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Jamaica musts

Posted by iriebarto 
Jamaica musts
July 29, 2012 12:36PM
Just curious what stops you consider a must do..
Re: Jamaica musts
July 29, 2012 03:59PM
depends where you are... I don't recommend spending your whole trip driving the island from end to end... each parish has its own musts

Respect Same Way
Re: Jamaica musts
July 29, 2012 04:21PM
We are planning on 10 days.. From surfing the Web wed like to fly into Kingston and spend at least a day and a night... Other stops include ocho, port antonio, and negril...
Re: Jamaica musts
July 30, 2012 06:34AM
Port Antonio and points east of this town in Portland Parish are well worth the visit. When you go to Antonio, take the steep narrow road to the top of the summit where the old Bonnie View Hotel overlooks the town---I don't know if it's re-opened yet, but no matter: stunning view. Boston Bay & the other spots on the coast are eye candy and nice folks....

You renting a car?? Being mobile in JA is by far the way to go IMO. Yes yes there will be nervous Americans who will point out per capita deaths from driving in Jamaica are the highest in the world, but hey: just drive slowly(you want to do that anyway, between wanting to see all you can----as well as handling road conditions), and you'll be glad you are in charge of your transportation, as you marvel at how many people are sitting in that mini-van that just wooshed past you.

AS FAR AS INSURANCE: Credit cards usually extend you free coverage on cars rented, BUT there's only one credit card that will do so in JA---a Mastercard World Card. Otherwise, you'll be required to purchase coverage at around 15-18 dollars a day. If you could qualify for one and take possession of it before going, it'd be worth it.

If you don't decide to go with a rental, riding the bus system will be a memorable way to get around...between school kids, higglers, old and young adults, and everyone else, it may not be the most comfortable ride of you life, but it's a great way to get an immediate introduction to everyday life on the island.

Smile, grin, and feel free to fall back on the old 'hey, I'm just a tourist, how's it going?' line---after all, it's the truth! IF you must interact with the police, that's always the way to go. Smile blandly and look all innocent, as if the last thing in the world you just did was walk out of that sound system session with a headful of the local ganja.

Finally, try not to speak in Jamaican patois(again, my opinion): 99% of Americans doing so sound f'king lame. Be yo'self and enjoy the sensory over-load that will be going on non-stop. Boss, I sure love Jamaica....



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/30/2012 06:36AM by papa ray.
Re: Jamaica musts
July 30, 2012 07:08AM
Belmont. Pay your respects to the Bush Doctor, and if you like Hummingbirds...Rockland Bird Sanctuary in Rockland. To have a Dr. Bird perch on your hand as it drinks sugar water- was worth the bumpy trip.

DJ Big Jim

Ridgetop Ranking Reggae Radio show
Friday Nights 7-10pm PST
KMEC 105.1fm Ukiah, CA
[www.kmecradio.org]
SNWMF 1997, 1999-2005,2009-2014 (14 years attending)
Re: Jamaica musts
July 30, 2012 07:27AM
Like the man say---visit Belmont on the South Road, in Westmoreland Parish, 10 miles or so east of Sav La Mar. A nice quiet corner, where Mr. Tosh's crypt will be found. I stay there a few days when I can---there's a guest house right on the water with rooms going for 50 US, and sweet runnins in this fishing village can be found....and nothing 'fussy'.
Re: Jamaica musts
July 30, 2012 08:47AM
Thank u both very much.. Our trip is less than a year away.. Oh I had another question, is there a time of year not to go?? Hurricanes or just stormy weather?? I getting stoked even tho I got the better part of a year still.. Hopefully we come back lol..
Re: Jamaica musts
July 30, 2012 08:54AM
When I travel my preference is to stay in one or two areas and do day trips. For a ten day trip to JA i would recommend staying in the east for 5 days and the west for 5 days and just do day trips from there. You will meet more people and see "more" of JA by staying in 2 places then 4 in 10 days imo. Winter is my favorite time, cool and dry(est).
Re: Jamaica musts
July 30, 2012 08:58AM
If you like out of the way places on a budget away from the tourist beaches that are plagued by hustlers then i would recommend in the east ,Nix Nax in Oracebessa (outside Ochi) and in the west, Half Moon Beach outside of Negril.

Both of these places provide an integrated experience that is somewhat removed from the standard tourist fare but just a quick cab ride away from attractions.
Re: Jamaica musts
July 30, 2012 09:28AM
Give thanks!! Lots of great info... I wish I was packing up and leaving now
Re: Jamaica musts
July 30, 2012 09:52AM
One must, link Dr. Suess aka Ras James in Kingston.

Portland is a must-check, the most beautiful place in JA. Know a great place in Long Road that's very affordable and ran by some of the nicest people you'll meet in JA. Actually just spent the weekend out there, a nice break from town.

I'd also agree with pretty much everything Papa Ray said
Re: Jamaica musts
July 30, 2012 10:05AM
Word.. Linkin up with the boss is up there on the iten mos def... Looking forward to some ital cooking, as well as some authentic jerk chicken... Id also like to sit in and observe a nyabinghi session if possible..
Re: Jamaica musts
July 31, 2012 10:51AM
second the notion of going to Belmont....if you are driving honestly be safe, they drive like MAAAAD Men (and women)
Re: Jamaica musts
August 01, 2012 01:01PM
Quote
Ninja
second the notion of going to Belmont....if you are driving honestly be safe, they drive like MAAAAD Men (and women)

As I've noted before, the similarity to driving in JA & some of the video games played by the youths reminds me:

When WILL there be a game where you are behind the seat of a rental car, driving Jamaica??

Grand Prize at the end (having avoided dump trucks, blind curves with a large bus bearing down on you, steep unpaved roads and police roadblocks) could be a beaming and welcoming Bunny Wailer, bidding you to enter his compound for a music session & a peak inside the large room where his herbs are kept...
Re: Jamaica musts
August 01, 2012 01:10PM
Im not much for video games but that sounds like fun! Haha
Re: Jamaica musts
August 01, 2012 01:31PM
Let dem eat cake...





Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/01/2012 01:44PM by O Mon.
Re: Jamaica musts
August 01, 2012 06:04PM
Quote
papa ray
Quote
Ninja
second the notion of going to Belmont....if you are driving honestly be safe, they drive like MAAAAD Men (and women)

As I've noted before, the similarity to driving in JA & some of the video games played by the youths reminds me:

When WILL there be a game where you are behind the seat of a rental car, driving Jamaica??

Grand Prize at the end (having avoided dump trucks, blind curves with a large bus bearing down on you, steep unpaved roads and police roadblocks) could be a beaming and welcoming Bunny Wailer, bidding you to enter his compound for a music session & a peak inside the large room where his herbs are kept...

Sold
jps
Re: Jamaica musts
January 01, 2014 06:05AM
I know this thread is a little old, but we are planning on heading to JA in a few months.

If there are any more suggestions that anyone could provide that would be great. I think we want to maybe fly into Kingston and stay a night or two and then maybe on to Port Antonio and then Ochi, but nothing is definite yet. Would love to be able to catch some live music somewhere, doesn't need to be a stage show or anything.

Ras James, I sent you a pm with a few questions.

iriebarto, how did the trip turn out?
Re: Jamaica musts
January 01, 2014 09:18AM
Quote
jps

If there are any more suggestions that anyone could provide that would be great. I think we want to maybe fly into Kingston and stay a night or two and then maybe on to Port Antonio and then Ochi, but nothing is definite yet. Would love to be able to catch some live music somewhere, doesn't need to be a stage show or anything.

/quote]

You know, it would be helpful if you provided a little more background info on who is traveling, what travel experience you have in places like Jamaica and a little more on what you want to do other then catch some music.

My wife and I are planning a trip to Jamaica in a few months. We've been to Jamaica well over a dozen times and have seen much of the island.

Based on experience, we are nervous Americans who aren't comfortable traveling on the roads so we currently try and minimize that.

We like festive atmospheres, white sand beaches, live or DJ music, and we like the food. We participated in carnival in Jamaica for over ten years which takes place primarily in Kingston the week after Easter.

This time we will probably just take it easy and go hang out in Negril for a week or so. My wife loves Negril and the laid-back vibe. We havent been back to Ja since 2009 and a trip is well past due.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/01/2014 09:19AM by Rhythmwize.
AJ
Re: Jamaica musts
January 01, 2014 11:47AM
Reach Falls south of Port Antonio was great in Dec. of 1987. I'm sure it has been built up with food/souvenirs vendors and maybe even tourist buses by now. I always wanted to go back to Reach Falls...maybe someday. Also Port Antonio is worth checking out.
In the Blue Mountains outside of Kingston, Jack's Hill had some nice places to stay.
Hibiscus Lodge in Ocho Rios is good, also has a good restaurant ~ "The Almond Tree".
We have been able to catch live music and sound systems in all 3 locations.

I've always enjoyed Mandeville ~ laid back town. The "Mandeville Hotel" worked just fine.

Irie travels.................

edit ~
"Sips & Bites" West End Negril (on the cliffs) is a great restaurant for local food at fair prices. Closed on Friday afternoons & evening and all day Saturday.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/01/2014 12:09PM by AJ.
Re: Jamaica musts
January 01, 2014 11:54AM
Spent a week In port Antonio and the outskirts.. That side is what you think of when you think of jamaicas beautiful lush green island.. But I made more friends in Belmont.. Jah I can't wait to return
Re: Jamaica musts
January 01, 2014 01:11PM
JPS, please PM me at this name. no longer using the old one. Happy to answer any questions though.
jps
Re: Jamaica musts
January 02, 2014 01:33PM
Rhtythmwize, you're right, I threw that up there real quick the other day and didn't really mention much.

It will be just me and my wife and we are hoping to do 10 days if possible. We were in JA a little while back, but did the resort thing, which I would not do again. We were in Ochi and we did leave during the day quite a bit, but I wouldn't stay at a resort again for many reasons.

We have gone to the VI the last few years, but wanted to head back to JA again.

We don't need to stay anywhere fancy, but don't wan to rough it too much. We definitely want to spend a decent amount of time at the beach and find a more laid back vibe away from some of the hustle and busy areas. We love eating at the small local spots, so any suggestions on spots to eat. Just enjoy taking in the culture in general.

We would most likely not get a car as well. And regarding music, don't need a big stage show or anything. Would like to catch a soundsystem or just a chill spot to take in the music.

@ AJ, thanks for the recommendations. I had actually come across the Hibiscus Lodge before you mentioned it and it looks nice.

@iriebarto, glad you had a good trip. Any recommendations on things to do in Port Antonio? Spots to eat etc.

I sent you a PM Dr Suess. Thanks
Re: Jamaica musts
January 02, 2014 01:49PM
Just replied to your pm... Hope it was of some help
Re: Jamaica musts
January 02, 2014 05:34PM
Quote
jps
We don't need to stay anywhere fancy, but don't wan to rough it too much. We definitely want to spend a decent amount of time at the beach and find a more laid back vibe away from some of the hustle and busy areas. We love eating at the small local spots, so any suggestions on spots to eat. Just enjoy taking in the culture in general.

We would most likely not get a car as well. And regarding music, don't need a big stage show or anything. Would like to catch a soundsystem or just a chill spot to take in the music.

@ AJ, thanks for the recommendations. I had actually come across the Hibiscus Lodge before you mentioned it and it looks nice.

I think you should consider Negril...Even though its a small tourist town, it does meet some of your requirements which I noted above in bold.

Of course, no place is really ideal for most, you kinda have to take the good with the bad, so to speak.

The biggest problem for most in Negril is the beach hustlers...Now many people find it quite annoying and a major distraction. Others like my wife and I just go with the flow and some people even find the vendors entertaining. I think you will find that if your there for more then a few days and don't buy anything most vendors will eventually leave you alone as they will know you will be a waste of their time.

We always stay at the Kuyaba when in Negril. Check the reviews on Tripadvisor. Great location close to musical action and town. Great place to eat although a little pricey so we usually dont eat there always but I would like too. They have stage shows nearby with the likes of Yellowman, John Holt, etc. about once a week. The rates are great, around $80 to $100 plus tax, get a upstairs deluxe, not the rustic cabins.

Negril has a long white sand beach, one of the best in the Caribbean. Beach bars and small eateries are everywhere. Nightly there is a local reggae band playing somewhere on the beach within walking distance of the Kuyaba.

Negril is easy to get too from Montego Bay. A little over an hour drive on a new highway. Cost for transport one way is about $50 to $80 for two.

I usually use Clives for my transport...shared ride is all you need, many times nobody else is with you.

[clivestransportservicejamaica.com]

Port Antonio area is great but its really costly to get there...e.g., $280 for a taxi one way for 1-4 people.

Stayed at the Hibiscus Lodge in Ochi about ten times. Kinda costly for our budget at $162 a night, but that includes all taxes and a fantastic full breakfast for two on a veranda overlooking the ocean and reef. There are two rooms there that are well worth that money though, that would be room #14 and #15. More on this Hibiscus if anyone is interested.

Here's a pic of the Kuyaba...we are thinking about going during spring break(March) just for a little more action then normal...LOL

Dinner and breakfast served right on that deck overlooking the beach. More on Negril if interested.

Re: Jamaica musts
January 02, 2014 06:54PM
Yeah he's right on the taxi ride being spendy!! If you decide to stay on negril side then check this link.. Bigga and his family are extremely warm and welcoming.. And you Will make tons of friends in Belmont.. Great people!! Say hi to stumpi for us if you make it.. Iam sure you'll meet that cat.. "Cool natural vibes stumpi".. He would basically walk us around and keep us safe from the dangerous nighttime roads and every night walked us to our gate!! Awesome karaoke bar right down the road with the best jerk chicken barrel outside its gates.. Love Belmont and will return!!

[shadescottage.com]

Can't beat 35$ a night and his wife will cook the best meals of your trip of you just ask!! Cheap and amazing .. Do not miss the meals



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/02/2014 06:56PM by iriebarto.
Re: Jamaica musts
January 02, 2014 11:51PM
Quote
iriebarto
Spent a week In port Antonio and the outskirts.. That side is what you think of when you think of jamaicas beautiful lush green island.. But I made more friends in Belmont.. Jah I can't wait to return

Belmont IS a sweet spot fo' sure. Nice folks nice runnings, NICE. Glad you made it there and saw for yourself. Such a sweet vibe in the evening time.
AJ
Re: Jamaica musts
January 12, 2014 08:58AM
Quote
Rhythmwize

Stayed at the Hibiscus Lodge in Ochi about ten times. Kinda costly for our budget at $162 a night, but that includes all taxes and a fantastic full breakfast for two on a veranda overlooking the ocean and reef. There are two rooms there that are well worth that money though, that would be room #14 and #15. More on this Hibiscus if anyone is interested.

$162 a night at the Hibiscus..........wow their prices sure have gone up since Dec. 2004. We paid about $80 that included breakfast & taxes.
Still a nice small hotel/lodge in Ochi.
I remember they had what they called a "discoteche" called "The Cave" at the south/west end of the property. It was fun for a few drinks and some tunes.
The swinging bar chairs at the restaurant were also fun after a few Stripes.
Love the singing from the church on the west side every few days/nights.
Local shop/restaurant across the road was good for a change of pace and a cheap meal.
The beach on the property was a concrete platform with sand on it. Kind of funny, but it was just fine.
So....a great place to stay, but IMO the price is a little bit too high. But in Ochi you might be hard pressed to find a better deal for this kind of a hotel.
jps
Re: Jamaica musts
January 12, 2014 04:04PM
I just wanted to thank everyone for their help and input on this.
Re: Jamaica musts
January 12, 2014 07:31PM
Hope you have a great time.. Stay irie and you can't go wrong
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