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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

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Carnival FUN ASHORE  

Fun Ashore -- POC (ports of call) book, which includes Carnival Cruise Lines marketing, regional articles and port information.

Carnival FUN ASHORE  

Fun Ashore -- POC (ports of call) book, which includes Carnival Cruise Lines marketing, regional articles and port information.