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Johnson's Pen Cave, Duncans, Trelawwny, Jamaica


This cave is called by many names - Duncans Cave, Arawak Cave, Cave of Refuge, and Johnson's Pen Cave. We shall call it Johnson's Pen Cave as that is the name used by the Jamaican Caves Organisation (see below for a link to their Facebook Page). 


Johnson's Pen Cave should be a must-do experience for anyone visitng Silver Sands Jamaica, because it is located less than a five minute drive away. But not many people know about it. It is not promoted because it is not a licenced attraction or tour by the Jamaica Tourist Board. There is no sign, no facilities and no entry fee as it is totally undeveloped (although there is evidence on site that someone once attempted development).


Scroll down for some amazing photographs, all taken without the use of any artificial lighting. 


entrance to johnsons pen cave

This photo shows (centre) the steps from outside leading into the cave, with steps leading down past a well to another chamber (on the right).


So how do you visit this Jamaican cave?

There are some local residents who know about the cave and they will be happy to take you there. Chucky, the local carver who may often be found on the Patio at Silver Sands Villas, took Dr. Thompson on a tour there in February 2018, as shown in the photos on this page. Contact Mysilversands for an introduction to Chucky if you wish to visit the cave.


Is it worthwhile?

Searching online, this author has not found much about the cave. There is a disused well near the entrance steps and there are some man-made features that look like graves. But nothing was found on its history. It's a small cave with two main sections, one to the North of the entrance, accessible by a few concrete steps pass the dried up well, and the other straight ahead, bearing to the South. Areas where the roof of the cave has collapsed allow light and ventilation and pretty views of the trees and their roots reaching up to the sunlight.


Rough Map of Johnson's Pen Cave - Hover over the Map to see photos

map of johnson's pen cave

entrance steps into the cave
Closer view of the entrance steps.


passage to other chamber
Narrow passage leading from the first chamber to huge fig tree roots breaking out into the open air above where the cave has collapsed.


tree rots in second chamber
The fig tree roots, with passage way on the right to another chamber.


closer to the tree roots

Closeup of the tree roots.


cave opens up to the sky
Looking up through the collapsed roof of the cave.


up through the collapsed roof


steps and the well
Steps leading down past the well to another chamber.


colourful wall
So much colour in the darkness. These photos were taken with multiple exposures, some longer than 15 seconds, and sandwiched together.


chucky and lynn by the tree
Where the roof of the cave collapsed.


historical feature
Tombs? Or what? No one knows.


A listing on TripAdvisor, at the time of this writing, calls this "Cave of Refuge: Duncans Cave Tour" and it boasts 4 reviews, each giving it 5 Stars. One of the reviewers has written that she was married in the cave in February 2012:

"I was married in this beautiful cave in Feb.,2012. It could not of been more perfect. It was thanks to my friends in Jamaica that made this happen. I have some beautiful pictures of this cave. Ive been going to duncans for 6 years. this Feb. well be there again. Everyone there is wonderful."

See TripAdvisor.


Jamaican Caves Organisation Facebook Page


The JCO Jamaican Caving News


See More of Johnsons Pen Cave


Real Jamaican Experiences


Check out other Things To Do in Jamaica.