A journey into underworld charm… a speologist’s dream, a green cavern of mystery and adventure, a slice of Jamaica’s history… part of your vacation with a difference… such are the accolades that can be ascribed to the largely unexplored labyrinth of mystical underground caverns called Green Grotto Caves which is surrounded by thick vegetation and supplied with pristine waters flowing from its secret depths. Such privacy and solace were to be found in the Green Grotto Caves, that its rich history can be a identified with diverse groups of people including its first inhabitants, the Arawak Indians (Tainos) who used the caves for various purposes. Proof of this is evident in the multiple fragments of pottery and artifacts that are unearthed from time to time.
During the 17th C when the English invaded the island of Jamaica, the Green Grotto Caves were used as a hideout for the Spaniards who were being driven out of the country.
In the mid 20th Century, between the two world wars, they were used by smugglers running arms to Cuba. In the latter years during the Second World War, the Government of Jamaica used the entrance of the cave as a storeroom for rum in barrels.
Known at various times as the Runaway Bay Caves, Cave Hall Caves, Discovery Bay Caves, Dry Harbour Caves, Hopewell Caves, Rum Caves and Dairy Caves, Green Grotto is among Jamaica’s most prominent natural attractions.
Over time, the government of Jamaica has recognized the unlimited potential of this marquee of history and has placed in the ownership and operation of the Urban Development Corporation and the St Ann Development Company respectively
Since that time the Green Grotto Caves has been transformed into a world class attraction winning Green Globe 21 Certification since 2003 and in 2009 achieving platinum-status certification.
Situated on 25.9 hectares of the island’s beautiful North Coast, the Caves are located between the resort centres of Ocho Rios and Montego Bay and are precisely 3.2 km from Discovery Bay to the west and 4 km from Runaway Bay to the east.
The central feature of this natural attraction is the large labyrinthine limestone cave with its unique rock formations, its stalactites, stalagmites and abundance of overhead ceiling pockets, and bats.
Green Grotto is 1,525 metres long and 12 metres deep and is characterised by numerous chambers and light holes and a subterranean lake – the Grotto Lake – occupies its bowels.