Hunte’s Gardens Barbados Review

Hunte’s Gardens is a botanical garden that visitors can pay to enter and wander around. Its full of vibrant flora and tranquil beauty, probably one of our favourite places to visit in Barbados – we have been 3 times! The origins of this enchanting garden trace back to the vision Anthony Hunte, a horticulturist and environmental enthusiast whose love for nature has shaped one of the island’s most stunning attractions.

Anthony Hunte, born and raised in Barbados, grew up with a passion for plants and gardening. This was apparently evident from an early age, leading him to pursue a life dedicated to horticulture. In the 1950s, he began working in the island’s sugar cane fields, but his true calling lay in creating something beautiful in the establishment of Hunte’s Gardens.

Teddy and Margo Ellmore at Huntes Gardens

History Of Huntes Gardens

Hunte’s Gardens started in the 1990s when Hunte acquired an abandoned sugar plantation in the scenic St. Joseph Parish. The location, with its rich soil and natural spring, provided the perfect canvas for his ambitious project. Transforming the neglected land into a garden paradise was no small feat. It required years of meticulous planning, planting, and nurturing.

Hunte’s vision for the gardens was inspired by the natural beauty he had encountered on his travels and his deep-rooted love for Barbados’ indigenous flora. His goal was to create a space that would not only showcase the island’s botanical diversity but also offer a sanctuary for reflection and relaxation. He meticulously curated a collection of plants from around the world, blending exotic species with native Barbadian flora to create a harmonious and vibrant landscape.

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What sets Hunte’s Gardens apart is the personal touch that Anthony Hunte has put into it. The garden is a reflection of his creativity, featuring meandering pathways, hidden nooks, and artistic arrangements that surprise and delight visitors at every turn.

It has grown into one of Barbados’ most beloved attractions, drawing visitors from around the globe who come to experience its breathtaking beauty. The garden continues to evolve, with Hunte personally overseeing its care and development. He can often be found in the cafe where he talks to visitors about the project over a glass of rum punch!

The Stairs Leading Down to Huntes Gardens

Where is Huntes Garden

Hunte’s Gardens is in St. Joseph Parish. It’s close to other attractions such as the flower forest and Bathsheba beach. The gardens are nestled in a lush gully and you really do feel like you are in a lost world!

The gardens are approximately a 30-minute drive from the capital city, Bridgetown, making it a manageable drive for those staying in the city or nearby coastal areas. Local taxis and shuttle services are readily available and provide a convenient way to reach the gardens without the hassle of navigating unfamiliar roads.

If you’re driving, follow these simple directions: from Bridgetown, take Highway 2A northward, then transition onto Highway C which leads directly into the St. Joseph Parish. Clear signage will guide you towards Hunte’s Gardens.

What is There to do When You Get There?

Layout and Design

The layout of Hunte’s Gardens makes it fun to walk around. Whenever we go the kids just run off and explore -they usually pop out again somewhere! The garden is terraced into the hillside, utilizing the natural contours of the land to create a multi-level walk. This designmaximizes the space but also provides varied perspectives and views.

Themed Sections

Within the gardens, different sections are themed to showcase various plant species and garden styles. There are serene ponds surrounded by lush greenery, vibrant flower beds bursting with color, and shaded groves that offer cool respite from the sun. The careful placement of plants and the thoughtful use of garden ornaments and seating areas invite visitors to linger and absorb the beauty around them.

Unique Features

One of the standout features of Hunte’s Gardens is its collection of hidden nooks and crannies. Throughout the garden, visitors will find secluded benches, cozy gazebos, and intimate viewing spots that provide perfect places for quiet reflection or a leisurely rest.

Another unique aspect is the eclectic mix of plants. Anthony Hunte’s passion for horticulture is evident in the diversity of flora on display. From towering palms and exotic orchids to delicate ferns and colorful hibiscus, the variety is impressive. The garden is home to numerous rare and unusual species, each carefully tended to ensure they thrive in their tropical environment.

Hospitality and Personal Touches

Adding to the charm of Hunte’s Gardens is the hospitality of its creator. Anthony Hunte is often present, mingling with visitors, sharing stories, and offering insights into the garden. We have sat with Mr Hunte in the cafe above the gardens and had a chat with him about the garden, his passion for the garden really makes the visit even more special.

Guided Tours

To make the most of your visit to Hunte’s Gardens, think about taking a guided tour.

One of the best ways to experience Hunte’s Gardens is through a guided tour. These tours are led by knowledgeable guides who provide fascinating insights into the garden’s history, plant species, and design philosophy.

  • Expert Insights: Guides offer detailed explanations about the various plants, their origins, and their unique characteristics. They also share interesting anecdotes about the garden’s creation and Anthony Hunte’s vision.
  • Personal Touch: A guided tour often includes personal stories and lesser-known facts about the gardens, adding depth and context to your visit. Guides can answer questions and tailor the tour to your interests.
  • Special Access: Some guided tours may provide access to areas not typically open to the public or highlight seasonal blooms and special features that you might otherwise miss.

Special Events and Activities

Hunte’s Gardens is a stunning venue for a variety of special events. Whether you’re planning a wedding, celebrating an anniversary, or organizing an artistic photo shoot, the enchanting setting of Hunte’s Gardens provides a unique and memorable backdrop.

Weddings

Imagine exchanging vows amidst a sea of vibrant flowers, with the lush greenery and serene ambiance creating a magical setting for your special day. Hunte’s Gardens is a popular choice for weddings, offering a picturesque location that will make your ceremony unforgettable.

  • Ceremony Spaces: Various locations within the gardens can be transformed into romantic ceremony spaces. Whether you prefer a secluded nook or a grand floral arch, the garden’s diverse settings can accommodate your vision.
  • Reception Areas: The bohemian dining area directly in the garden is perfect for intimate receptions. Surrounded by nature, this space provides a charming and relaxed atmosphere for celebrating with friends and family.
  • Photography Opportunities: The garden’s beautiful landscapes offer endless opportunities for stunning wedding photos, capturing the joy and beauty of your special day.

Special Celebrations and Anniversary Parties

Hunte’s Gardens is an ideal venue for celebrating milestones and special occasions. Whether it’s a birthday, anniversary, or family reunion, the gardens provide a serene and picturesque setting for any gathering.

  • Event Customization: Each celebration at Hunte’s Gardens is unique. The staff can help customize the event to suit your needs, from decorations to catering arrangements.
  • Dining Experience: The garden’s dining area is perfect for hosting a celebratory meal. With its bohemian charm and garden views, it offers a memorable dining experience that complements any celebration.
  • Entertainment and Activities: Guests can enjoy a variety of activities, such as guided tours of the garden, live music, or even garden-themed games, making your celebration both enjoyable and unforgettable.

Artistic Photo-Shooting Sessions

  • Professional Photo Shoots: Whether it’s for fashion photography, engagement sessions, or portfolio shoots, the garden’s enchanting environment enhances the aesthetic of any photo shoot.
  • Artistic Inspiration: The garden’s unique features, from exotic flowers to hidden nooks, offer endless inspiration for artists and photographers. The interplay of light and shadow throughout the day adds a dynamic element to any project.

Customized Events

If you have a special event in mind that doesn’t fit into the typical categories, Hunte’s Gardens can still accommodate your needs.

  • Corporate Events: Host a corporate retreat, team-building event, or business meeting in an inspiring natural setting that fosters creativity and relaxation.
  • Workshops and Educational Programs: The garden’s educational tours can be expanded into workshops or seminars focused on horticulture, conservation, or wellness.
  • Personal Celebrations: From vow renewals to garden parties, any personal celebration can be made special within the lush surroundings of Hunte’s Gardens.
Margo and Teddy Ellmore looking at a statue

Huntes Gardens Opening Times

Hunte’s Gardens is open every day of the week.

Regular Opening Hours

  • Opening Time: The gardens open at 10:00 a.m.
  • Closing Time: Hunte’s Gardens closes at 4:00 p.m.

Year-Round Access

  • Daily Opening: The gardens are open every day, including weekends, so whether you’re planning a weekday outing or a weekend adventure, the gardens will be available.
  • Sundays: Unlike many attractions that might close on Sundays, Hunte’s Gardens remains open, offering a perfect Sunday retreat for relaxation and exploration.
  • Bank Holidays: Even on public holidays, when many businesses and attractions close, Hunte’s Gardens stays open.

How Much Does Huntes Gardens Cost?

Admission Fees

  • Adults: The admission fee for adults is $20 USD or $40 BBD per person. This fee grants you access to the entire garden, allowing you to explore its diverse flora and fauna at your leisure.
  • Children: Children under 12 years old enjoy a discounted rate, with their admission fee being half the price of an adult ticket. This makes it $10 USD or $20 BBD per child, making a family visit more affordable.

Payment Options

What Else is There to Do Near Huntes Gardens?

While Hunte’s Gardens is a highlight of any visit to Barbados, the surrounding area offers a lot of additional attractions.

Andromeda Botanic Gardens

Just a short drive from Hunte’s Gardens, Andromeda Botanic Gardens is another must-visit for nature enthusiasts. This six-acre garden is known for its extensive collection of tropical plants and unique landscaping.

  • Plant Collection: Andromeda features a diverse array of tropical and subtropical plants, including rare palms, orchids, and succulents.
  • Educational Tours: Guided tours provide in-depth knowledge about the plants and the history of the gardens, enhancing your appreciation of the botanical diversity.
  • Visitor Amenities: The garden offers facilities such as a café, gift shop, and shaded seating areas, making it a pleasant stop after visiting Hunte’s Gardens.

Bathsheba Beach

A visit to Bathsheba Beach offers a dramatic contrast to the tranquility of Hunte’s Gardens. Known for its rugged beauty and powerful surf, Bathsheba Beach is a favorite spot for surfers and nature lovers.

  • Scenic Views: The beach is famous for its striking rock formations and breathtaking ocean views, perfect for photography and relaxation.
  • Surfing and Tide Pools: Surfers flock to the “Soup Bowl,” a world-renowned surfing spot. For those less inclined to surf, the natural tide pools provide a safe and enjoyable way to explore marine life.
  • Picnic Spots: Enjoy a picnic while taking in the stunning coastal scenery. There are several picnic areas with tables and benches, ideal for a relaxing lunch.

Harrison’s Cave

Harrison’s Cave is one of Barbados’ most popular attractions, located just a short drive from Hunte’s Gardens. This crystallized limestone cave features stunning stalactites, stalagmites, and flowing streams.

  • Tram Tours: A guided tram tour takes you through the cave’s vast chambers and winding passageways, offering close-up views of the impressive formations.
  • Interactive Exhibits: The visitor center includes educational exhibits about the cave’s geology and formation, providing a deeper understanding of this natural wonder.
  • Nature Trails: Surrounding the cave are nature trails that allow visitors to explore the beautiful Barbadian landscape above ground.

Conservation Efforts

Anthony Hunte’s dedication to preserving the natural environment is evident throughout the gardens, making it a model of sustainable practices and ecological responsibility.

Commitment to Sustainability

From its inception, Hunte’s Gardens has been committed to sustainable gardening practices. The goal is to create a harmonious environment that not only showcases the beauty of nature but also contributes to the health of the ecosystem.

  • Organic Gardening: Hunte’s Gardens employs organic gardening techniques, avoiding the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. This practice helps maintain soil health and protects the surrounding flora and fauna.
  • Water Conservation: The gardens make use of natural springs and rainwater harvesting systems to minimize water usage. This approach ensures that the gardens remain lush and vibrant without depleting local water resources.
  • Native Plant Species: By incorporating native Barbadian plants into the garden’s design, Hunte’s Gardens supports local biodiversity and provides habitats for native wildlife.
Debbie Tasker at the dining table display in Huntes Gardens

Habitat Preservation

Hunte’s Gardens serves as a refuge for a variety of plant and animal species, contributing to the conservation of local biodiversity.

  • Wildlife Sanctuary: The gardens provide a safe haven for numerous bird species, butterflies, and other insects. The presence of these creatures enhances the garden’s ecological balance and contributes to pollination and pest control.
  • Endangered Species: Some sections of the garden are dedicated to the cultivation and protection of endangered plant species. These efforts help preserve genetic diversity and ensure that rare plants continue to thrive.
  • Educational Outreach: Hunte’s Gardens engages in educational programs to raise awareness about the importance of conservation. Visitors are encouraged to learn about the ecosystems and the role they can play in preserving them.

Environmental Initiatives

In addition to its on-site conservation efforts, Hunte’s Gardens participates in broader environmental initiatives aimed at protecting Barbados’ natural heritage.

  • Community Engagement: The garden works with local schools, community groups, and environmental organizations to promote sustainable practices and environmental education. Workshops and seminars are often held to teach sustainable gardening and conservation techniques.
  • Reforestation Projects: Hunte’s Gardens supports reforestation projects that aim to restore native forests and habitats. These initiatives help combat deforestation and promote the recovery of ecosystems that have been degraded by human activity.
  • Waste Reduction: The garden implements waste reduction practices, including composting organic waste and recycling materials. These practices minimize the environmental footprint of the garden and promote a circular economy.

How Visitors Can Contribute

Visitors to Hunte’s Gardens can play an active role in supporting its conservation efforts. Here are a few ways you can contribute:

  • Follow Guidelines: Adhering to the garden’s guidelines helps protect the plants and wildlife. Stay on designated paths, avoid picking plants, and respect the natural environment.
  • Support Organic Practices: Consider adopting organic gardening practices in your own garden. The techniques used at Hunte’s Gardens can serve as a model for sustainable gardening at home.
  • Participate in Programs: Engage in the educational programs and workshops offered by the garden. Learning about conservation can inspire you to take action in your own community.
  • Donate: Financial contributions help support the garden’s conservation initiatives. Donations can be used to fund habitat restoration projects, educational programs, and the maintenance of the garden’s facilities.

By visiting and supporting Hunte’s Gardens, you contribute to the ongoing efforts to protect and preserve Barbados’ natural heritage for future generations.

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john, Lucy, Teddy & Margo at hunts gardenss
Lucy Bridge

I love to travel with my family. Over the years, we’ve found ourselves coming back to the magic of Sunset Crest. So much so, that we finally decided to take the plunge and buy Villa Sunnyside in 2022!