Harrison’s Cave is one of Mother Nature’s gift to Barbados. The cave has been described as a unique natural phenomenon. It is the most famous cave on the island of Barbados and it also the cave that attracts the most number of visitors. Harrison’s Cave is named after Thomas Harrison who owned much of the land in the area in the 1700s. During the 18th and 19th centuries, several expeditions ventured to explore the cave, but they were not very successful as the cave posed many challenges. The area was remapped in 1974 and the Barbados Government started development of the cave which was opened to visitors in 1981. The entrance of the cave is through the Boyce Tunnel which is name in honor of an equipment operator named Noel Boyce. He was the first member of the construction team to break through the bedrock into the natural passageway of the cave.
The visit to Harrison’s Cave commences in a small park. You will find a Visitor’s Centre here which merges with the natural limestone bedrock. Amerindian artifacts which have been excavated from various sites on the island are exhibited here. You will also find a handicrafts shop and a refreshment center here. The Visitors’ Center gives detailed information about the cave through a multimedia presentation. Visitors to the cave are then driven in electric trams and taken down through the entire cave system. There are excellent tourist guides who tell you everything about the history of the caves.
Harrison’s Cave is a huge stream cave that is about 2.3 km long. The cave is a phenomenon that is a unique occurrence of nature. It is a wonderful gallery of stalactites, which hang from the roof of the cave, and stalagmites, that emerge from the ground. These stalagmites and stalactites were formed thousands of years ago. In some of the places, you will see a remarkable feature where the stalactites have reached down to meet the stalagmites. The formation of a pillar thus is a sight that has to be seen. The cave has been naturally formed as a result of water erosion through the limestone rock. The calcium-rich water that runs through the caves has resulted in the formation of stalactites and stalagmites.
Harrison’s Cave is not just a single but a series of caves. The tram which takes you into the cave stops at two places where the passengers are allowed to disembark and have a closer look. At the lowest level, the visitors are urged to get down and walk alongside a marvelous waterfall which later plunges into a deep pool below. The reflection of these rock formations from the lights gives an eerie effect and it is a sight, which one cannot afford to miss. Here, you will see a number of speleothems, common dripstones, dogtooth spars, as well as pools. The hues of the stalagmite and stalactite formations range from yellow or beige to a bright white. Some of the ancient stalactites and stalagmites have joined to create incredible pillars. You will be mesmerized by the sight of these formations. Take a look at the crystal clear streams that run through the caves and form spectacular pools and waterfalls. Harrison’s Cave is one of the wonders of Barbados. Do not miss it!