Barbados is up there as the go-to destination for many, returning year after year, for its beauty and friendliness.
Located in the Caribbean and measuring just under 295 sq. miles, or just over 3 and half times smaller than Rhode Island.
Barbados is quite literally the location we all see when we close our eyes and go to our happy place – white sands, blue seas and…fig trees (we’ll come to this later on).
Here we’re going to look at 20 facts about this beautiful island nation.
Per year, Barbados exports $57 million of rum worldwide.
Bridgetown’s Trafalgar Square has “The Lord Nelson Statue”. Erected on March 22, 1813, this statue and square are both older than their London equivalent of the same name.
Barbados has had uninterrupted parliamentary governance since 1639, which makes it the world’s third oldest parliament.
In the western Hemisphere, Barbados was the only holiday destination with a scheduled Concorde service. A retired British Airways Concorde is found at the international airport.
‘Barbados’ comes from the Portuguese Bearded Fig Trees, or “Los Barbados” once found across the island.
Hurricane Janet in 1955 was the last major hurricane to hit the country. It’s one of the strongest Atlantic hurricanes on record and was the most powerful tropical cyclone of the Atlantic hurricane season with winds reaching 175 mph (280 km/h).
The national flower; The Pride of Barbados, or Caesalpinia Pulcherrima, grows all over the island in yellow, orange or red. The leaves of the plant, after being dipped in breast milk, are given to crying babies to supposedly help stop them crying.
Barbados was the first Caribbean island to have piped water. It also has pure drinking water.
Barbados has a huge Mongoose population after importing them from India to control the rat problem in the sugar cane fields. Instead of eating the rats though, they ate the snakes which were the rat’s original predator. It’s seen as good luck if a Mongoose crosses your path.
Barbados Fertility Center has higher success rates than the UK and the USA with treatment costs a third cheaper. The center is the only full time fertility unit in the Caribbean region.
The British established the first colony on the island in 1627, cultivating tobacco and cotton, and by the 1640s switching to the much more profitable sugar. African slaves were brought in to work these plantations.
Mount Hillaby, the highest point on the island, stands at 1,105 ft (337 m), to put that in perspective the Empire State Building stands around 1450m (442m).
The Motto of Barbados is “Pride and Industry”.
Barbados is a famous tourist destination with around 500,000 visitors per year.
Barbados is the most developed Caribbean island country, and is also in the top 5 most developed countries in the Western hemisphere, alongside the U.S. and Canada.
For BDS$10, a person can get a temporary yearly Barbados license, these can be purchased from car rental agencies and Police Stations.
Visitors say Barbadian’s friendliness is best thing about the island, which is shown in the numbers that return. Barbados has the highest repeat visitor factor in the region at 39%.
Barbados is the 16th most densely populated country with a population of around 285,000.
Holetown, the first settlement in Barbados, was originally called Jamestown after King James I.
Quite a few celebrities hail from the island including Rhianna, Shontelle and Grandmaster Flash.
So there we have it, your next holiday destination on a plate for you, no need to thank me.
Personally I’m amazed by the amount of Mongoose, and for the sake of BDS$10 ($5.00) you can travel the country admiring these useless creatures.
“Pride and Industry”, after just researching this island, I can see why they hold this motto.
Now how much is a flight… and is the Concorde still available?