From stunning limestone caves to Colonial Era architecture, Barbados can boast that it really has it all. While the island may only be 21 miles in length and home to roughly 277,000 people, it has enough superlatives and noteworthy accomplishments to rival any nation in the world. Read on for fun facts about Barbados you need to know!
Mount Gay Rum
If you’re a citizen of this world, you’ve most likely heard of Mount Gay Rum. This iconic, world-renowned brand has been around for over 300 years, and was founded in- you guessed it- Barbados. From a small distillery in the Caribbean to over 100 countries worldwide, Mount Gay Rum has come a long way from it’s modest island roots. Outside of the realm of liquor, you may not have known that Mount Gay Rum has a prominent role in the sailing world, sponsoring over 110 regattas each year. When vacationing in Barbados, visiting this legendary rum distillery is an essential to-do, and is just a short 14 minute drive away from the Hilton Barbados.
As the locals say, for every church in Barbados, there’s also a rum shop!
Like many islands in the Caribbean, the tastes and flavors in Barbados are a true melting pot of influences from nations and ancestors of days gone by. From African and Indian heritage to Portuguese and British culinary traditions, you’ll find it all in the local Barbadian cuisine. Did you know that flying fish is the national dish of Barbados? This pescatarian delight is customarily served on Friday’s alongside cou-cou, another prominent dish on the island. Flying fish happens to double as one of the national symbols of the island, and when visiting, is a must-try delicacy!
You’re taking a stroll down a sunny street in Bridgetown, when suddenly, a small, furry animal sprints past you. This creature wasn’t a squirrel or even a rat, but rather, a mongoose. Introduced to the island from India, these small creatures were brought to Barbados as a means to control the native rat population in the fields. While they proved unsuccessful in preying on the local rats, they did find a liking to the local snakes, who often feasted on rats. Subsequently, the mongoose has come to symbolize good luck to Barbadians, especially when one crosses your path!
An Island of Superlatives
For a small island nation, Barbados has no shortage of superlatives on it’s roster. Here’s a few facts for you: did you know that Barbados has the third oldest Parliament in the entire world, founded in 1639! And while control of the island hasn’t always been autonomous by the local population, it is the only island that has never been invaded by a foreign power since the introduction of British rule. They say the locals here are among the friendliest and happiest people in the world, so it comes as no surprise that tied with Japan, Barbados has the highest rate of centenarians in the entire world! Also a result of such friendly people? Barbados has the highest return rate of visitors in all the Caribbean.