You’re in Jamaica: C’mon and Smile!
(In Jamaica, y’all) Get it together, y’all!
(In Jamaica, y’all) Get it together, y’all!
In Jamaica, y’all. – Bob Marley
Jamaica, known as the “land of wood and water,” is not only celebrated for its music, sport and art but also for its natural beauty. Now, the range of activities one can participate and engage in within the island boggles the mind. Therefore, the task of listing the top ten places to go is an unenviable one. Notwithstanding, here is the Readers Bureau’s top 10 list list of places:
1. Frenchman’s Cove
This beautiful beach with powdery white sand is nestled in a cove in Portland, at the eastern end of the island. It is one of the best beaches in the country. The beach is unique as there’s a river that merges directly into the sea, providing fresh cold water that mixes with the warmer water from the sea. It is also surrounded by rich vivid, lush green foliage and a wide array of trees.
2. Seven Mile Beach
This is another of Jamaica’s best beaches. It is described by visitors as, “an amazing escape,” “a slice of paradise”, “beautiful and gorgeous,” “7 miles of clear blue heaven” and others. It is the longest beach in the island covering a range of 7 miles. It is also lined with various types of resorts as well as having a number of designated areas for nude sunbathing. The beach boasts shallow crystal clear warm water and beautiful white sand.
3. The Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon formerly known as Blue Hole is located in the parish of Portland. It is one of the most natural, tranquil, and enchanting places in the island. The waters of the lagoon are not only cold and warm but also crystal clear and seems magical as it changes its color from turquoise to sapphire to azure blue depending on the light and time of the day. It is surrounded by a rich green foliage and lush vegetation. The lagoon is about 180 ft deep and is a favorite spot for swimming and diving.
4. Little Ochie Restaurant
Looking for something different or seeking to escape the madding crowd? Well, Little Ochie Restaurant is the perfect hide away and place to go. It is located at Alligator Pond, on the southern end of the island, in the parish of St Elizabeth. The restaurant with its many different wooden structures and thatched roofs sits on a beach of silvery black sand. The setting is rustic, exotic, and unique. Moreover, the many different delicious seafood dishes, laced with Jamaica spice and seasoning, cooked traditionally over pimento wood fire, mixed with reggae music is an experience that cannot be easily imitated – yeah mon!
This photo of Green Grotto Caves is courtesy of TripAdvisor
5. Green Grotto Caves
Featured in the James Bond hit movie Live and Let Die is the Green Grotto Caves. It is a prominent and popular attraction for both tourists and locals. It is located in Discovery Bay, St Ann on the country’s north coast. The publicly accessible part of the caves contains a crystal-clear underground lake whereas the innermost section is relatively undisturbed ecology. The caves are home to a number of different species of bat and the underground lake consists of a range of small unidentifiable creatures as well as small barnacles. There are also many legends about the caves which the locals will readily share in their inimitably accent and patois.
6. The YS Falls
This is another of Jamaica’s south coast offerings. It is located in New Holland, St.Elizabeth. It is the shortest place name in the country as well as one of the most exotic places – a natural gem! Unlike Dunn’s River Falls, the number of visitors allowed here at any one time is restricted on a daily basis by management to ensure the unspoiled natural beauty of the place is kept. The crystal clear water is cold and is said to be therapeutic. The property features a number of different activities including swimming, diving, zip-lining across the spread of the falls, river tubing, and a picnic areas, among others.
This is the capital and the largest city within the island. It is located near a deep sheltered harbor that is protected by the Palisadoes, a long sand spit which connects the town Port Royal and the Norman Manley International Airport to the rest of the island. It is the commercial, financial, cultural, and entertainment center of the country. Apart from the wide range of night time club, concert, cinema and theatre activities, there are a number of interesting places to visit for example, the 127 year old Devon House Heritage Site, the largest botanical gardens in the Caribbean – Hope Gardens, Bob Marley Museum, Rockfort Mineral Bath, among others.
8. Dunn’s River Falls
This famous water falls is sited in Ocho Rios, St. Ann. It is nestled on top of a hill amidst lush green vegetation, rich tropical foliage, and a canopy of trees. The path from the base to the top of the falls is about 600 feet high and is fused with sparkling, gushing, crystal clear water that is refreshing and as cool as a gently blowing morning breeze. There are also natural pools formed along the path as giant boulders create walls that restrict the flow of water. The Dunn’s River Falls is one of the few waterfalls in the world that directly merges with the sea directly and creates a long stretch of beach of glistening white sands and shallow waters that allow for easy swimming.
9. Montego Bay
This is one of the most important resort cities in the country. It boasts a number of hotels and villas. The coast line is dotted by a number of beaches including the famous Doctor’s Cave Beach Club, noted for its crystal-clear turquoise waters that is said to have curative powers and white sands. There is also a number of duty free shopping, fine restaurants, exciting water sports, and a marine park.
The Rio Grande is a major river located in the parish of Portland. It is a popular attraction site for both tourists and locals because of the bamboo rafting that takes place. Here, one is exposed to some of the most natural scenic views in Jamaica. The lush Rio Grande Valley with its natural fauna and flora is extraordinarily different from the hustle and bustle of other attractions. The licensed and experienced captains provide detailed information about local plants, animals, and history as one rides down the river.
Nigel Belle, Readers Bureau, Fellow
Edited by Jesus Chan
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