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Jamaica - Top Tips

Super Seven

Dunn's River Falls Regarded as the most famous waterfall in Jamaica and located near Ocho Rios. This was one of the highlights of my trip, but I am a waterfall junkie. The bottom of the waterfall meets a lovely beach, which is the start point of the tour. You'll be assisted by a guide and will climb the falls all the way to the top. You'll have plenty of stops along the way for photos and to bathe in the falls. Takes just over an hour once you get started, and water shoes are a must!

Scuba Diving Having recently passed my PADI Open Water, this was my first time diving. I'd heard good reviews about Jamaica in terms of there being some colourful coral areas. There was a dive site a 10 minute drive from my hotel with the company Jamaica Scuba Divers Limited and I wasn't disappointed. The dive master goes by the name "fruity" and has over 20 years experience. He was very patient and recommended a dive site with an underwater canyon. There are some other dive sites that include a shipwreck and the cockpit of a plane.

Bob Marley Nine Miles Tour Nine Mile is located in a rural area one hour South of Runaway Bay. This is a Bob Marley tour where you'll find a museum, his birthplace, childhood home, and final resting place. The guides are great, very knowledgeable and will talk you through life of Bob Marley from start to finish. There's a bar inside and also some impressive art mosaics on the walls throughout the complex. Regardless of your age, it gives you a great insight into Jamaica's most famous son.

Luminous Lagoon Located in Falmouth is a spectacular wonder known as the "Luminous Lagoon". It's a phosphorescent lagoon that guests can visit on a mystical night cruise. When disturbed, the water glows and creates a glistening outline. You can take a swim in the waters or just watch the fish swim by as they glow on the water surface. This is one of these attractions that's hit and miss. The sunnier the day, the stronger the glow, so bear this in mind when picking your evening. The departure point is Glistening Waters Restaurant & Marina. Based on the location of the lagoon, you'll also get some decent sunset shots both before and after your tour.

Kingston When visiting Jamaica, there's a chance you might arrive into Kingston International Airport like me. If you do, then use your time effectively and squeeze in a city tour of the capital. This can easily be done hiring a local taxi driver, with some of the attractions even within close proximity to the airport. A few worthwhile stops are Devon House, Port Royal, Downtown Kingston, and the Usain Bolt Statue at the National Stadium.

Ocean Horseback Riding I've done a little bit of horse riding over the years, but nothing major. A fellow traveller informed me of a company called Chukka who organise excursions. One of the options available was horseback riding through a nature trail, along the beach, and then actually in the ocean itself. Thought I'd give it a go and turned out to be great fun. It was very refreshing in the ocean and offered to good photo opportunities.

Ocho Rios This is an extremely popular area for cruise passengers as it's the hub to pick up your duty free shopping goods, with Taj Mahal being the main spot. There's also a Botanical Garden with a range of different flowers and a little bit of wildlife. You can get great panoramic views of the port from the Botanical Garden also. If you're feeling adventurous, you can head up to Mystic Mountain where there's activities like zip lining and a bobsleigh ride.

Accommodation Advice

The area I chose to be based was Runaway Bay as it was centrally located to cover all of the above attractions. My chosen hotel was Jewel Paradise Cove Beach Resort & Spa, which is an all inclusive adult only resort. There was a great selection of restaurants, a large pool area, as well as private beach which offered free kayaking. The rooms were spacious and of a high standard, although WiFi signal was poor depending on your room location.

Food Factor

All hotels along the tourist coastal area of Jamaica offer plenty of dining options within the resort, but if you feel like stepping out to experience some local food, then try Ultimate Jerk Centre. It's a low-key Jamaican restaurant and bar with outdoor seating. The food is basic, but this is a great inexpensive spot to try some traditional jerk chicken.


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