Green Grotto Caves
One of Jamaica's most prominent natural attractions, these caves are on the island's north coast, between Ocho Rios and Montego Bay, just a few kilometres from Discovery Bay and Runaway Bay. The huge, labyrinthine limestone cave found here is 5,003 feet (1,525m) long and characterised by stalactites, stalagmites, overhead ceiling pockets, numerous chambers, light holes, and in its depths a subterranean lake. The caves have played an important role in Jamaican history: the island's original inhabitants, the Arawak Indians, used them for shelter; they were used as a hideout for Spaniards during the British take-over; they were a natural haven for runaway slaves; the Jamaican government used them to store barrels of rum during World War II; and they were even used as a den for smugglers running arms to Cuba. Apparently they've also been utilised as a setting for scenes from a James Bond film. The tour takes under an hour but the history and natural features make it a fascinating excursion for adults and children. You are likely to see bats and may even see snakes. It is warm in the cave system and can be slippery so dress accordingly. There are some stairs to climb but overall it is not a strenuous activity.
Address: Runaway Bay
Telephone: 973 2841
Opening times: Open daily from 9am to 4pm
Admission: Non-residents: US$20 (adults) and US$10 (children 4-12 years). Admission price includes a 45-minute guided tour, hard hat rental and a complimentary drink