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Roaring River Cave and Blue Hole Gardens

Listed under Show Caves in Jamaica.

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At our all-inclusive Riu resort in Negril, “Roaring River Cave” was listed on the taxi-stand as a separate destination. The cave is located in Petersfield, Westmoreland Parish, about one hour’s drive from Negril. Originally developed as a tourist cave by the Jamaican government, it has passed into local control but the cave is still very much worth a visit (fee: US$15 per person). Concrete trails with electric lights to illuminate your path snake through several large chambers in the limestone, but you should also bring your own flashlight. Along the sides of the trail, ghostly plants have sprouted, the seeds brought in by fruit bats. At the time we visited, there was a Pocomanian/Revivalist ceremony in full swing inside a rock chapel within the cave, the celebrants chanting and clapping rhythmically in the candlelight, paying reverence to the mermaid spirit in the cave waters. Further on, at the end of the cave, there was an altar of sorts, which our Rastafarian guide assured us, had been in use for centuries, back to the times when slaves from the neighboring sugar plantations used it as a rendezvous. The highlight of the tour, however, was diving into a deep turquoise cave pool for a swim (so bring your swimsuit). Although some reviews asserted this pool was contaminated, we experienced no ill effects.

Afterwards, we paid a visit to the Blue Hole, a large spring near the Roaring River Cave. The spring, along with a vacation rental house, is currently (2014) being developed as Blue Hole Gardens by a Swiss family; their local (Jamaican) contact number is 1-876-391-1855.

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Written by  Greg Brick.

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