Travel By Fingertip.....Barbados

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& Precipitation

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Barbados Profile

Easternmost of the Lesser Antilles, Barbados sits apart from its peers both geographically and culturally speaking. Though independent since 1966, Barbados was a British subject for three long and prosperous centuries; unlike other nearby isles, it was never a pawn in territorial bickering and so displays to this day the white-glove customs of a parliamentary society. Not that Barbados lacks authentic West Indian charm; far from it. Time and again, travelers remark on the festive street life, the fresh spicy food, and the inclusive warmth of their Bajan (native Barbadian) hosts. Indeed, tourism here is a tradition as deeply rooted as the cultivation of sugar cane, and the island's deluxe hotels are among the Caribbean's most sophisticated and glamorous. Along the 15-mile stretch of lustrous white beach nicknamed the Platinum Coast (a.k.a. Millionaires' Playground), ornately gardened villas and pretty pink inns line up proudly like contestants in a high-class beauty pageant.

Befitting its British ties, Barbados is a more formal (and pricey) island than most. In the best restaurants, jackets are required for dinner, and nowhere is topless or nude bathing allowed. High tea and cricket are cultural fixtures, driving's on the left, and casinos are nonexistent. Though casual outposts are hardly rare, this island is not an ideal choice for travelers who want to lounge round the clock in bikini and flipflops or dance till dawn. Nor is it ideal for those who want isolation or unspoiled wilderness, for Barbados is as populous as it is temperate and welcoming. Two hundred and fifty thousand people inhabit 300 square miles, and while much of the interior offers a serene vista of sugar fields and, to the north, rough green moors, the island's longtime agricultural prominence entailed widespread deforestation.

Sporty travelers, however, will be thrilled with the variety of gamesmanship and recreation. Barbados boasts three fine golf courses, numerous tennis and squash courts, and, for the avid spectator, horse racing and polo. Since coral reefs hug the island on all sides, scuba and snorkeling are excellent (though marine life has not been as aggressively protected as on other islands). The underwater caves of the rugged north coast are a favorite haunt of experienced divers, while the south coast is a mecca for windsurfers, who love the heady currents of the open sea off Oistins.

Recommend this island to those who want their perfect beaches and equally perfect climate tempered with the well-mannered ease that makes life on Barbados so sweet.




Degrees (F)


January 70-83 2.6
February 69-83 1.1
March 73-84 1.3
April 70-85 1.4
May 73-87 2.3
June 74-87 4.4
July 73-86 5.8
August 74-87 5.8
September 74-86 6.7
October 73-86 7.0
November 73-85 8.1
December 71-83 3.8