PHOTOS COURTESY OF GREEN GROTTO CAVES AND ATTRACTIONS
DESCENDING INTO HISTORY
When it comes to the thrill of exploring nature’s underground world, Jamaica sits high on the avid spelunker’s list. ABOVE: Grotto Lake inside Green Grotto Caves. BELOW: A timber bridge overlooks an outer pond.
Near Discovery Bay, along the island’s
modern-day cave explorers to trace the
lush and white-sand northern shores, sit
steps of those who passed through long
the Green Grotto Caves — a labyrinth
ago. Archaeological fragments reveal the
of rugged stalactites and stalagmites
Arawak and Taino Indians took shelter
in wide-open caverns and fissured
there. Pirates and runaway slaves used
chambers, with daylight beaming through
the caves as a hiding place — hence the
cracks and holes in the earth.
popular name Runaway Bay Caves — as
But what makes these caves particularly
did the Spanish fleeing the British. During
enticing is Grotto Lake, a subterranean
the first half of the 20th century, barrels
waterway that could be a setting for the
of rum lay in storage, and smugglers
Jules Verne classic Journey to the Center
used the caves to run arms to Cuba.
of the Earth. Modern-day Hollywood, in
Today’s visitors need only bring good
fact, did feature the caves as the lair of
spelunking shoes and a hardhat for
the villainous Dr. Kananga in the 1973
an underground tour, complete with
James Bond movie Live and Let Die.
tales of the myths and legends of one
Nearly a mile long and about 40 feet deep, the subterranean wonder allows
of Jamaica’s most intriguing natural phenomena. —R. V. FUN ASHORE CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES
1112 POC OchoRios.indd 400
10/6/11 7:39 PM
Fun Ashore -- POC (ports of call) book, which includes Carnival Cruise Lines marketing, regional articles and port information.