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.
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 – “Ochi” as 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
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
Hanging aroundon a canopy tour
Image: JamaicaTourist Board
At yourservice – aSandals butler
A taste of Jamaica