Swaying to the beats of reggae, sipping on a glass of ice cold ‘liquid gold’ while soaking the sun, sand and spirit of Jamaica leads to realising what makes the Jamaican farewell such a difficult one. From long sandy stretches, magnificent waterfalls, mystic mountains, to extensive shopping districts, happening nightlife and haute culinary spreads, the island nation is all about having a good time.
Spiralling through Blue Mountain
A nature lover’s paradise, Jamaica’s World Heritage Site is a cloud-covered dream that calls to be scaled. If you flaunt an adrenaline streak, climbing the Blue Mountain will prove to be an enticing yet arduous task. Right in the middle of the lush, densely forested Blue Mountain sits the Blue Mountain Peak at an elevation of 2,256 metres, making it the highest point of Jamaica. Braving through the misty trails and rain engulfed crests will bring one to the Peak by nightfall where a beautiful top-view of Kingston awaits you.
Romantic rendezvous at Blue Lagoon
Blue Lagoon in Portland, encapsulates the aura of living the Hollywood dream. The turquoise blue waters and lush greenery inspired the 1980’s American romantic drama, of the same name, starring Brooke Shields. The movie that launched Brooke Shields’ career made the Jamaican coastal town an even popular travel destination for families and honeymooners. The 55m-deep ‘Blue Hole’, as it is locally known, seems to be magical as the water changes colour through every shade of jade and emerald throughout the day, depending on the way the sun shines upon the surface. From swimming, rafting to motorboat rides, the legendary lagoon is aplenty with reasons to keep you enthralled. Interesting fact: Locals believe in a legend claiming that the lagoon is home to a dragon!
Carnival at Kingston
Shake a leg or two at the grand ‘Jamaica Carnival’ that kicks off in January, witnessing the coming together of culture and fine arts, presided by music. Bacchanal, the four-month long festival is a unique expression of island spirit taking the shape of a colourful ensemble celebrating everything fun. You can take part in the street parades of costumed revellers or unwind at the beach parties with pulsating music while luxuriating in the electrifying ambience of the carnival.
Exploring Montego Bay
This major cruising town does justice as the island’s tourism capital with its cosmopolitan holiday outlook backed by Rastafarian vibes. The white sandy beaches offer hours of sunbathing and relaxation. If you wake up on the adventurous side of the bed, enrol for the Chukka Caribbean Adventure tours amidst nature or take a rafting trip down the tropical Martha Brae River to visit one of the colonial and historic plantation houses. You can also delve into the island’s cultural routes at the Rastafari Indigenous Village or enjoy ‘Horseback Ride n’ Swim’ at Braco Stables. As the Jamaicans say, “It’s all happening here on the ‘Hip Street’.”
Swinging by Bob Marley Museum
Dedicated to the memory of the late reggae superstar, Robert “Bob” Marley, the large, creaky, colonial-era wooden house on Hope Road is Marley’s original studio where he recorded many of his songs. The former studio-cum residence is now an exhibition hall with wonderful photos of the global icon, and a theatre, where the tour closes with a 20-minute film.
His gold and platinum records are displayed on the walls, alongside Rastafarian religious cloaks, Marley’s favourite denim stage shirt, and the Order of Merit presented by the Jamaican government. The walls of one room are entirely covered with media clippings from Marley’s final tour; another contains a replica of Marley’s original record shop, Wail’n Soul’m. Marley’s simple bedroom has been left as it was, with his favourite star-shaped guitar by the bed. Even though photography isn’t allowed inside the house, you’ll almost certainly be inspired to sing ‘One Love’ at some point during the tour.
Interesting fact: The annual event of ‘Bob Marley Birthday Bash’ will be hosted from February 1, 2018, until February 6, 2018, in Negril and will feature popular international reggae artists performing live in honour of the legend.