This natural limestone formation underneath the heart of Barbados is massive—at least 2.3 kilometers (1.3 miles) long and nearly 15 meters (50 feet) high in some places. Named for Thomas Harrison—who owned a large portion of land in the area in which the caves were discovered. Harrison’s Cave has quickly become one of the most visited attractions in the interior of Barbados.
Interestingly enough, Harrison (whose name is also on Harrison College, a school he himself formed in 1733) may not have even known about the caves on his property. First mentioned in historical documents in 1795, many of the early expeditions into the caves were stymied by the inaccessibility of the natural entrances into the underground. The caves were “forgotten” for nearly 200 years until they were re-discovered in the mid-1970s by Ole Sorenson (a noted engineer and cave explorer from Denmark) and his travel companions and native Barbadians Tony Mason and Allison Thornhill.
In 1981 the caves were opened to the public and a tram system was built underground in order to make accessing and preserving this natural wonder easier. The tram system takes visitors through the cave and stops at certain key points allowing you to disembark and get up close and personal with these amazing frock formations.
Two of the most popular stops along the way are “The Great Hall” and “The Village.” The Great Hall is a massive cavern at least 15 meters (50 feet) high in which you can immerse yourself in the echoes of the Earth! The Village features clusters of limestone pillars which have grown together over millennia to create intricate and eye-catching formations that leave visitors in awe.
The cave system at Harrison’s Cave is a living system. This means it’s still growing and evolving. The water that seeps through the rocks is adding layer after layer of mineral deposits to the stalactites and stalagmites every day. However, these formations grow at less than the thickness of a sheet of paper each year.
Planning a Daytrip in Barbados? Harrison’s Cave is an Excellent Stop
Harrison’s Cave is an excellent adventure for natural history buffs or anyone looking for a few excellent photo opportunities unlike anything else you’ll find on Barbados. It’s also a great educational escape for children and an opportunity to see the wonders of nature first-hand.
Located nearly at the center of the island, Harrison’s Cave makes a great stop off no matter what corner of Barbados you’re exploring. It’s also a wonderful escape from the heat of the day as the caves stay a cool 27 degrees Celsius all day long.
If you’re on Barbados for more than a few days, you’ll want to add Harrison’s Cave to your list of “must-sees.”
Harrison’s Cave Tours & Rates