Everyone knows Barbados is an island paradise with exquisite beaches and delicious rum, but even if this isn’t your first visit to the island, there are bound to be a few things you don’t know. Here are some interesting, surprising, and downright amazing facts about Barbados you may not be aware of.
Barbados Invented Rum
Most people know that rum was created in the Caribbean, thanks to its huge sugar plantations, but did you know they made rum on Barbados first? Barbados’s Mount Gay rum is the oldest known rum in the Caribbean. The islanders invented rum in the 17th century and have been producing it ever since. They called it “Kill-Devil” because it was such a potent concoction. Barbados distilleries export a whopping $57 million of rum each year and it is a significant part of the island’s GDP. If you would like to learn more about the history of rum and how it relates to Barbados, visit one of Barbados’s distilleries.
Fun fact: there are 1,500 rum shops on Barbados, so no matter where you are, you can always buy a bottle.
Barbados is Made from Limestone
Unlike many other islands in the Caribbean, Barbados is 85% pure limestone. A visit to Harrison’s Cave will give you a good idea of what limestone looks like deep underground. The passage of water has carved channels through the rock and left beautiful grottoes and caverns in its place. The island’s limestone heritage means it has one of the purest water supplies anywhere on earth, with no filtration required. This means you don’t need to buy bottled water in Barbados. The local water is safe to drink, straight from the tap!
George Washington Visited Barbados
The first US President, George Washington, visited Barbados in 1751. It was the only place he visited outside the US mainland. The Islanders are still proud of this fact to this day, and each week, they hold a Dinner with George event at the George Washington Museum.
Barbados is the Friendliest Island in the Caribbean
Yes, really! The Bajan people are renowned for their friendliness. Once you have stayed on the island, whether you choose to book a hotel or Barbados villas, you will definitely want to return. In a survey carried out by a leading travel agent, 40% of people questioned said they would happily return for a second or subsequent visit. What was their main reason? The locals’ friendliness!
Barbados has A LOT of Churches
The dominant religion on Barbados is Christianity, more specifically, Anglicanism. This is because many of the islanders are descended from African slaves were devout Christians. However, there are many communities who follow a different religion, including Judaism, Hinduism, and Islam. Because of this, there are a whopping 3,500 churches, with several different denominations, on the island.
Hurricanes Veer Past Barbados
Most Caribbean islands have sustained hurricane damage in recent years, some more than others. Due to its southern location, Barbados has not been hit by a hurricane since 1955. This blessing means that there’s rarely “recovery efforts” or a bad time to visit.
Got any more fun facts about Barbados? Let us know in the comments!