Harrison's Cave Barbados

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Harrison's Cave is one of the major tourist attractions in Barbados and is located in the parish of St Thomas, roughly in the centre (central uplands) of the island and a 30 minute drive from the capital Bridgetown or a 20 minute drive from the popular beach resorts around Holetown on the west cost. Harrison's Cave is owned and operated by the island government and is open to the public 5 days a week from Wednesdays through to Sundays (currently closed on Mondays and Tuesdays).

Harrison's Cave Barbados

 

The cave is named after Thomas Harrison who owned the land in the eighteenth century when the cave was discovered. Although a few attempts were made to access the cave over the last several hundred years; it remained mostly unexplored until the 1970's. From 1974 onwards excavation began to turn the cave into a tourist attraction by digging out access shafts and tunnels and Harrison's Cave was finally opened to the public in 1981.

Underground Stream

Stalactite

Underground Stream

Stalactite (downward growth)

Visitors are first shown a short video presentation when entering the main building. The video explains how the island was created in geological terms (rising from the seabed as a coral and limestone island as opposed to being volcanic like most of the windward and leeward Caribbean islands) and brief, but interesting details, of how the underground structures were formed.

An electric tram takes visitors down a long winding access tunnel deep inside the cave system. (Tip: You are advised to take a lightweight waterproof, hat or an umbrella! The cave has a tendency to drip quite a lot of water on the unsuspecting tourists below and there is no roof on the electric tram). The tour winds around the underground structure, stopping a few times to get out and take photos, with a commentary. The Harrison's Cave system is several miles long and with about a third of it currently open to the public.

Stalagmite

Harrison's Cave Entrance

Stalagmite (upward growth)

Entrance to Harrison's Cave Barbados

 

The underground streams, pools and stalagmites are quite interesting. Considering most people would not have the opportunity to explore a massive underground cave system very often, the tour should be on your list of things to do whilst staying in Barbados. Shore excursions are also offered for cruise ship passengers visiting the island for the day and the excursion can be combined with a jeep safari of the island.

Harrison's Cave Barbados travel guide, Caribbean
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