Naniki the Hidden Gem in Paradise

Located in the parish of St. Joseph on the east coast of Barbados is Naniki, a hidden gem in paradise.

Tucked away in the country side of Barbados, the property boasts commanding views of the rolling hills and the Atlantic Ocean. Naniki is a Taino word meaning “spirited or full of life”, which accurately represents the property.

The restaurant and self -contained cottages lie in harmony with the mountainous surroundings and the natural environment providing an atmosphere for meditation and spiritual growth. Naniki is peaceful, simple, clean and conducive to mental clarity.

The temperature is usually 2-3 degrees cooler than the rest of the island. On Sundays, Naniki offers a delightful hike, yoga and breakfast package.

This hidden gem has a rich and interesting history. Once a part of Vaughn’s plantation, one can see remnants of its sugar production history throughout the property.

Prior to being a sugar cane estate, the land on which Naniki currently resides was a forest. After the sugar cane production ceased, mother nature reclaimed the land and a second beautiful forest emerged.  Today the property is covered with many different types of plants.

Some of the dominant trees are cabbage palm, mimosa (river tamarind), african tulip and bois cano. At Naniki, you will find one of the largest stand of cabbage palms on the island.

These majestic trees have grown to over 60 feet tall, with trunks over 36 inches and number in the hundreds. Standing in the middle of cabbage palm grove you will hear the natural sound of the forest, with a combination of the birds chirping and the falling rain.

Naniki offers a hike through the forest where you will learn and see evidence of the sugar production history.

You will explore the second forest and streams from springs which punctuate the landscape especially during the rainy season.  There is also a small water catchment in the forest known as “Lake Naniki” which is featured in the movie “WA ROHO” (an ancestral journey from Africa to Barbados).

At the end of the longer trail is a slave burying ground and chapel dating back to 1619. Throughout the hike you will experience the wonders of mother nature.

Another must see is a rope made from a tree, a perfectly twisted vine. Along the hike, have fun and maybe see if you can run on the mountain bike ramps for added adventure.

On Sundays, taking the one-hour hike and yoga with Marita Greenidge set the tone for the perfect way to relieve stress, declutter the mind while helping you to become more focused. Flow through the various yoga movements with mellow jazz music playing in the background.

Unlike most yoga studios which are indoors, yoga at Naniki is in an outdoor experience with the view of the east coast of Barbados.

Don’t worry if this is your first yoga class, Marita will assist you through each movement and even modify them to your skill level and comfortability.

Yoga involves mediation and deep breathing which can help improve a person’s mental well-being. It helps persons develop a positive outlook on life and relieve some of the symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Yoga has several benefits such as the following:

  • Increases strength, endurance, and flexibility.
  • Improves mental endurance and physical stamina from holding postures for extended breaths.
  • Improves cardio and circulatory health
  • Arm and shoulder strength is increased as you use your own body weight for resistance.
  • Improved spine support
  • Tones abdominals and obliques from building core muscles.
  • Improves Posture over time
  • Natural anxiety reliever

After the yoga session, it is time for a country breakfast. A Caribbean style breakfast includes coconut bakes, bujol saltfish and sauté green bananas is a crowd favourite. More than 90% of all the items on the breakfast menu is locally sourced.

While at breakfast you are sure to enjoy the breeze and the breath-taking views of Naniki and its surroundings.

Naniki offers short term rental of self-contained cottages for those who need more than a few hours of mental clarity.

If you are looking for a retreat from your daily lives and regain a sense of self, Naniki cottages are the answer to your needs. Waking up every morning to fresh, clean air and calm surroundings allows you to unwind and rejuvenate.

Relax by the pool while sipping a favourite beverage and take in the sound of the wind blowing through the surrounding trees.

Naniki hike, yoga, and breakfast is recommended for locals and tourist alike.

When most think of Barbados, they picture white sandy beaches, crystal clear waters, a tropical paradise with warm weather.

Country life experiences including hikes are not one the first thoughts that come to mind as part of one’s weekly itinerary. However, Naniki offers a unique opportunity to explore another side of Barbados and a pleasant surprise of the breath-taking views and other tropical features.

It is a different world at Naniki, located on this tiny island we love and call home. So, escape to paradise and indulge in everything that is Naniki.

I highly suggest all Barbadians and tourists to venture to the east of the island and explore the wonders of Naniki.

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