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Written by Shrinivas on November 16, 2022 Share on

All you need to know about the Runaway Bay in Jamaica

Runaway Bay is a town on the north coast of Jamaica, in Saint Ann Parish. This is renowned for its coral reef and its beaches with calm water, such as Cardiff Hall Beach and Fisherman’s Bay. Green Grotto Caves is an underwater cave network of stalactites and stalagmites that leads down to a watery grotto. Nine Mile is the birthplace and childhood home of legend Bob Marley, located in the mountains south of town. The name derives from it has been a runaway slave escape route. Arawaks were the first tribal pioneers but Spanish colonists gradually conquered them.

 Runaway Bay in Jamaica
Source: Unsplash


Runaway Bay was the location of Jamaica’s first Spanish settlement, and as the place of departure for the last Spanish forces since their British defeat in 1670. In 1960s Runaway Bay was first established for tourists with the launch of Cardiff Hall, which is now a housing estate. The town was the scene of a fatal explosion of a tanker filled with aircraft fuel on Christmas Day, 1957. The tanker was bound to St. James Parish International Airport in Sangster. A man who had recently been reprimanded by constable Joseph Pennant for attempting to light a cigarette again did so, triggering the fire, which killed 23 people and left another 70 in serious condition in hospital.


Since the early 1960s, when the old Cardiff Hall Estate was turned into a mix of luxurious hotels, golf courses and private villas, the region has established its own character and reputation as an elegant and vibrant getaway. Through the years the naming of this remote coastal town has been discussed a lot. Some believe it got the name as the fleeing point of the last batch of Spanish soldiers retreating under Governor Ysassi ‘s direction from English troops in the 1600s. Others claim that it was once the starting point for African slaves from inland sugar plantations who ran away to Cuba.

Sunset at the bay
Source: Google Images

Much of Runaway Bay ‘s beauty lies in the fact that while the city itself is not a vibrant busy centre, it is conveniently located within easy reach of Ocho Rios in the east, Montego Bay in the west and Brown’s Town in the south. In addition to providing some of the Caribbean’s most beautiful beaches, Runaway Bay has captivating environmental attractions including the Pear Tree River and the Green Grotto Caves.

The two caves open to the public are the Runaway Cave and the Green Grotto Cave, both of which are estimated to be around half a million years old. In the innermost cavern is a small and fascinating underground lake, along with stalagmites and stalactites. The caves belong to a network of intertwined tunnels and chambers that extend to the south deep beneath the Dry Harbor Mountains. In addition to the caves, Runaway Bay, surrounded by a large tropical coral reef, provides some of the finest beaches in the Caribbean.

Carribean island resort
Source: Google Images

Runaway Bay HEART Hotel and Learning Institute are located on a hill overlooking the harbour. Core, the Human Resources and Capital Skills Trust is a government-run initiative that helps young Jamaicans build expertise in the industry.

The Runaway Bay HEART Hotel employs predominantly trainees from the hospitality industry and, needless to say since it started operating, it has maintained a reputation for service excellence, as trainees are graded on guest satisfaction. Upon leaving the school, besides being happily pleased, visitors also sense the comfort and vitality of realizing that their patronage has enabled a young Jamaican to learn critical skills for reaching the working world.

Best time to visit

Like its surrounding islands, the climate in Jamaica is lush and tropical, with only slight variations across the island. Note also that the island is experiencing two rainy seasons; the first starts in May, ends in June and the second lasts from September to November. There are two dry seasons only, one spanning from July to August and the other ranging from December to May. 

During the beginning of ‘winter,’ November to mid-December, the best time to visit Jamaica is with temperatures averaging 80 ° F. The peak season begins in mid-December and ends in mid-April, which is a great time to holiday in Jamaica if the crowds don’t mind. Summers (June to August) become colder, taking the rainfall to a modest rise.

Things to do 

Cruises, Sailing & Water Tours

The first thing to do at Runaway Bay is taking a catamaran sailing trip. For an hour and a half drive to Ocho Rios, you’ll be collected in a luxury bus at your hotel. Set sail on the azure blue waters and stop to see the glorious marine life for a fabulous snorkelling adventure. The cruise then goes to visit the Dunn ‘s River Falls wherein the stunning natural scenery you can ascend, swim and stroll. The adventure continues right back on the catamaran! A full-blown party with an open stage, drinks, reggae music and dances should have your feet on the road back to the harbour.

Biking Tours

Biking in that tropical paradise must be on your Runaway Bay list of things to do. Take the cycling tour of the Blue Mountains, suitable for children, couples and friends. Discover what makes these mountains a blue tinge and soak up the stunning landscape and history. The mountain bus ride goes across coffee fields, remote villages and beautiful waterfalls past.

Sunset at the bay
Source: Google Images

Horseback riding

Horseback riding is a wonderful sport for the entire family to do in Runaway and you can love the valuable time you have spent together. You’ll travel on beautiful white-sand beaches as you take one of the several horseback riding trips available when you see the Caribbean Sea waves crashing softly onto the shoreline.

Plan your trip with Pickyourtrail 

Jamaica ‘s environment is magnificent year-round, making it the ideal place to visit the stunning country. The safest option will be to fly only before and after peak season, between the months of November and mid-April. Not only does Pickyourtrail guarantee a smooth and trouble-free journey with a customised package only for you, but it also keeps the cost-efficiency under check. Accede to the internet. For more details Pickyourtrail or check out our guides page

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