The Nonsuch Caves and Atheny Gardens are among the most interesting sites in Port Antonio. Visitors to Jamaica will definitely enjoy the sights and sounds here.
Starting at Harbour St. in Port Antonio, go south and in front of the Anglican church. When you get to Red Hassel Road, head out a mile to the Breastworks community. When you see the fork at the road, go left. Go pass a bridge and turn left. Go on for another 6 km (3 3/4 miles) and you will reach the place.
What to See
The caves are known for its stalactites and stalagmites. Nature lovers will also get to see different types of fossilized marine life. There is also substantial evidence for the Arawak civilization. This is at Nonsuch, which is situated at the Rio Grande Valley gateway. The cave is 2 million years old and filled with several attractions.
The Nonsuch Caves and Atheny Gardens are easy to navigate because there are concrete walkways and railed stairways. There are also several bats in the stalactites and stalagmites. Indian artifacts have also been unearthed.
Apart from the caves, the gardens are also a delight. It is filled with trees, flowers and coconut palms. You can also go on guided tours.
The Taino and Arawak indigenous people were the earliest settlers. This took place sometime in 4000 and 1000 BC. In 1494 Columbus declared Jamaica belonged to Spain. This declaration was done after he landed there in 1494. In 1655, the British took over the land, specifically the Ocho Rios in St. Ann. The Spaniards left behind a lot of slaves.
Rather than fall into the hands of the British, they retreated into the mountains and established communities there. These became known as the Jamaican Maroons and they battled the British in the 18th century. The country gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1958. The country is now a popular tourist destination.
The entrance fee to the caves and garden is 6 USD per adult. For individuals under 11 years of age it is 3 USD.
The gardens are open daily from 9 in the morning until 5 in the afternoon. It is one of the most popular attractions in the country, so come early.
The Nonsuch Caves and Atheny Gardens is well lit, making them easier to navigate. If you are at the Gardens, you can also enjoy lovely views of the seas and the island.