Wordtravels

Wordtravels

Green Grotto Caves

Green Grotto Caves © Brandie
Green Grotto Caves © Brandie

The caves are one of Jamaica's most prominent natural attractions. They're located 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 5,000 feet (1,524m) long and characterised by stalactites, stalagmites, overhead ceiling pockets, numerous chambers, light holes, and a subterranean lake in its depths.

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. They were also used as a setting for scenes from the 1973 James Bond film, Live and Let Die.

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

Website: www.greengrottocavesja.com