today ..... an event that attracts thousands of people from across the globe. See Crop Over 2017.