Best of Jamaica
7 days with Intrepid Travel Rating:
Day 1 Montego Bay
Welcome to Jamaica! With no activities planned until your important welcome meeting at 6 pm, why not use your free time to immerse yourself in the hustle and bustle of Montego Bay. Why not hit The Hip Strip, a famous avenue lined with eclectic markets and smoky jerk restaurants, or if you arrive early enough, perhaps take a tour of Rose Hall – one of Jamaica’s most historic plantation homes – and learn about the legend of the 'White Witch of Rose Hall. After your group meeting this evening, perfect your bad Jamaican impression and receive a lesson – for 30 minutes or so – on how to speak proper patois (also known as 'patwa', 'patwah' and 'Jamaican Creole'), the language spoken in everyday conversation. Standard English is Jamaica's official language, but it's reserved for professional environments and situations, so get involved and learn the lingo with your new travel buddies.
Day 2 Montego Bay / Dunn's River Falls / Blue Mountains
After breakfast, join your leader on a walking tour of Montego Bay and visit a variety of hotspots, including the Hip Strip, Charles Garden Market, Dome Street and Sam Sharpe Square. Later in morning, head off on a 4-hour drive to Kingston, broken up with a stop at the popular Dunn’s River Falls, wander around the cascading, tiered falls or take a refreshing plunge! Continue to Kingston, where you will be staying in a rustic hotel on the edge of the Blue Mountains. Make the most of this opportunity to relax in a hammock, indulge in an in-house massage, or hit the tiki bar. Alternatively, you can take a short hike along rugged terrain to a beautiful, refreshing waterfall. The hotel offers delicious, reasonably priced meals for dinner.
Day 3 Kingston / Blue Mountains
This morning, head to Kingston to take a stroll around some of the main streets, but keep in mind it's not a particularly pedestrian friendly city! Next head to Kingston's most visited site, the Bob Marley Museum for a 2-hour guided tour. It's housed in the old colonial building where the reggae legend lived and recorded from 1975 until his death in 1981. Afterwards, stop in at Devon house which, built in 1881, was the residence of George Stiebel (Jamaica's first black millionaire) but is now famously known for the ice-cream shop situated in the middle of the lush gardens. The rest of the afternoon is free to explore at your own pace, pick a place for an optional lunch, perhaps your leader can point out a place to try a Jamaican pattie, which is a cheap fast food option! This evening, opt to have dinner in town or at your hotel.
Day 4 Negril
Be ready for an early start as travel by public bus from Kingston to Jamaica's western tip, the laidback beach town of Negril (approximately 6 hours). Once arrived, you'll head south by foot or in a taxi to the section of Negril originally settled by hippies in the 1960s, and where cliffs as high as 15 metres lure daring divers. Watch them take the plunge as you sip cocktails at Rick's Cafe as the sun dips into the Caribbean Sea.
Day 5 Negril
Today you're free to explore Negril at your own pace, (which will likely be a lazy one!). Maybe enjoy a gentle stroll along Seven Mile Beach, a long stretch of sandy coast dotted with palms and thatched huts. Or you might want to park yourself in one spot all day, only getting up for drinks and dips in the crystal-clear water.
Day 6 Montego Bay
Depart Negril around lunch time and travel the 1-hour journey via private vehicle back to Montego Bay. You can put your newly learned patois to use on an included tour of an indigenous Rastafarian village, where local musicians, farmers and artisans will help you understand the reverence for nature and humanity at the core of the Rastafari philosophy and lifestyle. Expect to spend over two hours immersing yourself in the village lifestyle. There will be free time in the afternoon before you head to dinner at a private home, where you'll enjoy a traditional meal and some conversation with the locals. After sunset, there’s the option to witness the natural phenomenon of bioluminescence at Glistening Waters Luminous Lagoon. Marvel at the eerie glow created by the millions of microscopic organisms that thrive due to the convergence of salt and fresh waters in the lagoon's shallow waters. Bioluminescence isn't an unusual occurrence, but this is one of the best places in the world to view it from the comfort of a boat (1 hour). You also have the option to swim, so don't forget your swimsuit! You’ll return to the hotel at approximately 9:30 pm and are free to choose how you will spend your last night of this Jamaican adventure.
Day 7 Montego Bay
There are no activities planned for today, if you have time, perhaps admire the view from the Richmond Hill Inn, a former 18th-century plantation house perched 150 metres above Montego Bay.
All This Included
So much more than the homeland of reggae superstar Bob Marley, Jamaica is a land of white sand beaches, native cuisine that gave the word 'jerk' a delicious connotation, an artistic culture that punches well above its weight and an Africa-centred religion that for many is a way of life. See and hear Rastafari culture on a tour of an indigenous Rastafari village, rest in the refreshing waters of Dunn’s River Falls, and swim the azure blue waters of Seven Mile Beach. From cocktails at Rick's Cafe to a traditional dinner with Montego Bay locals, this seven-day trip will provide plenty of proof Jamaica's truly the Home of All Right.
Hotel (6 nights)
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