Located on the edge of the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean, not far north of the equator, is the lovely West Indian island of Barbados. The trade winds from the Atlantic Ocean keep the tropical climate mild, and the landscape ranges from untouched mangrove forests to gently sloping pastures that roll into pristine coastlines. Despite being a small island nation, Barbados has a high standard of living, ranked third in the Americas in its Human Development Index, behind only the United States and Canada. Home to slightly less than 300,000 people, the relaxed island of Barbados is a perfect Caribbean holiday destination.
Barbados has earnt a reputation throughout the world for some of the most idyllic, palm fringed, white sandy beaches. Yet many people don't realise the variety available on the island; with the Atlantic to the East and the Caribbean to the West the scenery changes dramatically as you cross the island.
On the West of the island the calm, turquoise blue waters lap gently against the shore. It is here where the majority of luxury hotels and resorts are nestled - and its no wonder, as they are some of the best beaches on the island. There are numerous reefs just off the coast making for some excellent scuba diving, and the sand is a beautiful white.
To the South of the island the coast is still beautiful but dotted with numerous towns allowing you to pick up a bit more of the local vibe than you might find at the more exclusive coasts of the West, while to the East the waves come rolling in across the Atlantic, making the wild, windswept coast an excellent spot for coastal walks and surfing, but a little tricky for swimming.
Since Barbados is another one of the Caribbean's pristine island destinations, let's start with everything you can do in and around Barbados' turquoise-blue waters. With seventy miles of coastlines, along waters that always stay between 21 and 27 degrees Celsius all year round, beaches in Barbados are second to none.
When you get tired of laying on the beach and soaking up the tropical sun, cool off in the water – or underneath it. Snorkeling and scuba diving in Barbados are popular activities, and many coral reefs remain intact and undamaged. The more adventurous might enjoy diving a little deeper and exploring one of many sunken ships off Barbados' west coast.
Back on the land, take a stroll along one of the many boardwalks, or go hiking inland in mangrove forest. Near St. Peter, you'll find the Barbados Wildlife Reserve and the Farley Hill National Park; near Christ Church, visit Chancery Lane Swamp to catch a glimpse of nesting Pelicans, Blue Herons, and Frigates.
Some of the historical sites you might want to visit to explore the rich cultural and historical heritage of Barbados include:
Barbados is a friendly, comfortable holiday destination in the Caribbean. With English as its official language, it's slightly easier to navigate than other Caribbean holiday destinations, such as Cuba. Visitors to this unique island are sure to enjoy the mild climate, exotic flora and fauna, and rich West Indian culture.
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