Fun Games for Beach Lovers

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he beach is a great place to relax and soak up some good vitamin D produced by the sun.  It is also a great place to create fun and exciting memories while spending quality time with friends and family. So if you’re headed to the beach this weekend, try out some of these exciting beach games listed below. 

Water Relay Race (Beach Style)

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o play the water relay, you’ll need four small buckets filled to the top with water and two teams. Next, put four buckets full of water at the starting line, then divide players into two teams. On “Go,” the first racer on each team picks up two buckets and runs the obstacle course, trying not to spill the water. Continue with each player on the two teams until everyone gets a turn. The team with the most water left in their buckets wins. You can spice it up by adding a winner prize to make it more exciting.

Beach Musical Towel

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usical Towel is similar to musical chairs.  The only difference is instead of using chairs, we use beach towels, and instead of sitting on chairs, we lie down on the towel. It is a fun and exciting game that can be enjoyed by both children and adults alike while getting your daily dose of vitamin D. Please don’t forget to apply sunscreen. 

Beach Tug of War

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ug of war is a fun game. All you need are some rope or a long towel, mark the center of the towel basically with a piece of cloth, and the center of the sides with pulling limits. The team which successfully pulls off the center limit of the rope to their side has won the game. If the beach is not too crowded, then this is a really fun and exciting game to try.

Beach Limbo

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hen was the last time you played some limbo?  Limbo is a popular game that originated as an event that took place at wakes (a social gathering associated with death, usually held before a funeral) in Trinidad. The aim is to pass forwards under a low bar without falling or touch the bar.

Beach Scavenger Hunt

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veryone loves a good old beach treasure hunt, and the beach is the perfect location for true scavengers to really make some unusual finds. The sea and rock pools offer an endless array of strange but beautiful things, and the tides throw up a whole load of interesting stuff on the shores, ready for the pickings of keen beachcombers.  You can add your creative idea to it or add a theme, such as finding things beginning with a letter of the alphabet or finding the opposites like smooth and rough or hard or soft, etc.

Sand Hopscotch

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opscotch is a popular hopping game that never gets old, and it’s fun to play on the beach by drawing a grid in the sand. It is better to draw your grid close to the water edge in the hardened sand. You can use rocks or shells for markers. 

Spikeball

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pikeball is played between two teams and two players each. The only equipment you need to play the game is a ball, a miniature, high-tension trampoline roughly the size of a hula hoop. You can purchase an official Spikeball set or make your own if you want. The game starts when a player from one team serves the ball by spiking it onto the trampoline net, putting the ball into play. Each team is allowed to bounce the ball between them up to three times before the ball is required to hit the net again, transferring control to the opposing team.  Then you continue until one team either exceeds the three-hit limit or fails to hit the net, at which point the opposing team scores a point. It is a game that is highly enjoyed by teens and young adults.

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n closing, playing fun games at the beach is a good way to relieve stress, which will make your body feel good naturally. After playing a game, your mood and brain functionality will boost. Beach games are a great way of exercising and improving your energy. And don’t forget your camera to capture these fun moments together as family and friends. 

Winter Is A Perfect Time To Travel The Caribbean

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ne of the best times of year to travel to the Caribbean is during the winter season. Traveling to the region between January and March is a great way to escape the northern winter cold and enjoy the tropical weather, along with the picturesque Beaches and stunning shoreline.  

 

Xunantunich Mayan Ruins, Belize. Photo by Stephanie Klepacki on Unsplash 

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hen visiting the Caribbean during the winter season, you are met with excellent weather conditions. The atmosphere is usually drier and less humid. The temperatures are in the mid-80s and prevail throughout most of the region. The trade winds make the environment comfortable day and night, which is great for outdoor activities, like hiking mountain trails or just laying on the beach soaking up the sun.

Photo by David Vives on Unsplash 

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mong the numerous choices, Trinidad and Tobago is rated one of the best of the Caribbean countries to travel to between January through to March.  These are usually the busiest months of the year. Not only is the weather great with drier air and comfortable temperatures, but Trinidad also promises an environment of good Caribbean food, music and entertainment. 

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ther Caribbean countries offer similar activities so, whichever you choose you’re still in for a treat. Compared to other vacation spots, the Caribbean countries are not crowded during the winter season, so if you are an introvert or someone who prefers a less crowded place for vacation, then the winter season is the best time for you to travel the Caribbean. 

While you may not find the “rock bottom” rates of the low season, you most certainly will find great deals and excellent packages to fit your budget at this time of the year.  

The Stunning Bamboo Cathedral

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he Bamboo Cathedral in Trinidad and Tobago has it all. It is the perfect place for a peaceful walk with breathtaking views and gorgeous photo backdrops.  It is located in Tucker valley in Chaguaramas, Trinidad and Tobago. The lovely Cathedral is a 300 metre stretch of paved road which leads to a steep 3.5-kilometre hill of the Cazabon trail.  The Bamboo Cathedral is a beautiful spot for engagement and wedding photos. 

The striking beauty of the Bamboo Cathedral with its green scenery and towering wispy branches that bend towards each other creates a magnificent arc reminiscent of the Cazabon trail.  The trail was named after Trinidad and Tobago master artist and national hero Michael Jean Cazabon. He romanticized the Bamboo Cathedral in the 19th century with his water-colour portrayals that capture the undisturbed moment and heavenly beauty of the Cathedral.

 

 

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alking or cycling the Bamboo Cathedral, you can hear the creaking of the giant bamboo and the rustling of the leaves. You might even be lucky to catch a glimpse of the Red Howler Monkey swinging through the branches.  Colourful butterflies and numerous species populate the Chaguaramas National Park. The “Cathedral” has remained unchanged for over 150 years.

Cazabon Trail 

Go for a hike along the Cazabon trail that acts as an aisle of the Bamboo Cathedral that meets the tucker valley main road on the way north of Macqueripe Bay. Another end of the trail meets the base of a steep hill that leads to the derelict Chaguaramas Missile Tracking Station. The station formed part of the then US naval base that was based in Chaguaramas from 1959 to 1971. 

The Cazabon trail provides a breathtaking panoramic view of Tucker Valley and the rugged north coast.  Both the Tracking Station and the Bamboo Cathedral are two popular national heritage locations in Trinidad.

Chaguaramas Missile Tracking Station

Macqueripe Bay

Breathtaking View of Macqueripe Bay 

Jamaica’s Hidden Charms

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amaica is that one destination every traveler must experience and should be a part of their bucket list.  Jamaica is the heartbeat of the world, with a cultural giant that continues to have an indelible impact on the world’s food, music, sports, and literature while offering a larger-than-life bucket list experience with extraordinary attractions and talented people. 

There is so much more to experience in Jamaica than just all-inclusive resorts. Jamaica has some lovely hidden charms that not many visitors experience, and that is because they only visit the resort areas of Jamaica.  To experience the true authentic beauty of Jamaica, you have to venture outside of the resort areas for the real wonders of the island and create unforgettable memories.  Here are two of  Jamaica’s hidden charms that offer the authentic Jamaican vibe and impressive scenery.  

 

Somerset falls

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omerset fall is one of those hidden gems in Jamaica that you cannot go to and not fall in love with its tropical paradise. It is located at Hope Bay, about 10 miles west of Port Antonio on Jamaica’s north coast.  The moment you set foot on the property, it will feel like you have just landed into heaven’s best-kept secret. 

The scenery is so breathtaking as the waterfalls are hidden in the tropical rainforest, where the Daniels River plunges down a narrow gorge through a lush garden of ferns, heliconias, lilies, and crotons into glistening teardrop pools. If you are a lover of waterfalls like me, you will definitely love it here. With waterfall after waterfall, that provides for a nice therapeutic back massage.  A perfect place for relaxing and swimming in picture-perfect deep rock pools.

Spectacular, nature at it finest! 

Touch of Paradise 

There is a cost for entry that depends on the days you choose to visit the attraction. On Monday to Friday, the price is 1000 JMD for ages 13 and older and 5- 12 years is 500 JMD, and on Saturday and Sunday, the cost is 1500 JMD for 13 years and older and JMD 750 for 5-12 years old.  A discount is available if you go as a group.   After payment, you will have a beautiful picturesque walk to the area where a small boat dock and the guide/lifeguard will provide a short but lovely boat ride that takes you down a river into a cave to the magnificent waterfalls where you can climb up through and jump off.  Somerset falls a perfect spot for just about anyone to have a lovely time. 

Just breathtaking 

Old Spanish Bridge

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f you are looking for a place to get away from the bustle of the city and closer to nature, then look no further. The Old Spanish Bridge is one-stop fun, with a lot of excitement where water, relaxation, sun, greenery, and adventures can collectively enhance your satisfaction. 

The Old Spanish Bridge is complete with the captivating White River flowing beneath, is located roughly 45 minutes from Ocho Rios, which is the borderline between the parishes of St Ann and St Mary.  The scenery is magnificent and nothing short of breathtaking. You will fall in love with the heavenly sight of this spot. 

Isn’t this magnificent?

One of the most loved at the bridge is the rope-swinging activity. The ropes are tied to a big tree that towers over the river.  Challenge your inner Tarzan and launch from the middle of the bridge, and the yarn takes you a few metres across the water, where it is deep enough for you to jump off into the calm river.  If you are not up for the challenge like me, just enjoy a swim or relax with your feet dipped in the refreshing water while enjoying some good Jamaica music and vibe.  A perfect way to mix with locals and enjoy some authentic Jamaican food and culture. 

Wanderlust, challenge your inner Tarzan. 

Jamaica is packed with so many adventurous and hidden charms that have not yet been explored by many. As a visitor said, “ it is not fair; Jamaica doesn’t even have to try.”  Jamaica is nice and is considered to be the heartbeat of the world. 🙂 🙂 🙂 

TRAVEL AND YOUR WELLBEING

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hen, Huang, and Patrick (2016) argue that taking a leisure trip provides a relatively long and uninterrupted relaxation time; an individual can potentially benefit from any form of recreational travel because it is the experience that matters as well as relieve from stress and anxiety.  Taking vacations can contribute to subjective well-being because people have more opportunities to detach from their work environment, experience new things, and control what they want to do during vacations. Therefore, travelling to new places is suitable for everyone. If you’re feeling stressed at work, a break can be the best solution.  Travelling can improve your health and wellbeing by:

Improve Well-being

Having new experiences is beneficial for improving brain function and boosting your mental health. Travel has been linked to stress reduction and can alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression. Whether you’re going to another country or escaping for a long weekend in a nearby town, travelling can have a substantial impact on your mental health.

Taking time from work to see new places releases the stress you’ve been holding onto. Relieving the tension and stress of your work-life lets your mind relax and heal. Being under pressure at work not only stresses your mind and body but also hurts your physical health.  According to one study, travelers report feeling less anxious, more rested, and better mood three days after taking a vacation. Interestingly, these benefits tend to linger for weeks after the trip has ended. 

Boost Happiness and Satisfaction

Most people tend to be happier when they’re travelling and don’t have to worry about work, of course. However, one of the more interesting takeaways from a Cornell University study is that people also experience an immediate increase in happiness from just planning a trip. 

The study found that the anticipation of taking a vacation is far greater than the anticipation of acquiring a physical possession. Thus, the benefits of travelling abroad begin well before the trip does.  That is because planning a vacation with something to look forward to creates happiness and excitement when you make a plan. And when you take a break, pressure and stress are alleviated, and your mental health is boosted. 

Travel Improves Sleep Patterns

Poor sleep mixed with high stress is a toxic mixture for our mental state. The health detriments of poor sleep are varied, from irritability to poor cognitive performance and efficiency. It is recommended that adults sleep at least seven to seven and a half hours per night, which can be more easily achieved while travelling.

Taking a vacation relieves stress, and stress wreaks havoc on our body and often affect our sleeping patterns. When on vacation, you might move around more and relax a lot more, and as such, sleeping will improve given that your brain will be rest from everything it usually does. 

Make You Healthier

 Travelling  help whip you in shape because travel has the opportunity to escalate your fitness routine. While travelling, you are generally more active than sitting in an office all day. And as such, touring around Europe or other destinations, you are more likely to cover 20,000 -30,000 steps per day and activities such as paddleboarding, hiking, and swimming can help boost fitness and improve your wellbeing. 

Boast Mental Health

If you have chronic stress, your memory and goal-setting abilities are negatively affected. Taking time to go somewhere new and learning new languages opens your mind. This might feel counterproductive, but getting out of your comfort zone and away from work can help you feel more productive, focused, and appreciative of your surroundings when you return home. This is good for your mental health. 

Your empathy increases when you go to places you’ve never been before and experience other cultures.  A study from the Marshfield Clinic in Wisconsin found that women who vacation at least twice a year are less likely to suffer from depression and chronic stress than women who vacation less than once every two years.

In conclusion,  make your travel plans, whether big or small.  The vacation doesn’t have to be expensive or exotic for you to get great benefits from them. Therefore, make travelling a tradition since there are lasting effects of a vacation. People who travel regularly experience those effects for more extended periods.  After travelling, you’re more likely to feel clearheaded and ready to take on whatever’s waiting for you at home. This is why people are more productive after a break. Try to visit a new place every once in a while to help better your mental health. 

WHERE WILL YOU SPEND YOUR NEXT VACATION? 

Bird Watching in Jamaica/ Nature Lover Sanctuary

Barney’s Flower and Hummingbird Garden 

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re you bird enthusiasts and nature lovers? Barney’s Flowers & Hummingbird Garden Jamaica is a must for bird enthusiasts and nature lovers. It is a great way to witness the charming little birds in their habitat. 

The Barney’s Flower and Hummingbird Garden is a 1000 square meter (0.24 acre) tropical-house garden, lush and well-maintained, a true oasis at West End Negril and home to Jamaica’s endemic hummingbirds and an array of colourful flowers. 

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true visual bliss, here visitors has the honour of feeding the birds through the small feeding bottle provided.  You’ll be honoured and moved when they come and take the feed from you. 

Barney and Damion are super friendly, knowledgeable and hospitable in providing a tour around the intimate little garden.  They will educate you about the birds and the plants, where you can learn more about plants you usually have as house plants at home, while some you’ve never seen before. 

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he Barney’s also provide a special sunset tour, which includes Barney’s Hummingbird Garden tour and Ricks Cafe for the Negril sunset. 

The magical little garden and hummingbird sanctuary can only accommodate six visitors for a 60-minute session. Therefore, a reservation is required and is not recommended for small children who cannot sit still.  It attracts a small entry fee of 20USD per person and is worth every penny. 

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o, if you are thinking about a vacation to Negril, Jamaica, then Barney’s Flower and Hummingbird should definitely add to your bucket list.  

 

Saint Lucia All-Inclusive Resort St James Club Morgan Bay is Officially Open

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aint Lucia’s most popular, vibrant, colourful and refreshing all-inclusive resort, St James’s Club, is officially open and is “better than ever,” the property said in a statement. The resort offers relaxation, romance, and a hit of adventure to travellers and honeymooners alike. 

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he property is just a short drive from both Rodney Bay and Saint Lucia’s capital, Castries, and contains a total of 345 rooms. The amenities include six restaurants, six bars, four pools, two beachfront pools, a swim-up bar, and a unique adults-only hilltop pool. 

The upper-middle-range family-friendly resort is part of the elite Island Resorts Portfolio, including Antigua, Barbados, St Vincent, the Grenadines, and Panama properties. 

 

Photo Credit to St James Club 

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s part of the covid 19 protocol, the St James’s Club Morgan Bay resorts policy requires all guess ages 16 and over to present proof of vaccination upon check-in. That means a written CDC card, NHS vaccination report, Pass, a certificate or official vaccination receipt from Canada. 

CAMPING HIKING AND BACKPACKING IN JAMAICA

Photo courtesy of the Blue and Johncrow Mountain 

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iking in Jamaica offers the very best in scenery, view, wildlife and climate. It is also fun and safe to visit these magnificent hiking trails. Jamaica is one of the largest islands in the Caribbean and famous for Reggae Music such as Bob Marley, runners such as Usain Bolt, its delicious Jerk food, and its fabulous shoreline, to name a few. Jamaica continues to grow an international reputation for its unique and vibrant culture, the vast array of wildlife and birds that draw tourists on vacation throughout the year, thanks to its perfect year-round climate.

We all know Jamaica has a superb coastline, but there’s so much to explore inland too. The Island is home to great birds and wildlife, lush jungle, mountain forest and even limestone karst. So, why not grab a pair of hiking boots, pack a picnic and try out one of these rugged trails. 

 

1. Blue and Johncrow Mountain National Park

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iking and camping in Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park Jamaica’s highest point are strenuous and not for the faint of heart. A collection of steep mountains and tangled jungles covers 159 square miles in the heart of the Island. The peak of the range rises to an altitude of 7,402 feet, and the higher you climb, the craggier the terrain and the cooler and more humid the weather. But unlike in most tropical rainforests, hazards common to the biome malaria and venomous snakes don’t exist here. That means worry-free trekking in both rain and cloud forests and an opportunity to camp among rare species like streamertail hummingbirds and the Jamaican giant swallowtail, the largest butterfly in the Western Hemisphere with its 6-inch wingspan.

The most popular way to hike to the peak is to spend the night near Penlyne Castle at either Jah B’s or Whitfield Hall and start early, hoping to reach the peak by sunrise. The hike from Whitfield Hall to the peak is approximately 10km (six miles) and involves a 1000m (3000ft) gain in elevation. Done at a brisk pace, the summit can be reached in about two and half hours, although a leisurely stroll with frequent stops for photos and food can take twice that.  Waterproof and warm jackets are essential, as is water and food.

 

On the hike, the trail passes through Portland Gap. Portland Gap is another camp spot in the Blue Mountain that offers a rustic experience of a place to sleep, eat, shower and relax. It is where most people, especially local camp, make the trek much closer to the peak. However, if you wish to camp here, it is best to hike here overnight and leave out early in the morning for the mount. This is the last place on the trail to top up water bottles if you start your trek at Whitfield Hall. As the trail ascends high into the mountains, it is fascinating to observe the changing vegetation – the Elfin Wood near the peak is a magical place.  Many people opt to use a guide, especially if doing it in the dark and for the first time; however, it is perfectly possible to hike to the peak without a guide. 

2. The Catherine peak trail

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his is another Blue Mountains hike, but not as strenuous as climbing Blue Mountain Peak itself. Catherine’s peak is famous in Jamaica as a mountain spring that supplies much of Jamaica’s bottled natural water. The trail starts at the Jamaica Defence Force Military Camp in Newcastle, just a 45-minute drive from Kingston.  

You may need to get a permit from the lovely soldier at the guard post. Just indicate to him that you wish to walk to Catherine’s Peak. The hike takes about 40 minutes on an old concrete path up to the peak at 1,350m. The trail can be slippery because of the moss, and you may need a jacket – as it’s colder and wetter than on the coast.

You’ll know you’re at the peak when you start to recognize several communications antennae nearby. If the weather is clear, then the views are spectacular. Descent is back down the same track. After the hike, it is worth driving the extra 15 minutes to Holywell or stopping at one of the cafes (Eits or Cafe Blue) on the road back down to Kingston.

3. Holywell Park

Image credit/ Blue Brews Bistro

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olywell is a beautiful and peaceful place to spend the day. There is a solar-powered visitor centre, picnic sites with fire pits and shelters, toilets, camping sites, and well-marked trails. The campsite is just an hour outside of Kingston at Hardware Gap on the Blue Mountain ridge and about 1.5 minutes drive beyond Newcastle. 

The park is maintained by friendly rangers who are happy to chat about the park and are full of valuable and interesting information.

The hikes are all easy, and depending on how many photo stops are made; it should only take 30-45 minutes each. The trails are punctuated with information boards detailing local flora and fauna. View-points are marked with wooden platforms ideal for taking that perfect photo – there are outstanding sunrises and sunsets to be seen if you are there at the right time of day. 

The gradients can be steep at times, but there are magical moments to be had ducking beneath tropical canopies that hang low over paths or pausing to photograph hummingbirds. 

The breathtaking views, the sweet smell of Blue Mountain coffee wafting in the crisp country air, lush greenery overlooking sunny or sometimes foggy skies, and a host of delectable dishes from the Blue Brews Bistro are worth the drive.  It’s also an excellent option for kids.

Images courtesy of Blue Brews Bistro

4. Hike to Cinchona Bontanica Gardens

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he splendor and glory of Cinchona Gardens are nestled in the cool, high, and moist hills of the Blue Mountains sits at an altitude between 4,500 and 5,500 ft.   Established in 1868, this unusual attraction, Cinchona Botanical Gardens, sits between the parishes of Portland and St. Andrew.  This grand haven of tranquillity, “Cinchona”, is the only garden of its type in the Caribbean.

In its early years, Allen Eyre commented that only the slopes of the Volcan Chiriqui of Panama offer anything comparable for majestic loveliness. This historic charm begins with the trail from St Peter’s district just a mile below Clydesdale.  From that starting point, almost five miles of arduous uphill trekking is punctuated by a breathtaking view of the Blue Mountain Ridge, Liguanea plains, and Kingston, assuaged by refreshing rivulets of ivy cold water running at intervals across the path. 

In Clydesdale are the ruins of an old coffee pulping mill built in the 1820s. Once a majestic ode to the lifeblood of Jamaica’s plantation economy, the mill is now shrouded in overgrown grasses and offers an ironic representation of society’s complete abandonment of a system built on the backbones of slaves.

Further along the trail, expansive hillsides, verdantly awash with clusters of pine trees reminiscent of cotton candy, provide the backdrop to an authentic slice of rural Jamaican life. Grinning farmers on wooden benches in dirt yards and wooden huts, greet exhausted passers-by. 

From there, nature provides a lively, green feast for the eyes and a lesson in Jamaican botany. If you are vacationing in Kingston, Ocho Rios, Port Antonio or anywhere in the Blue Mountains, you can take a hiking trip to this enchanting attraction.  If you enjoy  Bird Watching, you will have your desire filled with some of Jamaica’s rare endemic species of birds.  Grab your cameras, hiking boots, then get ready for your high mountain hiking or bird watching adventure at Cinchona Gardens.

5. Cunha Cunha Pass Trail

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he Cunha Cunha Pass is a Maroon trail which is a 10-mile long hike. It extends from Hayfield to Bowden Pen in St Thomas near the upper Rio Grande Valley in Portland. It is a national monument and heritage trail designated by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust due to its historical value as a trade route and the many battles fought by our national heroine, The Right Excellent Nanny of the Maroons.  

 On the trail, visitors are exposed to the fauna and flora of the Blue Mountains and the history of the indigenous Maroons from the maroon tribe still living in the area. As you hike this trail, look out for the Giant Swallowtail butterfly and the Black Billed Streamer-tail hummingbird (Doctor bird); both are endemic to Jamaica and confined to the eastern sector of the Island.

In addition to the hike, you can grab lunch at Ambassabeth Eco-Lodge, a popular stopover site, or relax by the thrilling Rio Grande that flows along with the property. 

6.  Cockpit Country Trail 

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he Cockpit Country is without a doubt the most bizarre landscape in Jamaica, an uncanny series of improbable lumps and bumps covering roughly 80 square kilometres of Trelawny and St James parishes just south of Montego Bay. It is one of the most intriguing parts of the Island, and a hike here is worthwhile, not only for its fantastic scenery but also its fascinating history.  

Despite widespread disbelief, hiking trails do exist in Cockpit Country, with well-organized guided tours on offer, always ready to point out rare plants and birds. Windsor, Albert Town and Flagstaff are the most accessible starting points where you should hire a local guide – essential to prevent you from getting lost and in case of an accident.

The main sixteen-kilometre trail starts at Windsor and runs straight through the middle to Troy on the southern fringes of Cockpit Country, though it gets very overgrown towards the centre. The first few kilometres are relatively easy, but in the heat of the day, it’s an arduous eight-to-ten hour trek; you’re amid foliage most of the time with few open vistas, and you’ll undoubtedly feel a sense of achievement at the end. Alternatively, the first couple of hours from Windsor give you a pretty good idea. If you set out from Troy, the trail is mostly downhill and a lot easier – the best plan is to base yourself at Windsor, hire a guide, and get yourself to Troy early enough to make the hike back before nightfall.

Most walks are relatively easy-going, but for longer treks, you’ll need a stout pair of shoes or boots, something warm for the evening. Take along also a torch and water bottle – and don’t forget the mosquito repellent and something waterproof for your camera and phone for the usually wet weather. Allow twice your usual walking time for chopping foliage.

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nother great option while touring the Cockpit Country is a visit to the gorgeous village of Bunker’s Hill, Trelawny, where you can also challenge your fitness and bravely climb the steep cliffs of  Dromilly Cave which sustained the maroon chief, Cudjoe, and his men in their effort to evade the British. You can see the writings and carvings of the Taino people who once inhabited it from the cave entrance. Beyond the caves lies the ruins of the Dromilly Great House and the site where Cudjoe and his men ambushed the British troops around 1795.  After caving and touring into quiet of darkness, and marvel with stories how the Maroon warriors used these caves.   Return to the riverside restaurant and feast your appetite with authentic Jamaican food cooked on a woodfire and end the trip with a massage from the natural jacuzzi in the cool river.

7.  Hiking At Kwame Falls

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wame waterfalls are situated near Robin’s Bay in St Mary’s. If you stay at Green Castle Nature lodge, the hike is one of the most beautiful nature walks you can witness. The trek starts from Green Castle Estate gardens, where you can see many endemic species of birds enjoying the blooming flowers and natural habitat. It is an hour-and-half hike and the same back to Robin’s Bay. The trek takes you through an incredible array of flora, fauna and nature. Green Castle offers two types of guided tours if you wish to visit Kwame Falls. A guide can accompany you on the 3-hours round trip hike, or you can take a 2 hour round trip by boat ride. Both offer an incredible view. You can start as early as 6 am and get back for a hearty breakfast on the dining terrace at Greencastle, or later, you can book for lunch. Hikers will enjoy the long walk, seeing Green Castle and the estate before taking in the wide range of scenic views that present themselves at every opportunity. 

 

Kwame Falls is rumoured to be named after Kwame, one of the warriors who fought with maroon chief Tacky in 1760. It was one of the most successful rebellions against enslavement in Jamaica. Legend believes that Kwame Falls is smaller and less potent than the nearby Tacky Falls because Tacky was a more courageous and decisive leader than Kwame.

Along the coastal hike, you’ll discover Robin’s Bay Black Sand beach. It is not a tourist hotspot, so you’ll be able to enjoy peacefulness and truly savour the moment. Take your time, take some photos, see how life was meant to be enjoyed. It is worthwhile taking the option of a guided tour. As you start to venture into the jungle, tracks and trails are leading in every direction. It’s okay if you don’t mind getting lost, but a guided tour supports the local economy, and you get to discover all about the rich multitude of flora and fauna, history and culture of the area. The hike takes you across a few rivers, only ankle-deep, and you’ll dry off in no time under the Jamaican sun. As you ascend further into the rainforest, the climate becomes much more warm and sticky, but you will soon adjust. There aren’t any crocodiles in the river. Just be careful, as some of the rocks can be slippery.

 

If you want to turn the hike into an epic adventure, enquire about the possibility of seeing Tacky falls as well. Hiking is a little more difficult along a 15-minute steep trail near Tacky Waterfalls. Once you’ve carefully navigated that trail, you’ll be blessed as a 60-metre waterfall appears out of nowhere in the jungle, offering awe-inspiring beauty, without a crowd of tourists jostling you to take a photo.  

After a day hiking to these two natural wonders, you can look forward to a delicious meal cooked by the extraordinary team at Green Castle. Then you can relax, sip on a cocktail, cool off in the pool and watch the sun go down at Jamaica’s best-kept secret – The Green Castle Hotel.

8. Mount Zion Trail

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his trail takes you to Mount Zion Village, a tiny, rural community just outside of Montego Bay. Before reaching Mount Zion Village, the path begins near the Cinnamon Hill golf course and winds up through hills crowded with rich vegetation. 

It is not paved, so good hiking shoes are a must. As you hike through the hills and rainforest, you almost stumble on the local community. You will know you have arrived when you see the church and the rum shop, and judging by the lack of other buildings, there is no question about where you are. Spend some time in this beautiful community, chat with the locals, have a game of dominos or simply enjoy life at a sedate pace. Once you’ve enjoyed the Jamaican Rum or a cold Red Stripe, it is time to descend back into the city. After Mount Zion, Montego Bay will feel like a different world.  

Overall, the trail is about 5 miles ( 8 kilometres) and is a relaxing way to spend a morning or afternoon hiking in Jamaica. This hike is usually best done at the beginning or end of your tour, especially if flying in from Montego Bay. It offers an easy route and is an excellent way to spend a few hours before heading further into the riches Jamaica has to offer.

Photo courtesy of Green Castle Estate

9. Hiking The Mayfield Falls River

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ayfield Falls, as the name suggests, is famous for its waterfalls. However, it offers a hiking trail that is a little different from most. There are parts of the hike where you have to get into the river, so expect to get wet. After all, this is the best part of the fun! You’ll enjoy swimming, wading through the waterfalls, scrambling up the various cascades, and you’ll enjoy all of the peace and serenity without being surrounded by hundreds of tourists and other natives.

Hiking the Mayfield Falls River is a fun thing to do here in Jamaica. It is worth noting that the waterfalls here cascade in several places along the river, unlike Niagara Falls’ solid flow. The most famous of the cascades found here is called the ‘Washing Machine’. It is about 2-3 meters tall and climbed. There are even a few spots in the waterfalls where you can go behind the curtain of water, creating a surreal and magical experience. Depending on where you stay in Jamaica, you can arrange a guide in advance. The Green Castle Nature Lodge offers such guide services. Go and enjoy the wide variety of excursions and the natural beauty that exists. Take fantastic photos and leave the memories you make.

I

mpressive huh? Jamaica is blessed with a superb geographical location and resources that make it a great vacation spot. So, if you plan on travelling to the Island, you better think of bringing your hiking boots. The Island is riddled with excellent hiking trails to help you release some of the pressure from the hustle and bustle of your everyday life while enhancing your mental and physical wellbeing. Come, not just for its natural wonders but also for its friendly people and culture. This is what draws many people to the Island. 

10 Amazing Beaches In Jamaica

 

Jamaica is a well-known Caribbean country that is vibrant, lively and rich in culture, history and tradition, but one of the island treasures is its incredible beaches.  

Jamaica has some of the most charming beaches in the world, featuring crystal clear azure water, silky soft white sand and a magnificent Caribbean sea view.  So you can simply decide which coastline is ideal for you and your friends, family, or significant other. I listed down some of the fantastic beaches in Jamaica.

 

1. Seven Mile Beach

The Seven Mile Beach in Negril is a place that will take your breath away. The sand is so soft, the water is crystal clear, and the view of the Caribbean sea is spectacular. It is so relaxing and a great healing place to be!

You can also opt to go on an adventure out in the sea by doing multiple activities. Like, snorkelling, Hobie cat sailing, jet-skiing, cruising the water aboard glass-bottom boats, riding catamarans, scuba diving, deep-sea fishing, parasailing, and numerous other fun options. There is a lot to enjoy at Seven  Mile Beach. Oh, and did I forget to mention that this beach is near many all-inclusive resorts such as Sandal Negril. Therefore, you can book your accommodation next to this famous beach and enjoy a night walk on the beach.

 

2.  Treasure Beach

Photo credit: Paul W. Henry/Shutterstock.com

Treasure Beach, located in St. Elizabeth on Jamaica’s south coast, is a true gem that lives up to its name. With its idyllic scenery, six miles of golden sand, and authentic Jamaican vibes is one of the best-kept secrets on the island. So, bond with your travel buddies as you spend time together doing fun activities, like snorkelling, bodysurfing, kayaking, boating, and so much more. 

Accommodation is located nearby, such as the Jakes Treasure beach hotel. I would recommend it is located right on the beach, with Jack Sprat in the same spot where you can grab a bit to eat and enjoy Jamaica Authenticity.  

Ps. Try the pizza a Jack Sprat, one of the best-tasting pizzas ever. 

 

3. Doctor’s  Cave Beach

Photo credit: CO Leong/Shutterstock.com

Doctor’s Cave Beach is clean, safe and perfect for relaxation, with its golden sandy shores and calm crystal clear turquoise water that make swimming easy.  It is a sight to see very beautiful and filled with fun possibilities for all ages. 

You can enjoy activities such as parasailing, kayaking, snorkelling, scuba diving, boating, sailing, exploring the beauty of the sea on glass-bottom boats, and tons more. You can also create your own fun time with kids along the well-kept shore by burying them in the sand or having a fun beach volleyball game and making fun memories together. 

Beach restaurant is available with American and local food options. So, you don’t need to worry about taking a meal.  

Tip: I recommend the S Hotel for accommodation; it has direct access to Doctor’s Cave Beach.  And If you are travelling with kids or someone who isn’t a strong swimmer, you can rent rubber floats at Doctor’s Cove Beach.

4. Frenchman’s Cove

Photo credit: Travelling Thilo/Shutterstock.com

Frenchman’s Cove is by far the most charming and captivating private beach in Jamaica, with a perfect combination of sea and river. It is located on the northeast coast of the island in Port Antonio, Portland.

Frenchman’s Cove is lovely with pristine water, powdery white sand and great waves for surfing. At this paradise-like coastline, you can do activities like scuba diving and bodyboarding on your next vacation with your travel buddies. A Restaurant is available on-site with an option to choose of your preference. 

Tip: I recommend GeeJam Hotel as a nearby accommodation. 

5. Bloody Bay Beach

Bloody Bay Beach is one of Jamaica’s favourite white sandy beaches. Neighbouring tons of world-class resorts and hotels, making it a top spot for tourists. 

Bloody Bay got its name because it was used by 19th-century whalers who butchered their catch there.  Tody is a natural beauty with clear waters, white sands, and colourful coral reefs with little to no seaweed, making it a famous beachgoer and divers paradise. 

Enjoy an unforgettable beach adventure with family, friends, or your partner to Bloody Bay Beach with its pristine coastline of many fun activities such as Jet-skiing, scuba diving, snorkelling, or cruising the waters by Kayaking, and so much more. 

Tip: I recommend staying at a Royal Negril where you can have the pleasure of looking out on the picturesque bay in the morning. 

6. Boston Bay Beach

Photo credit: Brandon Noel/Shutterstock.com

Boston bay beach is a hidden gem in Jamaica known for its clear blue waters, surfer-friendly waves and soft powder-white sands.  The water here at Boston Beach is a bit rough, making it a great spot among surfers and for such reason, it is not the best choice for young children. 

Many have no idea that such a good surf spot in Jamaica is because only a few visitors travel to the northeast side of Jamaica.  And the northeast has so many fun attractions and is one of the best parts of Jamaica. 

Take a trip to Port Antonio with your surf buddies and enjoy riding the waves together. And after swimming and surfing, relax and enjoy some tasty Jamaica jerk, whether pork, chicken or fish. 

Check here to see what you can do in Port Antonio, Jamaica. 

 

7. Half Moon

Half Moon Beach is a beautiful private beach with white sand and water just as lovely as Seven Miles Beach.  If you want to recharge from all the hustle and bustle of your everyday life, head to Half Moon Beach and enjoy the sun and solitude.  With just about 15 mins drive outside of Negril, you can spend the day floating in the crystal clear water, reading a book in the shaded hammocks, snorkel above the undisturbed coral reefs or enjoy the sound of nature as you lie on the sand with the ocean lapping at your feet. 

You can opt for one of the bamboo raft tours or rent a kayak and go exploring on your own. End your visit with a fresh traditional Jamaican meal from the restaurant on the property. 

Tip:  You can rent a cabin or camping on the property. 

 

8.  Puerto Seco Beach

Puerto Seco Beach is immaculate and is among the top coastline in Jamaica. It features a breathtaking view of landscape sparkling azure water and a soft well maintain shoreline.

Puerto Seco Beach is pack with a wide variety of recreational activities for all ages, such as scuba diving, paddle boarding, riding glass-bottom boats, snorkelling and its floating water park. 

Travelling with kids for a beach day in Jamaica, Puerto Seco is a safe, kid-friendly choice with its floating water park that features slides, trampolines, and a rock-climbing wall.  Kids can have fun while you sun take a sunbathe on the silky sand or take a dip in the crystalline sea.

9. Winnifred Beach

Located on the northeast of the island is Winifred Beach feature plenty of local flavours. With its clear water, soft sand and gorgeous coral reef that easy access. You can enjoy snorkelling and some freshly catch Jamaican seafood meals. 

Tip: I recommend you try the grilled snapper.

 

10.  Burwood Beach

Burwood is a family-friendly beach of sugary white sand crystalline turquoise water.  It is a fantastic spot for kids. Therefore, if planning a beach day with kids, Burwood is a great choice. 

It has attentive lifeguards and a small playground to keep kids entertained. The water is calm and crystal clear and perfect for even the little ones to splash.  You can enjoy fun beach games together or make sculptures and castles out of the sand. 

Tip: The gazebos there are limited, and if you need to get one to use, you will have to reach from early in the morning.

 

Jamaica is a country that you can’t get enough of one visit can not suffice. There is so much to see, do and enjoy on this beautiful island. 

I hope this article help you on your vacation to Jamaica to one of the best beaches to make memories with friends and families.  

Leave a comment if you have a fantastic time on your visit to Jamaica.  🙂 

20 Thrilling Attractions In Jamaica For Rejuvenation

Jamaica is the heart of the Caribbean, a tiny island with a whole vibe and life. When planning to travel to Jamaica, just come with the expectation that you will have a good time because Jamaican knows how to have a good time.  No matter what type of vacation you’re dreaming of, there is an attraction here in Jamaica that will help to bring it to life and leave you with unforgettable memories for years to come. Golfing, beaching, hiking, dancing, cave diving can all be a part of your vacation. Here are a few of the best attractions in Jamaica that will leave you feeling the pulse of the island paradise. 

 

NATURE AND ADVENTURE WONDERS 

1. The Blue Hole

 photo credit: Natascha Kaukorat/Shutterstock.com

The blue hole is a paradise for nature and adventure lovers. It is located in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, high up in the mountain, with rope swings, refreshing water pools, nature trails and beautiful waterfalls.  There is quite a walk to the falls, but there is a lot to see along the way.  This spot is not touristy but great for someone who wants to do something out of the norm.  Swimming at the Blue Hole is the number one thing you should consider adding to your trip as you will enjoy the leap.  As many describe it as a “little piece of heaven”. 

 

2.  Mayfield Falls

photo credit: Michael Kucsmas/Shutterstock.com 

The best things are hidden in the Mountains. Nestled in the Negril mountain range, you will find the Mayfield Falls home for nature lovers to enjoy the peace and rejuvenation of the falls and the mineral springs offer.  It consists of two waterfalls, 21 freshwater pools and lots of Flora and Fauna for that tranquil vibe. There are several gazebos that you could stop and rest while touring the property. Hey, those gazebos are an incredible backdrop for beautiful photos. 

 

3.  Reach Falls

Photo credit: Mr Innis/Shutterstock.com

Reach Falls is a luxurious eco attraction hidden in the Montane Forrest on the John Crow Mountain Range.  It is one of the most beautiful attractions in Portland, Jamaica.  When you think of freshwater pools, cascading waterfalls and a prolific forest. You can plan a picnic or head out on a guided tour. 

The best highlight is the hike upstream towards the rabbit holes. The rabbit holes are not for the faint at heart. It takes a bit of courage but is definitely worth it, and a guide is there to help along the way. 

 

4. Dunn’s River Falls

Located in the tourist hub of Ocho Rios, you will find Dunns River Falls a very highly promoted attraction and one that is visited and loved by all travellers who vacation to the island. It has multiple falls which cascade over the limestone ledges and pour into the ocean. The more adventurous at heart would love to hike the falls with a guide or alone wearing water shoes as you proceed with caution. 

5. Konoko Falls

photo credit: Dosan Jones/ Shutterstock.com

Konoko Falls is one of the island’s hidden gems nestled in the hills of St. Ann, overlooking the resort area of Ocho Rios.  Here, you will find a waterfall, a botanical garden and a zoo.  A tour to Konoko Falls and park is a great way to learn about the Taino Indians who were early inhabitants of the island of Jamaica.  Visitors can explore the park on their own or apt with a guided tour.  The area is also used frequently for weddings, family reunions, photoshoots, and gala events. 

6. The Blue  and Johcrow Mountain National Park 

photo credit: Yardie Inc/Shutterstock.com

It is Jamaica only National park and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Here you will find fresh air, lush terrain, and vibrant wildlife. There are great views in and around this location and a host of many things to do, including mountain climbing, swimming beneath the waterfalls, a blue mountain bicycle tour, and exploring the coffee plantations while enjoying some of the best coffee in the world.  Make a day and enjoy a tremendous Jamaican adventure. 

7. Croydon Plantation

photo credit: CO Leong/Shutterstock.com

Spend part of your day exploring Croydon Plantation in the Catadupa Mountains of St. James by taking an informative tour with a guide and experience a combination of nature, education, escape and eating. Here, you will learn a lot about the history of Jamaica and Jamaica way of life, the plantation, and our national hero Samuel Sharpe.  If you are a lover of coffee and pineapple-like me, you will enjoy a visit to the plantation where coffee and pineapple both grow. You will also enjoy some of Jamaica’s delicious Jerk Chicken lunch when the tour is finished.

8. Ys Falls

Want to beat the Caribbean heat? Plan a waterfall day while in Jamaica to Ys Falls, the best spot for that cooling down. There are seven lovely falls, gardens and surroundings for a picnic and the opportunity to zip-line over the waterfalls. There are also natural pools, which is excellent for children or just about anyone who wants to relax. 

 

HEART PUMPING ACTION

 

9. Mystic Mountain

The Mystic Mountain adventure gives you a fantastic view of Ocho Rios, with the peak of the mountain rises over 700 feet. Here you will enjoy the various excursions for all ages, from Sky explorer chairlift, raggamuffin, ziplining, and the park signature adventure the rainforest bobsledding.  This environmental-friendly attraction, located in the heart of Ocho Rios, only 5 minutes away from the cruise ship pier or Dunn’s River Falls. Explore the forest’s rich ecosystem, sparkling river streams or simply enjoy the spectacular views. You won’t disappoint. 

 

10. JamWest Motor Sport and Adventure Park

Photo credit: JamWest Adventure

JamWest is the only drag and circuit track in the Caribbean that offers an “arrive and drive” experience as an attraction—located just 28 minutes outside of Negril, Jamaica. At JamWest, you can experience a variety of activities to add thrills to your vacation! From the ATV tour through Jamaica wilderness, Racing Zip allows two-person to race each other at the same time, with zip lines running parallel.  If that’s not enough, you can take a challenge at that rock climbing adventure, take a dip in the mineral bath cool water or plunge in the pool from the water slide.  Still, need more? Saddle up and enjoy thrilling horseback riding into the warm Caribbean sea, or go for a milder adventure by visiting the petting zoo. Whether milder or wild, JamWest got you covered.

 

CULTURAL EXPERIENCE

11.  Bob Marley Museum

If you are a fan of the Late Bob Marley or reggae music, you will be filled with euphoria once you visit the museum.  You will enjoy this reggae-inspired tour that provides an in-depth look into the life of Bob Marley, and you can choose between the ‘Combo “One Love” tour, the ‘Bob Marley Home’ tour, and the ‘Making of the Music’ tour.

 

12 Rose Hall Great House

You can tour the Rose Hall Great House that some called the “ House of Horrors”. Legend believes that Rose Hall is haunted by Annee Palmer, the famed “White. Witch”. The house was dated back to the colonial era and was restored in the 1960s. On this tour, you will learn about the life of the British elite in the Caribbean past. 

 

13.  The Accompong Town Maroons

A visit to the cultural heritage Accompong village where an independent group of Maroons live in the hills of the Cockpit Country of St Elizabeth’s border is rich in historical facts. 

The Maroons are descendants of escaped slaves who fought the British and Spanish and received autonomy for the governance of the lands with their Colonel Cudjoe in 1739. This will be an educational visit if you are interested in African heritage. 

14. Lovers Leap

Gladstone Taylor / Photographer

Lover’s leap is a historic attraction that gains its name from two lovers who refuse to be separated by a jealous plantation owner, who leap to their death over these clifts. Legend has it that the lover raced to the edge of the cliff with a drop of about 1700 feet.  It is beautiful for love birds, with a breathtaking view overlooking the Caribbean sea.

 

 ONLY IN JAMAICA 

 

15. Tryall Club Golf Course

Tryall Club is great for all ages and levels of golfing ability, with an 18-hole par-71 championship green that will help you perfect your game against a stunning Caribbean backdrop.  Whether you’re a complete beginner, a serious amateur or an experienced player, there’s plenty for you to enjoy at Tryall Golf Club. 

The Tryall Club golf course has hosted a significant number of golf championships. For that and other reasons, with positive reviews spreading via word of mouth, the course has rocketed in popularity for all who choose to vacation in Montego Bay.

 

16. Rick’s Café

Photo credit: Debbie Ann Powell/Shutterstock.com

You’ll have a blast visiting Rick’s Café, whether with friends or with your significant other. You will enjoy sunsets, reggae music and cliff jumping. It is an experience you will not forget as there is a possibility for you to view the live performance from the main stage after you finish diving. 

17.  Appleton Estate

Appleton is a famous rum in Jamaica. A tour of Appleton Estate is worth it if you are a fan of rum and nothing beats Jamaican rum. You will delight in rum tasting,  learn about the history of the finest Caribbean rum and the process of making the rum from the 18th century until now. Grab a bottle or two to take back home with you.

18. Luminous Lagoon

Located off the bay of Falmouth Trelawny, you will find the Luminous Lagoon, one that must add to your list of things to do in Jamaica.  The glistering water is a kind rare find not only in the Caribbean but in the world. The luminescent glow of the body of weather is caused by microorganisms called dinoflagellates. 

There are only four places in the world that you can enjoy this magical sensation: Indonesia, Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and of course, Jamaica that caries the brightest glow of water.  The Luminous Lagoon is best enjoyed at night to get that lovely glowing shades of bright blue all around you.

 19. Heart-shaped Overwater Bungalows

The first of its kind, Sandal’s heart-shaped overwater bungalows in Jamaica are a sight to behold and even more amazing to spend the night in! You can find the heart-shaped suites at Sandals Royal Caribbean and Sandals South Coast. With glass floors and 24-hour butler service, this accommodation is truly one of a kind.

20. Floyd’s Pelican Bar

Floyd Pelican Bar is literally a bar in the middle of the ocean that can be accessible from Treasure Beach by boat. If you plan a tour of St Elizabeth or stay at Jakes Treasure Beach, add Pelican Bar to your do-to list. You’ll have an unforgettable time sipping on cold drinks, get a taste of the local fare, and dipping your feet into the warm surrounding waters. 

 

Jamaica is a paradise for anyone seeking an all-encompassing Caribbean vacation that leaves nothing untouched or unexplored. You can choose from a plethora of Jamaica’s points of interest and things to do, or take it easy and do nothing but relax at one of the all-inclusive resorts Jamaica offers. Whatever you decide, the rich memories of your vacation will last a lifetime!

 

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