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Places to visit in six different cities

Just west of Kingston is Spanish Town, which was the old Spanish capital, and then the British capital from 1655 until 1872.

Kingston

Largest English speaking city south of Miami, Kingston, on the south side of the island, is the 7 th largest harbour in the world. Became capital of Jamaica after the 1692 earthquake destroyed Port Royal.

Castleton Botanical Gardens – View a variety of native flora

Devon House – Built 1881 by one of the first black millionaires of the Caribbean.

Caymanas Park – Horse racing every Wednesday, Saturday and public holidays.

Fort Charles – Best survivor of the 6 forts destroyed in the Port Royal earthquake; endured attacks, fire and hurricanes over 3 ½ centuries; was base for Lord Nelson, famous British admiral and hero.

Hope Botanical Gardens – View a variety of native flora.

Irish Town – 15 miles from Kingston Airport; elaborate Botanical gardens with more than 300 species of flowers in a Blue Mountain setting 3100 feet above sea level; Spa with 60 foot negative edge pool utilizing ‘natural principles with flower and plant ingredients’.

John Crow National Park – Blue Mountains trails and views

Marley Museum – Was home and recording studio of Bob Marley, Famous reggae singer

National Gallery of Art - Native Jamaican arts and crafts; some rotating exhibits.

New Kingston – Concentration of the ‘hot’ night clubs.

Newcastle – Historic fort which housed many famous British regiments; now a training centre for the Jamaican Defence Force.

Port Royal – “Wickedest city on earth”; was the capital of Jamaica until destroyed by earthquake in 1962.

Port Royal Archaeological and Historical Museum – Artefacts salvaged from the sunken city of Port Royal

Rockfort Mineral Baths – Fed by cold mountains springs; large public pool 11 smaller, private pools of varied sizes.

University of West Indies – sited on the old Kona Sugar Estate; view ruins and a museum of old sugar mills, storehouses and aqueducts; good exhibits of early sugar production methods.

Worlds End – Gold medal liqueurs & wide variety of Jamaica’s birds, including the Doctor Bird, Jamaica’s rare national bird.

Treasure Beach

Treasure Beach is a quiet fishing village on the arid south western coast 97 miles of Kingston (about midway between Black Rover and Port Kaiser).   This is a very different part of Jamaica, dry, almost desert, but very beautiful in its own way.   You won’t find any resorts here but there is a fine 36 room hotel with all the comforts but none of the hustle and bustle.

While there are great beaches here (about 6 miles of them) with excellent swimming, snorkelling, and body-surfing, the real attraction is the opportunity to learn about the culture and history from the people who live here.   Very open and friendly, they welcome guests. And there are many opportunities to explore the hidden caves and coves around the Great Pedro Bluff.

Port Antonio

Port Antonio – A 1 ½ drive east of Ocho Rios brings you to the “prettiest part of Jamaica).   Port Antonio claims to be the birthplace of Jamaica’s tourist trade yet, unlike almost every other city on the island; Port Antonio remains virtually untouched by development. Quaint and alluring, it is a favourite place to sit back and smell the roses, sandwiched between a rugged coastline and mountains that come right down to the sea.   There are many hidden coves and beaches for those who wish to get lost for a bit. Then you return to the comforts of the resorts like Dragon Bay, indulge in meticulously prepared local cuisine and you truly will feel like you are in Heaven.

Caves of Nonsuch – a unique tourist stop featuring fossilized sea sponges, clam shells and a frozen waterfall on a mountain side plantation called the Seven Hills of Athenry.

Crystal Springs Resorts – nice manicures botanical gardens, an orchid forest, bird sanctuary, and aviary plus a recreational centre with picnic ground

Marlin Tournament – an annual contest and festival well attended by fishermen from all over the world.

Navy Island – once the secret hideaway of Errol Flynn. “I have never met a woman as beautiful as Port Antonio”. You’ll want to take a glass bottom boat ride in the Blue Lagoon.

Rio Grande River – Take the 2-hour trip down the Rio Grande on a bamboo raft poled by experienced native rafters

Somerset Falls – Daniels River cascades through a rock gorge with intervening pools.   There are many waterfalls are in the area; all are much less commercialized than elsewhere on the island.

Montego Bay

Montego Bay (“Mobay”), second largest city in Jamaica, is on the west side of the northern coast.   Mobay has several mayor golf courses, a very popular underwater marine park and many great wrecks and reef formations for divers to explore.

Croydon in the Mountains – is a working plantation; tours are available

Hampden Great House – see an operating rum distillery and take a factory tour

Martha Brea River – raft down the river, Jamaican style, on bamboo rafts.

Rose Hall Great House – Annie Palmer, second mistress of the plantation, murdered three husbands and was known for her extreme cruelty to her slaves.

Tryall Water Wheel – Giant, 2 century old water wheel

Ocho Rios

Ocho Rios (“Ochie”) is located in the centre of the north coast. More cruise ships stop at Ocho Rios each week than any other Port in Jamaica.   Maybe that’s why the shopping here rivals any in the Caribbean.

Coyaba River Gardens & Museum – tour the small, but very attractive, gardens of special interest to ecotourists; enjoy a glass of fresh-squeezed juice at their bar and restaurant.

Dunn’s River Falls – Splash around in the ice cold crystal clear pools or swim in the ocean at the base of these famous 600 foot falls.

Farewell – 60 minutes song and dance spectacular show and mini-carnival (FREE)

Shaw Park Botanical Gardens – Tropical garden with waterfall; overlooks Ocho Rios.

Sun Valley Plantation – Tour working plantation (coffee, bananas and other fruit). Horses also available.

White River– daytime rafting, Jamaican style on a bamboo rafts; night time ride in canoe up the torch-lit river to the accompaniment of native drums.

Negril

Negril – out on the western tip of the island, almost forgotten until ‘discovered’ and colonized by American ‘hippies’ in the 1960s. Negril still is a very laid back with a beach culture probably unmatched anywhere in the world.   Here you’ll find a wealth of water sports including world class diving and, they say the finest sunsets in the world. An interesting law prohibits any building “higher than the tallest palm tree”.

Anancy Fun Park – many fun things to do

Beach – famous seven mile beach great variety of water sports available

Coral Cliffs – seven miles of rugged Coral Cliffs riddled with ocean front caves maintain that Caribbean flavour.

Negril Lighthouse The highest structure in Negril, it towers 100 feet above sea level and, yes, it is “taller than the tallest palm tree”.

Rhodes Hall Plantation – scuba diving for the aquatic minded; horseback riding for the landlubbers.

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