Barbados is an island nation in the Caribbean that is approximately 160 square miles in area. Its topography is uniform and flat in the coastal region, but the center of the island rises gradually. Mount Hillaby, at 1,102 feet above sea level, is the island's highest point.
Barbados is located 250 miles north of Venezuela and 160 miles east of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The island's physical features allowed the British to develop sugar plantations there. They brought slaves from Africa to staff the sugar plantations. Barbados stopped using slaves a few years before the British Empire outlawed slavery in 1834.
Until the arrival of the British in the 1620s, Barbados was uninhabited. In 1961, Barbados became a self-governing British Colony. In 1966, it became an independent country within the British Commonwealth.
As of 2015, tourism has replaced sugar production as the major product of Barbados. The island features 60 miles of coastline and has a population of 287,000 people with one-third of the population living in the capital of Bridgetown. Barbados has a tropical climate and remains warm all year long. Temperatures range from a low of 70 degrees Fahrenheit to 88 degrees Fahrenheit. It receives an average of 38 inches of precipitation during its rainy season.