Location & Geography
Barbados is a beautiful, coral and limestone island, situated about 320 km northnortheast of Trinidad and about 160 km east-southeast of St. Lucia. With an area of 430 sq km (166 sq miles), it is the most easterly of the Caribbean islands. The island is 34 km (21 miles) long N–S and 23 km (14 miles) wide E–W, with a total coastline of 97 km (60 miles). The island is relatively flat, rising gently to the central highland region with the highest point being Mount Hilaby in the Scotland district, at 336 metres (1,115 ft) above sea level.
The name Los Barbados was given by the Portuguese upon seeing the bearded fig trees which grew abundantly on the island. The “Los” was subsequently dropped and the island became known as Barbados.
The capital city of Barbados, Bridgetown, is located on the country’s southwestern coast in the parish of St. Michael.
Barbados has been an independent state in the Commonwealth since November 30, 1966, and as such functions as a parliamentary democracy modelled after the British Westminster system. Control of the government is held by the Cabinet and is responsible to the Parliament. The Prime Minister is usually the leader of the winning party in the elections for the House of Assembly, whose members are elected every five years.
The population of Barbados is estimated at 279,912 and is made up mainly of people of African descent with some European, Asian, Hindu, Muslim and Syrian influence. The official language of Barbados is English but most Barbadians speak in their national dialect, which is referred to as Bajan.
The people of Barbados are friendly, fun loving and warm and are always ready to welcome you with a smile. You will always feel at home in Barbados.