I was recently on a Caribbean cruse with costa cruises which you can read more about here, day 5 of our cruise was a stop at Barbados, somewhere I have wanted to go for so long and probably the place I was most looking forward to during this trip. One thing I especially wanted to do was go snorkelling and see the turtles and I was going to make sure it happened, even if I just saw one!
I got looking online and came across tranquillity cruises ran by a lady called Sarah who also owns glorytours. I messaged her about getting booked on to the turtle and shipwreck cruise and she actually came back recommending the full day best of Barbados tour (on glorytours) which included:
– Harrison’s cave tram tour
– Wlechman Hall Gully
– Lunch at Copacabana Barbados
– Carlisle Bay
– Glass bottom boat cruise to swim with turtles and snorkel at a shipwreck.
We was met at the port by our tour guide Quammie, if you can’t remember that just remember ‘callme’ (If you ever book on a tour with him I’m sure he will tell you the joke of how to remember his name LOL). He was fun and had so much information for us as well as the funniest most ridiculous stories during the drive.
We started off at Harrison’s cave which was only opened to the public in 1981. During the 18th and 19th centuries, several expeditions attempted to explore Harrison’s Cave with no luck and it wasn’t until the 1970s that access was conquered due to the many challenges the cave network presented.
Harrison’s cave is around 2.3 kilometres long with the interior temperature getting to 27 degrees celsius and the highest point being 15 metres high, also known as the Great Hall. The cave is also considered to be active as it carries water as well as its stalagmites still growing, by less than the thickness of a piece of paper each year which doesn’t seem like much but in geological terms is very fast.
You aren’t allowed to wonder around the cave as you please and instead are with a group of up to 30 people loaded onto a tram, you are driven down into the cave where you have 3 stopping points that you can get off and have more of a closer look. I didn’t actually know anything about Harrison’s cave before visiting however I would recommend coming to anyone visiting Barbados!
From Harrison’s Cave we headed to Welchman Hall Gully which isn’t something I am personally too interested in but it is a nice way to break up the day or go on a relaxing walk. Welchman Hall Gully is protecting Barbados’ natural heritage. It is a unique landscape tropical forest in a collapsed cave with plenty of species of plants/trees AND MONKEYS in their natural habitat swinging from branch to branch. There is a monkey feeding time between 10.30am – midday which we didn’t see ourselves however I have read is worth visiting in the morning to see.
We was slightly behind schedule but headed 15 minutes to Carlisle Bay which was gorgeous and I wish we had longer here to be honest. It would be the perfect place to spend the afternoon, have a picnic, go for a stroll, go swimming in the sea, anything you want really as it’s just lovely. We literally just stopped for about 10 minutes to get some photos before we headed back on the bus to go for lunch but I could have easily spent a few hours here.
We went to Copacabana for lunch which is on the beach front and has such a great atmosphere from the moment you walk in. The staff was friendly, the music is playing in the background, you can hear the waves crashing and the sun is beaming. All perfect!
We had a few options of what we could have for lunch including a beef burger, fish burger, pulled pork bbq wrap, salad and few other options i cant remember. I went for the beef burger and chips which was really good and after being out all day was delicious.
After we finished lunch we literally walked round the corner on the beach to the tranquillity cruise hut where we met our guide for the TURTLE TOUR!! At this point I was beyond excited and eagerly waiting to get on the boat. The boat comes right up on to the shore and has a ramp that comes down making it super easy to get on and off the boat, I really appreciated this as one thing I hate about some boat tours is having to swim out to sea and trying to pull yourself up on a hot metal ladder while your wet and sliding off. We had a crew of 3 who were all beyond friendly and welcoming, my sister was slightly worried as she has never snorkelled before and they completely helped relax her. By the end of the trip she was even going down the slide with no worry!
Our first stop was to the turtles and OHMYGODDDD! I SAW THEM! Ok well only 2 or 3 but I was still in the sea with turtles swimming around me. Another bucket list goal completed √
There isn’t much else to say about that and sadly my photos don’t do the experience too much justice, for once I was just focused on seeing what was happening in the moment with my real eyes rather than from behind a camera.
We then headed to the shipwreck which was actually really cool to see but also fascinating as you automatically want to know more. After snorkelling we had 15 minutes or so to use the on board slide/jump off the boat and just enjoy the moment and have some fun.
(Poor quality pictures as they are screenshots from my videos)
This tour was honestly soo much more than what I expected and was without a doubt the best day I had during this trip! I saw so much more of Barbados than I expected and had some real once in a lifetime experiences including exploring active caves and snorkelling with turtles.
If you are ever in Barbados for a holiday or a stop on a cruise I cannot recommend glorytours / tranquilitycruises enough, all the staff are so helpful and friendly! Contact Sarah for any enquiries you have and get booked on.
I don’t often go back to places I have visited but I already cannot wait to start planning a trip back to Barbados and relive this day all over again 🙂
To read more about our Caribbean cruise, check out my post all about our stop on Day one at Tobago!
Have you ever been to Barbados or swap with turtles? let me know in the comments below!