The name Animal Flower Cave might conjure all kinds of images of what this intriguing Barbados attraction could be. I know I was wondering: Is it a petting zoo in a cave? Are there animal sculpture made out of flowers? Is it a mysterious animal called flower? The truth is much more fun to explore.
This day trip will lead you to St. Lucy in the very North of Barbados. On your drive, you’ll notice the area is much less populated then the popular South and West Coast as well as the areas around Bridgetown. That makes it an ideal expedition if you feel like getting away from the areas with a higher density of tourists. You can enjoy the views of Barbados’s countryside and spot sugar cane fields that might just be turned into the rum you enjoy once they’re fully grown.
Discovering the Secrets of the Cave
Once you’ve parked your car, you can walk to the bar area to purchase your tickets. A tour guide will then lead you down unassuming steps, which you may have walked past without noticing before. The tour guide tells you a bit about the cave as they show you around and point out different coral formations which look like animals. While it might sound mundane, there is a childish fun to it, like trying to make out cloud formations. The secret of the cave’s name, however, lives in one of the lower parts of the cave which are permanently filled with water. Animal Flower is the common name of sea anemones, which still live there from when the cave used to be entirely flooded by sea water. If you give the water around them a little splash, you can see how they fold up and then extend again like a blossoming flower, once they realize they didn’t catch any prey.
Beyond this pool of water, there’s another highlight waiting. There is a several feet tall opening, connecting the cave to the outside world. From there you can see the wild Atlantic waves splash against the bottom of the rock. Perfect photo opportunity.
Walking Along the Cliffs
While the cave may be a little small, the exploration doesn’t end there. Once you’re back up on top of the cliffs, don’t miss out on following the little path along to a cliff view point. There you can sit on a bench and take in the majestic view. The wild waves of the Atlantic crash with a calm fury against the rugged rock of the cliffs. The force of the impact creates white foam and as the wave recedes you could almost think there’s an avalanche of milk being dragged back into the ocean by the undercurrents. This may not be the perfect, almost photo-shopped-looking, white sandy beaches of the South and West Coast but the spectacular view still had us captivated. We sat there for quite a while, just observing nature’s power and listening to the waves. Especially if for whatever reason you can’t go into the cave itself , this view might just make up for it and it’s free, too.
You can end your day trip to the Animal Flower Cave with drinks at the bar or a snack at the restaurant. From atop there you can enjoy a view of a little calmer Atlantic waves. We ended our day with a round of Rum Punch on the terrace. This slightly sweet cocktail is refreshing on a hot day after you’ve done some walking. But don’t underestimate the amount of rum in it. Even if you can’t taste the rum in it, if you have too much of it you’ll be seeing all kinds of animals and things, without needing stone formations.
How to get there: The cave is easiest to reach by car. There’s a large car park in front of the caves.
Why go: Discover Barbados’ lesser known Atlantic Coast in the North; beautiful views; fun exploring the cave
Bring: We don’t recommend visiting the cave if you are uneasy about walking on slippery steps and having to walk on uneven surfaces. Bring sandals or any type of shoe, as well as trousers, that won’t be an issue getting wet.
Best time to visit: Cave Open – 9 – 4.30 Daily. You can check their Facebook page for the newest updates.
Price: BDS$20 (US$10) per adult, BDS$10 (US$5) per child aged 5-12
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