A Sojourn Through Jamaica: Kingston to Negril
Bob Marley Museum
Craft Market & Dunn's River Fall
Luxury Resort, Montego Bay
Seven Mile Beach & Rick's Cafe
Jamaica, with its tropical climate, warm people, and rich cultural history, is a destination that offers more than the usual sun, sand, and sea. From the bustling city of Kingston, through the picturesque Ocho Rios and Montego Bay, to the peaceful shores of Negril, let's embark on a journey that promises to be a sensory delight.
Kingston: The Heartbeat of Jamaica
Our journey begins in Kingston, the capital city of Jamaica, known for its vibrant music scene and cultural landmarks. As I traveled from the airport to the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel, so much can be seen. Ocean to my right as far as I can see, and the mountains to my left. Although I am a beach girl, I certainly can appreciate the beauty and majestic sights of the mountains. The city is a blend of urban life and colonial architecture. The Bob Marley Museum, Hope Gardens, and the astounding views from Blue Mountain peak are all must-see sights.
Don't miss the Coronation Market, often referred to as the "belly of Kingston", where locals sell a potpourri of fresh fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices. You can also try the local delicacy "patties" from Tastee Patties or Juicy Patties, a fast-food chain prominent throughout the city. One of the simplest and flavorful food you will taste on the island.
As we leave Kingston behind, winding roads take us through small towns and hamlets, each with its own unique flavor. Faith’s Pen, a famous roadside food stop, is a must-visit. It's a collection of food stalls offering a variety of Jamaican eats - think jerk chicken, roast fish, and festival (a sweet fried dough). The aroma of the food, the chatter of the locals, and the overall vibe are unforgettable.
Ocho Rios: The Nature Lover's Paradise
Next, we arrive in Ocho Rios, a port town with a stunning coastline and lush landscapes. The city is home to the famed Dunn's River Falls, a terraced cascade that you can climb, and the Mystic Mountain Rainforest Adventures, offering zip-lining and bobsledding.
The Ocho Rios Craft Market is a delight for anyone looking for artisanal souvenirs. The stalls are filled with handcrafted jewelry, carvings, and the famous Blue Mountain Coffee. The vendors can be enthusiastic, but that's part of the charm!
Montego Bay: The Complete Resort Experience
Further west, we reach Montego Bay, or MoBay, as the locals call it. The city is known for its luxury resorts, golf courses, and the vibrant Hip Strip. Doctor's Cave Beach and Rose Hall Great House, a restored plantation house, are must-visits.
Stop by the local shops in MoBay for unique finds, such as Island Strains Herb House for local cannabis products or the Harbour Street Craft Market for handmade crafts. For food, the Pork Pit is a popular locale for jerk dishes.
Negril: The Ultimate Chill
Our road trip ends in Negril, famous for its Seven Mile Beach, one of the finest in the world, and the stunning sunsets at Rick's Café. This place is a haven for those looking for a laid-back atmosphere.
If you are even a bit familiar with Negril, one of the more local places to visit is Margaritaville. I decided to spend the afternoon on a private cabana beachside. I was only steps from the lively Tiki Beach Bar where the Margaritas were refreshing and flowed uninterrupted.
In Negril, you'll find local shops selling everything from handmade crafts to Rasta-themed souvenirs. Look out for roadside food stands selling freshly caught and cooked seafood.