BARBADOS covers a mere 166 square miles (430 square km), making size about the only thing that’s humble about this truly amazing place. An exceptionally proud country by any measure, Barbados boasts the type of colorful cultural heritage that breeds legends among its people, and admiration from just about everyone else. This is the birthplace of rum, after all, and while there’s not much else many of us may need to know (or taste) to qualify Barbados as special, there really is a whole lot more to tell. Consider geography, for instance. Barbados is undoubtedly the most wayward of the Windward Islands, so much so that it’s generally not even considered one. It’s closest Caribbean neighbor lies a good 100 miles to the west, leaving Barbados a good bit further out in the Atlantic than the rest of the West Indies. This keeps the island at the mercy of the ever-churning Atlantic, yielding some of the world’s best surfing conditions, and eye-popping demonstrations of nature’s raw power along the island’s rugged North Coast. The island’s natural wonders don’t stop there, though, as a verdant, mountainous interior (highest point: 1,115 feet) combines with the windswept and beautifully under-developed eastern shore to create a nature-lover’s paradise. At the same time, some of the Caribbean’s most pulse-pounding nightlife, tony restaurants and modern hotels can be found along Barbados’ famed western shores, or Gold Coast.
Indeed, there’s a lot to brag about Barbados. But, then again, it ain’t braggin’ as Barbados truly backs up all the big talk!