Discovered in 1750 by a Welsh naturalist and author, the Animal Flower Cave sits at the bottom of the north cliffs of Barbados and opens to where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Caribbean Sea. Accessible by a set of steep coral steps, the cave boasts breathtaking views of a wild ocean landscape whose colors change at the whim of the intermingling clouds and sunshine.
The cave gets its name from the sea anemones, what Barbadians call “animal flowers,” that live in the cave’s shallower pools. Named after the anemone flower, the sea anemone looks like a blooming underwater plant but acts like an animal. When it senses approaching predators, it retracts its petal-like tentacles into its trunk and all but disappears.
During the winter, visitors can see the spouts and tails of humpback whales cavorting and fishing in the deep waters. The cave’s soundscape boasts the haunting echoes of waves crashing upon the cave’s rocky entrances. With every wave, water flows in and refreshes the pools of water dotting the floor. Visitors are permitted to swim in one of the cave’s deeper pools and frolic upon the rocks that bear the ocean’s rage.
Know Before You Go
Cave tours are offered every 10 to 15 minutes and are led by a local guide; visitors have the option to swim inside the cave. In addition to the cave, there are several above-ground attractions including a cliffside restaurant overlooking the ocean, a playground, a lookout point for spotting whales and birds, and a snack bar and lounge area.
The easiest way to get to the cave is by private car. The cave is also accessible via public transportation. Take a bus or van to the Speightstown bus station and then ask around until you find the van that goes by the cave. The cost of the van from Speightstown to the cave is 3.50 BBD.