When you are stuck in the middle of the winter, you are longing for a beautiful island and gentle sea breezes. Barbados is the island that you have wished for. You will love visiting Barbados.
The island of Barbados is one of the most beautiful islands in the Caribbean. It's a small, yet diverse area with many attractions for both locals and visitors alike. The beauty of this country is visible in its people, culture, history, and beaches. This guide will explore all aspects of visiting Barbados to help you choose which places are best for your family!
History of Barbados
The history of Barbados is a long and complex one. The first people to inhabit Barbados were from South America. These settlers, called Arawaks or Tainos, came around 200 AD and formed small tribes on the island of present-day Barbados. They lived in peace until 1493 when Christopher Columbus mistakenly landed here during his travels across the Atlantic.
Columbus and his crew were the first Europeans to visit Barbados, but they did not stay long. The Arawaks treated them with kindness and gave Columbus gifts of gold when he left in 1496. He wrote about this island in a letter, describing it as “very hilly” (meaning that there are no mountains) and covered with trees.
In 1625, a group of English settlers led by Captain John Powell landed on Barbados and claimed the island for England. They built a fort at Jamestown to protect themselves from attacks from nearby French and Dutch ships. For many years after this time, there was much fighting between European powers over control of the island.
In 1627, a Dutch fleet led by Admiral Pieter Schapenham attacked Barbados and burned the English fort at Jamestown to the ground. The Dutch ruled for about twenty years but were defeated in battle when an English fleet arrived with help from Jamaica in 1651.
The island was finally under British control and it stayed that way for the next two hundred years. Unfortunately, this also meant that Barbados had to fight in every European war during those times.
French and Spanish forces attacked Barbados several more times throughout the eighteenth century until Great Britain finally gained control over most of Europe at the end of the Napoleonic Wars (1803-1815).
Great Britain used Barbados as a stopping point for ships sailing between Europe and North America. The island is in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, becoming known as “the halfway house.” Barbados is still known as this term.
Most of this fighting did not directly affect Barbados and life on the island continued as before. In fact, during this time, Barbados became wealthier than ever because of its ties to Great Britain through trade and control of sugar plantations throughout the Caribbean region.
Culture and customs of the people
The culture and customs of the people are influenced by many things, but especially by their African heritage. The majority of Barbadians have some ties to Africa through slavery or other forms of migration during colonial times.
One very popular aspect in this country is cooking with spices! Dishes made here are usually spicy hot rather than sweet like you would usually find in the Caribbean.
Visitors to this country will be able to experience very friendly and warm people who are passionate about their island, history, and culture. It's a wonderful place for those looking to learn more about African traditions as well as meet locals with European influences from colonial times. People of Barbados value strong family ties and are very proud of their heritage.
The history and culture of Barbados is deeply rooted in African customs, traditions, and beliefs. To learn more about the island's past, visit the museum at Harrison's cave or tour St Nicholas Abbey plantation house built by wealthy British settlers during colonial times. There are many other places to gain an insight into this country's culture, including visiting old sugar mills.
Many visitors to Barbados are surprised at the level of history and heritage in this country since it is so small. However, there's much more than meets the eye when it comes to what makes up the island itself! The people are very proud of their traditions which have shaped who they are today
Top things to do when visiting Barbados:
- Hike through Harrison's Cave and learn about the island's history and people at St Nicholas Abbey plantation house built by wealthy British settlers during colonial times. Boat rides are also available to learn about the underwater world of coral and marine life.
- Visit Bridgetown, where you will find a variety of historic and cultural sites to explore such as St Michael's Cathedral which is one of the oldest Anglican churches in Barbados dating back to 1628 or take guided tours through Parliament House located inside The Garrison Historic Area.
- Take a tour around the island to see sugar cane plantations and distilleries, such as Mount Gay Rum Distillery where you can learn about how rum is made and sample exotic flavors.
- Visit The Garrison Savannah in Hastings, which is Barbados' largest national park that also houses historic buildings from colonial times including Fort Charles and its museum.
- Stop by the Nelson's Column monument in Bridgetown, which commemorates Admiral Horatio Nelson who died during a battle with French forces.
- Try some local flavors including salt fish and fried flying fish at one of many beachside restaurants along the coastline or enjoy fresh lobster caught locally.
- Explore St Joseph Main Beach and see the spectacular rock formations along the shoreline.
- Visit The Barbados Wildlife Reserve and learn about different types of animals, such as monkeys and sea turtles that live on the island.
- Spend a day at one of many luxury beach resorts or stay in an elegant hotel located throughout Bridgetown including Marriott Royal Pavilion or Hilton Barbados.
- Explore the ocean floor near Barbados with the Atlantis submarine.
How to get around the island – transportation options and tips for renting a car, taxi, or guided tours
There are many ways to explore this island's culture and history including using public transportation like minibusses or taxis. Renting a car is also an option if you want more freedom on where you can go.
When you are visiting Barbados, You can easily visit the historic sites above by taking guided tours around Bridgetown that will take you to see many of these places. Driving is on the left side of the road, but it's easy to get used to since most cars are manual transmissions. It will probably feel similar driving in England or Ireland if you're from North America.
There are also bus tours available that offer a variety of different routes including a city tour of Bridgetown. It's a great way to see the island and learn about its culture, history, and famous landmarks from the locals!
If you're looking for more freedom on where you go but still enjoy learning about Barbados' culture and history, then hiring a car is a good option. There are many companies to choose from to get a quality rental car.
Before You Go
Here are some items that you will find useful for your trip to visit Barbados, and relieve your winter blues.
When you are traveling to your vacation destination it is important to ensure that your clothes and valuables safely arrive as well.
Travel Guide Book
Whenever you are visiting a new and unknown place, one of the best investments that you can make is a travel guide. This guide will give you in-depth and detailed information on the island of Barbados.
Light Reading Before Arriving
To get your mind in the setting of a beautiful island getaway, take some time to read a book set in the area. This will help you relax on your journey from a cold winter to a warm and inviting tropical island.
If you’re an avid traveler, then visiting Barbados should be on your list of places to see. With its rich history and culture, as well as beautiful natural landscapes and active nightlife scene, there are plenty of things to do in this Caribbean paradise. From getting around the island with transportation options like renting a car or taking guided tours to discover what it means to be local by immersing yourself in the Bajan way of life, everything about your trip will be different than anything you've experienced before. You can start planning now for all that awaits you when you step foot on these tropical shores! Start packing your bags today because we can't wait to see you soon! Another set of islands that you may want to explore on a future trip are the Virgin Islands,