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Green Grotto Caves

Discover an underground world with rock formations, light holes, bats and a subterranean lake in a setting that has played a role in local history for centuries.

Entering the Green Grotto Caves is a journey into a hidden underground world. Descend into a rocky cavern and discover a huge labyrinthine limestone cave with rock chambers and light holes. The Green Grotto’s subterranean lake, of 118 feet (36 meters) deep, is a beautiful sight.

The caves are on the north coast of Jamaica, close to where explorer Columbus first landed in 1494. The underground system has an interesting history. The indigenous Taíno people once used the spot for shelter, pirates hid in its passageways and the Spanish fled here when the English invaded. In the 20th century, smugglers used the caves to transport armoury to Cuba and in World War II Jamaican rum was kept safe here. Most recently, the lake in the caves was a scene in a James Bond movie.

A 45-minute tour is a must-do and the guides are knowledgeable and entertaining. The walk includes a refreshing drink upon return. You’ll learn that the caves are called Green Grotto because of the algae lining the walls. The system of caves and tunnels is 5,000 foot (1,525 meters) long and 39 foot (12 meters) deep. Despite this, it is not a very claustrophobic experience, with plenty of room to move.

See the underground rock formations and stalactites and stalagmites. Look up at ceiling pockets and down sink holes when you follow the interweaving passageways. Kids will love the bats dangling from the rocks and the small fish darting about the pools. Visit the snack bar and gift shop if you want to browse a bit longer.

Green Grotto Caves is situated off the main coastal road, 2 miles east of Discovery Bay and 2.5 miles west of Runaway Bay. The quickest way to get there is by car, but there is limited parking, so a bus or taxi trip is an alternative. Some island tours also include a visit to the caves. Wear appropriate footwear for walking over rough surfaces. The caves are open daily. Go in on a Sunday to avoid the crowds.

Popular Activities at Green Grotto Caves

Ensure you have heaps of time at Green Grotto Caves. Below are the most popular activities:

Want to know what other things there are to do at this fascinating attraction? We highly recommend purchasing a Green Grotto Cave Excursion.

For even more things to do, peruse our Discovery Bay things to do page.


Guide to Exploring around Green Grotto Caves


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Lodging Near Green Grotto Caves

See all 237 Properties near Green Grotto Caves
Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica - All Inclusive $359
Reviewed on Jun 24, 2019
See details
 
Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica - All Inclusive

Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica - All Inclusive

Salt Coppers Villa, Runaway Bay, Saint Ann
     
    3.7 of 5
    3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    The property was very beautiful! For the most part the staff was kind an friendly! The room and the view was beautiful! Although a few staff were kinda rude! ( when I say a few I’m counting on one hand) the elevator on the side I was on may need to b redone and the carpet as well on that side needs ...

    Luxury Bahia Principe Runaway Bay All Inclusive, Adults Only $396
    Reviewed on Jun 23, 2019
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    Luxury Bahia Principe Runaway Bay All Inclusive, Adults Only

    Luxury Bahia Principe Runaway Bay All Inclusive, Adults Only

    Salt Coppers, Runaway Bay, Saint Ann
       
      4.1 of 5
      4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      The location was beautiful although initially I was concerned about the distance from the airport.

      La-Iris Villa
      Reviewed on Oct 26, 2018
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      La-Iris Villa

      La-Iris Villa

      Belle Air Phase 3, The Vistas, Runaway Bay, St. Ann Parish
         
        4.0 of 5
        3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

        Nice place, clean and spacious. Get directions as the place is hard to find and not on Google Maps. Good value and I would stay there again.

        Jewel Runaway Bay Beach & Golf Resort – All Inclusive $388
        Reviewed on Jun 19, 2019
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        Jewel Runaway Bay Beach & Golf Resort – All Inclusive

        Jewel Runaway Bay Beach & Golf Resort – All Inclusive

        Main Street, North Coast Highway, Runaway Bay, Saint Ann
           
          4.0 of 5
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          Lots to do for little kids and tweens! Everyone was very friendly. The food was AMAZING. The beach and snorkeling opportunities alone are worth staying there. We loved the water park. Room service prices were super reasonable. And the planned activities were done well. There were several times we ...

          Paradise Villa $359
          Paradise Villa

          Paradise Villa

          Dairy Road, Discovery Bay, Saint Ann
             
            3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

            Nestled on the beach, this Discovery Bay villa is 1.1 mi (1.7 km) from Puerto Seco Beach Park and 1.4 mi (2.2 km) from Green Grotto Caves. Cardiff Hall Beach and Runaway Bay Beach are also within 6 mi (10 km).

            Paradise Beach Front Apartment $250
            Paradise Beach Front Apartment

            Paradise Beach Front Apartment

            Dairy Road, Discovery Bay, Saint Ann
               
              3.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Nestled on the beach, this Discovery Bay apartment building is 1.1 mi (1.7 km) from Puerto Seco Beach Park and 1.4 mi (2.2 km) from Green Grotto Caves. Cardiff Hall Beach and Runaway Bay Beach are also within 6 mi (10 km).

              My Holiday Home, By the Sea
              My Holiday Home, By the Sea

              My Holiday Home, By the Sea

              Discovery Bay, Saint Ann
                 
                0.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Situated in Discovery Bay, this vacation home is 1 mi (1.6 km) from Puerto Seco Beach Park and 1.2 mi (2 km) from Green Grotto Caves. Cardiff Hall Beach and Runaway Bay Beach are also within 6 mi (10 km).

                Alpha & Omega House $505
                Alpha & Omega House

                Alpha & Omega House

                Discovery Bay, Discovery Bay, St. Ann Parish
                   
                  2.5 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Situated in Discovery Bay, this guesthouse is 0.6 mi (1 km) from Puerto Seco Beach Park and 1.7 mi (2.7 km) from Green Grotto Caves. Cardiff Hall Beach and Bengal Beach are also within 6 mi (10 km).