Caribbean Tourism

Getting Around

Excursions

Kingston Among older buildings of note in the Down Town area are Gordon House (on Duke Street), which dates from the mid-18th century and houses the Jamaican legislature. Visitors are allowed into the Strangers’ Gallery but must be suitably dressed (jackets for men and dresses for women). There is also the early 18th century parish church south of Parade,...

West to Falmouth

Continuing west along the coast is Runaway Bay, an attractive and friendly resort. It is named for the Spanish governor Ysasi, who left quickly for Cuba in a canoe when he saw the English coming. Only five miles away is Discovery Bay where Columbus made his first landing. The Columbus Park, an outdoor museum, has exhibits and relics of Jamaican history....

The Road to Mandeville

On the south coast past Black River is Treasure Beach, a wide dark sand beach with body surfing waves, it is one of the most beautiful areas on the island. It is largely used by local fishermen as it is the closest point to the Pedro Banks. There is one small grocery shop and a bakery. A van comes to the village every day with fresh fruit and vegetables....

Spanish Town

Spanish Town, the former capital founded in 1534, some 14 miles west of Kingston (bus from Half Way Tree and from Orange Street ), is historically the most interesting of Jamaica’s towns and in desperate need of funds for renovation. Its English-style architecture dates from the 18th century. Well worth seeing are the Cathedral Church of St James, the...

The South Coast

Bluefields 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-...

East to Savanna - La-Mar

About 18 miles east of Negril, on the coast, is Savanna-la-Mar, a busy, commercial town with shopping, banks and so on, but no major attractions for tourists. It does not have a good beach, nor good quality restaurants and accommodation. Regular concerts are held at the remodelled St Joseph’s Catholic Church, T9552648. Talented local musicians play under...

Roads into the Interior

Between Port Antonio and the Buff Bay area there are several roads into the interior from such places as Hope Bay and Orange Bay. It is worth a detour if you have a car, but well off the beaten track and public transport is minimal. However, just to the east of Buff Bay is Crystal Springs with beautifully laid out gardens, a variety of fish in the clear...

The North Coast

The Kingston to Port Maria road (the Junction Road) passes through Castleton Botanical Gardens (in a very tranquil setting, well worth a visit, ask Roy Bennett to be your guide if available). The journey takes about two hours and there are plenty of minibuses. Port Maria itself is a sleepy and decaying old banana port but not without charm and lots of goats...

Negril

Negril, on a seven-mile stretch of pure white sand on the west end of the island, is far less formal than other tourist spots but is still a one-industry town. The town is at the south end of Long Bay; at the north is the smaller Bloody Bay, where whalers used to carve up their catch. The Negril Area Environmental Protection Trust (NEPT) hopes to have the...

Kingston

The capital is one of the largest and best natural harbours in the world. Following the earthquake of 1907 much of the lower part of the city (Down Town) was rebuilt in concrete. On the waterfront there are some notable modern buildings including the Bank of Jamaica and the Jamaica Conference Centre which also houses the National Gallery. Most of the new...

Getting Around

Air Jamaica Express (T9224661) flies to anywhere with a landing field out of Kingston and Montego Bay daily. Charges are reasonable (US$50 Kingston-Montego Bay return) but using this method of travel is not very satisfactory unless you can arrange to be met at your destination. Kingston - You can change back excess Jamaican dollars into US$ at the bank in...