Need a break from the beach? If you're looking for something different to entertain the whole family, Barbados has it covered. Curious kids will love the underground wonders of Harrison's Cave
, a gigantic crystallised limestone cavern at the heart of the island. Awash in other-worldly stalactites and stalagmites of all shapes and sizes, this active cave also contains an elaborate network of streams and glassy rock pools. A guided tram tour takes you deep inside this eerie cave system while hearing stories about the early explorers' adventures.
Which kids don't like a bit of rough and tumble? Island Safari
offers a variety of 'off the beaten track' tours in their customised 4x4 land rovers, sure to please kids and big kids alike. Many places on their itineraries are inaccessible to regular tour buses so punters are guaranteed an island snapshot like no other, discovering and exploring little known gullies and coastal lookouts, etc. Tours are led by gregarious local guides with plenty to chat about, while each vehicle fits up to 10 or 11 passengers with easy viewing access for all. The most popular tour is the full day 'Adventure Safari' which includes stops in rarely explored corners in and around Edge Cliff, Bathsheba and Joe's River Forest. Most tours come with lunch and "jungle juice" (read: rum punch) and there are also half day tours for those pressed for time.
For something totally unique, Atlantis Submarines
takes you to depths of up to 45 metres below surface aboard the 65ft (20m) Atlantis III. A 40 minute underwater journey gets you up close and personal with the Caribbean Sea's tropical marine life via the submarine's viewing portholes. The tour, with commentary, also takes you to a shipwreck and a coral reef boasting the title of island's oldest natural artefact.
Welchman Hall, St. Thomas. Telephone (246) 417 37 00. First tour at 8:45am and last tour at 3:45pm. Entry BDS$60 for adults and BDS$30 for children 12 and under.
Telephone (246) 429 53 37. Tours start at US$50 for adults and US$37.50 for children aged 5-12. Only children aged 5 and over are permitted on tours.
(246) 436 89 29. Tours cost US$104 for adults and US$52 for children aged 16 and under. All adult tickets include a free drink. Children must measure 3ft (91.5cm) or taller.
By Richelle Harrison Plesse