The prettiest botanical garden of the Caribbean

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Jardin de Balata

The prettiest botanical garden of the Caribbean

The Caribbean are well known for its beautiful beaches, swaying palm trees and enchanting underwater world. But did you know that there so much more flora and fauna to discover on the islands? Trees, a variety of exotic flowers, plants and tropical birds. For those who want to discover all this beauty without exploring the tough jungle, there is the botanical garden. A collection of special natural beauty an island has to offer. I’ll tell you about the most beautiful botanical gardens I’ve visited!

Many islands in the Caribbean have a volcanic origin. Since volcanic soil is very fertile there are lots of tropical (rain)forests to find around the crater of the volcano. Therefore the tropical vegetation is significantly increasing as the height difference of the volcano increase as well. In thumbnail view a botanical garden displays a good impression of the flora and fauna. Rather ideal for those people who won’t necessarily want to take all kinds of expeditions through the jungle. Although I am a real explorer, nonetheless I’ve visited several beautiful botanical gardens.

  1.  Martinique – Jardin de Balata

  2. French Martinique offers a variety of natural beauty. White sandy beaches in the south, rugged unspoiled volcanic beaches to the north. In the inland the tropical rain forest are dominating, along with a remarkable number of bamboo. A beautiful route from the capital Fort-de-France brings you through the Parc Naturel Régional de la Martinique to the botanical garden of the island; Jardin de Balata. It is a beautiful park where hummingbirds fly around your ears and where you will find the most exotic flowers. The garden, created by Jean-Philippe Thoze in 1982, is situated around his family home and built in Creole architecture. A true treat for the eyes and probably the prettiest botanical garden I’ve ever seen.

    Tip: Take a walk in the trees using the adventurous rope bridges!

  3.  Guadeloupe – Jardin Botanique de Deshaies

  4. The French archipelago of Guadeloupe offers a very varied nature. White sandy beaches, volcanic sand beaches, tropical rain forests, waterfalls, you name it. Near the touristic city of Deshaies in Basse-Terre you’ll find the somewhat hidden Jardin Botanique de Deshaies. This 7-hectare botanical garden gives an impression of the nature of Guadeloupe in a spectacular way. Even a waterfall! In the shop at the park you can buy seeds from local plants so you can enjoy the exotic nature at home.

    Tip: Feed the Loriquet, a beautiful colorful bird. But beware, they are more than happy to sit on your shoulders and head!

  5.  St. Lucia – Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens

  6. St. Lucia offers a variety of natural beauty. Of course the famous Pitons, two volcanic peaks and also part of UNESCO World Heritage. But what do you think of a drive-in volcano, stunning waterfalls and idyllic beaches? Diamond Falls Botanical Gardens is situated near Soufrière. At the center there is a spectacular natural waterfall. Besides it’s a beautiful landscaped garden with exotic plants and flowers.

    Tip: Take a bath in the Diamond Falls Mineral Baths. It dates back to 1784 and was built for the French troops of King Louis XVI. Most noteworthy the baths would have a therapeutic effect.

  7.  St. Eustatius (Statia) – Miriam C. Schmidt Botanical Garden

The tiny Dutch island of St. Eustatius consists of a dormant volcano with tropical rainforests and an ancient inactive volcano. While the island is known for its rich history and the remains of it, it also offers a small botanical garden. Despite the fact the island is very small, it offers a diversity of flowers and plants. Especially the vegetation in the crater is very special to mention. The native orchids for example. The Miriam C. Schmidt Botanical Garden is located on a dead end road on the southeast side of the island. The botanical garden has fought hard for the protection of the diverse and unique biodiversity of St. Eustatius.

Tip: Make sure you have a decent car, because you have to beat the adventurous and impassable road to the botanical garden. Furthermore there are often cows on the road, so watch your speed. The botanical garden offers you breathtaking views of the neighboring St Kitts.

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