Are you planning a trip to the Caribbean? Not quite sure which island to visit? Don’t listen to the rumours; you can have a romantic vacation that is packed with kosher fun days the whole family will enjoy. Regardless of the type of trip you are planning; “rest relaxation and rejuvenation” or “party nights jamming with excitement”, Jamaica will be your best choice. Jamaica’s unique assets caters to any type of traveller and any type of vacation they have in mind.
Here are my Top 10 Things To Do while visiting Jamaica, the only regret you will have is not booking your vacation time a bit longer.
1. Emancipation Park- Kingston.
Go for a nice stroll in a fragrant garden on a lush green acre. See joggers, strollers, have an ice cream cone and admire the flowers.
2. Dunn’s River falls – Ocho Rios.
Like a challenge? Lets see if you can climb the entire stretch of Dunn’s River Falls while tonnes of fresh, cool, powerful water beat down on your body from giant rocks above. It makes for a great massage.
3. Port Royal.
Arrrgh! And a little history: in the 17th century Port Royal was the centre of the Caribbean shipping commerce, home to privateers, pirates, loose wealth and even looser morals. It is said that because of all the pillaging, and pirating God himself intervened and sank half of Port Royal (still visible by scuba diving) to the bottom of the sea with a massive earthquake in 1692. If that wasn’t enough, “The Almighty” is said to afterwards have sent his wrath onto the rest of Port Royal (the part that did not sink) with a giant tsunami, fires, several hurricanes and then another severe earthquake in 1907. If this history doesn’t fascinate you, maybe the intoxicating fried fish, festivals and bammy will. Port royal is a huge fishing port, tourist attraction, and a fantastic place to eat.
4. Fort Clarence beach- Portmore.
We have all heard the craze of white sand beaches, but few have ever experienced the intriguing beauty of a black sand beach. If you are up for relaxation, family fun, and are staying in Kingston or its surrounding area, then Fort Clarence beach is the place for you. The beach is in proximity to Kingston, so if travelling to the other beaches isn’t feasible, you can still have clean sea to frolic in and rare beautiful black sand to lie in.
5. Mineral Bath- St. Thomas.
Looking for something fun and healthy for the whole family to do? Then have a dip in Jamaica’s’ legendary mineral bath in the parish of St. Thomas. The magical spring is said to relieve aches, sinus, skin ailments and arthritis. The mineral water pours steaming hot and abundantly from mineral rocks in the hills. Don’t believe me? Try it for yourself; you have nothing to lose and all health to gain.
6. Negril –North coast of the Island.
I love Negril. The beaches are majestic: with fairy-tale trees, warm white sand and musical waves. To this day Negril has the most beautiful sunsets I have seen in my life. If romance is in your plans while visiting Jamaica, then head to Negril, kick off your shoes; sink your toes in its plush white sand and stare at the Neapolitan swirl ice cream sky. How could you not be in love?
7. Bob Marley museum- Kingston.
We have all heard his music but have you seen his house and where his legendary music was made? Even if you have, the Bob Marley museum never gets old. Tour his house where he lived until his death in 1981, have a look in his studio and see for yourself where his music was made. Then work up an appetite (shop till your hungry) at the Bob Marley gift shop where you will find a variety of memorabilia, the Bob Marley clothing line, key chains and of course his music. Then when you are good and hungry stop by the “Legend Café” and have an Ital (Rastafarian approved) Jamaican dish and drink.
8. Devon house- Kingston.
Who doesn’t love ice cream? At Devon house, there are 27 original creamy flavours that will spin your taste buds into dizzying pleasure. My personal favourites are Rocky River, Devon stout, coconut coffee, sour sop, strong back and rum n’ raisin. I know- I have a lot of favourites. After you find your favourite flavour, enjoy the beautifully manicured 6-acre gardens and tour the 17th century Great House mansion. The mansion is beautifully furnished with English and French antiques, silk walls and curtains. After your eyes have had their fill stop by “The Grogge Shoppe” restaurant for Jamaican hospitality and fine dining.
9. Rose Hall Great House- Montego Bay.
Want to get haunted? Then visit the Rose Hall Great House in Montego Bay. Rose Hall is the home and final resting place of the legendary Anne Palmer, affectionately known as “The white witch of Rose Hall”. Tour her mansion, learn of the husbands and slaves she killed in her bedroom, see evidence of her mystical voodoo magic and visit her voodoo marked tomb. Separate accounts have been made that patrons have seen “The white witch” in her bedroom mirror, so be careful while touring her bedroom, you may just see Anne, “The white witch of Rose Hall” looking right at you.
10. Appleton rum estate- ST. Elizabeth.
Like rum? Like free rum? Then the Appleton Estate in St. Elizabeth is a must go! You are greeted with free rum punch at reception and given free cane juice throughout the tour. Learn about the history of Appleton Estates’ rum, the ancient methods of cane juice extraction and methods of distillation. Save some room as you go because at the end of the tour you get to taste as much of the 13 flavours of rum you can stand to drink- literally.
So what do you think? have you been to Jamaica yourself? What stood out to you? What did you do that was not listed here? let us know! We would love to hear what you think!
Written by: Julia V. Matthews.