The Green Grotto Caves is one of Jamaica’s most outstanding and exclusive natural tourist attraction for visitors locally and travellers from abroad. Located on the north coast side of Jamaica close to Ocho Rios. The name which is given to these caves originate from the green algae which covers the cave walls.
Green Grotto caves structure is very different from the systems inland, this cave is what is called a 'Flank Margin Cave' which means there are old mixing chambers at the edge of the fresh water lens mixed with sea water. Both well defined levels illustrate the different time and different sea level of the tide. Traveling through the interconnected caverns of the caves, about 37 metres down, you will come upon the grotto which embodies an exclusive clear underground lake which is absolutely beautiful like nothing you have ever seen before.
Travel through the Green Grotto Caves on this wonderful journey into the heart of Jamaica’s inner world, encountering a maze of magnificent stalagmites, stalactites and other exclusively rare and elegant dripstone formations. Inside the cave is a natural wishing well where it is said to bring luck or love and there are hollow rocks which act as natural drums. There are parts of the Green Grotto Caves that haven’t been explored much and very little work has taken place, which are off limits to tourists, these are called “Wild Caves”.
The inhabitants of the Green Grotto caves are bats and they have made the dark crevices in the caves their homes. The bats excretions which is known as guano makes a good fertilizer and is rich in nitrogen which makes it flammable, so it dangerous to have a naked flame inside the cave so earlier explorations where made in the dark, smoking in the caves is a definate no no! Because of its combustible nature, the buccaneers would collect the guano and use it as an ingredient in making gunpowder. Discoveries have been made to show that the earlier inhabitants of the cave were the Taino Indians who used the cave for shelter. Tools, cave paintings and fragments of pottery have been discovered. The next known dwellers were the Spaniards who would hide in the caves to evade being captured at the time of the British invasion.
It is said that the Spanish used the underground tunnel which links the cave to Runaway bay in their attempts to escape and retreat to Cuba. Runaway slaves would also use these caves to hide from former slave masters. Due to the many uses of the cave over the years, the Green Grotto Caves have developed many names, including Runaway Bay Caves, Discovery Bay Caves, Hopewell Caves and many others. The caves were purchased in 1999 by the Urban Development Corporation (UDC) who have invested much into the development of the caves to make it a world class exclusive Eco tourism attraction. View the Green Grotto Caves Photo Gallery
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