Outside Savanna-la-Mar, the main south coast road (A2) passes by Paradise Plantation, a huge private estate with miles of frontage on Bluefields Bay, a wide protected anchorage with unspoiled reefs and wetlands teeming with birds. Just after Paradise, you come to Ferris Crossroads, where the A2 meets up with the B8 road, a well-maintained north-south connection and about 40 minutes’ drive to Montego Bay via Whithorn and Anchovy.
For the next four miles the A2 hugs the coast along a beautiful stretch of road to Bluefields, where there is a lovely white sand beach mainly used by local Jamaicans and guests of the upmarket Villas on Bluefields Bay. There is no mass tourism either in Bluefields or in the adjacent village of Belmont, where plenty of reggae is always playing at the numerous fishermen’s bars.
The south coast is known as the best part of Jamaica for deep sea fishing and boat trips go out from Belmont to the reefs or to off-shore banks. Snorkelling is also good because the sea is almost always very calm in the morning. The Bluefields Great House, now privately owned, was the place where Philip Gosse lived in the 1830s when he wrote his famous book, Birds of Jamaica, and reportedly contains the first breadfruit tree planted in Jamaica by Captain Bligh after his expedition to the South Pacific. The next six miles of coast southeast of Bluefields is one of the most beautiful, unspoiled coasts in Jamaica, but a 258-room Sandals South Coast resort is being built at Auchindown due to open in 2000. However, much of the land is being left untouched on the resort’s property. A bird sanctuary has been designated and a section of beach set aside as a turtle nesting area. Just beyond here, B Natania’s, a guest house and seafood restaurant at Little Culloden, Whitehouse, has been praised. It is on the sea and has eight rooms (16 beds), food extra but good and at reasonable prices. The owner is Peter Probst; address: Natania’s, Little Culloden, Whitehouse PO, Westmoreland, T/F9635342. Transport from Montego Bay can be arranged, as also local tours, deep sea fishing and watersports.
The A2 road passes through Scotts Cove, where you leave Westmoreland and enter the parish of St Elizabeth. It proceeds to the town of Black River, travelling inland from there to Middle Quarters, YS Falls and Bamboo Avenue, after which it ascends to the old hill station of Mandeville.