Welcome to Jamaican Vacations and Travel Information
the place for all things
Jamaican. For vacationers and travelers, we will provide you
with the information you need to learn more about Jamaica and Jamaican culture, geography and history to make your Jamaican vacations memorable ones.
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While in Jamaica Please Visit...
Montego Bay (or Mo'Bay, as it is more colloquially called) is the
capital of Jamaican tourism and market town for a large part of
western Jamaica. Dating back to 1492, Montego Bay is Jamaica's
second-largest city and one of the most modern in the Caribbean.
From Gloucester and Kent Avenues, there are superb views onto the
clear Caribbean waters and the long reef protecting the bay. Most of
the hotels are found on a strip of coastline about 2.4km (1.5miles)
There are three main beaches: Doctor's Cave Beach (so named
because it was once owned by a Dr McCatty and had a cave that has
since eroded away) which has beautiful white sand, and where the
exceptionally clear water is believed to be fed by mineral springs;
Walter Fletcher Beach, nearest the center and a short walk from the
Upper Deck Hotel; and Cornwall Beach, which is a few yards from the
local Tourist Board Office.
A short way inland from the Bay is Rose
Hall, a restored Great House on a sugar plantation. Montego Bay is
the tourist gateway city to Jamaica and is served by Air Jamaica, Delta,
American Airlines and all of the major international carriers.
More on Montego Bay...
Ocho Rios lies roughly 108km (67 miles) east of Montego Bay. The
name is said to have come from the old Spanish word for roaring
river or, in modern Spanish, eight rivers. Ocho Rios was once a
sleepy fishing village, and although there are now resort facilities,
international hotels and restaurants offering a variety of cuisines,
the town has kept something of the sleepy atmosphere of small-town
Jamaica (Jamaca Jamacia Jamica Jemaica Jemaca). One of the most stunning sights in Jamaica is Dunn's River
Falls, a crystal water stairway which leads to the nearby botanical
gardens. Ocho Rios is known as the garden-lover's paradise, and the
Shaw Park Botanical Gardens exhibit the fascinating variety of the
area's exotic flora, for which the town is celebrated. Not
surprisingly, two of the most popular tours available are to working
plantations at Brimmer Hall and Prospect where sugar, bananas and
spices are still grown and harvested, using many of the traditional
skills handed down through generations. Any sightseeing itinerary
should include a drive along Fern Gully, a road running along an old
river-bed that winds through a 6.5km (4 mile) valley of ferns.
Another tour is the Jamaica Night on the White River, a canoe ride
up the torchlit river to the sound of drums. Dinner and an open-air
bar is available on the riverbank (Sunday evenings).
More on Ocho Rios...
Negril is 80km (50 miles) west of Montego Bay and has a beach
stretching for 11km (7 miles) which offers sailing, water-skiing,
deep-sea fishing, scuba diving, parasailing and windsurfing. First
coming to attention as an artists' center, and later as a focus of
alternative culture in the 1960s, it is becoming increasingly
popular as a holiday destination which seems likely to preserve much
of its original character - indeed, the law requires all buildings to
be of modest proportions. Along the street, entrepreneurial Jamaicans
sell a variety of craft goods from the many shanty-like shops in
Negril. There is also a hectic nightlife in the many clubs that have,
over the years, proliferated along the beach. Rick's Café, located at
West Point (which is as far west as Jamaica goes), is a favorite
haunt both for Jamaicans and visitors and is famous as the place
from which to observe the sun going down.
More on Negril...
Set on one of the Caribbean's most beautiful bays, Port Antonio is
surrounded by the Blue Mountains. The town dates back to the 16th
century, and sights include Mitchell's Folly, a two-story mansion
built by the American millionaire Dan Mitchell in 1905, and the
ruins of the 60-room Great House. The surrounding sea is rich in
game fish, such as kingfish, yellowtail, wahoo and bonito. Blue
marlin, however, are the great prize and there is an annual Blue
Marlin Tournament run alongside the Jamaican International Fishing
Tournament in Port Antonio every autumn. Rafting is available on the
Rio Grande, comprising two-hour trips on two passenger bamboo rafts,
which begin high in the Blue Mountains at Berrydale, sail past
plantations of bananas and sugar cane, and end up at Margaret's Bay.
The scenic Somerset Falls nearby are a popular picnic spot. Beaches
in the Port Antonio area include San San and Boston (where the
Jamaican 'jerk pork' is found), while the Blue Lagoon is a salt-water
cove offering fishing, swimming and water-skiing and is considered
one of the finest coves in the Caribbean.
More on Port Antonio...
Mandeville is set amid beautiful gardens and fruits, at the heart of
Jamaica's citrus industry, 600m (2000ft) above sea level and the
highest town on the island. Mandeville offers cool relief from the
heat of the coast, and has a golf course, tennis and horse riding
facilities. The town is the center of the bauxite industry, and is a
good starting point for trips to the surrounding areas.
More on Mandeville...
On the south coast are Milk River Spa, a naturally radioactive
mineral bath with waters at a temperature of 33 degrees Celsius (86 F); Lover's
Leap in the Santa Cruz Mountains, a sheer 18m (60ft) cliff
overhanging the sea; Treasure Beach and the resort of Bluefields.
Falmouth is a delightful harbor resort, 42km (26 miles) east of
Montego Bay. From here, you can visit Rafters Village for rafting on
the Martha Brae, and a fascinating crocodile farm called Jamaica
(jumaica jamaeyca jamaeaca jameiica jamaeica jamuica jamaisa jamaice jemaica jameica jamaice jeimaica jameiica)
Swamp Safaris. There is also a plantation mansion, Greenwood Great
House, once owned by the Barrett Brownings. The Church of St Paul
has Sunday services, where visitors can listen to the choir singing.
Kingston and Saint Andrew
Kingston is Jamaica's capital city and cultural center. With the
largest natural harbor in the Caribbean (and seventh-largest in the
world), Kingston is also an industrial center where Georgian
architecture mixes with modern office blocks while, on the outskirts,
spreading suburbs house the hundreds of thousands who increasingly
work in the city. Although most tourists head for the beaches and
resorts, Kingston has much to offer in the way of sightseeing.
The National Gallery of Art has a colorful display of modern art and
is recommended. Hope Botanical Gardens contain a wide variety of trees
and plants and are particularly famous for orchids. A band plays here
on Sunday afternoons. There is a Crafts Market on King Street and the
Port Royal, on top of the peninsula bordering Kingston Harbour, is a
museum to the time when Port Royal (Jamaica's ancient capital city
that was submerged under the sea after an earthquake in 1692) was
known as the 'richest and wickedest city on earth' under the
domination of Captain Morgan and his buccaneers. The White Marl
Arawak Museum is also worth seeing; here, visitors can see artifacts
and relics of the ancient culture of the Arawak Indians. The grounds
of the University of the West Indies, built on what was once a sugar
plantation, are open to the public. Caymanas Park is a popular
racetrack, where you can bet on the horses every Wednesday and
Saturday and also during public holidays. Air Jamaica has regular flights to Kingston.
More on Kingston...
A short drive to the west of Kingston, Spanish Town is the former
capital of Jamaica. The Spanish Town Square is said to be one of the
finest examples of Georgian architecture in the Western hemisphere.
The Spanish Cathedral of St Jago de la Vega is the oldest in the West