I must admit that before this tour, the last time I visited the Green Grotto Caves, I was in primary school (that is, elementary school for my non-Jamaican readers). So, I was very excited to go on this tour and get familiar with numerous rock formations, light holes and the green algae from which the name of the cave was derived.
The fascinating 45-minute tour took us through a series of interconnected passageways, large open spaces (that even once hosted a nightclub), intriguing rock formations, sacred meeting ground and a small lake deep inside the cavern.
And what exciting stories do these caves have to tell!
The Tainos (Arawak Indians) were the first occupiers of the caves who used special areas as their sacred meeting ground (so the guide says). Their occupation has been evidenced by several findings of pottery and other indigenous items.
The Green Grotto Caves were also occupied by runaway slaves and during the world wars were used to smuggle arms to Cuba and later as a storeroom for rum barrels by the government.
Elixir of Youth
The caves are also home to 9 species of bats which you will readily discover as soon you look up! Never mind though, as these bats are quite harmless and are not perturbed by human invaders.
The most exciting moments of our tour included:
- The steep descent down 60 steps to the underground lake which is believed to be the elixir of youth
- The beating of hollow rocks to produce rhythmic sounds
- The glistening rocks
- Crawling through a narrow hole as we made our way to the exit
We found our guide extremely knowledgeable, friendly and eager to answer all our questions. Here is an interesting fact that will make your visit a vacation highlight: the caves were a part of the actual location for the filming of the 1973, James Bond film, "Live and Let Die"
Our conclusion is that it was a great tour and refreshing experience as we headed back to our sun, fun and frolic!
- Dress comfortably - jeans and sneakers will do
- Take extra lighting for your camera
- Clean restroom facilities
- Snack bar available and a jerk centre is right across the road