Sheryl shares her 3 reasons to visit Jamaica and now I need to book a trip ASAP.
There are plenty of reasons to visit Jamaica. The island is rich in history, culture, has beautiful beaches and great food. Then there’s the diversity. The vibe is quite different in the various towns. You can get sophisticated, unspoiled rural, and everything in between. Go ahead, take your pick. Whatever you choose, you really can’t go wrong.
Take for example Bluefields. It’s one of the best kept secrets, although it is the oldest settled area of Jamaica, built by the Spanish in the 17th century. Locals and savvy travelers know it though, and love this jewel on the South Coast about 40 minutes from Negril.
The beaches are not crowded and if you want to mix with locals, the weekends and holidays are good time to go. Just listen for the reggae music and you’ll find food cooking and one big party. Bluefields is unique and when you go you’ll understand. Hop on a boat at Treasure Beach and take a 20-minute ride to the Pelican Bar — a mishmash of pieces of wood and a makeshift hut over the water. It’s the coolest thing ever. You can have a drink and jump right in the water below. Check out the local arts and crafts in the hut, or have your name engraved in one of the wooden benches to let the world know you were there.
If you’re an adventure lover you won’t be disappointed. Explore the caverns that run through the Roaring River. Step inside and be amazed. Your eyes may trick you. You’ll swear you see engraved in the walls birds and other animals, even a mermaid. Ignore the bats flying above. You might get the feeling that you’re being watched. Want more action? Seek out the Black River Safari. Get up close to crocodiles as you wind your way through part of one of Jamaica’s longest rivers. If kayaking, fishing, hiking, paddle boarding or birding is your forte, there’s plenty of that to be had.
For an authentic, low-key, and lovely experience, stay at Luna Sea Inn. This 9-room, seaside boutique inn has an intimate, bohemian vibe. Come ready to eat. The chef is the stuff of legends. Locals hang out at the bar so you’ll get the cultural immersion you’re likely looking for.
Oracabessa on Jamaica’s north coast is Ian Fleming terrain. The James Bond author left his footprint on the area. If you’re looking for luxury accommodations, you’ll find one of the most fab on the island, Golden Eye, formerly owned by the Fleming estate and bought in the 70s by Island Records mogul Chris Blackwell.
James Bond Beach is a sweet spot nearby Golden Eye and the also popular Golden Clouds, an estate that is uber luxe, overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Snorkel, dive reefs and just gaze at amazing sunsets. As for beaches, you’re in for a treat. James Bond Beach is uncrowded, you can get some escovitch fish, festival and other Jamaican goodies upstairs, with a rum punch, on a picnic bench staring at the blue, blue sea. James Bond Beach often has concerts and festivals. You don’t want to miss Reggae Beach either.
You might miss Runaway Bay. It’s not a well-traveled hang out like Ocho Rios or Montego Bay, but it has beaches worth stopping through town. Another plus, Pear Tree River. Then there are the half-million years’ old Green Grotto Caves and Runaway Cave.
Nearby are numerous water sports and you can raft down the Martha Brae River. If you’re looking for a special place to stay, check into the Luxury Bahia Principe Hotel & Resort, Runaway Bay. The 44-acre, all-inclusive, adult-only resort underwent a major makeover two years ago.
A new lake style swimming pool, featuring a swim up bar sits center stage on the resort. A host of restaurants, where romantic dinners and special occasion dining can be arranged, also have been added, as have 455 new deluxe suites with hydro massager bath tubs.
These are just 3 reasons to visit Jamaica – have you been? What do you love about this stunning destination? Share your thoughts in the comments below!