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Are Barbados and Jamaica the same?

Are Barbados and Jamaica the same?

Should you confuse Jamaica and Barbados that’s understandable, for they have a lot in common.

Both share similar histories of indigenous peoples living on the islands for hundreds of years, until European colonization in the early 1400s. The subsequent growth of sugar plantations gave rise to the slave trade of Africans to the Caribbean, along with migrants and refugees from Europe and Asia.  

Today Barbados and Jamaica are independent states and members of the British Commonwealth, United Nations, the Organization of American States and CARICOM. Tourism is a key part of both economies. However, when you visit both islands you will notice more than a few differences.

-    Jamaica is a much larger island, densely populated with almost 3 million people. Whereas Barbados population is just under 300,000.

-    Jamaica is mountainous, with the highest point at 2,256 meters. By contract Barbados is flat with its highest point at 343 meters.

-    Barbados is known for the flying fish, which forms part of their national dish with cou-cou, made of cornmeal and okra.  Jamaica’s national dish is ackee (a fruit), cooked and mixed with codfish.

-    Of the two islands cricket is more popular in Barbados, and possibly horse raising.

-    Barbados has easy travel connections with nearby English-speaking countries, like Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, Grenada and St. Lucia.  In contract, Jamaica is a lot closer to Cuba.

The first 8 images below are of Barbados and the last 5, Jamaica.

If you have visited both islands, what differences did you notice?


July 2019