Facts about Barbados – geography, geology, people…
Where is Barbados?
Where is Barbados?
Barbados is the most easterly island in the Caribbean, part of a chain known as the Lesser Antilles.
It is 21 miles (33km) long by 14 miles (23 km) wide and is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean.
So, where is Barbados? It’s in the tropics, just north of the equator. The wet season runs from June to November, the dry from December to June.
Hurricanes hardly happen. The last was in 1955. Tropical Storm Tomas caused damage in 2010 but it escaped largely unscathed from hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017.
Barbados is formed from coral and sedimentary limestone pushed out of the sea about one million years ago.
The pressure created sedimentary rock folding which can be seen today from the east coast road (pictured right). The island’s highest point is 1120ft above sea level.
Rain water has eroded the rock and a system of gullies and caves weave their way through the island. Huge aquifers store the island’s water, though overuse has created supply problems.
Five facts about Barbados
Two Barbados dollars are worth one US dollar
The island has 11 parishes
The ABC Highway is named after three politicians. Adams, Barrow and Cummins (few know the last one!)
The Portuguese named the island after the bearded fig tree (Los Barbados, the bearded ones)
More than 60,000 Bajans helped build the Panama Canal
For everything else, search secretbarbados.com
Politics and a bit more…
Barbados became independent from the UK in 1966, but remains part of the Commonwealth. It is a stable, parliamentary democracy, with a Governor-General who is appointed by Queen Elizabeth II on the advice of the Barbados prime minister.
The Democratic Labour Party, which was elected for a second term in 2013, and the Barbados Labour Party are the main political parties.
Sugar was a huge export crop, however its importance to the island has declined in recent years. Tourism is now the major industry on the island.