BarbadosWhile most of the Caribbean islands are known for their glorious beaches, not too many of them are prized for what lays beyond the sun, sand and sea. But there are a hundred great reasons to visit Barbados – away from the glitz of the resorts it’s a laid back place of island-time vibe, classic calypso rhythms and world-class rums.

 

For those who can tear themselves away from the glorious, sun-soaked beaches here, Barbados offers something quite different from typical Caribbean. Central Barbados is a lush, scenic paradise quite unlike anything you would expect. The rolling limestone hills and vast plantations with their epic stately homes hide a wealth of history from the Island’s colonial past – a monument to the brutality of slavery and an Island paradise all rolled into one.

Barbados

 

There are several interesting museums to visit which document the appalling slave trade. Then the landscape seems littered with botanical gardens, which take advantage of the place’s natural beauty. The effect is a dizzying one, thinking about how such a place could ever have been a hub for slavery.

 

The capital, Bridgetown, is a boom town these days, expanding at an incredibly rapid rate on the back of its thriving tourist industry. This development is evident everywhere you look – with glitzy shopping malls, stylish boutiques, cosmopolitan art galleries and well to-do bars fighting for space along the crowded seafront. And too, hundreds of hotels to suit just about everyone, no matter how funky, cheap, posh or restful, dominate some of the Island.

 

For the surfer guy or girl, the East coast, which gets absolutely hammered by the Atlantic, with towering waves eight foot high battering the shores being a regular sight, is a Mecca. And it’s not just the surf here that’s legendary – the top drawer wind surfing, supreme diving and lightning-fast speed boats add to an already Island paradise experience.

 

Experience the fantasy that fuels the imaginations of thousands, sitting huddled in their living rooms in Winter, wishing they could be in Barbados.

Barbados parliament

 

Main attractions: St. Lawrence Gap, the beaches, Graeme Hall Nature Sanctuary, Parliament Building, Bridgetown, St. James Parish Church, Barbados Wildlife Reserve, Lancaster Great House Gallery and Gardens, Ocean Park, Francia Great House, and many others.

 

Official languages: English, Bajan

 

Area: 431 km2 (166 sq mi)

 

Population: 284,589

 

Electricity:

  • Voltage: 110-120 Volts (Same as U.S./Canada, most other areas are 220-240 Volts)
  • Primary Socket Types: North American Non-Grounded, North American Grounded
  • Multi-voltage appliances (laptops, etc.): Plug adapter Click socket type links to view adapter for that type
  • 220-240V appliances: Plug adapter + step-up transformer
  • 100V Japanese appliances: Japan to U.S. reducer transformer  

 

Other Places to see & things to do: Statue of Lord Nelson, Sunbury Plantation, Chalky Mount potteries, and many, many more.

 

Images courtesy: Jens Karlsson, Wikipedia