Jamaica is an island nation in the Caribbean, to the south of Cuba and to the west of the island of Hispaniola. With 2.8 million people, Jamaica is the third most populous anglophone country in the Americas, after the United States and Canada. It remains a Commonwealth realm and is a completely independent and a sovereign nation.
Jamaica exports coffee, papaya, bauxite, gypsum, limestone and sugar cane.
Its motto and nickname for the country is called “Out of Many, One People”.
History of Jamaica
The Arawak and Taino indigenous people originating from South America settled on the island between 4000 and 1000 BC.
Christopher Columbus claimed Jamaica for Spain after landing there in 1494. Columbus’ probable landing point was Dry Harbour, now called Discovery Bay. St. Ann’s Bay was the “Saint Gloria” of Columbus who first sighted Jamaica at this point. The Spanish were forcibly evicted by the British at Ocho Rios in St. Ann and in 1655 the British took over the last Spanish fort in Jamaica. The Spanish colonists fled leaving a large number of African slaves. Rather than be re-enslaved by the English, they escaped into the hilly, mountainous regions of the island, joining those who had previously escaped from the Spanish to live with the Taínos. These runaway slaves, who became known as the Jamaican Maroons, fought the British during the 18th century. During the long years of slavery Maroons established free communities in the mountainous interior of Jamaica, maintaining their freedom and independence for generations.
During its first 200 years of British rule, Jamaica became one of the world’s leading sugar-exporting, slave-dependent nations. After the abolition of the slave trade in 1807, the British imported Indian and Chinese workers as indentured servants to supplement the labour pool. Descendants of indentured servants of Indian and Chinese origin continue to reside in Jamaica today.
By the beginning of the 19th century, Jamaica’s heavy reliance on slavery resulted in blacks (Africans) outnumbering whites (Europeans) by a ratio of almost 20 to 1. Even though England had outlawed the importation of slaves, some were still smuggled into the colonies.
In the 1800s, the British established a number of botanical gardens. These included the Castleton Garden, set up in 1862 to replace the Bath Garden (created in 1779) which was subject to flooding. Bath Garden was the site for planting breadfruit brought to Jamaica from the Pacific by Captain William Bligh. Other gardens were the Cinchona Plantation founded in 1868 and the Hope Garden founded in 1874. In 1872, Kingston became the island’s capital.
Jamaica slowly gained increasing independence from the United Kingdom and in 1958, it became a province in the Federation of the West Indies before attaining full independence by leaving the federation in 1962.
The majority of Jamaicans are descended at least partially from the many Africans who were enslaved and transported to the island. Jamaica also has sizeable numbers of Whites and Coloreds, persons of Syrian/Lebanese descent, and a large population of Chinese and East Indians, many of whom have intermixed throughout the generations. Mixed-race Jamaicans are the second largest racial group after Black Jamaicans.
Christianity is the majority religion on the island, and the Rasta community, which Jamaica is known for internationally, has also featured prominently in its history. As in other Caribbean areas, West African religion and folk beliefs (locally called Obeah among other terms) are sometimes practised by some while being completely taboo for others. There are communities of Muslims and Hindus, together with a small but quite ancient Jewish community.
The climate in Jamaica is tropical, with hot and humid weather, although higher inland regions are more temperate. Some regions on the south coast are relatively dry rain-shadow areas. Jamaica lies in the hurricane belt of the Atlantic Ocean; as a result, the island sometimes experiences significant storm damage.
The edge of the Blue Mountains, just north of Kingston.
Jamaica supports diverse ecosystems with a wealth of plants and animals.
Jamaica’s plant life has changed considerably over the centuries. When the Spanish came here in 1494, except for small agricultural clearings, the country was deeply forested, but the European settlers cut down the great timber trees for building purposes and cleared the plains, savannahs, and mountain slopes for cultivation. Many new plants were introduced including sugar cane, bananas, and citrus trees.
In the areas of heavy rainfall are stands of bamboo, ferns, ebony, mahogany, and rosewood. Cactus and similar dry-area plants are found along the south and southwest coastal area. Parts of the west and southwest consist of large grasslands, with scattered stands of trees.
Jamaican animal life is diverse and includes many endemic species found nowhere else on earth. As with other islands, non-human land animals are made up almost entirely of bats. The only non-bat native mammal extant in Jamaica is the Jamaican hutia, locally known as the coney. Introduced mammals such as wild boar and the small Asian mongoose are also common. Jamaica is also home to many reptiles, the largest of which is the American crocodile (although it is found only in the Black River and a few other areas). Lizards from the colourful Anolis genus, iguanas and snakes such as racers and the Jamaica boa (the largest snake on the island) are common. None of Jamaica’s native snakes is dangerously venomous. Beautiful and exotic birds such as the Jamaican tody and the doctor bird (the national bird) can be found, among a large number of others. Insects and other invertebrates are abundant, including the world’s largest centipede, the Amazonian giant centipede, and the homerus swallowtail, the Western Hemisphere’s largest butterfly.
Jamaican waters contain considerable resources of fresh-and saltwater fish. The chief varieties of saltwater fish are kingfish, jack, mackerel, whiting, bonito, and tuna. Fish that occasionally enter freshwater include snook, jewfish, gray and black snapper, and mullet. Fish that spend the majority of their lives in Jamaica’s fresh waters include many species of live-bearers, killifish, freshwater gobies, the mountain mullet, and the American eel. Tilapia have been introduced from Africa for aquaculture, and are very common.
There are coral reefs offshore in some areas.
The authorities have designated some of the more fertile areas as ‘protected’, including the Cockpit Country, Hellshire Hills, and Litchfield forest reserves. In 1992, Jamaica’s first marine park, covering nearly 6 square miles (about 1 km²), was established in Montego Bay. The following year Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park was created on roughly 300 square miles (780 km²) of wilderness that supports thousands of tree and fern species and rare animals.
- January 1: New Year’s Day
- Easter (moveable)
- May 23: Labor Day
- August 6: Independence Day
- October 17: Heroes Day
- December 25: Christmas
- December 26: Boxing Day
Montego Bay Coronavirus Covid-19 Outbreak Jamaica
Montego Bay is on the north-west coast of Jamaica and is the essence of the complete resort where flowering trees, smooth meadows and palm-covered hills overlooking the turquoise sea and its white beaches. Montego Bay, commonly referred to as MoBay, is the second largest city in the island nation Jamaica, a member of the British Commonwealth. Montego Bay is the capital of St. James Parish, one of the 14 parishes of Jamaica.Complete Covid-19 Statistics for Jamaica
Christopher Columbus called Montego Bay “the gulf of good weather” as it was dubbed Bahia de Manteca (Lard Bay) by the Spanish. Montego Bay became a major shipping port for sugar and bananas.
At the turn of the last century, visitors came from far away to try the waters of Doctor’s Cave Beach, which was said to heal nearly any sickness. Today, the beach of Montego Bay is as popular as ever, while Montego Bay has grown to become the country’s prime tourist destination and second-largest city on Jamaica.
Montego Bay is home to the annual Reggae festival which is held in August and it is the heart of the “Jamaican Riviera”, with more hotel rooms than any other part of Jamaica, from five-star luxury hotels and all-inclusive resorts to charming small inn’s, guesthouses and some of the most luxurious private villas in the Caribbean.
Montego Bay has some of the world’s finest golf courses can be enjoyed at the area’s four 18 hole challenge golf courses, including the well-known Tryall Golf, Tennis, and Beach Club.
Scuba and PADI diving can be enjoyed in the secluded waters of the Montego Bay Marine Park, with 18 square km of stunning coral reefs just off the coast from Montego Bay’s International Airport.
Fishing charters are well-liked with sporting types in search of the famous blue marlin. Luxury yachting is just as popular, with the Montego Bay Yacht Club hosting the twice-annually Pineapple Cup Miami to Montego Bay Yacht race.
Christopher Columbus sailed into the bay in 1494 and named it “El Golfo de Buen Tiempo” or Fair Weather Bay. The first record of a Spanish settlement here shows it as Monterias. The Spaniards hunted the herds of wild hogs that used to roam the hills and produced and exported ‘hog butter’ or lard. The name Montego derives from the Spanish “manteca” meaning lard, and Montego Bay is shown on some ancient maps as Lard Bay, or Bahia de Manteca in Spanish.
Due in part to its location on the island’s north shore, Montego Bay has long since earned the title of ‘tourist capital of Jamaica.’ It receives the bulk of international flights, and is home to Sangster International Airport, the larger of Jamaica’s two main international airports. It is a tourism destination known for its duty-free shopping, cruise line terminal, and the sheltered Doctor’s Cave beach with clear turquoise waters, which is one of the most famous beaches on the island.
- Sangster International Airport, Montego Bay (is on the northwest part of the island, very close to the cruise ports at Montego Bay and Ochos Rios.).
Montego Freeport, built in the 1960s on what was called the Bogue Islands, is the port of Montego Bay. The Montego Freeport terminal consists of five primary berths two of which are dedicated exclusively for cruise shipping. There is a telecommunications centre for cruise passengers (and crew), snack and refreshment stand.
Transportation is available from the terminal building, supervised by the Jamaica Tourist Board, which also maintains a visitor information booth. Montego Freeport is about 3 km south of town. Taxis to downtown MoBay cost about US$10. Shuttle bus service from the cruise ship pier to downtown City Centre Shopping Mall for US$2 per person each way.
Downtown Montego Bay
Gloucester Avenue-which is lined with tourist hotels, shops, and restaurants-has sidewalks on both sides and is best visited on foot. Aside from this road, walking may be considerably less safe.
By bus, taxi
Buses, minibuses and route taxis arrive and depart from the transportation station off Barnett St at the south end of St James St. There’s an inspector’s office (7AM-6PM) inside the gate where you can ask for the departure point of the bus you’re seeking.
Montego Bay Metro (952-5500; 19A Union St) is the municipal bus service (around J$100). Montego Bay Metro now operates three routes: Greenwood to City Centre; Sandy Bay to City Centre; and Cambridge to City Centre.
Taxis are readily available, but as with all cities be aware that some drivers will be less honest or reliable than others. follow your instincts; never get into an unmarked car with someone who offers you a ride, and stick with taxi services you recognize. Your hotel can suggest trustworthy drivers. Reliable driver (as used by the Bird’s Nest and Five Gable include Frankly (local phone 581 5712) and Smith (local phone 787 7889)
Another very common way of getting anywhere outside the vicinity of your hotel is by tour van. If you book a tour to the falls or the canopy, the driver will usually pick you up at your hotel. For more on tours, check the Do section below.
- The Centerstage Theatre, Dominica Dr. New Kingston. Small but cozy. Family-oriented musicals in patois.
Take a break from the sun and relax on the beach under a palm tree
- Cornwall Beach. 9AM-5PM. Snorkeling, swimming, and other fun beach activities. US$3.20/2 (adults/children).
- Doctor’s Cave Beach, Gloucester Ave. 8:30AM-Sunset. The water is crystal clear and snorkeling is available. It can get a bit crowded during busy season, but its still a great place to go for the family. US$5/2.50 (Adults/Children under 12) – Extra for chairs and umbrellas.
- Dunn’s River Falls & Park, Ochos Rios, Jamaica, W.I.. 8:30AM – 4PM. Dunn’s River Falls & Park comes to mind which is in Ochos Rios that is about two hours from Montego Bay by taxi cab. There are four rivers combined into one unending flow of rapid descent that drains directly into the Caribbean Sea. Adventurous tourist can climb the falls by forming a human chain led by an experienced Dunn’s river falls guide. Adults US $20 Children (2-11 years old) US $15.
- John Halls Montego Bay Adventure Tour. Thorough and thrilling tour of Jamaica’s beauty and culture. Adults: 75.00 Children:31.50.
- KiteBoarding Jamaica, Bounty Bay, Trelawny (only 20min from Montego Bay). Jamaica’s only Kite surfing center, great kite surfing on the Caribbean sea, suitable for all levels.
- Montego Bay Sea Trek Adventure, Doctor’s Cave Beach. 1 hour. Underwater adventures on the ocean floor. US$60.
- Walter Fletcher Beach. M-Th 9AM-7PM, F-Su 9AM-10PM. Swimming, boat rides, and other beachtime fun. US$5/3 (Adults/Children).
- Chukka Caribbean Adventures.
- Mayfield Falls (Renting a car and driving on an adventurous unsealed road (in parts) might be the easiest way to get there.). Mayfield Falls is the less-touristy option and much calmer than Dunn’s Falls. They are a 1,5hr drive south-west from MoBay. For an entrance fee of $15 local guides offer 1,5hr tours where you climb up the falls and return on a short trek. The tour includes jumping in pools, diving through tunnels and climbing stones. Jumping from a high tree might also be possible. You might ask your guide for a unofficial “nature tour” which takes you 2hrs up the falls through fields (maybe ganja as well) and means climbing the falls down. With driving there you will also have the chance to see rural life on Jamaica as you pass through little farmer villages. $15 + tip for the guide.
Jamaican Taxi Tours , ✉ email@example.com. Jamaican Taxi Tours provide professional and licensed drivers who can take you to the desired destination and sightseeing tour comfortably and safely. Our tours are ideal for every traveler, covering various interests such as archaeology, history, culture, religion and the best aspect of Jamaica in the most relaxing and exciting way.
Travel Around Jamaica Tours , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Travel Around Jamaica Tours is a Montego Bay, Jamaica based private airport transfer and tour company, which offers private airport transfers to all hotels, resorts and villas in Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, and Negril. As well as private transfers to popular tourism destinations in Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Negril.
- Dreamer Catamaran Cruises, Rapsody Tours, Charters & Cruise Limited, Gloucester Avenue , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Monday – Saturday 10AM-1PM/3PM-6PM. The Dreamer Catamaran cruises are a great way to explore the Caribbean Ocean. On the Catamaran cruise, there is an opportunity for sight seeing, snorkeling, drinking, sun bathing. The staff is very friendly, helpful and patient, making sure new comers to snorkeling feel comfortable with their equipment and what to look for while exploring the sea. After snorkeling, alcohol is served on the catamaran, along with massages by the crewmemebers. The Dreamer Catamaran cruises are fun, safe, and a great experience. US $89.
All day, representatives from tour companies will stroll the beaches, offering parasailing, horseback riding, and a million other fun activities; if you’re interested, keep your ears and eyes open for these guys, but remember to always play it safe and go with companies you recognize and trust. A lot can go wrong during these activities if the people in charge don’t know what they’re doing!
- Rockland Bird Sanctuary, ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 9AM-5PM. Enjoy the many varieties of birds that make the Rocklands Bird Sanctuary a wonderful nature place. @ Rocklands Road, Wiltshire, Anchovy Montego Bay
- Montego Bay shopping center. You can find more reasonably priced souvenirs, and eat some real native Jamaican food. A traveler can find really great deals on gourmet coffee in which is produced right on the island, and Jamaican spices, art and scented body oils. You can get there by taxi or local shuttle.
Most restaurants also serve drinks. Try a tropical drink or grab a cold Red Stripe in the signature brown bottle, then relax and take in the scenery!
- Pier One Seafood, Howard Cooke Blvd. Open-air restaurant serving well-liked seafood and umbrella drinks with a great view of the bay.
- Evelyn’s, Whitehouse (near Sandals Montego Bay). Monday – Saturday 9AM-9PM, Su 10AM-6PM. Very reasonable prices, right on the beach, and the food is heavenly.
- Pork Pit, 27 Gloucester Ave. Right on the main strip in town, serving what some say is Jamaica’s best jerk chicken and pork cooked over coals.
- Jimmy Buffets Margaritaville, Gloucester Ave. 11AM-?. A tourist spot on the “hip strip” Gloucester Avenue, that is great for the whole family. Jamaica is known for their Jerk and Curry Chicken, which are both excellent here at Jimmy Buffets Margaritaville. They have entertainment, a hot tub, a 110 foot water slide that leads you into the ocean where there is also a water trampoline. Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville also has a gift shop, with a wide variety of souvenirs including t-shirts, shorts, hats, shot glasses, key chains, etc. This is a great place to get away from the resorts, it is located about 15 minutes from the resort areas and is always a great place to grab a bite to eat. Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville is always a great reminder of home, and always has a sense of “home” even in other countries.
- Day-O Plantation Restaurant. A favorite spot for romantic occasions, offering garden dining and Jamaican fusion cuisine.
- Belfield 1794. Monday – Saturday 6:30-11PM.. Located in an old sugar mill and offering Jamaican favorites in an unusual setting. US$15-$20.
- The Pelican Grill, Gloucester Avenue Hip Strip (Across the street from the old Hospital Park on the Gloucester Ave. Hip Strip. Near Doctor’s Cave Beach.) , ✉ email@example.com.
- Royal Stocks English Pub (in the gardens of The Half Moon Village Shopping Village) , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
Featured Resortin Montego Bay
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Secrets Wild Orchid
Riu Montego Bay - All Inclusive
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- Bethel Court Guesthouse. Mount Salem. Here you will have your own private furnished apartment. $20/night dorms, $50 Private 1 bedroom apartment.
- The Bird’s Nest, Patterson Avenue, Ironshore. Jamaica’s first and only sports orientated hostel. The Bird’s Nest is run by passionate kite surfers. $20/night dorms, $30 private rooms.
- Caribic House, 69 Gloucester Ave. Hostel – very much budget accommodation. Great views of the beach from the third floor. Across the street from Doctor’s Cave Beach. $35/night (double occupancy).
- Hotel Gloriana, 1-2 Sunset Blvd. A cheap place to sleep, with lovely staff, but the rooms are very basic. $30/night.
- Ridgeway Guest House, 34 Queens Dr. An inexpensive, well-liked guest house run by a very hospitable and helpful staff. $50/night.
- The Jamaica Grandiosa Resort, 3 Ramparts Close. Another budget option, with nice views and a friendly staff. $60/night.
- Grand Palladium Resorts & Spa, Lucea, toll-free: . All Inclusive 3 Meals daily plus snacks and all drinks and house wines with meals included. Free activities (snorkeling, sailing, paddle boating) all of these activities are located on the beach adjacent to the Grand Palladium Resort. Lifeguard on duty. $60/night. Kids stay free.
- Holiday Inn SunSpree Resort.
- Five Gables, Lot 285 Fairview, Ironshore (Route taxis and buses commute between MoBay and Ironshore. From the junction you can either walk (2,5km uphill) or find a taxi (see Get Around, J$150)). Five Gables is a hostel in a villa in the suburb of Ironshore. The house consist of multiple rooms with bathrooms, a kitchen and a huge community area. Outside, the property features a pool, a sun deck with bar, hammocks and chairs as well as a garden. It is closely associated with the bird’s nest. Even if it appears fully booked on hostel world, call the owner Ian, he might let you camp in the garden or offers you another room right next door. dorm $20 / double ensuite $70.
- Allspice Villa Bed & Breakfast. Newly refurbished bed and breakfast villa overlooking Montego Bay, owned and managed by a young American couple. $125-200 per night.
- Doctors Cave Beach Hotel. A moderately priced hotel that is centrally located along Gloucester Avenue (called the Hip Strip). A well established alternative for those seeking a good value. $115-170/night.
- El Greco Resort, P.O. Box 1624. Popular resort village. Furnished one and two bedroom air-conditioned suites, just a elevator ride down to famous Doctors Cave beach. $112-177/night for 2-4 people.
- Royal DeCameron Resort. Oceanview rooms and patio, includes all food and drinks (including international drinks and wine). 3 Beaches, and 2 pools. 1 Al a carte restaurant and 1 buffet. 100$/person/night, including all beach activities.
- Rose Hall Resort & Spa, a Hilton Resort. Rose Hall Road, Montego Bay. This island resort in Montego Bay was a legendary sugar plantation during the 18th century. $250/night.
- Royal Reef Hotel in Montego Bay, Greenwood P.O. Box 10 Falmouth, Trelawny. The Royal Reef Hotel is a luxury hotel. Rates start at $150.
- Altamont West Hotel, 33 Gloucester Ave. Rates start at $90.
- Half Moon Rose Hall, Half Moon P.O., Rose Hall. A large hotel with golf courses, spa facilities, a variety of vacation villas, and conference and meeting facilities. Rooms and suites start at $350/night.
- Riu Montego Bay. Ironshore P.O, Rose Hall. Less than three miles from downtown Montego Bay, and 1.7 miles from the airport, it has a wide variety of activities and comfortable accommodations in a beautiful setting, including an on-site spa, entertainment by the pool and on the beach during the day and on stage at night. $400/night The Riu Montego Bay has a total of 5 bars and 5 restaurants. The restaurants include a Steak House, Italian Restaurant, Asian Restaurant, Main Restaurant and a pool-side buffet. There are 2 pool-side bars, and 2 inside the resort and 1 sports bar. The sports bar is open 24 hours with a mini-casino located right next door. There is always entertainment during the day at the pool area and at night, either in the entertainment area, or on the beach. The Riu Montego Bay is a great vacation spot for everybody.
- Silent Waters Villa, River Road, Great River Private. Luxury villa with nice views and good service. The 5 guest suites and the owner’s villa can accommodate one group of up to 20. Tennis court, 2 pools, heliport, 14 staff. $2,000-$4,857/night..
- The Tryall Club, Alice Eldemire Dr., Hanover Parish (15-20 minute drive west of the city). A splurge, but worth it. A world-renowned golf course designed by Ralph Plummer lies on this property, making the Tryall one of the premier golf destinations of the Caribbean. Each villa has a private pool along with personal staff that cater to your needs. Ots her amenities at the Tryall is a kids club, 9 tennis courts(four which are red clay), and a private beach. $400/night.
While Montego Bay is a relatively safe city, normal precautions should be observed. Stay in groups, and stick to tourist areas. The rural areas are especially dangerous.
You can get domestic flights to Kingston’s second airport Tinson Pen.
A weekly international service to Santiago de Cuba is also available, costing approximately US$400 (June 2020) with Air Jamaica Shuttle
The Montego Bay Bus station, in downtown Montego Bay has buses serving most of the larger cities throughout the country including Black River, Ocho Rios, Spanish Town & Kingston.
Daily Chart of Covid-19 Reports in Jamaica
Negril Coronavirus Covid-19 Outbreak Jamaica
An eye-catching white sand beach hugs the Caribbean for almost seven miles in the city of Negril. Negril is only a 1 ? hour drive from Montego Bay. Negril has a laid-back way of life, but the resort town has always retained the sleepy tropical charm that first fascinated visitors that seek the sun.Complete Covid-19 Statistics for Jamaica
Serene Strolls on white sand beaches, swimming and snorkeling in aqua-blue waters and optional sunbathing are only part of your “do-as-you-please” Negril vacation on Jamaica.
Craft bazaar and duty-free shopping opportunities is plenty available in and around Negril. Golf and tennis are all day available at the Negril Hills Golf Club, just south of Negril.
Horse riding treks to the passionate ruins of Whitehall Great House and boat rides to Booby Cay, where and portions of “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” were filmed offer popular pastimes.
For daring tourist’s, there is sea-kayaking or mountain biking along the coast and even sporadic canoe trips that venture into the puzzling Great Morass of Negril, a secluded natural area where giant palm trees, interesting birds and crocodiles prosper.
With its extraordinary coral reefs and calm crystal-clear sea, Negril is a paradise for divers. The Scuba Centre of Negril is one of the oldest dive centers in Jamaica and offers as well certified PADI courses. There are several excellent local companies offering numerous other water sports, as well as catamaran cruises.
Negril has many luxury resorts, villa rentals, inexpensive guesthouses and charming small beachside resorts, are also plentiful available.
Plus strung along the grotto-lined cliffs that stretch to the Negril Lighthouse (built in 1895), unique properties with elegantly rustic decor are tucked into the rock face leading down to peaceful hidden coves.
Negril boasts a broad range of accommodation options from relaxed, reasonably priced rooms, studios and suites to fine all-inclusive resorts catering either to single, couples or to families.
None of Negril’s hotels is taller than the average palm tree, the effect of local efforts to limit development and look after natural resources, including the area’s magnificent offshore reefs.
According to myth, Calico Jack and a mob of fellow pirates were captured close to Negril Harbor previously called Bloody Bay for its history as a whaling port, after his consumption too much rum.
They may have also been preoccupied by the blaze of orange, mauve and red that makes the end of every day here a cause for a f?te.
Nowadays the cheerful ritual is celebrated by sunset cruises and at several popular viewing spots such as the Pickled Parrot, for instance, with its rope swings and slide; and Rick’s Cafe, where pre-sunset amusement includes fire-eaters, jugglers and brave cliff divers.
Negril in addition has one of Jamaica’s liveliest music scenes from festive calypso beach parties to all-night dancing. Alfred’s Ocean Palace and other local clubs, to open-air concerts where the pulsating rhythms of reggae offer the perfect soundtrack for balmy tropical evenings.
Negril is one of life’s rare pleasures, the ultimate liberty vacation. It’s a kick-off-your-shoes, shrug off your blues way of life. Eat and drink, love and laugh, play party and be happy.
Negril is a major tourism destination in Western Jamaica, known for its white sandy beaches.
Negril is famous for its 7 miles of cool, white sand beaches and another 7 miles of 40′ cliffs. One of the most beautiful towns in Jamaica, it has a more laid back atmosphere than that of Montego Bay and is more touristy than Ocho Rios. When you stay at a hotel on the beach you are literally on the beach when you walk out of the beachside of your hotel. You have probably never seen water this clear or warm. You will be amazed at how far out you can walk in the water before it gets up to your neck. The water is gentler and the sand is whiter (smaller grained aka softer) the farther down(away from town) you are. The end of the beach down by the all-inclusives is the whitest. The region is also known for the foreign janes (female sex tourists) who visit.
Fly into the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. Take a 60-90 minute shuttle van ride to Negril. It is a very scenic drive along the north coast travelling west. There are many companies and taxis that provide a great service doing airport transfers to Negril.
The least expensive way to get around is to hire “Route Taxis”. Many drivers will attempt to get you to hire them. Many of them are very expensive, even if you try to negotiate with them. Route Taxis, for example, from the Rui Resort on Bloody Bay to downtown Negril will charge about $2 per person. From Rui to Ricks Cafe is about $4 per person. Be sure to set your price with the driver BEFORE you enter their taxi!
Current rates (2020) seem to be 100 Jamaica dollars along the beachfront road to the roundabout in Negril township, and 100 more for any point past this i.e. around the cliffs. Double this if you are catching a route taxi at night.
Drivers who are not Route Taxis often charge over $10 per person and will tell you that Route Taxis aren’t safe (which is not true, it’s just a way to get more money from tourists).
- Martha Bray River— a truly magnificent river; one of the longest rivers in Jamaica.
Taking a snorkeling tour in one the glass bottom boats is highly recommended. Watch the famous Negril sunset, it is the sunset to remember .
The tourist crafts market at the edge of town is a great place to pick up souvenirs and nick nacks. The sellers are willing to bargain especially if you want more than one thing. You can spend American dollars almost anywhere on the island. Most of the roadside stand sellers have a calculator and know the exchange rate. Although the roadside sellers are quite savy they can be honest to a fault when it comes to bargaining. If you want a better price you can get it. Just try to avoid upsetting the locals by killing their tourist tax.
- Sugar Cane, Coconut Jelly Meat, and Jerk Chicken.
- Rick’s Cafe is about the biggest tourist trap in which to view a gorgeous Negril sunset. Cliff diving is available from a sturdy concrete slab perched high atop the sea cliffs, higher than before. There, visitors can test their mettle or leave it to the professionals (note: people have been killed and seriously injured/maimed when cliff jumping – including the so-called ‘professionals’). Just remember that if you watch the show, you’re expected to tip the professionals.
- Eddie’s De Bar and Grill Jerk chicken plus all the traditional Jamaican dishes, goat, fish and lobster. The bar has great vibes, excellent music, nightly bonfire; truly a Jamaican yard. Just past The Rockhouse Hotel on the left.
- The Rockhouse Hotel. A beautifully set restaurant and hotel on the cliffs. They will collect you for free from your hotel and drive you there.
- Three Dives Restaurant an eatery on the west end that is just past Xtabi Resort. Expect jerk chicken, pork, lobster and snapper – all locally sourced.
- LTU Restaurant a locally-styled restaurant perched high on the edge of the cliff, just 200 yards from Ricks on the cliff road. The menu offers high quality and a wide range, including vegetarian, and there is a ‘specials’ board for fresh ‘catch of the day’ offerings such as Marlin, Kingfish and Mahi mahi.
- Royal Kitchen a vegetarian/Ital restaurant on the west end past the M&L Market. $250 J gets you a great combo that usually consists of soy chunks, rice and peas, veggies, plus often stew or ackee.
- Sweet Spice Restaurant. Most locals will recommend the place and with good reason, the oxtail is great and the lobster is cheaper than at the beach.
Red Stripe Beer
- Coconut Water – best straight off the tree, just cut open the coconut with a machete and drink (if you’re picky, you can use a straw). You can also buy bottled coconut water basically anywhere on the island, but not as good as getting it fresh from the green coconuts. Good for your heart.
- Rum Fruit Punch or *Red Stripe Beer are Jamaican concoctions. Guinness and Heineken can also be purchased pretty much anywhere that sells alcohol.
The SamSara Hotel also located in the west part of Negril (past the rock house) has a very nice buy one get one free happy hour from 4-7 every day!
- Guinep Corner (West Land Mountain), West land Mountain Road (Just by the famous Guinep Trees). early am till late. Local food at a local Jamaican bar, cooked & served by Jamaican couple Janice & Rasta Martell. From pieces of fresh fried fish and chicken to full breakfasts of Ackee & Saltfish or dinners of goat curry and other Jamaican dishes. Ambiance is truly Jamaica, with domino games, great music, Jamaica TV and wonderful street life. Very local, Jamaican street life at its best set in a really friendly community with strictly ‘no harassment’ & total enjoyment. 400JMD.
- The Jungle Night Club. A night club set on the main road which runs parallel to the 7 mile strip. Plays RnB/Rap/Reggae music. Note that this club is known for its Thursday nights (ladies night) when all ladies enter free. Very fun spot to be. Admission costs $700J (as of May 2020).
Where to stay in Negril
- Judy House Cottages, West Land Mountain Road (off One Love Drive (West End Road)). 24. This is really living life in a Jamaican community just minutes away from Negril’s beautiful beaches, local cook shops, fantastic restaurants. Two cosy, fully equipped cottages or Sue’s One 4 the Road Backpacker Hostel rooms, nestling in the back of Sue’s amazing tropical garden. 15 to 75 USD.
- Hotel Riu Palace Tropical Bay, Norman Manley Boulevard. Victorian-style resort is in Bloody Bay. 416 rooms offer deluxe accommodation, including a mini-bar and liquor dispenser in a friendly, relaxed atmosphere. Array of buffet dishes and à la carte options at the resort or take advantage of exchange programme privileges at the Riu Negril. Live music and Riu’s theme shows.
- Riu Negril, Norman Manley Boulevard Bloody Bay Beach. 420 deluxe rooms, a beautiful stretch of white sandy beach just minutes away from shopping area and nightlife. The resort offers renowned mini-bar and liquor dispenser, along with a complete programme of daytime activities and nightly entertainment. Dine at any of the tempting buffets and the à la carte specialty restaurants or enjoy a drink at one of our cosy bars.
- Rock House. Rockhouse combines natural beauty, strong architectural design, local materials and craftsmanship, excellent service, and a relaxed Jamaican experience. The hotel has an interesting history; when its first room was built in 1972, it was one of the first hotels on Negril’s cliffs. Early guests included Bob Marley, Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones. In 1994, the property was purchased by a group of Australians.
- Hedonism Resorts. All inclusive resort with adults only fare nude resort.
- Negril Yoga Center. Quiet & peaceful collection of small cozy villas. Has daily yoga lessons for $10 USD. Kitchen provides vegetarian fare. $30-65 USD (double occupancy).
- Negril Tree House Resort. Not an all inclusive but close enough with room service, a bar/restaurant, pool, hot tub, towels for the beach at the front desk, and a free buffet breakfast. The two bedroom suites at the top of the treehouse-style rooms have a master bedroom with a bidé and double sinks in the master bath, a full size fridge, a washer, cooking utensils, dining room table, DVD player with cable in the living room, cable, tv in both bedrooms, remote controlled serious air conditioners and ceiling fans in all rooms. The cleaning service washes all the dishes and will do your laundry if you are feeling too lazy to use the washing machine. There are also a hammock, and a little hammock-like swing on the private open air covered deck at the entrance to the room. They also have one bedroom suites at ground level.
- Blue Cave Castle, Lighthouse Road , ✉ email@example.com. A castle built 50ft above an old pirates cave, on the cliffs. The views are incredible and all of the rooms face the ocean. The rooms are large with a veranda. The superior rooms have cable TV, CD players, remote control air conditioning, fans, and refrigerators. From $50US, to the huge $120 castle-top penthouse, with its 360 views of Negril.
- Moon Dance Cliffs Resort and Spa (Moon Dance Cliffs), West End Road , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. Check-in: 2pm, check-out: 12pm. Moon Dance Cliffs is a 22 room boutique hotel with four royal Villas that overlook the Caribbean Sea. The on-site restaurant and bars feature Jamaican and American cuisines. The spectacular 5,000+ sq ft pool includes waterfalls, islands and bridges. The Resort also features an on-site modern Spa. The Royal Villas range from one to five bedrooms.
- Xtabi Hotel. Built on the historic Xtabi cliffs. The labyrinth of caves beneath the hotel have served as hiding places for pirate’s treasure and film locations for major motion pictures. The Xtabi hotel consists of 24 rooms located on the cliffs and in its beautiful gardens. The hotel also has an award-winning restaurant and large open-air bar.
- Skylark Negril Beach Resort, Norman Manley Blvd (Seven Mile Beach) , ✉ email@example.com. Eco-friendly beach resort with beautiful guest rooms and with modern amenities.
Use common sense, especially at night. Negril is generally considered safer than most large American cities.
It is illegal to buy and/or use drugs in Jamaica. Commonly, you may be offered marijuana ‘smoke… smoke?’ by the locals. A pleasant “no thank you” or “yes please!” will usually suffice. Do not be surprised if you are offered drugs several times throughout your stay.
A little known fact is that you can walk from the far end of the beach to town in under an hour on the beach if you walk along the beach line to where the trees block the way and then take to the grass along the water. Just stay on the shore and you will stumble into the tourist market at the edge of town. There are coconuts and sugar cane for sale in the parking lot. It is a great way to avoid the taxi tax and stay off the road!
To see more of the area in and around Negril, with a local flare, requires a tour guide. Tour Guides can be hired relatively cheaply, and will add a lot of life to your exploration of Negril, and Jamaica at large. To find one, it is easiest to ask for a referral from a tourist spot, like Rick’s Cafe. One local favorite is Sexy Rexy, a Rastafarian tourguide, but others can be found as well.
Daily Chart of Covid-19 Reports in Jamaica
Port Antonio Coronavirus Covid-19 Outbreak Jamaica
Errol Flynn mentioned once Port Antonio as heaven on earth, an explanation echoed by many tourists that have found this island Eden to be, quite simply, the definitive holiday destination.Complete Covid-19 Statistics for Jamaica
Nestled between twin harbors on the Jamaica’s northeast, with covered mountains that plunge down to the ocean, Port Antonio has lived up to its status as “the most superb port on earth.”
Orchids, bananas and palm trees grow in large amount. Waterfalls plunge into fern-edged pools and some of the island’s most elegant villas and charming small hotels are tucked into hillsides overlooking secluded azure coves.
Established in the year 1723, Port Antonio was Jamaica’s most important center for banana growth and export in the late 1800s. One of Jamaica’s first resorts was built here in 1905, and it soon became a vacation place for the rich and famous of the day.
Actors from Hollywood arrived in the 1950s, a few years after Errol Flynn sought shelter in the harbor of Port Antonio on his yacht and decided not to leave: Flynn bought several properties in Port Antonio, including a plantation.
Today, Port Antonio’s beauty makes it popular for movies and fashion shoots and its resorts, hotels & villas continue to provide inspiration for movie celebrities, authors, aristocrats, and leaders of industry & commerce and politics.
From the ruins of the Folly, a manor recklessly built of concrete material and seawater, to the Fortress of George, an 18th-century British stronghold which cannons still point out to ocean, the history of Port Antonio is only a heartbeat away.
Perhaps that’s why life moves at a slower speed then it does in another place, so there’s more occasion to take pleasure in swimming, snorkeling and scuba-diving in the shimmer Blue Lagoon, which is fed by freshwater springs and thought to reach a depth of 200 feet.
A bamboo raft ride downward the Rio Grande river or a dip in the stimulating pool at the base of Somerset Falls are other popular activities. Strolling through tropical Athenry Gardens and exploring the prehistoric stalagmites and stalactites of Nonsuch Caves, where rare fossils and Indian relics have been originated.
Even the most active vacationer will be satisfied by the relaxed hiking and horseback riding trips through the Rio Grande Valley which are offered by Valley Hikes, a high-quality eco-tour organization that also offers excursions to the historic Maroon settlement of Moore Town.
Basking on the flat sand of Frenchman’s Cove or any of Port Antonio’s idyllic beaches could be the best alternative of all, unless fishing is a passion. Port Antonio has some of the finest deep-sea fishing possibilities in Jamaica, with marlin, tuna and kingfisher in abundance and it also hosts the Annual International Marlin Tournament in October.
Jamaica’s mouth-tingling “jerk” style pork and chicken is a local specialty and some of the island’s best can be found at Boston Beach, the “birthplace” of jerk cuisine in Jamaica, just east of the town.
Accommodations in Port Antonio span the fashionable elegance of villas and the luxurious resort hotels, to the hillside charm of moderately priced small hotels and inns.
Daily Chart of Covid-19 Reports in Jamaica
Ocho Rios Coronavirus Covid-19 Outbreak Jamaica
Ocho Rios and Runaway Bay are the center of the north coast of Jamaica and is spotted with cliffs and magnificent waterfalls, very near from where Christopher Columbus first landed more than 500 years ago.Complete Covid-19 Statistics for Jamaica
Astonished by Jamaica’s beauty, the visitor stated: “It is the finest island forever eyes be considered mountainous, and the land seems to tap the sky.” Jamaican’s note that Ocho Rios is the place where heaven spills into the ocean.
Today, tourists from all over the globe visit Ocho Rios to make their own discoveries in this stimulating yet peaceful resort area that includes the attractions of one of the Caribbean’s most admired ports-to-call with the superb scenery of the nearby “garden parish” of Saint Ann.
From the open-air museum of Columbus Park atDiscovery Bay to the drowsy settlement of Oracabessa, an incredible sequence of brilliant-blue bays, charming fishing villages and malleable, sandy coves gesture sunbathers, swimmers and water sports fans.
It’s also a magnet for music fans: One of Jamaica’s most well-known sons is famous in the tiny village of Nine Miles throughout the first week of February, when official birthday parties for reggae star Bob Marley, that was born and is buried here and that attracts thousands of visitors.
Away from the resorts and golf courses of Runaway Bay, there’s horseback riding at the Chukka Cove, a resort facility that includes polo matches, instruction and trail rides through neighboring plantations.
At Saint Ann’s Bay, the Seville Great House & Heritage Park includes antiques from the excavated colony of New Seville that was founded in 1509 by the son of Christopher Columbus.
One of the Jamaica’s best-known ordinary attractions is the Dunn’s River Falls, a dramatic 600-foot drop of cascading water that’s considered the Niagara of the Caribbean. A highlight of any trip to Ocho Rios is a careful climb up its limestone tiers, followed by a bathe at the beach below.
The three-mile drive from start to end vine-draped Fern Gully includes close-up views of 30-foot-tall fern trees and other specimens unique to the island.
Transfixing vistas of the coast and a abundance of indigenous plants, flowers and trees are offered at Shaw Park Gardens, while a look at Jamaica’s indigenous Taino Indian culture is provided at the Coyaba River Garden and Museum, in another leafy tropical setting.
Abundant crops of sugarcane, coffee and bananas have been harvested since the 18th century at Prospect Plantation, which offers tours and horseback riding. Further east, Harmony Hall is a restored Victorian mansion with an art gallery that sells some of the finest art and crafts on the island.
When night comes, you are able to catch a canoe ride up the torch-lit White River, a journey that includes a folklore show, dinner and open bar at the dinner theater performance at the Little Pub.
Excellent dining in exotic settings is also on hand at restaurants like the Ruins and the Almond Tree. Try Evita’s, where the menu features unique Jamaican-Italian specialties like “Rasta Pasta.”
Runaway Bay and Ocho Rios are flooded with places to stay, from traditional high-rise hotels to all-inclusive resorts which cater specifically to singles, families or to couples only.
Ocho Rios is on the northeastern shore of Jamaica. Commonly referred to as Ochi it is a popular destination for cruise ships and tourists alike. It features a bulk of resorts and tourist attractions. There are many conveniences, such as supermarkets and restaurants.
A local airport provides charter plane access from the larger airports in Montego Bay and Kingston (Jamaica). Montego Bay is home to the biggest airport in Jamaica and this is where most of the visitors will enter island. There are many companies that offers private transfers to Ocho Rios from the Montego Bay. The two resort citys are 67 miles apart which is done in about 90 minutes’ drive.
Montego Bay Helicopters can be hired to transport from Kingston, Negril, etc. to get into Ocho Rios. The Bell 206 Jet Ranger can take 4 passengers. In some cases you may need additional short distance ground taxi if your resort does not provide an landing area e.g helipad , golf course.
Many cruise ships visit the town year round, and are served by two piers. The large “main pier” (nearest downtown) has some facilities and many vendors just outside the secure area. The “James Bond” pier farther West is very industrial, with almost no services except for tour operators; it requires a substantial walk to downtown, but the sidewalk is lined with taxis.
By route taxi
Direct route taxis are available from St. Ann’s Bay and Port Maria (~J$150).
To get to Ochi from Kingston, Port Antonio or cities in eastern Jamaica, take a route taxi to Port Maria and take a route taxi from there to Ochi. Avoid saying you’re going to Ochi, otherwise route taxis going to other destinations will try to grab you and you will require another route taxi to get over to Port Maria.
Route taxis are everywhere. To give you an idea of the local cost 120 JMD$ is the cost of a shared route taxis between Ocho Rios and Oracabessa! ( $1 USD is equal to $86 JMD
Chartered taxis from Ocho Rios to Kingston can cost as little as 500 JA$! You share with lots of other people!
Taxis called by hotels are safe but expensive. Have the hotel call a taxi for you; they know the island better and you will not be put in an unmarked taxi. Minibuses go around the island from transportation centres.
- Shaw Park Botanical Gardens
- Coyaba River Garden and Museum
- James Bond beach, which is close to what was the home of his creator, Ian Fleming.
There are many different adventurous activities from rafting to zip-lining.
- Dolphin Cove, Highway A3. Daily 8:30AM-5:30PM. Dolphin encounters and swims. US$129 to swim with one, US$195 to swim with three for 30min. US$50 entrance.
- Dunn’s River Falls, Highway A3 (5 km from Ocho Rios). Climbing these waterfalls in a human chain is one of Jamaica’s most famous attractions. The series of waterfalls span about 900 feet and the park includes a private beach as well as a cafe and craft shops. Park admission US$20 or $12 for children 11 years of age or under. There are lockers available, but they aren’t safe.
- Chukka Cove Adventures.
- Calypso Rafting (Route taxi from the clock-tower up exchange road). A small business set up a little ways up the White River. They have personal inner tubes down the river for US$25 and bamboo rafts for US$55 per 2-person raft. They can also supposedly do jet ski rentals for US$70 each. No credit cards, cash/travelers check only.
- Rainforest Adventures Mystic Mountain (Take a route taxi towards St Ann’s Bay ~J$150) , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org. 11AM-4PM. A small amusement park 2km west of Ochi, which is a popular cruise ship activity so come early or avoid on cruise ship days. The chairlift (sky lift explorer) is US$46.20. The lift with ziplining is US$114.40. The lift with a Jamaican ‘bobsled’ (roller coaster for US$68.20. All 3 for US$137.50. The ziplining includes 5 ziplines and a 100ft abseil drop. There is a waterslide, small pool, restaurant and viewing tower at the top. Website says park opens at 9AM which is false. US$46-138.
- Harmony Hall. Tower Isle. Genuine Jamaica artwork and handicraft in an exquisite Victorian gingerbread house outside Ocho Rios.
- United Supermarket, downtown, offers virtually all basic grocery items needed for self-catering.
- Crafts, Ocho Rios has 7 craft markets namely: Ocho Rios craft market (across from Sonis Plaza), Coconut Grove, Dunn’s River Falls, Fern Gully, Swansea, Pineapple Place, and Olde Market .
- Steamed fish at the Fishermen’s Beach in Ocho Rios.
- Passage to India. Great Indian food.
- Toscanini’s. The best Italian/Caribbean food.
- Jerk Chicken Smooked spicy meat done on spice wood fire
- John Crows. Modern Bar and Food at very reasonable prices with excellent service.
- Margaritaville. Beach, themed bar and waterslide. Drinks are expensive when compared to other local bars. Beach party and club nights a regular event.
- Hard Rock Café.
- Ocean’s Eleven. Beachfront bar with special event nights (Thursday is Latin night!).
Where to stay in Ocho Rios
- Beaches Resorts (beaches), Tower Isle (Close to Reggae Beach, Harmony Hall and Toscanini’s.). Villa Cocotero is a chic, stylish bed and breakfast. There is a great pool with views out to the Caribbean Sea set within a lush tropical garden of coconut trees, banana palms, mango and orange trees.
- Riu Ocho Rios. Mammee Bay, St.Ann. In addition to the beach, Riu Ocho Rios features two spectacular swimming pools, and dining in a variety of specialty restaurants.Stage productions are abundant, the Pacha Discotheque is a popular attraction in addition to the sports bar, which is open 24 hours. Children’s activities are supervised at the Kid’s Club. The hotel’s meeting facilities can accommodate up to 100 guests.
- Jamaica Inn. The rooms do not have radios, clocks, or TVs to distract. Every night, a seven course dinner is served outdoors with live entertainment.
- Jewel Dunn’s River Resort, Mammee Bay, St. Ann, near Dunns River Falls, toll-free: . The Jewel Dunns River Resort is an adults-only, all-inclusive luxury resort.
- Bed & Breakfast Oracabessa, 13 Mainstreet (Boscobel/Gibraltar). Small and friendly guest house with a private beach where, in season, guests can watch the turtles nesting or hatching. 30$.
- Wata Land – In St. Mary Parish, Jamaica, which is 15 minutes drive from Ocho Rios. Wata Land offers many adventerous activites like, water sliding from 15ft’s in the air into the deep pool of water. Wata Land also offers mystic climbing and horseback riding
- Dunn’s River Falls– In St. Ann Parish, not far from Ocho Rios. You can climb the fall or the rocks, swim in the river to the beach waters.
Daily Chart of Covid-19 Reports in Jamaica
Mandeville Coronavirus Covid-19 Outbreak Jamaica
Mandeville, a breezy hill town where flowers flourish was founded in the year of 1816. Mandeville was named in honor the son of Jamaica’s longest-serving colonial governor, the Duke of Manchester. Mandeville is the other side of Jamaica side, an area not to be missed if you truly desire to be acquainted with Jamaica.Complete Covid-19 Statistics for Jamaica
At 610 meters feet above sea level, with a village green bordered by a 19th-century church and courthouse, Mandeville’s cool climate, gardens and genteel British heritage have long made it a favorite weekend destination for Jamaicans as well as discerning visitors.
In Mandeville, birdwatchers and hikers can visit the Marshall’s Pen, a large cattle farm with a well-kept 18th-century house, stunning gardens and a prominent bird refuge.
About 48 kilometers southeast of Mandeville, the peaceful South Coast beckons with a spa, that dates back to 1794 and that boasts healing waters fifty times more effective than those of other spa’s in Europe.
Mandeville also boasts plentiful natural attractions and wildlife refuges, together with the Long Bay Morass, close by the fishing village of Alligator Pond, a marshy sanctuary for the rare protected manatee as well as crocodiles but contrasting to most crocodiles those found in different place in the world, but Jamaica’s crocodiles nourish largely on fish.
Further west of Mandeville is Black River and accommodations is available at the famous Invercauld Great House and Resort. A boat trip take visitors along Jamaica’s longest river into an additional freshwater marsh full with herons, snowy egrets and more of the Jamaica’s crocodiles, many of which are so familiar with the local guides that they have been given common nicknames.
The main path between Mandeville and Black River passes through Bamboo Avenue, a translucent, two-mile-long green tunnel shaped by bamboo groves. Detours next to the way lead to the well-known Appleton Estate’s sugar factory and rum distillery, as well as to YS Falls, where a series of pools provide perfect swimming.
The Treasure Beach area, sandwiched between Black River and Alligator Pond, is one more outstanding spot for swimming and is fast becoming Jamaica’s most popular out-of-the-way holiday spot.
Only some kilometers from Treasure Beach, where the Santa Cruz Hills meet the sea, a lookout point 450 meters above the water is known as the Lover’s Leap.
Myth says that two young slaves secretly met nearby and pledged their undying love. When their owner decided to sell one of them, the desperate couple jumped off the cliff hand-in-hand, but were saved by a golden net cast by the moon.
From the grassy hills to the craggy coastline, you’ll come across the South Coast of Jamaica which is not just another shore as you you’ll discover another world.
Manchester Country Club – Tel: 876-962-2403
9 holes, 2.6 kilometers at par 35. Built over a century ago, Manchester is the oldest golf course in the Caribbean. The 9-hole layout has 18 tee positions.
Mandeville’s rising and falling terrain and cool, bracing weather are made for backpackers of every age. (Ask at your hotel for information.)
Daily Chart of Covid-19 Reports in Jamaica
Kingston Coronavirus Covid-19 Outbreak Jamaica
Kingston is the national capital and the commercial hub of Jamaica. Kingston is also the largest city in the Caribbean that speaks English. Kingston has the seventh largest natural harbor globally and is surrounded with the sea to the south and the Saint Andrew Mountains to the north.Complete Covid-19 Statistics for Jamaica
At the foot of the Blue Mountains, it faces the world’s seventh-largest natural harbor; Jamaica’s vibrant capital is the largest English-speaking city to the south of Florida’s Miami. The center of the country’s government and commerce, Kingston is truly the center point of Jamaica, with a wide array of chronological and cultural attractions, along with classy nightlife and cuisine that offers a multi-ethnic contrast to the rest of the island’s slow and easy going pace.
Excursion tours may take you to visit mansions such as the historic Devon House, the exciting drama at the Little Theatre and of course to the National Gallery, which houses a wide-ranging assortment of Jamaican art and crafts.
Kingston is a city with fine museums, art galleries and theatres; Kingston is also the birthplace of Jamaica’s own reggae music that has swept the world. The metropolitan area of Kingston has many nightclubs, discos for dance, theatre and restaurants that keep nightlife sizzling until early morning.
History is everywhere in Kingston, from the Parish Church of Kingston, where the oldest grave is dated 1699, to the Parade, a energetic, crowded square where British military once drilled. Multicolored and diverse, you can even tee up for golf; or listen to the Jamaican Philharmonic Symphony or watch the Kingston National Dance Theatre perform; picnic on the beach or tour a botanical garden. Kingston also boasts a arts and crafts bazaar and there is exceptional duty free shopping all over the city.
A tiny drive up from Kingston into the lush Blue Mountains brings you to captivating inns tucked into hillsides exposed with lush plants. Visit the famous Blue Mountain Coffee plantation and buy some coffee that has been known around the world.
Close to the University of the West Indies campus, flora and vegetation bloom around the year at the 200-acre Hope Gardens, that opened in the late 19 centuries and includes an orchid home and a small enjoyment park for children. The University of the West Indies was established in 1948, on the location of a former plantation and is of the Caribbean’s most well-known university.
Visit the location that, in the 17th century, was the home of famous pirates, “Port Royal” set at the end of the Palisadoes Peninsula that curves around the Kingston Harbor. Remnants of the town’s depraved past can be seen at the Museum of Historical Archaeology, the Maritime Museum and Giddy House which tilts at a 45 degree slant as well as about 30 feet offshore, where, with special authorization, covered ruins can be viewed on a scuba diving expedition.
A short drive from Kingston, Spanish Town has been Jamaica’s capital under both the Spanish and until 1872, the British. It is home to the Cathedral Church of Saint James that was built in 1523 and which is one of the oldest cathedrals in the world.
With hotels planned to please everybody from commerce travelers to families, Jamaica’s capital is more and more a desirable destination.
Kingston’s location also provides easy access to the striking inns and guesthouses of the Blue Mountains, which rise more than 2.1 kilometers above sea level across the eastern half of Jamaica.
Kingston is the commercial and cultural capital of Jamaica with nearly a million people calling the city home.
At one point, it was the only city in Jamaica. The city is assigned the equivalent of post/zip codes, (Kingston 5, Kingston 10, etc.) which is a good representation of how truly large this city is, especially for an island such as Jamaica. There are two major sections to this city: ‘downtown’ and ‘uptown,’ also referred to as ‘New Kingston.’
- Norman Manley International Airport (Located in the southeastern part of the island, overlooking Kingston Harbour on the Palisadoes peninsula). Served by Air Canada, Air Jamaica, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Delta, and a number of Caribbean airlines. Be prepared for queues at the airport, to clear both immigration and customs, which are fairly strict. It is important that you know where you will be staying and write it down on your immigration form.
There are taxi vans between the airport and town – one person USD28; a group USD33, potentially negotiable. Payment can be in US dollars. The cheapest way is to take bus 98 straight to the Parade in downtown Kingston for JMD80. The bus stop outside the arrivals terminal is for bus 98 going towards Port Royal. Just passed the bus stop is where bus 98 stops on its way to downtown.
- Kingston Tinson Pen. There is a smaller airport closer to downtown, but there is no longer any regular passenger service to it.
Island Rental Cars has offices at the NMIA airport, in downtown Kingston, Ocho Rios and Montego Bay, and will allow you to do one-way rentals. Remember to drive on the left!
- Highway 2000 — one of Jamaica’s highways, run through St. Ann Parish to Kingston.
- North South Highway — runs from North of the island to the south. Taxicabs can be taken from the south to Kingston.
Kingston has an extensive and modern bus system. The Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) runs the bus system for the government, while private contractors also run the same routes. There are also minibuses and route taxis which are very affordable. Whenever in doubt, ask a bus driver how to get somewhere or where to find a certain bus; they are generally very helpful.
Public transit generally goes through one or more of the three central transportation hubs.
- Downtown (Parade and the downtown Kingston Transport Centre). Keep a tight hold of your bags as petty theft is possible as in any large metropolis.
- The ultra-modern Half-Way Tree Transport Centre (HWT) in uptown Kingston is generally a safer area, but there are less buses.
- Cross Roads an older, congested hub not suggested for tourists.
The bus service in Jamaica has now been upgraded with express buses cost ranging from JMD80 to JMD100, and another bus also air conditioned can be found in yellow with the Jamaican flag at the front costs for regular fares JMD150 and for children under 12 JMD50 12+(prices are expected to raise for the new buses soon because of the increase of gas). The original non air con buses still function, but who knows when will they last?
Interactive bus map
All official taxis have red license plates that start with PPV.
Route Taxis (a taxi that has a set route and picks up multiple people along it) are also common and often mirror bus routes and are not much more expensive than buses. These are a bit more complicated to get used to, so ask for help.
Charter Taxis (normal taxis) – negotiate a price before getting in the car. Fares range from JMD400 to JMD5,000 for long routes.
With some practice, bravery, and chutzpah you can rent a car (Island Rent a car allows for one-way car rental). Take a good map and be willing to ask (and keep asking to get a consensus) for directions along the way. It’s not safe to drive in the countryside after dark. If you get in a wreck/hit someone, drive to the nearest police station.
Statue of Bob Marley in Kingston
- Bob Marley Museum, 56 Hope Road. Monday – Saturday, tours last 1 hour, including a 20 min film. The first tour begins at 09:30 and the last tour at 16:00. Filled with tons of memorabilia and Bob Marley’s personal belongings, this museum was Bob Marley’s recording studio and was his home until his death in 1981. The house is a preserved historical site; even the bullet holes from the attempted murder of Bob Marley remain. Every visitor will be added to a tour upon entry. residents JMD500, non-residents USD20 (credit cards accepted).
- National Gallery of Jamaica, 12 Ocean Blvd. Tu-Th 10:00-16:30, F 10:00-16:00, Sa 10:00-15:00. The museum features artwork by Jamaicans from throughout its history, from the native Taino Indians through the colonial period to works by modern artists. The gallery hosts its annual National Visual Arts Exhibition, which began in 1963 as a way to promote post-colonial art and to showcase the works of rising artists from Jamaica. Entrance fees are waved during the exhibition period. JMD100, students and senior citizens over 65 may enter for JMD50.
- Port Royal. Once known as the “Richest and wickedest city in the world”, Port Royal is a notorious 17th century pirate haven. The most famous pirate who operated from Port Royal was Sir Henry Morgan who plundered Spanish vessels travelling in the Caribbean. The city prospered as the pirates gathered riches, but a strong earthquake struck the area on June 7, 1692 sinking the ships in the harbour and killing many people as the earthquake moved much of the city into the sea. It has been said that the earthquake was caused by God himself to punish the evildoers of Port Royal. This disaster helped to establish Kingston as the new capital, and many of the survivors of the earthquake moved to Kingston. Although most of the buildings at the seaport today are not the original buildings, the walls of Fort Charles have been preserved since the rebuilding two years after the earthquake, Saint Peter’s Church built in the early 18th century, and the ruins of Fort Rocky remain. There is also a museum to learn more about the history and see artefacts from its heyday.
- Devon House, 26 Hope Road. The Mansion is open Monday – Saturday 09:30-17:00, the courtyard 10:00-18:00, and the gardens are open daily 09:30-22:00. One of the best example of Jamaican architecture, the Devon House was built by George Stiebel, the nation’s first black millionaire. Much of the interior furniture is not original, but it upholds the 19th Century mansion style. The courtyard has craft shops, a few restaurants, and the most famous ice cream shop on the island. JMD700 for a tour of the mansion. Entry to garden and shops is free.
- Hope Botanical Gardens. 08:30-18:30. The Largest Botanical Garden in the Caribbean. The garden gets its name from the man Richard Hope who helped capture Jamaica for Great Britain and was given the property to reward him for his faithfulness to the Crown. Free.
- Hope Zoo (Next to the Botanical Gardens). 10:00-17:00. JMD1500 Adults, JMD1000 Children.
- Arawak Museum (Taino Museum), White Marl, Central Village. A small museum with artefacts and information about the original inhabitants of the island, the Arawak (or Taino) Indians.
- People’s Museum of Craft and Technology. A small museum with pottery, instruments, and farming tools used in Jamaica. JMD100.
- Lime Cay. Beach off the coast of Port Royale must take a boat from Port Royal fisherman or the hotel to island. Island is famous as the location for final scene in The Harder they Come. Crowded party spot on the weekends with food and drink available for purchase, much more sedate and often deserted on weekdays. You can camp overnight if you pre-arrange a next-day pickup time, but be careful, as you can’t exactly swim to shore!
Redemption Song Statues
- Emancipation Park. Offers free concerts occasionally in the summer and during the Christmas. The six-acre park includes fountains and public art. The park is known for the large sculpture Redemption Song at the park’s main entrance.Redemption Song, which takes its name from Bob Marley’s song of the same name, is an 11 ft. (approximately 3m) high bronze sculpture by Jamaican artist Laura Facey. The sculpture features a male and female figure gazing to the skies – symbolic of their triumphant rise from the horrors of slavery. The statue was unveiled in July 2003, in time for the park’s first anniversary. The park is in New Kingston, opened on 31 July 2002, the day before Emancipation Day. Prime Minister P.J. Patterson’s address to open the park he acknowledged that the park is a commemoration of the end of slavery. Even though the park doesn’t provide food and drink, except ice-cream, restaurants and cafés are nearby.
- Putt and Play. Offers miniature golf and pool tables for a nice round of pool.
- Kingston Crafts Market
- Blue Mountain Coffee from the supermarket for cheap or get premium beans direct from the JABLUM manufacturers or craft/single estate roasters. Look into Rum Roast and Royals at Devon House for some better selections.
- Parade’s Coronation Market on weekends, where you can buy fruit and vegetables from across the island. This was gutted during the disturbances at the end of May and while there are plans to rebuild it, traders have temporarily moved to other areas.
- Hot sauces. Jamaica is famous for its hot sauces, with the major ingredient being the Scotch Bonnet Pepper, found throughout the island. Supermarkets have a bewildering selection of such sauces, from several producers.
- Jerk spice powder. Make your own jerk chicken when you get home.
- Jerk, curried, fricasséed or brown stew chicken, pork or fish
- Escoveitch fish—Warning, spicy!
- Ackee and saltfish (codfish) — the national dish of Jamaica
- Curried mutton (goat)
- Fruit: Mangoes, sugar cane, paw-paw (papaya), guava, June plum, jackfruit, star apples, guinep, naseberries…
- Roasted corn
- Bammy Cakes. 5-inch diameter cakes made from cassava.
- Patties from a bakery (The Brick Oven at Devon House makes excellent curried chicken patties, and both Juici and Tastee are “fast food” patty restaurants. In Liguanea there’s a vegetarian/vegan patty restaurant, across the parking lot from the Wendy’s
- Devon House I Scream (ice cream)
- Tastee Patty, Juici Patties, Mother’s – fast food, mostly “patties”, though Mother’s also does hamburgers and fried foods (Various places around town)
- Island Grill – upmarket Jamaican fast food and jerk in New Kingston.
- Jerk pans – see them on the street smelling good – get Jerked Chicken, rice and peas!
- Akbar, 11 Holborn Road New Kingston 10. Indian food served in a wonderful calm atmosphere. Sister Thai restaurant next door with equally pleasing menu
- Hope Gardens Vegetarian Restaurant (in the middle of Hope Gardens. You have to ask where it is as there is no external sign.). Basic vegetarian food with menu that varies daily. Nice garden setting. Excellent juices. USD10.
- Every twist and turns you make, you may see many Asian restaurants, eg. Chinese Restaurants, Japanese Restaurants (Little Tokyo) and Indian Restaurants
- Redbones Blues Cafe, 1 Argyle Road, Kingston 10. Jazz & Blues themed Caribbean Fusion Cuisine restaurant & bar. Cultural Watering Hole with Live Music & Art Gallery
- Norma’s on the Terrace, Devon House (At the back of the Devon House mansion in the shopping area.). Closed Sundays. Excellent upmarket restaurant with a fusion of Western and Jamaican cooking. Eat outside at large tables with very decorative flower arrangements.
- White Bones Seafood, 1 Mannings Hill Road. Monday – Saturday 11:30-23:00, Su 14:00-22:00. Highly recommended, but expensive, fish and seafood joint. Tuesdays are all-you-can-eat shellfish nights. JMD3,000.
Drink Red Stripe and Appleton Rum. If you’ve got the guts, try some Wray & Nephew overproof white rum (locals refer to it as “whites”): a drink that is usually around 180 proof.
There’s also refreshing coconut water, cane juice, sorrel (only served around Christmas time), Irish Moss, and tamarind drink or genuine Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee (according to experts it is perhaps the best tasting, most expensive and most sought after coffee in the world). You can get premium beans from Rum, Roast and Royals in the Devon House complex.
Good bars include Red Bones Blues Café (also a good restaurant).
Kingston is the host of many great clubs. Found in New Kingston, there are many clubs that party until the early morning hours. The Quad, and Asylum are only a couple of the very popular clubs.
- QUAD Nightclub, 20-22 Trinidad Tce (in the middle of New Kingston). the only multi level nightclub in Jamaica. jazz, reggae, dancehall, r & b, soca. USD12.
- The Deck, 14 Trafalgar Road, New Kingston. Popular watering hole mainly patronised by those over 30. Disco and live music and excellent bar snacks.
Where to stay in Kingston (Jamaica)
- The Liguanea Club, Knutsford Boulevard, New Kingston, Kingston 5, Jamaica. 38 rooms, air conditioned unit, cable TV, free Wi-Fi, fitness room/gym, 8 tennis courts, 6 squash courts and a swimming pool. USD75+.
- Chelsea Hotel, 5 Chelsea Ave, Kingston 10 , fax: . USD40.
- Indies Hotel, 5 Holborn Road, Kingston 10. Guest house.
- Hope Pastures Great House Bed and Breakfast, 40 Charlemont Ave, Kingston 6. Wi-Fi, cable. USD75.
- Altamont Court Hotel, 1-5 Altamont Terrace, New Kingston , fax: . USD110.
- Christar Villas Hotel, 99a Hope Road, Kingston 6. Fascinating mid-range Jamaican hotel with a wide range of facilities and Jamaican mojo. USD115.
- Courtleigh Hotel & Suites, 85 Knutsford Boulevard, Kingston 5. Mahogany furnishings in a traditional Caribbean style. Usual amenities for business travellers. Mingles Pub is a popular meeting place and Alexander’s restaurant has a good reputation. Offers handicapped access.
- Wyndham Kingston, 77 Knutsford Boulevard, Kingston. Check-in: 15:00, check-out: 11:00. Reports suggest that it has seen many better days and lost it’s former Hilton franchise. Breakfasts not included in price and are expensive. Internet extremely unreliable. USD89 and up.
- The Knutsford Court Hotel, 16 Chelsea Ave, Kingston 5. 170 room, newly refurbished.
- Spanish Court Hotel, 1 Saint Lucia Ave, Kingston 5. New hotel, with gym, swimming pool, etc. The architect seems to have almost forgotten windows in some of the rooms at the back, however, and others are a bit noisy if you want an early night. A business rather than a tourist hotel. Excellent internet, both Wi-Fi and cable, and a good restaurant. USD140 + tax.
- Pegasus, 81 Knutsford Bvd. Arguably Kingston’s major hotel. In the New Kingston area close to most offices. Rates quoted on the web site start at USD300 but significant discounts are available.
- Terra Nova Hotel, 17 Waterloo Road, Kingston 10 , ✉ email@example.com. Definitely a splurge hotel the Terra Nova advertises itself as an “All Suite” hotel. Convenient location, good service and a highly regarded kitchen. USD200 plus.
Kingston has more crime than the rest of the island and it is one of the most dangerous cities in the world when measured by the murder rate. While the Trench Town section of Kingston does have an interesting history, nevertheless no visitor should dare go there unless they’re part of a goodwill tour or something similar with a high level of pre-arranged security. The average tourist going there would be signing his or her death warrant. Common-sense and precaution should ensure a pleasant experience in the safer areas of the city, though. If you find yourself in need of the police, the emergency number is 119.
Tourists, especially white tourists, tend to stick out and garner lots of attention, not all of it positive. Hissing and cat calls at women (even accompanied ones) is common. Replying to overzealous touts with “No badda (bother) me” can help.
Homosexuality is not at all condoned and can elicit violent reactions.
Embassies and High Commissions
- Canada High Commission, 3 West Kings House Road , fax: . M-Th 07:30-16:30, F 07:30-13:00.
- China, 8 Seaview Ave, Kingston 10 , fax: , ✉ firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Japan, NCB Towers, North Tower, 6F, 2 Oxford Road , fax: .
- United Kingdom, 28 Trafalgar Road, Kingston 10.
- United States, 142 Old Hope Road, Liguanea area , ✉ KingstonACS@state.gov.
- Blue Mountains (Jamaica)
- Organize an overnight climb of Blue Mountain. Many outfits will come and pick you up from in town for an additional fee.
- Visit the Gap Café and Strawberry Hill in the Blue Mountains
- Hellshire Beach – A taste of the authentic Jamaican beach going experience
- Lime Cay – an uninhabited island beach with snorkelling opportunities, reachable from Port Royal for cheap via a fisherman’s boat or by a more expensive fancier boat from Morgan’s Harbour Hotel
- JABLUM – the Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee factory
- Port Royal – the former pirate city that has been destroyed twice by earthquakes is a good place to relax and have a beer or visit the museum and learn about the piracy history
- Surrey County – passed the Blue Mountains.
- Ocho Rios (“Ochi”) – only 4 hours away by minibus/route taxi for ~J$500. Direct morning departures from the Downtown Transport Center and indirect (via Port Maria) from HWT
- Montego Bay – roughly 4 hours from Kingston for less than US$10 from the Downtown Transport Center.
- Port Antonio – take a direct minibus/route taxi from HWT for J$200–300.
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