If you are visiting Barbados, or are thinking of it, and are wondering what things to do in Barbados, then you have to put the Barbados Wildlife Reserve at the very top of your list.
I just came back from there, and this was by far, my most favorite. You have to allow the day, and relax and take your time walking through the forest on the well marked cobblestone paths. You don't want to be rushing through here, or you could easily miss many of the animals. There is a lot to take in.
Very few animals are in cages (thankfully the large snakes are!) the Barbados green monkey runs freely through this reserve, and if you don't make sudden noises, you will see them go about their daily activities with their young ones. They don't usually let you touch them, but they will come close to check you out. It is a great experience. These green monkeys are not very big, even when full grown and even if you see them in pictures, it is something to see them in the trees and on the paths while you take a leisurely walk through this 4 acre lush mahogany forest. Even the trees are stunning!
There are lots of planted banana and mango trees, that provide lots of food for these little guys. Just a note here, they are not actually "green" monkeys, but they do tend to have a olive color to their fur.. which gives them the name.
There are also lots of exotic birds, but also lots and lots of tortoises. All the animals seem to get along, and I actually saw a green monkey sitting on the back of a tortoise while eating its snack, and watching you carefully! The tortoises will quite often end up on the brick path, so be careful where you are walking.
This is a wonderful place to go, and there are facilities there, such as washrooms and a snack bar for refreshments. There are many benches throughout the reserve, that are great to sit on, and just watch the animals at play. You really do feel like you are in a Tarzan movie! Very relaxing. I was quite happy sitting on a bench for a while to watch all the activities.
When looking for things to do in Barbados, keep in mind that the island is not that big. You can take in many sites, by taking the local bus, or renting a car and following the scenic highway one around the island. Just be ready for the many twisting turns of the road.
There are many small towns that have great restaurants and shopping. My favorite were Holetown and Speightstown, which are nearby. So after your visit to the Reserve you can head out for a great dinner nearby and relax!
Bring your Camera
Don't forget your camera, but also be very careful and stick to the cobblestone path, as you don't want to be stepping on any tortoises.
I did learn quite a bit about the Barbados Reserve, and found out that there is quite a history to this island. The green monkeys are not native to there, although after a few generations they have totally adapted.
It is thought that the green monkey originally came from West Africa on slave ships approximately 350 years ago. It was possible they were gifts, but this part is unknown. But they have definitely adapted to the Barbados. This is the only species of monkey on this island. It grows to approximately 2 feet tall and hang out in groups of 15.
If you really want to see a large amount of green monkeys in one spot, especially for photographs, then be there around 2-3 pm, that is when the staff will distribute fresh fruit and some grains for them. They just seem to know when to come for it.
There are other animals freely roaming around the Park, such as the Brocket Deer (they look like miniature deer) and Agoutis, which looks to me like a Guinea pig on steroids! But they all go about their business in these lush woods.
There is also a walk in bird aviary house, where you can see many colorful birds. This is a well maintained park, and the critters seem very happy here. I found it to be a relaxing experience, and totally enjoyable.
I was also noticing the "cobblestone" path, it is actually constructed with older red and yellowish bricks. Upon questioning the staff about the markings on them, such as company stamps in them, I was told that these bricks were not made on the island but brought in by boats many years ago for building ovens for the sugar factories back in the 17th and 18th centuries, and they used them for ballast in the boats. But now they make great brick paths that wind around this wonderful Wildlife Reserve.
So, this has to be one of those things to do in Barbados. You will love it here. It is not hard to get to, and your entrance fee lets you in to nearby Signal hill, where you can see an old lookout that has been refurbished along with lots of history pictures and points of interest. There is a great view of Barbados from this point on Signal Hill.
The hours of operation are 10am to 5pm, Kids will love this place, but you do need to make sure they don't try and chase the animals or they will hide!. It costs 12 dollars to get in, but keep in mind that Bajan dollars are 2 dollars to every one dollar US and Canadian. So, really it is only costing you 6 dollars to get in, and this helps with the upkeep of this stunning park Reserve.
There are many things to do in Barbados. If you are a history buff, then this island is full of history and points of interest, if the water is your goal, there are many things to do there as well. Or you can just relax and not do anything at all! But do put the Barbados Wildlife Reserve on your list, you will not be disappointed.
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