Regular readers might remember that last year I had a fantastic trip down to Jamaica. I fell in love with the island nation because of it’s inviting people, laid-back attitude, inviting people, and it’s location to my home in Orlando (2 hour flights are rare and much appreciated!). So I jumped at the chance to visit my friends again, but wanted to experience a different side of Jamaica. With new adventures booked, I made sure my 2nd trip would be better than the 1st. Here are eight ways to (re)discover Jamaica.
Located in Treasure Beach on the South Shore, Jake’s offers an oppurtunity to experience the true Jamaica how you see fit. Lodgings range from one bedroom ocean-front lofts to a 6 Bedroom Seaweed Luxury Villa. Get a massage at the Driftwood Spa or take in an early morning Yoga class. Eat an ackee and fish breakfast by the pool, or catch a lawn screening of “The Harder They Come” while having dinner at Jack Sprats.
A quarter mile off shore in Parottee Bay, Pelican Bar sits atop a sandbar and offers a unique way to enjoy Jamaica’s waters. Play dominos with the locals or just throw your legs over the dock and watch the stingrays below. The only way to get there is by boat, so make sure to tell Captain Joseph (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org) that Carol sent you.
If you are looking for some authentic Jamaican jerk chicken or local seafood, visit Cloggy’s at the mouth of Black River. Easy to get to by boat or car, the outdoor kitchen cooks up daily specials as well as caribbean staples. And the best part is that you can’t complain about a view like this while you eat.
Previously mentioned over at Pearls of Travel Wisdom, Club Mobay is a must for any well seasoned traveler flying through Montego Bay. With lounges available on both the departures and arrivals side, Club Mobay welcomes passengers with food, drinks, free wi-fi, and a healthy dose of local culture. From the local photographer showcase to the music history lessons, the lounge is a great spot to either begin, or end, your trip to the island. Admission may already be included with your airline’s rewards program, so be sure to check at the desk.
If your visit to Jamaica is more pleasure than business, consider staying at Sunset Beach Montego Bay. One of the few Jamaican owned and operated properties, this all-inclusive hosts many weddings, special events, and family gatherings. With over 10 restaurants and bars (La Bella Vita being my favorite), beach access, Pirate’s Paradise Water Park, and a full calendar of planned activities, guests can truly relax on their vacation. And if you do feel the need to leave the property, tours are offered with destinations all over the island. Ample meeting space, wedding packages, and catering services are also available.
Who visits an island and stays on land the entire time? Take the afternoon off and board a Deamer Catamaran Cruise. Snorkel over the coral reefs of Montego Bay, venture into the vast ecosystem while getting a guided tour/history lesson, or just sunbathe on the nets of a catamaran as you cruise the open water. With an open-bar on board, don’t be surprised when the Jamaican dancehall and reggae music starts a full-blown dance party.
Nestled deep in the Nassau Valley, Appleton Estate has been making rum for over 250 years. Tour the fully operational estate to see how making rum has progressed throughout the years, from mule-powered sugar extraction to the handcrafted oak barrel aging. Once the tour is over, enjoy some lunch at the estate and taste test their different spirits. I made sure a bottle of Appleton Estate Reserve made it back home with me.
Relax outdoors in the beauty of natural Jamaica at YS Falls. Rope swing into crystal clear water, walk through the pleasant gardens, swim under a powerful waterfall, or zip-line through the jungle canopy over on-lookers below. The visitors per day are limited to preserve the serenity of the falls. It’s located close to Appleton Estate, so I recommend combining these two as a day trip.
In my travels, I’ve learned that you can always find something new and exciting about the places you’ve previously visited; whether it be your second jaunt to an island or your 100th business trip to a city. Thank you, Jamaica, for reinforcing this belief. Also, many thanks again to the Jamaica Tourist Board for hosting.
For more help in booking your getaway, go to VisitJamaica.com.
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