Barbados: A hidden gem for wildlife and natural beauty
With its beautiful beaches and gorgeous landscapes, Barbados is one of the Caribbean’s most stunning islands. But there’s more to the island than sun, sea and sand.
A holiday to Barbados is not complete without exploring the less obvious natural beauty dotted across the island – from gardens and wildlife parks to breathtaking caves.
Make the most of the island by visiting these five places during your stay.
Andromeda Botanical Gardens
The mild, subtropical weather of Barbados has helped a fascinating array of flora and fauna to flourish. Andromeda Botanical Gardens display many of the island’s most beautiful blooms, including exotic and native flowers and trees, with several varieties of orchids and palms.
If you want a break from sunbathing or beach-hopping, the six-acre gardens in Bathsheba, St. Joseph, are well worth a visit. Named after the mythical Greek goddess who was bound to a rock due to her alluring looks, the gardens boast a similar ethereal beauty and provide a tranquil bliss with the relaxing pond area.
Described as one of the seven wonders of Barbados, Harrison’s Cave is truly awe-inspiring. The underground cave in St. Thomas Parish is a unique phenomenon of nature.
Marvel at the crystallised formations and stunning waterfalls by taking a Tram Tour through the cave, or embark on foot on an underground exploration with the Eco-Adventure Tour. There are plenty of educational tours as well for nature enthusiasts.
Although knowledge of the cave dates back as early as the eighteenth century, it was not until 1970 that is was fully explored. Since then it has become one of the island’s most famous attractions and an unbeatable experience for everyone.
Barbados Wildlife Reserve
Barbados Wildlife Reserve in St. Peter Parish lets you explore nature up close. Traverse along the paths and spot the many tropical birds and monkeys along the way, who are free to roam in their natural habitat.
The reserve wouldn’t be the same without Barbados’ much-loved native Green Monkey. It’s not uncommon for the monkeys to wander outside of the reserve during the day either. You’ll find non-native animals such as the Brocket Deer, agouti, caiman and armadillo wandering around too.
Walk through the aviary to see the vibrantly coloured parrots, flamingos and peacocks, before visiting the reptile house, home to a collection of snakes (one of the few animals in cages at the reserve), tortoises, turtles and iguanas.
Just a 25-minute drive from Holetown in St. Joseph Parish, Hunte’s Gardens feature an array of tropical flowers, foliage and trees, and are the perfect place to visit with friends, as a family or with your partner. Lovingly nurtured to grow freely, the gardens are a paradise for plants with an eclectic spectrum of colours.
Follow the pathways meandering through the gardens and spot the local birds nestled among the foliage. There are also statues, antiques and decorative pieces dotted in between the plants, making the gardens rather mystical in their beauty.
Animal Flower Cave
Barbados’ second mesmerising cave, the Animal Flower Cave in St. Lucy Parish on the north point of the island, is one of the oldest tourist attractions here. Discovered way back in 1780, with steps being built down to the cave as early as 1912, visitors can enjoy a 20-minute tour through its waterways.
The fascinating part of the cave that gives it its name is the rock formations, including those of lizards, turtles and hands, which have been coloured green and brown by oxidation of copper and iron. It is also home to pools of sea anemones. Some of the cave’s pools are even large enough to swim in, which makes for a truly unique experience.