Barbados is an island country in the southeastern Caribbean Sea, situated about 100 miles (160 km) east of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. Roughly triangular in shape, the island measures some 21 miles (32 km) from northwest to southeast and about 14 miles (25 km) from east to west at its widest point. The capital and largest town is Bridgetown, which is also the main seaport.
Barbados was inhabited by its indigenous peoples – Arawaks and Caribs – prior to the European colonization of the Americas in the 16th century. Barbados was briefly claimed by the Spanish who saw the trees with the beard like feature (hence the name barbados), and then by Portugal from 1532 to 1620. The island was English and later a British colony from 1625 until 1966. From 1966 to 2021, it was a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy, modelled on the Westminster system, with Elizabeth II, Queen of Barbados, as head of state. Barbados became a republic on November 30, 2021.