HISTORY of The Animal Flower Cave
The cave’s history is little-known yet quite interesting, despite its remote location; it was the venue for weekend dances and socializing soon after the turn of the century. Artifacts from by gone days include the braces in the coral ceiling where the lanterns once hung.
The Animal flower Cave is the island’s lone accessible sea-cave and was discovered from the sea in 1750 by a Welsh naturalist explorer and author, the Reverend Griffith Hughes.
The cave now stands some 6ft above the high tide water mark, even though it was formed at sea level. This occurred because Barbados is rising about one inch per 1000 years, which is yet another indication of the cave's age. The huge coral steps leading down into the cave were built around 1912. These steps were created through what was once a blow-hole at the roof of the cave.
The Animal Flower Cave Floor
The cave's coral floor is estimated to be 400,000 to 500,000 years old and the 'younger' coral section above the floor is about 126,000 years old. The dating was carried out by the German Geographical Institute, and visitors can see a map of the dating work in the bar and restaurant.
The Natural Swimming Pool & Blowhole of Animal Flower Cave
The cave’s ‘natural swimming pool’ it is in a chamber all by itself. The totally transparent and absolutely still water does not reveal its depth but looks deceptively shallow. The smooth floor of the cave, worn down by the water and the rubbing action of the coral rocks over time has an undulating formation, and the light lends a magical quality to this chamber. At certain times of the year when the north point is experiencing large sea swells, the caverns become filled with water and the entrance acts like a giant blowhole.
About the Sea-anemones (Animal Flowers)
Down in the cave there are colourful Sea-anemones, locally called'Animal Flowers' from whence the cave got its name, while others are filter-feeding tube worms that are otherwise known as seafeathers or Sabellastarte Magnifica. The flowers appear seasonally and consist of tentacles that can sting and paralyse a passing fish in the larger variety of species. The tentacles retract into the stalk or stump for safety on contact with an alien object like a stick. The flower then waits a while before coming out of the stalk again to allow danger to pass.
These small tube worms live in the crevices in the rocks and were in abundance when the cave was discovered in the 1700's, they open up and look like flowers and when they close they go back inside their tubes. In recent years these sea-anemones has not been in such abundance, however our divers have been trying to maintain a supply in the cave, but they tend to be seasonal and not always as readily available when our divers go looking for them.
Please do not expect to see an aquarium, the cave is a beautiful place by itself,
if you do happen to see an Animal Flower then it is an added bonus.
Animal Flower Cave Barbados
…Nature at its Best!
ANIMAL FLOWER CAVE – Barbados Sea Cave Tours:
OPENING HOURS: Monday to Sunday from 9am – 4:30pm (Closed on Kadooment Day – 1st Monday in August)
Cost/Price: US $10.00 (Adults) / $5.00 (Kids 5 - 12 years) / (Children under 5 years are Free)
Duration: 20 minutes
Guided tours of the cave are available and are not at set times, so just come along and enjoy the experience.
This area around the cave was originally an Arawak Village and later a sugar cane plantation. To stop visitors from trampling his crops, the irate owner drilled into the holes from which the flowers protruded, but they returned in a few weeks. A succeeding century or so of careless plucking, however, has nearly accomplished his aim. Although the flowers are now less abundant, the cave is still a thrill to enter.
Looking for an Island Tour inclusive of a visit/stop at The Animal Flower Cave?
…Try The ENCOMPASS COASTAL TOUR (FU)
COST: US$55.00 per person/ $42.00 (Children under 12 years)
(Tour costs is based on a minimum of 4 passengers)
(2-3 passengers will incur an additional $15 charge per person)
This is a captivating scenic tour around the entire island and along the contrasting North, South, East and West Coast!
BOOK HERE! for the Island Tour
What else can you do and see at…
The Animal Flower Cave North Point National Park & Natural Attraction
…A great place to be one with Nature!
On calm days you can swim in the natural rock pools in the cave or perhaps take a look at the stunning views of the Atlantic Ocean through the windows to the ocean (cave openings).
Swimming in the cave…Yes, swimming!
Inside the last cave chamber there is a natural rock pool that is around 8ft deep at the lowest point. Absolutely perfect and tranquil…closed off from the rest of the world.
Come prepared with your swim suits and towels!
Best Panoramic Cliff-top Views and most Dramatic Scenery in Barbados
The North Coast of Barbados is brimming with opposites and surprise discoveries. Rural, undeveloped, windswept terrain unfolds into exhilarating cliff top locations with unsurpassed panoramic views of the sea.
Picturesque bays and stretches of white sandy beach provide sharp contrast to isolated, inaccessible areas of the coastline.
The crashing waves when the winter swells appear are breathtaking.
A must see!
HUMPBACK WHALE WATCHING in Barbados…Yes, there are Humpback Whales in Barbados
At certain times of the year (December to April). The cliff tops at the Animal Flower Cave is one of the best places on the island to see whales.
The adult whales travel to our warmer Caribbean waters during November/December to mate or to give birth. The seas in the North are too cold for this kind of activity at that time of year, whales are mammals too you know and not keen on icy seas!
We don't tend to begin seeing them until around February. The babies have grown a little by this time and have become very playful, often breaching and splashing around. The whale sightings usually continue until April.
The whales don't actually feed in these waters whilst on holiday here so they are living off their blubber supplies, once the seas in the North begin to warm up the whales head back to their feeding grounds for the summer.
They come back each year for their Caribbean winter vacation though...
CLIFF JUMPING in Barbados
...Let us know when you are coming, call us to check sea conditions first
THE RESTAURANT at The Animal Flower Cave
The Animal Flower Cave Restaurant & Bar Lounge has been on the site since 1961. In 2014 it was renovated and reopened in March 2015. Outside the bar area are a few cannons from sunken ships.
The bar's wall is lined with bricks that came to Barbados as ballast in ships during the 1700 - 1800's.
Try our famous rum punch and sumptuous traditional Bajan Cutters ( sandwiches)
…rated as some of the best cutters in Barbados – Fresh Baked 'Real' Ham, Flying Fish or Cheese
Monday to Friday: 11am - 3pm
Saturday & Sunday: 11am - 4pm
(Daily Specials available)
The Animal Flower Cave is located at the most northerly point of Barbados in the parish of St.Lucy, and is family owned and operated by Mannie, Maritza and Laura Ward.
ANIMAL FLOWER CAVE BARBADOS
…come Experience nature at its Best!