Barbados is a coral island, pushed out of sea by volcanic activity millions of years ago. Most of the country is circled by coral reefs with its stunning underwater world which fall in a series of "terraces" in the west and go into an incline in the east. The north shore of the island is lined with jagged coral cliffs which collide with the relentless breakers. Within the Barbados coral core there are many caves and underground lakes which provide an excellent supply of drinking water.
The interior of Barbados with its many deep ridges and gullies shows an interesting distribution of tropical flora and fauna with some 700 species of flowering plants and several differing ecosystems.
The highest concentration of plant species, like the silk cotton tree or macaw palm, on the island is at Turner`s Hall Wood in St. Andrew. Andromeda Botanical Garden presents the finest collection of tropical plants. The realm of Welchman Hall Gully is fashioned from the collapsed roofs of caves and filled with the tropical riches of nutmeg, bamboo and palm trees.
While the Baobab Tree or "Monkey Bread Tree" is native to Madagascar, two magnificent examples can be found in Barbados. First brought over from Guinea in Africa in 1738, the larger of the two trees is found in Queen's Park in Bridgetown and measures 55 feet in circumference. The smaller, though equally impressive second tree is found on Warren's Road in St. Michael.
The Chancery Lane Swamp plays host to migrant shorebirds and is the nesting area of Pelicans, Blue Herons and Frigates. The Barbados Wildlife Reserve, near Farley Hill National Park, gives visitors the rare opportunity to closely observe a variety of animals, including the famed Barbados Green Monkeys, in their natural environment.
Garden and unique places to visit