Harrison's Cave in Barbados
Travel, Travel Stories

Harrison’s Cave in Barbados

The Harrison’s Cave in Barbados is a great adventure for those who love cave tours and in general have a soft spot for the subterranean wonders. The two million year old cave system contains chambers, streams and much more.

Background to Barbados

In 2019 I undertook a four-day trip to Barbados in the Caribbean. Barbados is about 430 square kilometres in area and has a population of just under 300,000.

So, it is a small island – I made a round-the-island trip in half a day – but it has a long geographical description on Wikipedia.

A Marker in Barbados

“Barbados is an island country in the Lesser Antilles of the west Indies in the Caribbean region of North America, and the most easterly of the Caribbean Islands.“

The island has great tourist attractions – from the touristy St Lawrence neighbourhood to car trips around the island and sandy beaches. Some of the wealthiest personalities in the USA have properties just north of capital Bridgetown.

The Harrison’s Cave

But perhaps for the nature lover, one of the biggest attractions in Barbados is the Harrison’s Cave.

The Cave is located in St. Thomas Parish and was about 30 minutes drive from my hotel in the capital Bridgetown so I decided to take a cab.

The cab passed through lush greenery and then we entered the Cave entrance.

Harrison's Cave in Barbados Amongst Greenery
Harrison’s Cave in Barbados Amongst Greenery

After paying the ticket, I got into the open-top, electric-powered tram. It took off, skirting through the cave system as the guide explained the various facets of this intricate natural wonder. In some places there were towering stalagmites.

Stalagmites & Stalactites

Stalagmite is formed in the ceilings of mostly limestone caves from the minerals in the dripping water. And stalactites are formed when the water from the ceiling drips to the floor and the minerals accumulate.

Obviously, these processes take tens of thousands of years.

The cave was discovered by a British military officer named Thomas Harrison in 1795, and is estimated to be about two million years old.

But only in the seventies the government got an exploration report made and then in 1981 it was open to the public to visit. Today, the Harrison’s Cave is a well-known tourist attraction.

Stalagmites and Stalactites in Harrison's Cave in Barbados
Stalagmites and Stalactites in Harrison’s Cave in Barbados

There are a number of chambers and stalactites and stalagmites. And here and there, I saw mini ponds or streams. In some spots we were able to get off the tram and walk around and take photos.

The biggest and perhaps the most famous of the chambers is the Great Hall which is more than 15 meters high.

After about an hour and more than two km in the tram, the tour was over.

A Stream inside Harrison's Cave in Barbados
A Stream inside Harrison’s Cave in Barbados

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