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Journey Into The Depths of Green Grotto Caves, Jamaica

Island Life
June 9th 2023
Journey Into The Depths of Green Grotto Caves, Jamaica
Cover image credit: Photo Spirit/

The island of Jamaica moves to its own beat. A vacation on its shores can be spent exploring some of the Caribbean's most exotic beaches, dancing to catchy island rhythms, and exploring natural wonders like the Green Grotto Caves. The latter of these options makes it possible to combine history and adventure in the most exciting way, making it an experience worth considering during a Jamaica getaway.

Jamaica Interior Green Grotto Caves Light Path

Image credit: Photo Spirit/

Green Grotto Caves is located on Jamaica's north coast. This attraction consists of a series of limestone caves and an underground lake that is a must-see for any nature lover. The subterranean lake at Green Grotto Caves is about 1,525 meters long and 12 meters deep. All around this lake, there are stunning rock formations and light holes that really add to the ambiance. Green Grotto Caves is so stunning as an attraction that it was used as a film location in the James Bond movie, 'Live and Let Die'. With so much history and lots to see and discover, a Green Grotto Caves expedition is perfect for just about anyone.

Just to help get you ready for a Green Grotto Caves adventure, we've outlined in this guide what you can expect from a visit to this attraction!

Insider tip: Here's what to pack for a Jamaica vacation whether you'll be staying at the all-inclusive Montego Bay resorts, all-inclusive Negril resorts, or the all-inclusive Ocho Rios resorts.

History of the Green Grotto Caves

Green Grotto Caves is so much more than just a great adventure tour. These caves are located in Discovery Bay, Jamaica, and were previously known as the Runaway Bay Caves. Dating back to the 18th century, the attraction has served many purposes, including as a hideout. The Spaniards, Jamaican Maroons, runaway spies, and the Arawak Indians are all said to have used the caves for this very purpose. Green Grotto Caves also held much significance for the Taino Indians and Spanish settlers who resided in Jamaica. In addition to being a pivotal part of the quest for freedom for many, Green Grotto Caves are also said to have been used as a storage area for arms smuggled from Cuba during World War II.

Jamaica Water Green Grotto Caves

Image credit: Photo Spirit/

Despite its colorful past, Green Grotto Caves has a totally different outlook now. The caves are largely touted as a visitor attraction and draw in thousands of curious explorers on an annual basis. The Green Grotto Caves are managed by the St. Ann Development Company on behalf of its owners, the Urban Development Corporation. This site is well worth a visit in Jamaica for its historical significance, as well as the unique geological formations therein.

What to expect on a tour of the Green Grotto Caves

The Green Grotto Caves provide a one-of-a-kind experience of exploring underground caves and viewing rock formations, stalactites, and stalagmites. This tour is a good option for all ages and the duration is about an hour. Generally, a tour of Green Grotto Caves can range from US$20-$40 per person. This price can vary depending on the tour company that you pick and the type of tour you embark on as well. With some tour packages, transportation will be included to and from your resort. Some tour options include more than one location in the overall package.

Green Grotto Caves Jamaica Interior

Image credit: Natascha Kaukorat/

During a tour of Green Grotto Caves, you can expect to be led by a guide through the limestone underground cave system. As you navigate the various caves and tunnels, you'll notice some stand-out features like the overhead ceiling pockets. Usually, your tour guide will share details on the history, geology, and ecology of the caves as you go along.

You'll feel almost as though you're in another world as you explore the innermost cavern and the hidden lake. In addition to the beautiful, crystal-clear water of this lake, there are some pretty cool rock formations in this area that will certainly catch your attention.

Good to know: Keep an eye out for the bats inside the cave, which can often be seen hanging from the ceiling. During the Green Grotto Caves tour, you may be advised not to make any loud noises that can scare these creatures.

How much to visit Green Grotto Caves

There is an admission fee attached to visiting Green Grotto Caves in Jamaica. Adults will be required to pay US$20 per person, while children aged 4-12 pay US$10 per person. Children under the age of four do not need to pay an admission fee. If you want to do a guided tour at this location, this can cost more. Most of the time, if you book a tour to this location, entrance fees will be included.

When planning a tour to Green Grotto Caves, definitely ask about what's included in your tour package before booking. Keep in mind that the price you pay to get here may vary depending on which part of Jamaica you'll be staying in. Prices can vary based on the mode of transportation as well.

Green Grotto Tour Groups in Jamaica

You'll have various tour options for a visit to Green Grotto Caves in Jamaica. Here's what you can expect in terms of pricing and inclusions for these tours:

1. Green Grotto Caves tour

The Green Grotto Caves Tour can be booked through the official Green Grotto Caves website. This option is among the most popular and affordable. Most tours of the Green Grotto Caves are structured to include a guide. Guides for the Green Grotto Caves tour will take groups through the caves, point out the most significant features, and share some local history and stories as well. The Green Grotto Caves tour costs around US$20 per person. Kids 4-12 pay US$10 per person. Green Grotto Caves opens from 9 am to 4 pm daily.

2. Green Grotto Caves Excursion from Ocho Rios

If you'll be staying in the Ocho Rios area in Jamaica, you might want to look into the Green Grotto Caves excursion from Ocho Rios. This option includes a guided tour of the caves as well as a visit to Dunn's River Falls, which is located nearby. These two options together really do ensure that you have a fun-filled day on the island and prices start at around US$60 per person. Roundtrip transportation from Ocho Rios is included.

3. Cave Explorer Plus Waterfalls Tour From Falmouth Private Driver

Turn up the excitement with the Cave Explorer Plus Waterfalls Tour from Falmouth while in Jamaica. This is probably one of the most fun ways to experience Green Grotto Caves as this private tour also includes a visit to Dunn's River Falls and other attractions in this vicinity. The Cave Explorer Plus Waterfalls Tour costs around US$150 per person and is a great option for couples looking for adventure.

Green Grotto Caves photos and videos

The best time to visit Green Grotto Caves

The best time to visit Green Grotto Caves is between the months of December to April, which is recognized as the dry season in Jamaica. If you visit Green Grotto Caves during the dry season, you will have a better overall experience. The weather is usually better during this time of year, and the caves tend to be less crowded. December to April is also the best time to visit Jamaica in general, as there are usually more activities and events happening on the island.

Green Grotto Caves Sign

Image credit: Debbie Ann Powell/

As December to April is considered high season for Jamaica, you may need to make your vacation booking well in advance if you plan on traveling then. May to November is a less favorable time to visit the caves because these months fall within Jamaica's wet season. Overall, Jamaica has a tropical climate, which equates to pleasant temperatures and high humidity year-round.

Best places to stay near Green Grotto Caves

It's a good idea to stay in a central location in Jamaica so you can easily access the most popular sites and tours. Depending on what you'd like to do, you'll have plenty of accommodation options on this island including hotels, all-inclusive resorts, and villas. If you want to visit Green Grotto Caves while in Jamaica, Sandals in Jamaica has some great resorts located near this attraction including Sandals Dunn River, Sandals Ochi, and Sandals Royal Plantation. You can decide which of these resorts is best for you depending on what you're looking for out of your vacation.

Sandals Dunns River Aerial

For a romantic escape, couples will also love resorts like Sandals Montego Bay, Sandals Royal Caribbean, and Sandals Negril. These are all adults-only resorts and each has a distinct personality. Overall, when it comes to the best place to stay for a Jamaica vacation that includes touring Green Grotto Caves, the best option will be the one that matches your travel style and budget and allows you to make the most of your time in Jamaica.

What to wear to Green Grotto Caves

The most important thing to consider when heading to Green Grotto Caves or out on any tour in Jamaica is that comfort matters. The Green Grotto Caves tour includes walking and exploring which means you'll want to wear clothing that's comfortable, that you can easily move around in. Your choice of footwear matters as well - wear shoes that are good for both walking and climbing. As the caves are sometimes damp and slippery, closed-toe shoes with good grip are ideal.

Cave Exploring Clothes Jamaica Green Grotto

Image credit: View Apart/

Temperature-wise, Jamaica tends to be on the warmer side. As such, light-weight clothing will be best if you plan on heading out on tours. Even with that said, when heading to Green Grotto Caves some people tend to bring along a light jacket or sweater. This is because the temperature inside the caves is often slightly cooler. To make the most of a tour of these caves, you can bring your own flashlight with you or just use the one provided by your tour guide. A flashlight will help you to see the various cave formations and structures move clearly.

Other popular destinations in Jamaica

There are many amazing attractions in Jamaica near Green Grotto Caves that are worth seeing. Try to pencil in some time to experience at least one whether you'll be on the island for a few days or a few weeks. From the stunning beaches and waterfalls to cultural and historical sites, here are a few more of the most exciting things to do in Jamaica for a memorable vacation:

Explore Dunn's River Falls

If you're looking for an attraction that will surely take your breath away then definitely consider Dunn's River Falls. Located in Ocho Rios, Jamaica around 20 miles from the Green Grotto Caves, Dunn's River Falls is the largest and most popular waterfall on the island. When you get to this attraction expect to see a waterfall that's over 900 feet high with a series of cascades and natural pools that visitors can dip into. This waterfall is known to be one of the few in the Caribbean that flows directly into the ocean. Dunn's River Falls is located right next to a beach known as the Dunn's River Falls Beach.

Dunns River Falls Jamaica

At Dunn's River Falls, you can even climb the waterfall with a guide. Water shoes are recommended for this exciting 'wet climb'. There's also a 'dry climb' option that visitors can try at this location. The views from the top are worth the effort either way.

Good to know: Other than marvelling at the waterfall and swimming in the refreshing waters, you can also dine at the restaurant nearby, buy gifts at the souvenir shop, or relax surrounded by pristine greenery at Dunn's River Falls. Keep in mind that there are combination tours that include Dunn's River Falls and Green Grotto Caves.

Visit the Luminous Lagoon

A trip to the Luminous Lagoon can certainly brighten up just about any Jamaica vacation. The Luminous Lagoon is located in Falmouth, Jamaica, just about 30 miles from the Green Grotto Caves. This unique attraction focuses on the microscopic bioluminescent organisms that literally light up the lagoon. The tiny creatures, called dinoflagellates, give off a blue-green light when touched or when the water moves. This can be truly spectacular to see up close.

Luminous Lagoon Jamaica

The Luminous Lagoon is sometimes referred to as Glistening Waters. Tours of this area usually happen after the sun goes down. This is the best time to see the display. Tours of the Luminous Lagoon usually involve a boat trip to a specific location that's conducive for witnessing this natural phenomenon. Some visitors choose to immerse themselves into the water during this tour while others are content with just taking photos to capture the amazing memories.

Tour Bob Marley Museum

Fans of Bob Marley and reggae fans in general will appreciate a visit to the Bob Marley Museum in Jamaica. This museum is located in Kingston, about 40 miles from the Green Grotto Caves. The appeal of the Bob Marley Museum has to do with the way it takes one down memory lane in the most vibrant, musically inclined way possible through exhibits that showcase the life and legacy of one of the greatest musicians of all time.

Jamaica Bob Marley Museum

Image credit: Photo Spirit/

The Bob Marley Museum is located in the former home of the reggae legend. Through a guided tour visitors can learn about Bob Marley's life, his music and other contributions to the culture of Jamaica. There's a gift shop at the museum and a cafe too where you'll be able to sample some delectable Jamaican cuisine. A great option while in Jamaica for a tour filled with history and adventure is a combination tour that includes both Green Grotto Caves and the Bob Marley Museum.

Expert tip: You won't have a time finding things to do in Jamaica including exciting excursions on and off shore. There are various tourist attractions like Green Grotto Caves that shine a spotlight on Jamaica's rich history and can help you get better acquainted with this island.

Gear up to explore the Green Grotto Caves in Jamaica

Jamaica truly is a magical destination, especially for couples! There's so much to do on this island that couples can have a vacation that's as active or as relaxing as they would like. If you plan on doing tours or going sightseeing in Jamaica, staying at the all-inclusive Jamaica resorts is a great idea. Sandals Resorts makes it possible for couples to have a stress-free vacation that is filled with quality inclusions such as luxury accommodation, day and night entertainment, land and water sports, and so much more! These resorts are ideal both for active travellers and those who just want to lounge poolside or soak in some blissful beach ambiance.

Sandals Dunns River Jamaica Rondoval Aerial

Once you've booked your Jamaica accommodations, it will be time to explore. Natural wonders abound on this island, so much so that you'll feel like you're spending some time at the Caribbean's best nature-based playground. From beaches and waterfalls to mountain tours and river rafting adventures, this is one island where you won't have a dull moment!

Expert tip: If you're looking for an attraction that is ideal for a couple's exploration, you can start with the Blue Hole in Jamaica. Couples will also love these cool things to do in Falmouth. While vacationing on this island, you might also want to get a taste of some of the best restaurants in Jamaica.

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