From the Desk of The Nature Guru
In our last post, we invited you to be a part of our illustrious 50th anniversary of independence celebrations as well as sharing our rich history and the relic proof that remains on the island. But, of course, Barbados’ history extends much further than the construction of government buildings, churches and rum shops; therefore, oblige as we introduce you to our natural heritage and history.
To start, let us clarify that Barbados - unlike several other Caribbean islands - is a purely coralline island. This means that its geography is atypical to that of volcanic islands, causing the creation of in several amazing fissures, caves and gullies that create a sense of wonder for those who explore them. One of the most charming examples of this will come during a trip to Harrison’s Cave in St. Thomas, where the journey leads you over 140 feet underground to a place where stalagmites and stalactites, underground streams, waterfalls and pools reside. Whether you choose to explore the cave hiking on foot or on a guided tram tour, the knowledgeable guides will provide a visual, first-hand account of the origins of the island you love so much, where you’ll see and learn about thousand-year old structures at every turn. And, you’ll come away with a wealth of knowledge to address certain peculiarities that may have struck you about the island: why is the island so far east compared to the rest of the Caribbean? Why are the east and west coasts so different? Why are you so sure we can drink the tap water?
Fascinating Flora and Fauna
The flora and fauna found around the island are definitely worth discovering. Queen’s Park in Bridgetown is home to two magnificent baobab trees with the oldest and widest tree-trunks found in the Caribbean. It’s definitely a great tree-hug opportunity… but you’ll need 14 other friends to collectively wrap your arms around it! But in addition to these burgeoning trees, Barbados is also extremely famous for its orchids, having won Gold at the Chelsea Flower Show some 15 times now! To see these wonderful flowers in their natural forms, a trip to Andromeda Gardens, Orchid World, The Flower Forest or the descent into Hunte’s Gardens is the order of your day.
In addition to these sanctuaries, some particularly stunning gardens may be found at several of the great houses dotted across the island. Now past their heyday - but as striking as ever - Pollard’s Mill, Fisher Pond House and Bentham’s House are oases of colour and fragrance that we challenge you to find anywhere else. But if you feel spoilt for choice, the ever-active Barbados Horticultural Society can help you populate your nature bucket list. The society showcases local natural wonders and hosts its Flower and Garden Show and Open Garden Programme every year between January and March - two events that are growing exponentially in popularity with locals and visitors alike.
Besides these wonderfully maintained natural reserves, the island offers up its unbridled nature across its countryside. As you make your way around, particularly through the more rural parishes of St. John, St. Joseph and St. Andrew, keep your eyes and ears peeled for the mischievous green monkeys, one of the most Barbadian animals there is. And if you’re hoping to take a photo, be sure to take it quickly, as the whole troop can - and will - disappear in a green and white blur. But if you’re too slow on the uptake, it might be worth also visiting the Barbados Wildlife Reserve, where you have an opportunity to stroll freely about, observing animals like flamingoes, peacocks, pelicans, monkeys, iguanas, snakes and deer at close range in their natural environment.
The Blue Sky Luxury Touch
Barbados’ natural history and heritage is a beautiful, intricate piece; therefore, as we said earlier, we know you’ll be spoilt for choice. But rest assured that our concierge team will be happy to suggest - and create - excursions specifically tailored to you and your loved ones. A personal driver with a dedicated guide can easily be arranged, as can a rental car for your own private tour with your friends or family accompanying you on the trip. The possibilities are endless!
In the next chapter of this series, we will explore our rich sporting culture. From grassroots Sunday cricket on the beach, to internationally renowned professional tournaments, our next entry will be dedicated to the story of sports in Barbados, while enticing you to possibly participate! But, in the meantime, check out the Sports section of our Blue Sky Luxury App to get a head start.