Travel To Jamaica
My best friend and I opted to travel to Jamaica as part of our annual holiday routine. Jamaica is one of the Caribbean destinations that I have travelled to and had so much fun. This is because it presents a diversity of European, Asian, Middle Eastern and African cultures that is evident in the performing arts, crafts and even dining options. Moreover, unlike many destinations that I have been to Jamaica is a country of wood and water that make it a great place to be specially if you are a first time visitor. We arrived in Jamaica through the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston and after about an hour of clearing with the customs department, we proceeded to our hotel room at the Spa Retreat.
We had been warned about the presence of locals who like to prey on tourists so we opted to take a cab to our hotel as opposed to getting a bus ride since we did not have many luggages. Driving in Jamaica is an adventure of its own and so it was a great way to begin my travel to Jamaica experience all together. This may sound a little cheeky but we were constantly on the lookout for Ganja because even though it is illegal, you can find it being sold everywhere and this could land us in trouble.
We began our adventures in Jamaica by going to the Reach Falls in Port Antonio, a place I can only describe as heaven on earth. This incredible natural waterfall offers a great hike opportunity through the jungle after which you can enjoy swimming as well as jumping down the falls. This experience is unforgettable and a must if you love having fun in water. We spent the afternoon at the Seven Mile Beach that is clean with calm waters and is frequented by people who love the pleasure of staying under the sun while sipping away some fresh juice cocktail. We first walked along the seven-mile stretch that also has a number of hotels, bike rental outlets and other food spots that complete the experience. The beautiful blue turquoise sea is complimented by white soft sand that sets the right atmosphere for relaxation. Even then, you need to be on the lookout for vendors who are selling just about everything. You can visit numerous other beaches for an amazing experience.
If you love to have some wild outdoor adventure, that is exhilarating and will leave you breathless then you must take some time to visit the Blue Mountains. Going up the mountain is a bit of a challenge but the scenery is quite refreshing and worth it. In fact, this mountain is a good alternative to non-beach activities that also displays the beauty of Jamaica that is not viewed much. While here, we were enthralled by the rustic charm of the place as we indulged in a cup of freshly ground coffee. You will need about 3-4 hours to get to the top of the mountain.
The Rocklands Bird Sanctuary is another place that you will definitely fall in love with just like I did during my travel to Jamaica. This is because unlike other bird watching experiences, you will get an opportunity to feed the colorful feathered birds that gives you an up close view of the these lovely chirping creatures. Moreover, the admission fee of just USD 20 comes with a glass of juice or some tea that you can enjoy during the trip. You will also have access to a guide that will help you spot some of the species that you may not be familiar with while providing as much information about the birds. Amazingly, the birds are not afraid of people so you are guaranteed of seeing them. Although you can drive around on your own, it is much better to go with a tour van because some sections of the path have potholes and sharp curves that may pose a problem because you are inexperienced.
We also had a great time at the Shaw Park Gardens and Waterfalls that is not just beautiful but also well kept. I will particularly recommend this tour to those people who love nature because you will see a variety of birds, lizards, lush waterfalls, wonderful flowers and a wonderful view overlooking the city. This garden has a great aesthetic appeal so we took some time to relax and enjoy the ambience while listening to the sound of the waterfall, crickets and chirping birds. It is also a great location for anyone who is planning to have a destination wedding.
You must also not forget to pass by Devon house for some fantastic homemade Ice Cream especially when the sun is up. They also have the Stout and Rum and Raisin specialty that you will definitely want to have more. The long queues that you will find here are testament to how great the treat is but this should not put you off because the service is pretty fast and you should be served in a short while. The Devon House is also a great place for picnics because the atmosphere is quite relaxing. You can also go there if you need a quiet place to meditate and yourself because the tranquility that you will find here is satisfying. There are also great eateries and shops here where you can enjoy a great meal or even pick up some gift items ranging from pottery to books. The only issue I had with Devon House is that photography is restricted to only those people who have professional equipment.
If you are the kind of person that loves to enjoy your drink in a relaxed place, then Floyd’s Pelican Bar is a must visit. To access this bar, you will first need to get to the beach by a 10-minute boat ride. This was somewhat scary, but when we eventually got there we had a blast. Our tour guide had made a reservation for some sumptuous meals because we had earlier spent time in the sun bathing deck where we had enjoyed the sight of dolphins in the distance. There were also stingrays around the bar that is in the middle of nowhere. The food served at this bar is tasty making while the drinks here are reasonably priced the entire experience wonderful. I will definitely go and hang out in at the Pelican Bar.
To experience the Jamaican nightlife, we went to the Jungle Night Club, Sports Bar and Grill that is a great spot for those who are looking for that real Jamaican experience that includes great Jamaican music. Jamaicans love to party, sing and dance and this nightclub offers that ultimate dancehall experience as is evident in the high energy levels on the dance floor. You need to get here early enough because it fills up with many people dancing to the dancehall beats. The Jungle is punctuated with local flavor allowing visitors to become Jamaican for a while.
You also need to consider visiting Wassi Art Studio where you will get to see some amazing pottery made by a group of talented artists. The unique thing about this art studio is that you will not only have the opportunity to purchase the amazing products but also have the opportunity to see the process of making them. If you want to purchase other authentic Jamaican items them you can also visit Coco Joe’s that is well stocked with a wide range of souvenir and gift items at affordable prices.
A visit to the Mystic Mountain is also a must as there are many things to see and do from the chair lift ride to the bobsled ride that are all fun. There is also a hummingbird sanctuary and a lookout tower that is attached to the restaurant. In case you feel like giving your body a treat after a hike or any other adventurous activity then you can consider going to Shirley’s Steam Bath and Massage that is a small spa in a serene setting. I opted for the steam bath that was relaxing before going for a deep massage. The beauty of this spa is that you are guaranteed of an unforgettable experience. Although this was y maiden trip to Jamaica, I am keen on going back because for another amazing holiday with my family.