A day in Jamaica
Back in 2010 I got to spend a day – yes just one day – in Jamaica when a cruise I was ondocked in Montego Bay. Knowing I didn’t have long to soak up the atmosphere and take in the sights at this brilliant destination, I quickly arranged a couple of excursions to make the most of my short – but eagerly anticipated – visit.
My family and I visited a total of 12 islands in the Caribbean during the 16 day cruise, taking part in a wide variety of activities at each destination. Of all the islands we visited though, I have to say that Jamaica was my all out favourite!
How could you not fall in love with this lively, yet laid back, country with it’s beautiful and lush green scenery, friendly locals, beautiful beaches and wide range of exciting activities to take part in (I wish I had more time there to experience everything Jamaica has to offer; 24 hours just isn’t long enough!)
If you are travelling to a destination in the Caribbean then it’s a sure thing that you’ll be expecting a tropical climate, crystal clear topaz water and pristine beaches on which to soak up the sun whilst eschewing the worries of modern life, and Jamaica is certainly no disappointment in this regard. You’ll find that temperatures average between 80-86F all year round and, in my opinion, the island has some of the best beaches in the Caribbean (although there’s certainly a lot of competition).
You’ll find that nothing is too much trouble for the locals (you’ll often hear ‘no problem, mon’ and ‘irie’ – no worries – during your stay) and the food is tasty and wholesome (make sure you try the mouth-watering Jerk Chicken for which Jamaica is so famous), but be prepared to tip as the island relies heavily on the tourism industry.
If you’re lucky enough to spend longer than I did in Jamaica, then there are a whole host of activities to keep you busy including; swimming with dolphins at Dolphin Cove in the Ocho Rios area, or spending a day relaxing on the absolutely stunning Seven Mile Beach (known locally as Negril), but what did I get up to during my day there?
Dunn’s River Falls
I started the day by heading over to the Ocho Rios area to climb the Dunn’s River Falls. The 600ft, staircase like, waterfalls take around an hour to climb in your group (there were around 15 of us) and you get to jump into a couple of cool and refreshing pools on the way up (really welcome on a hot day!) .
We all had to hold hands as we ascended the falls, but it wasn’t too slippy or difficult – hey I managed it – and the guide even filmed the group so we could buy a DVD after our experience (definitely worth it for the memories).
photo credit – Axle Foley
After the refreshing climb up Dunn’s River Falls, we headed over to the Mystic Mountain Rainforest Adventure which is just around the corner. To get up to the visitor centre we got to take a chair lift which climbed the 700ft, giving an amazing bird’s eye view of the beautiful rainforest canopy below and spectacular views of the bay to the left.
Once you reach the Mystic Mountain visitor centre, you can get a bite to eat if you are hungry after your trip to the falls – don’t forget to try the delicious Jerk Chicken – or, if you fancy getting yourself wet all over again, there’s a pool with waterslide. Instead of taking the chair lift back down to the car park, why not hurtle down the side of the mountain at breakneck speed in a bobsled or – if you’re feeling even braver – you can whizz down on the Canopy Zip Line!
photo credit – Chris Short