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The waters off Barbados offer visitors a first-class Caribbean experience. The west coast, like Mullins Beach (pictured), is the more developed side of the island but is the best place for swimming.  
Credit: Robert Harding/Photodisc/Getty 
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Lush green fields characterize the interior of Barbados. For centuries, agriculture—particularly sugarcane—was the foundation of Barbados's economy, but manufacturing and tourism-related businesses have changed that. Since its independence from the United Kingdom in 1961, Barbados has enjoyed a strong economy.  
Credit: Stuart Gregory/Photodisc/Getty 
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Bottom Bay, a less-trodden beach on the south coast of Barbados, is semi enclosed by high coral cliffs that offer a panoramic view of the south shore.  
Credit: Barbados Tourism Authority 
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The south and west coasts offer the calmest waters, but Bathsheba Beach, on Barbados's east coast, is quite popular as well. The beach is best known for stunning rock formations, but you'll also enjoy relaxing in the small, natural pools that form by the water's edge.  
Credit: Robert Harding/Photodisc/Getty 
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Referred to as 'one of the seven wonders of Barbados,' St. Nicholas Abbey was built in the 1660s. A reminder of Barbados's colonial past, it is one of three buildings left in the Western Hemisphere in this style of architecture. St. Nicholas was never actually an abbey but a sugar plantation, and sugar is still grown on the grounds today.  
Credit: Emma Lee/Life File/Photodisc/Getty 
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Barbados is a parliamentary democracy and a member of the British Commonwealth (west wing of the Bridgetown Parliament building pictured above).  
Credit: Wikimedia 
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Although Barbados may be a beachgoer's paradise, don't miss a chance to tour Harrison's Cave—the number-one tourist attraction on the island. Visitors take a tram to tour the streams and pools, and a 40-foot waterfall, that flow through the cave.  
Credit: Stuart Gregory/Photodisc/Getty 
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Barbados is home to the Mount Gay Rum Distillery, purportedly the oldest rum distillery in the world. Sailors worlwide exhibit a fondness for the local product.  
Credit: Barbados Tourism Authority 
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Barbados green monkeys can be found all over the island. Descended from West African monkeys that were imported as pets, these permanent residents have developed distinctive green highlights over the centuries.  
Credit: Barbados Tourism Authority 
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Visitors can sign up for the opportunity to snorkel or dive with sea turtles. For more than 20 years, the Barbados Sea Turtle Project has been promoting their preservation and restoration. Boat charters offer daily sailing and snorkeling trips.  
Credit: Ben Ramirez/Flickr 
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The Barrier reef (about two miles from shore) is one of the better spots to find Hawksbill sea turtles like the one pictured above.  
Credit: Barbados Tourism Authority 
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Boats harbored in Bridgetown, the island country's capital and one of the larger cities in the region.  
Credit: Glow Images 
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A great island attraction, especially for visitors from the United States, is the George Washington House. Washington visited Barbados in 1751; it was the only country he visited outside of the United States. Now a museum, it's a great place to learn about daily life on the island in the 18th century.  
Credit: courtesy, Barbados Tourism Authority 
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Visitors can enjoy sailing or taking a water taxi from the beach. Every imaginable water activity is available on the island. Coral reefs surround the island, creating great surfing conditions and a great landscape for snorkeling and diving. There are also numerous shipwrecks begging for exploration.  
Credit: Richard Elliot/Photodisc/Getty 
 
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