Green Grotto Caves and Seville Great House
Your journey through time begins as you meet up with your guide and head to the Green Grotto Caves, Jamaica's most prominent natural attraction. From the pier, your guide will take you on an approximately 30-minute scenic drive to the opening of the caves. These caves are nestled deep in the thick, green rainforest, making them perfect for the various groups that used and took refuge in them.
Once on site you will descend down a labyrinthine maze into an other-worldly area full of stunning stalagmites, stalactites, pristine water flows and more. The Tainos (Arawak Indians) used this secret hideaway to hold ceremonies, as evidenced by the multiple fragments of pottery and other artifacts in the area. Spaniards sought refuge in the caves in the 17th century during the English invasion, and in the 20th-century, the caves were used by smugglers running arms to Cuba. The Jamaican government also used the caves during World War II to store barrels of rum; in modern times it has sought the preservation and protection of this wonderful piece of history.
Continue on to the Seville Great House, a historic house built on land awarded to Captain Hemmings, an officer of the army, following the capture of the island by the English in 1655. The actual structure standing today was built in 1745 by Hemmings' grandson on the site of the original house. Originally a 2-story house, the top floor was lost during a hurricane around 1898 and never replaced. This building is symbolic of the English period, with timber floors and cedar roof shingles with a distinct cap and comb feature.
Step through the doors fashioned out of solid raised panel mahogany and marvel at the mahogany arches separating the living and dining rooms. You can walk out onto the extensive veranda with its square, wooden columns and imagine what kinds of conversations went on there. While on the grounds be sure to check out the exhibit with artifacts that explain who the Taino people were and how they lived their peaceful lives. You will also meet the staff, many of whom are descendants of the slaves that worked the estate centuries ago. Reserve your spot on this cultural tour and get ready to watch history come alive before your eyes.