4 Jamaican hotspots no traveller should miss

Posted by on May 9, 2018

Jamaica has been a tourist mecca for many years — but it doesn’t always top the list for travellers who want a more immersive cultural experience.

But despite disturbances occasionally flaring up in certain urban areas, prior planning makes most of the island perfectly safe to visit.

There’s sun, sand and sea aplenty, but Jamaica’s rich culture and vibrant locals make it unique.

Outside resort compounds, you’ll bump into intrepid global travellers — from Scandinavians on sabbatical studying distance learning degrees to obsessive Japanese dancehall fans in search of rare dubplates.

So if you’re ready to expand your mind and unwind your spine, here are four Jamaican hotspots no traveller should miss.

  1. Bob Marley Museum, Nine Mile, St Ann

Reggae icon Bob Marley may have made his name in the tough streets of Kingston’s Trenchtown — but his early years in rural St Ann sowed the seeds of the spirituality that infused his work.

So if you’re interested in learning more about Bob, a trip to the museum that hosts his birthplace and mausoleum is a must.

As you’d expect, there’s lots of musical memorabilia — but you’ll also see the bedroom where he slept as a child and the rock stone pillow where he meditated while gazing over verdant hills and valleys.

  1. Port Royal, Kingston and St Andrew

Anyone of a piratical persuasion with a swashbuckling sense of adventure should set their compass for Port Royal, near Kingston’s Norman Manley International Airport.

This charming town was once the world’s wildest port and home to buccaneers like Captain Henry Morgan — before much of it was swept into the sea in a 17th century earthquake.

But if you’re interested in discovering the real pirates of the Caribbean, you’ll enjoy the fascinating museum, historical tour and breath-taking views of Kingston from the Grand Port Royal Hotel that once greeted the world’s most bloodthirsty seafarers.

  1. Reach Falls, Portland

Many visitors discovering Reach Falls are unaware that the idyllic spot was first found by runaway slaves from plantations in the nearby parish of St Thomas.

Rastafarian guides can shepherd you up the natural staircase of rock pools to the top, where you’ll climb inside a stone staircase in the main fall’s interior before leaping into the plunge pool below.

Located in the Montane Forest of the John Crow Mountains, Reach Falls is one of Jamaica’s best-kept secrets, but might be familiar to fans of 80s classic Cocktail, starring Tom Cruise.

  1. Firefly, St Mary

Firefly is the former home of legendary English author and playwright Sir Noel Coward.

And literature lovers can learn more about Sir Noel by touring his home and studio, which has been preserved much as it was prior to his passing in 1973.

But it’s well worth the trek uphill from Port Maria to simply soak in the stunning vista across the Spanish Main — surely one of the world’s most beautiful spots.

Go off the beaten path to these four hotspots and you’ll be hooked on Jamaican vibes for life.

What are your favourite Jamaican locations? Share your tips in the comments section

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