To paint a picture of our soft golden sands, purple-orange sunsets, tropical climate and the crystal-clear blues of our more than 80 beaches would be oh-so cliché.
To remind you that Barbados was ranked number four in Trip Advisor’s top islands of the Caribbean, number four in U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Affordable Caribbean Destinations” and Thrillist’s “8th most beautiful island on earth” would be boastful.
Instead, we’ll tell you about a Barbados that you might not know—a Barbados that you’ve never seen, or smelt or tasted or felt. The home of locals and foreigners of all classes and colours who live together on these 166 square miles as one extended family; in spite of the divisions that permeate other societies and cultures—those who live here are bound by patriotism, purpose and peace. As our national anthem says, “That binds our hearts from coast to coast—The pride of nationhood.”
We are the home of fisherfolk who wake up at four am to catch a colourful bounty of flying fish, red snapper, mahi mahi and other morsels of delicious seafood, delivered directly to restaurants and markets, including the world famous Oistins, to be complemented by the heavenly flavours of roasted breadfruit, macaroni pie, fried plantains, coleslaw, coucou and other local delicacies, with the pulsating calypso rhythms of steel pan music and waves cracking in the background.
We are the limestone home of plants, animals, birds and, of course, the cheeky green monkey— brightly coloured flora and fauna, proudly exhibited in a rainbow dot-to-dot along our highways and byways, framing our coastlines and adorning our gardens, peeking out from the corners of humble, yet beautiful and colourful chattel houses that are a testament to the resilience of our people.
We are the home of the world’s oldest rum, dating back to the 1600s. A glass can be enjoyed at one of our 1,500 rum shops while participating in a traditional dominoes game and observing the authentic display of Bajan culture, as the delicious smell of fish cakes dances through the air.
We are the home of sportsmanship—the land of the famous soup bowl where surfers congregate from all corners of the earth and the home of five PGA Standard golf courses. For those who don’t like to get their hands dirty, we love our spectator sports and boast four polo clubs, the famous Kensington Oval and the Garrison Savannah Race Track where you might be lucky enough to meet Barbados’ very own world champion jockey, Patrick Husbands.
We are the home of nature lovers, eco-hikers and seekers of natural spectacles, such as the centuries old stalactites and stalagmites that grow in the majestic Harrison’s cave in St. Thomas. Farm to table, foragers, agri-enthusiasts, vegans and vegetarians— welcome home—conscious culinary palates can be easily satisfied here.
And for those with more extravagant tastes, we are the home of luxury. With our exclusive hotels, private villas, Zagat-rated fine dining restaurants, designer shopping and luxurious spas, it is no wonder that many celebrities and dignitaries have purchased vacation homes here, or that more than a million visitors flock to our shores to be pampered year-round.
Many would say that Barbados, with its iconic statue of Lord Nelson in Trafalgar Square (renamed National Heroes Square in 1999) and the third oldest parliament in the Commonwealth, is the most British island in the English-speaking Caribbean and perhaps this is true. From our Victorian, Georgian and Jacobean-style historic buildings to our national sport of cricket, we are proud of our English roots— just ask Barbadian and the world’s greatest cricket all-rounder, the Right Excellent Sir Gary Sobers.
From our food to our folklore to our music, we Barbadians are equally married to our proud West African heritage. Adorn yourself in glitter and sequins and join the colourful street parade of Grand Kadooment on the first Monday in August, where you can enjoy ice cold Banks Beer and lose your inhibitions to pulsating African-infused Soca music alongside none other than our girl, Rihanna— Barbados’ very own Grammy-winning, chart topping cultural ambassadress.
Barbados is the home of a rich historical legacy and we, as our national anthem states, are strict guardians of our heritage—from our UNESCO world heritage designated site- to the oldest synagogue in the Western Hemisphere, we are proud of our past and look forward to our future.
Any time of the year, whether you are in the north of Barbados trying to sneak a touch of the elusive flowers at the Animal Flower Cave, or down south learning to kite surf at the iconic south point, sweet steel pan music, sea salt breezes and your extended Bajan family will envelope you with the love and familiarity of this, your second home.
We’ll see you soon.
One Barbados Place
Warrens, St. Michael,
Barbados. W.I. BB12001