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Jamaica Feature the Travel & Leisure Magazine Nov 09

Jamaica Feature the Travel & Leisure Magazine Nov 09

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With its lush mountains, waterfalls, stunning beaches, all-inclusive resorts and a history rich in buccaneer mystique, Jamaica is a swashbuckling cut above
many Caribbean rivals. Sara Macefield explores the island whose famous son Bob Marley gave the world reggae music. This featured appeared in the November edition of The Travel & Leisure Magazine.
With its lush mountains, waterfalls, stunning beaches, all-inclusive resorts and a history rich in buccaneer mystique, Jamaica is a swashbuckling cut above
many Caribbean rivals. Sara Macefield explores the island whose famous son Bob Marley gave the world reggae music. This featured appeared in the November edition of The Travel & Leisure Magazine.

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Published by: Travel & Leisure Magazines on Dec 16, 2009
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“G
et your legs up,up, up”, screamed my Jamaicanguide. It wasn’tthe usual sort of command youexpect, but as I was racing along a zip-wireat full pelt towards the landing platform – it seemed a sensible request!Only a few seconds earlier, I’d stood at the top of the tropicalriver gorge, knowing I would  be skimming across thetreetops held up by noth-ing more than just a cou- ple of cables hundreds of feet up in the air.Having reached the other side in one piece, my trepidation was swiftly replaced  by elation and I felt ready to tackle anything.After all, this is just one of the adrenalin- busting activities designed to tempt holiday-makers off Jamaica’s beautiful beaches and into its rugged, jungle-filled interior.As the third-largestisland in the Caribbean,Jamaica offers much to entrance visitors, fromthe misty peaks of the Blue Mountains withtheir beautiful landscapes of rivers and water-falls, to the rocky cliffs and wide open sandy beaches of the laid-back resort of Negril, thecoolest of all chill-out zones.
6
TheTravel&LeisureMagazine November/December 2009
Islando
 Marley’s spirit 
With its lush mountains, waterfalls, stunning beaches, all-inclusive resorts and a history rich in buccaneer mystique, Jamaica is a swashbuckling cut abovemany Caribbean rivals.
Sara Macefield
explores the island whose famous sonBob Marley gave the world reggae music
 
Jamaica is where you’ll find historic old  plantation houses rubbing shoulders withluxurious hotels and sprawling all-inclusiveresorts; where you can hide away in chic boutique hotels tucked into rocky cliffs or onlush mountain slopes.It is a place of local legends of bucca-neering pirates and murderous witches, of romance tinged with royalty and old Hollywood glamour.But underpinning it all is the raw reggaevibe that dominates this island and envelopsits culture, stemming from Jamaica’s mostfamous son Bob Marley, who planted his dis-tinctive beat across the world.
Tourist areas
Most of Jamaica’s tourist resorts are alongthe north coast, though one or two resortshave sprung up on the lesser-developed south coast. These are the island’s touristareas:Montego Bay – Jamaica’s second cityafter the capital, Kingston – which is bigger and busier than the other tourist resorts. Thehub of the city is Gloucester Avenue, the so-called “Hip Strip” full of restaurants, bars,art galleries and duty-free shops.Mo Bay, as it is called by the locals, hasits own marine park which covers 10 milesof coral reefs. There is also thefamous white-sand DoctorsCave Beach and its mineralspring, said to have therapeu-tic powers. Nearby is theattractive town of Falmouth, noted for its well-preserved Georgian buildings, dating from the1700s.Ocho Rios – Ochias it isaffectionatelycalled, is moretourist-friendly thanMontego Bay with its craftmarket, duty-free shops,restaurants and cafes and more relaxed atmosphere.Visitors should aim for theoutdoor Island Village shopping
 November/December 2009 TheTravel&LeisureMagazine
7
 JAMAICA
gettingto KNOW
Healing waters
 Jamaica’s waters have healing powers.The most famous – and touristy – are atDoctors Cave Beach where the mineralsprings are said to be therapeutic.Then there are the mineral waters of Milk River,said to be the mostradioactive in the world with high levelsof magnesium,calcium,sulphate andnatural chloride.The baths here date from 1794,butusers are warned not to stay in thewaters for more than 10 or 20 minutesat a time because of their potency. Jamaica even has a town called Bathwhich was founded because of thenearby mineral springs which are high insulphate.In the 18th century,Bath was popularwith the European elite who flockedhere for the healing powers of thescalding hot waters and elegant botanicalgardens – the first on the island.
    J   a   m   a    i   c   a    T   o   u   r    i   s    t    B   o   a   r    d    S   a   n    d   a    l   s    J   a   m   a    i   c   a    T   o   u   r    i   s    t    B   o   a   r    d
I
Hanging aroundon a canopy tour
I
Frenchman’s Cove
Image: JamaicaTourist Board 
I
At yourservice – aSandals butler
I
A taste of  Jamaica
 
centre in the heart of the resort whichhouses the Reggae Xplosionmuseum that tells the fasci-nating story of howJamaican music hasinfluenced the world. Negril the so-called “capital of casual” is famous for having the best beachon Jamaica and themost beautiful sunsets.This is a place to kick off your shoes, sit back and chillout. Some of the hippest boutiquehotels in the Caribbean are tucked into therocky cliffs behind the beach, offering a reallaid-back escape. However, more active trav-ellers can take advantage of the excellentchoice of water sports or try out the localrestaurants.PortAntonio – set on the north-east coast,this is the romantic heart of Jamaica wherethe Blue Mountains sweep down to the sea.Less touristy than the other resorts, this lushretreat is known for its beautiful settingwhich decades ago attracted film-stars, mostnotably Hollywood swashbuckler ErrolFlynn, who declared it “more beautiful thanany woman I have ever seen”.Kingston – Jamaica’s capital is the largestEnglish-speaking city in theCaribbean. It sits at the head of one of the world’s biggestnatural harbours which inyears past was home to buccaneering pirateswho based themselvesat nearby Port Royal.The old city, described in the 17th century asthe “wickedest city in thewest”, was destroyed byearthquake and now liesunderwater in the bay. Kingstonmay have a tough reputation, but itslocation on the south of the island means itis far removed from the main tourist areas. Italso has a number of its own visitor attractionsSouth Coast – this is one of the most unspoilt parts of the island and one of themost beautiful with itsdeserted beaches, tinyfishing villages and tradi-tional towns. This is the place to come crocodile-spotting on wildlife safarisalong the Black River or splash around in the cascadingwaters of the 120ftYS Falls.
 Waterfalls
The island’s scenic beauty and colourfulhistory have always helped it to attractlegions of visitors, but in recent yearsJamaica has turned up the thrill factor tooffer an adrenaline-pumping alternative toadventure-seekers wanting to explore thestunning rugged interior. The top naturalattraction has to be Dunns iver Falls(
)near OchoRios. These 600ft falls were just made for climbing, and it is great fun to scramble over huge boulders and plunge into the tempting pools.You need to be reasonably agile and youhave to concentrate, especially at some of the steepest points, but the reward is thegreat sensation of standingunder one of the manywaterfalls and gaspingfor breath from thesheer power of thetorrent.If you only doone thing whenyou’re in Jamaica – do this. It’s unique,invigorating anunforgettable.Just a few words of warning….try to avoid visiting
8
TheTravel&LeisureMagazine November/December 2009
 Water sports
With more than 600 miles of coastline and over 100 rivers Jamaica offers ample opportunity for water sports fans tomake a big splash.From river tubing and river rafting to diving, sailing andunder-sea tours on a semi-sub reef explorer, Jamaica hasplenty of watery attractions.As well as the usual range of water sports and boat trips,there’s the Kool Runnings water park in Negril, which claimsto be the largest in the Eastern Caribbean and is packed fullof thrilling aqua rides.Alternatively, sun-worshippers wanting to bare all can choosefrom a wide selection of naturist spots – Jamaica claims tooffer more nude beaches than any other Caribbean island.
 JamaicaTourist Board 
    S   a   n    d   a    l   s    S   a   n    d   a    l   s
I
Canoeing
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Sailing a catamaran
I
Sunset over Jamaica
I
Romantic bridge
I
Diving off Jamaica
    S   u    p   e   r    C    l   u    b   s
 JamaicaTourist Boar

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