Barbados is the easternmost island of the West Indies, lying outside the curve of the Caribbean's Windward Islands chain. It is small - 166 sq. miles - 21 miles x 14 miles and has about 250,000 inhabitants. The capital Bridgetown on the west coast has several berths around the cruise terminal where there is a shopping arcade for gifts and jewellery but you will need a taxi or shuttle bus to reach the town centre. Here you will find Parliament Square and the statue of Lord Nelson as well as the Kensington Oval Cricket Ground.
The island is rimmed by beaches. The scenic eastern edge lies on the Atlantic Ocean and is rugged and hilly and the area around Bathsheba, known as the Soup Bowl, is popular with surfers. The west coast is washed by the calmer Caribbean Sea and has most of the resort hotels although there are also hotels on the south coast. Some of the prettiest hotels are built of pink coral stone and are surrounded by lush gardens, and since the trade winds are steady and the climate kind, their leeward sides often have terraces covered with climbing vines and breathtaking views abound.
Barbados has seaside villages and English country churches that date from the 17th century. Andromeda Botanical Gardens features winding streams and one of the best collections of exotic plants in the Caribbean. Welchman Hall Gully is a dramatic ravine packed with tropical trees, exotic plants and caves while at Harrison's Cave you can take tram ride through an amazing network of underground caverns with streams, waterfalls and deep pools.
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