Barbados - Caribbean Calling

By: Anthony Defrietas

Barbados, the jewel of the Caribbean, is known for its warm, friendly culture and modern culture. Enjoying a very high standard of living and stable political climate, Barbados has a flourishing expat community making it an ideal relocation destination.

As real estate prices continue to rise, Barbados is also being recognized as a great place to invest in vacation rentals, which may eventually be used for retirement property.

So why is Barbados so popular? Well, there's the weather, for one thing. The annual average temperature is 75 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit (23 to 27 C) - Atlantic trade winds keep the temperature pleasantly mild for year-round activities. From November to March, Barbados averages eight to ten hours of sunshine a day. During the "rainy" season (April to October), the average drops to between eight and nine hours of daily sun - not bad for the tropics. Barbados is also situated outside of hurricane territory, enjoying fewer of these storms than other islands (and even mainland America) - on average Barbados gets hit only once every 26 years.

Barbados is the most eastern island of the Caribbean Islands - its closest neighbors are St. Vincent and St. Lucia. The island is generally flat with some hillier areas in the interior. The south and west coasts have calmer seas whereas the east coast is more rugged. Barbados is a relatively small island at 166 square miles, making it very easy to get around by car, or using the island's network of buses and taxis.

Surrounded by coral reefs, coral rocks and white sand beaches, visitors and locals alike enjoy the many recreational options in this tropical paradise: diving, sailing, fishing and windsurfing are all popular here. But activities aren't limited to the water - with three golf courses, tennis, polo, horseback riding and cricket there's something for everyone in the family to enjoy. Or pack them all up and tour the island by 4x4, helicopter or submarine!

On land, the banana trees, sugar cane fields and palm trees provide a lush tropical backdrop to local sounds of calypso, reggae and R&B. And the food in Barbados is simply amazing - the island has become known as an international hot spot for cuisine. With Indian, middle-eastern and Asian influences, not to mention Italian, Mexican, French and American options, there's no shortage of choices when dining out. But don't forget the local fare: seafood (the national dish is Cou-Cou and Flying Fish) and of course rum!

With all the comforts of home and the warmth and culture of the Caribbean, it's no surprise that Barbados has become such a popular destination for vacationer and expats alike. The only real question is, are you ready to make your move?

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