Barbados

Barbados
Bridgetown
English
Barbadian dollar ($) (BBD)
+246

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Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles. It is 34 kilometres (21 mi) in length and as much as 23 kilometres (14 mi) in width, amounting to 431 square kilometres (166 sq mi). It is situated in the western area of the North Atlantic and 100 kilometres (62 mi) east of the Windward Islands and the Caribbean Sea; therein, it is about 168 kilometres (104 mi) east of the islands of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, and 400 kilometres (250 mi) north-east of Trinidad and Tobago. Barbados is outside of the principal Atlantic hurricane belt. Barbados was visited by the Portuguese in 1536. They did not want to settle in Barbados and did not claim it for their country, but thought it would be a good place to visit now and again and they let loose a number of wild hogs to make sure that whenever they returned here they would have a good supply of meat. The first English ship, the "Olive Blossom",arrived in Barbados in 1625. They took possession of it in the name of 'James, King of England'. It became an English, and later a British, colony. The island has an estimated population of 284,589 people, with around 80,000 living in or around Bridgetown, the largest city and the country's capital. In 1966, Barbados became an independent state and Commonwealth realm, retaining Queen Elizabeth II as Head of State. Barbados is one of the Caribbean's leading tourist destinations and is the most developed island in the region, with an HDI number of 0.788.