The Hot Pot
Tucked around a corner on the north end of Brighton Beach in Bridgetown, Barbados, is the aptly named “Hot Pot”. Your nose will lead you there, as it smells like over-fermented whiskey – likely thanks to the nearby West Indies Rum Distillery. But, as soon as you round the northern corner, it’s impossible to miss the otherwise stunning emerald-turquoise pool.
What makes it so special? Well, the Hot Pot is actually an inlet of hot water being expelled from the run-off pipes of an electricity plant. You can feel the sand heating up under your feet even just approaching the pool. It’s kind of like a hot spring. Only, I I’d argue that it’s not very refreshing when almost every day in Barbados is a perfect 83°F.
Regardless, it’s one of the most unique spots along the west coast shoreline. Some locals believe that the warm water has restorative effects, offering relief from arthritis and other pains. Others wonder if the health benefits might actually be an illusion. A fair question since the water comes straight from a plant!
As an American who is used to things being dulled down for safety reasons, I find it somewhat surprising that the Hot Pot is open to the public. The water pouring out from the plant creates an undertow that makes the current shockingly strong. Dipping your toes in the water gives you a pretty good idea of just how strong the pull is. Sadly, this has lead to a number of fatalities in the area – even one during my time in Barbados. Needless to say, extreme caution should be taken if you decide to take a dip.
Despite the smell and potential dangers, I definitely recommend it for more daring adventurers. Photographers looking for beautiful photo ops on the island might also enjoy it, too!
+ Very warm water
+ Close to Bridgetown
+ Potential health benefits (temporary relief from arthritis and other pains)
– Dangerous water with riptides
– No nearby facilities or rental chairs
– Pungent smell
– Usually other people around, low chance of being alone
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