Ocho Rios Green Grotto Cave
The Green Grotto Caves are a labyrinth of underground caverns that are surrounded by thick vegetation and supplied by crystal clear water flowing from its depths. The Green Grotto Caves are located on Jamaica’s North Coast in Runaway Bay, St. Ann, just 35 minutes outside of Ocho Rios and got its name from the green algae that covers its walls. The length of the cave is 5,003 feet or 1,525 meters. Over the years, the Caves have been known by many different names such as the Runaway Bay Caves, Hopewell Caves, Discovery Bay Caves, Dry Harbour Caves, Rum Caves and Dairy Caves.
The Green Grotto Caves have a colorful history as they provided shelter for Jamaica’s first inhabitants, the Tainos from South America. In the 18th Century, the Green Grotto Caves were used as hideout for runaway slaves. Between the two world wars they were used by smugglers running arms to Cuba, while in the later years of the Second World War the Government of Jamaica used the entrance of the cave as a storeroom for rum in barrels. The Green Grotto Caves are home to diverse set of wildlife, including nine of Jamaica’s 21 species of bat including the Big-Eared Bat, the Mustache Bat, and the Jamaican Fruit-Eating Bat.
Although the caverns do require some bending and maneuvering at different spots, it is not too physically demanding once you are in good health. Before you begin your tour, hard hats will be provided to the guests to ensure safety and patrons will have to sign a waiver before entry. Make sure to wear mosquito repellant before arriving, as they can be an issue at certain times of the year. The entire tour lasts an hour and you’ll be entertained and informed by the great tour guides that work there. If you are interested in an educational tour that’s off the beaten track, then give the Green Grotto Caves a visit. You won’t regret it.