When I was a child, I used to hear a lot of scary stories about the Animal Flower Cave in North Point, St. Lucy, Barbados which is the only tourist attraction Sea Cave on the Island. Many older folks said that the flowers were alive and when people attempted to touch them, the flowers would close in on their hand and pull them into the water. The older folks said most of these people were children and they drowned in the water. My parents banned me from visiting the cave as a child. However, it didn’t stop me from being intrigued by the place as an adult. Where I am from, that place would be forbidden to visit if innocent people died that way. However, the cave is one of the biggest tourist attractions on the island. So I waited until I was an adult to visit the cave to see what all the fuss was.
The exterior of the cave was relaxing and breathtaking. The air was clean and country. The atmosphere sounds were peaceful and therapeutic as the waves violently slap the rocks out of excitement. There were plenty of benches to sit on while watching the scenery. Rocks were everywhere with different forms and shapes; the majority was huge. The strangest thing about this beach is that it has no sand. The place is the perfect picnic spot if you don’t mind picnicking on a cliff.
Warning, don’t go swimming there. Outside of the Animal Flower Cave wouldn’t be a wise place for anyone to take a dive from the cliffs unless they want to meet death. It’s one of those places that is nice to look at but dangerous to swim in. Within the water at that beach is very rocky. There are many other activities to do besides picnicking such as:
- The Play Park- This section is only for children, but it can be a great view for the adults.
- Bar- Before you go inside the cave, there is a bar that you can relax and choose from a wide selection of drinks. Also, this is where visitors are required to pay the entrance fee for the tour inside the cave.
- The Restaurant- I didn’t get the opportunity to take a bite of what they had to offer. Honestly, I wasn’t expecting to find a restaurant there. I thought they just had a cave. They have a variety of things on the menu. Mostly fishy things, so if you’re a seafood lover, you’ll love what they are cooking.
- Shops- There are shops that you can purchase local jewelry and souvenirs.
Inside the Cave
The Inside of the Animal Flower Cave is wet and jaw-dropping. The atmosphere is the perfect place to hang out on a hot sunny day with a room temperature coconut. The place isn’t chilly, and it’s impossible to be hot. The view of the vicious sea in the cave is extraordinary due to the formation of the rocks. The tour guide stated that the waves are so rough at times that no one is allowed in the cave when there is a high tide because it can be hazardous.
A unique feature about the Animal Flower Cave is that there is a section of the cave that people can swim in. However, people are not allowed to swim when the waves are unpredictable. I honestly felt like I was in one of those children Caribbean story books like The Coral Island when I viewed that section. The setting was the right lighting, not too bright and not too dark; right in between. The water was transparent allowing you to see the beauty of the rocks and flowers at the bottom of it; the perfect pool to relax in.
Inside the cave is a great place to take photographs but you need to know how to use the features of your camera if you want to get a perfect picture. Most importantly, you need to have the right camera equipment.
The flowers were not what the old people described at all. Old folks have such a vivid imagination when they are giving stories. They stated that the animal flowers were these big beautiful and colorful flowers that are always opening and closing. The ones I saw was tiny, shy and brownish. Every time people try to touch them, they would move and hide under the water or rocks. It was interesting to see a flower with so much movement. The tour guide stated that they are bigger flowers further in the cave. However, they didn’t allow anyone to go there due to how unpredictable the waves were at the time in that section.
One of the best things about Barbados is there are several options for getting around the island. You can drive yourself to the cave if you own a car. You can hop on a tour bus if you make arrangements with a tour company. There is the option of catching a taxi. Finally, the most interesting way to get to the cave is catching a transport board bus for $2.00bds. You will need to catch the Connell town bus from the Princess Alice Terminal in Bridgetown and informed the bus driver where you’re going. Also, the bus stops in the Speightstown terminal in St. Peter for a short while to pick up more passengers. The ride from Bridgetown is one of the longest bus rides in the country which can be fun if you pretend it’s an economical scenic tour. The walk from the bus stop to the cave is about a six or ten-minute walking distance.
Forget the Myth
The best thing to do in life is experience it yourself. The flowers were not vibrantly colorful as the old people described them to be. However, the physical movement was extraordinary, and the average person would say that it’s impossible. There are professional tour guides there that advised you on when it is ok to see inside the cave and if it’s ok to swim in the natural pool area.
THESE ARE THE THINGS YOU SHOULD WALK WITH WHEN VISITING:
- An adventurous attitude
- Proper non-slippery shoes
- Swimwear in case you are allowed to swim
- Camera and any necessary equipment
- Money (Call and confirm the costs)