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Barbados is an island, a fact which shapes much of its outlook. Unlike volcanic neighbors, however, the island has a limestone base and coral rock underpinnings that provide its famous Platinum Coast beaches, which is the island’s upscale tourist heartland. Barbados also has had a long history of hospitality because it’s been a resort island since the 1700s. Tourism is the No. 1 industry here today, so visitors are generally treated with great respect. Beaches along the islands north and south coasts are picture-perfect. On the rugged east coast, where most Barbadians or Bajans have their own homes, there’s dangerous swimming but world-class surfing. Many visitors come for the beaches. Popular activities there include sailing, diving and snorkeling and sport fishing. But Barbados also offers historic plantations, wildlife preserves, rum factories and lush tropical gardens. The island’s interior is worth exploring for its small villages surrounded by acres of sugarcane plantations. For a couple of centuries, sugar was the background of the island, making it one