Barbados

Many Caribbean islands have beaches, but where Barbados differs is what lies behind the surf and sand. No matter your budget or style, you can find a place to stay that suits you, whether cheap, funky, restful or posh. All the comforts of home are close at hand if you want them as Barbados is one of the most developed islands in the region. The literacy rate approaches 98% and the capital Bridgetown and its surrounds are booming. Away from the luxury resorts of the west coast and the well-developed south coast, however, is where you’ll find what makes the island special. Central Barbados has a rolling terrain of limestone hills and amid this lush scenery are fascinating survivors of the colonial past. Vast plantation homes show the wealth of these settlers and face up to the brutality of the slave trade. Museums document this engrossing history while several botanic gardens exploit the beauty possible from the perfect growing conditions.