Barbados offers a dream-like setting with its white sand and crystal-clear water. Everybody will find something to keep them happy here, especially fans of scuba diving, who will be able to not only discover the coral reefs, but also the shipwrecks on the northern coast.
Sporty types will be in surfer's heaven on the beaches of Bathsheba and Cattlewash. As for those who wish to combine peace and quiet with a great view, they can head to the heavenly Bottom Bay or, one of the most beautiful beaches on the island, Paynes Bay.
When Portuguese explorer Pedro A. Campos discovered the island in 1536, he was struck by the long above-ground roots of some of the ficus trees, which he thought looked like a beard, and thus named the island 'Os Barbudos' ('the beards'), which explains the name 'Barbados'.
Home to verdant valleys running along small hills, Barbados is abundant in flora and fauna. You can discover this diversity of plant and animal life during walks in the nature or in the natural parks.
Pelicans, caimans, monkeys, iguanas, turtles, and many other species live in complete freedom in the Barbados Wildlife Reserve.
Like all of the Caribbean islands, the culture of Barbados ties back to the Arawak people who came from Venezuela. Discovered by a Portuguese sea captain in 1536, the island was taken over by the English in 1627, who turned it into the most British of the Caribbean islands.
The culture of Barbados is thus a mix of traditions and colonial influences, as witnessed by the Chattel Houses (wooden houses which were originally home to those who worked on the sugar cane plantations) and the Great Houses (large colonial residences).
Sport is an essential part of the island's culture, especially cricket, which was introduced by the English at the end of the 19th century. Like just about everywhere, the people of Barbados are into social networking and like to have fun and hang out with friends! This might mean going out to eat, to the cinema, the rum shop, etc., but, still influenced by British traditions, everything is planned and booked in advance, and there is no question of going out wearing just anything!
Under the influence of the English since 1627, the history of Barbados is tied to colonisation and closely linked to the history of rum. In addition to the Great Houses (large colonial houses) and the chattel houses (typical houses of the island), there are a multitude of sites overflowing with history that offer a better understanding of the cultural heritage of Barbados.
You can even discover the house young George Washington stayed in during his visit. Learn about the Bajan culture, its history, its ties to Africa, and its fauna and flora thanks to the Barbados Museum and Historical Society. The Morgan Lewis Sugar Mill is one of the only two windmills that are still intact in the Caribbean. Recently renovated, it offers an incredible panorama of the island. You can learn all about the workings of a sugar cane plantation at the Sunbury Plantation, a 300 year old residence. It is the only one of its time on the island that is open to the public.