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Best of Jamaica

8 Days FROM USD 2,025

Overview

Explore beautiful, colourful and vibrant Jamaica on this 8-day tour that takes you beyond the must-see highlights, to discover the rich culture and powerful musical beat of this fascinating Caribbean island. Surrounded by crystal-clear waters, the reef-lined white sandy beaches stretch endlessly along the island’s unspoiled rugged coastline, before rising up to rainforest-clad mountains from which cascading waterfalls tumble. Immerse yourself in the culture as you learn how to speak Jamaican patois and cook traditional Creole cuisine. Take a tour of an indigenous Rastafarian village, relax on Negril’s Seven Mile Beach, enjoy dinner with locals in Montego Bay and sway to the reggae beat as you sip on Jamaican rum. Jamaica is the birthplace of reggae and an island where music is life!   

Trip Code: JATSBOJ

Location: Jamaica

ITINERARY INSPIRATION

Welcome to Jamaica! Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6 pm. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place. If you arrive early, perhaps take a tour of Rose Hall, one of Jamaica’s most historic plantation homes, and learn about the legend of the 'White Witch of Rose Hall'.

Montego Bay

Everyone does a bad Jamaican impression, so today you'll receive a lesson on how to speak proper Jamaican patois (also known as 'patwa', 'patwah' and 'Jamaican Creole'), the language spoken in everyday conversation. Standard English is Jamaica's official language, but it's reserved for professional environments and situations. You can put your newly learned patois to use on an included tour of an indigenous Rastafarian village, where local musicians, farmers and artisans will help you understand the reverence for nature and humanity at the core of the Rastafari philosophy and lifestyle. Next you'll visit a variety of Montego Bay hotspots, including the Hip Strip, Charles Garden Market, Dome Street and Sam Sharpe Square. There will be free time in the afternoon before you head to dinner at a private home, where you'll enjoy a traditional meal and some conversation with the locals.

Montego Bay

Unsurprisingly, the flavours and spices found in Jamaican cuisine have been greatly influenced by the Spanish, British, Africans, Indian and Chinese who have inhabited the island. No matter where you are in the world, however, nothing recalls Jamaica like a plate of jerk chicken with rice, plantains, carrots and green beans. Today you'll learn some basics of Jamaican cooking before sampling what you've made for lunch, followed by a cultural experience with locals. In the afternoon you're free to explore on your own. Perhaps admire the view from the Richmond Hill Inn, a former 18th-century plantation house perched 150 metres above Montego Bay. At sunset, it's off to witness the natural phenomenon of bioluminescence at Glistening Waters Luminous Lagoon. Marvel at the eerie glow created by the millions of microscopic organisms that thrive due to the convergence of salt and fresh waters in the lagoon's shallow waters. Bioluminescence isn't an unusual occurrence, but this is one of the best places in the world to view it from the comfort of a boat. You also have the option to swim, so don't forget your swimsuit!

Montego Bay

Enjoy the trip to Kingston today (approximately 4 hours), stopping somewhere on the way for optional lunch. Instead of being located in the busy city centre of Kingston, you will be staying in a rustic hotel on the edge of the Blue Mountains. Make the most of this opportunity to relax in a hammock, indulge in an in-house massage, or hit the tiki bar. Alternatively, you can take a short hike along rugged terrain to a beautiful, refreshing waterfall. The hotel offers delicious, reasonably priced meals for dinner.

Kingston

After breakfast, drive to Spanish Town (approximately 1.5 hours), one of the oldest continuously occupied places in the Western Hemisphere. Today the historic centre contains the Caribbean’s most extensive, albeit decayed, assortment of Georgian architecture. You'll visit Spanish Town's Rodney's Memorial, Emancipation Square, Old Kings House and St Catherine Parish Church. Afterwards, head back to Kingston and pick a place for an optional lunch. Perhaps your leader can point out a place to try a Jamaican pattie which is a cheap fast food option. Take a stroll around some of the main streets of Kingston, but keep in mind it's not a particularly pedestrian friendly city! Later, stop in a Devon house which, built in 1881, was the residence of George Stiebel (Jamaica's first coloured millionaire) but is now famously known for the ice-cream shop situated in the middle of the lush gardens. Then it's on to Kingston's most visited site, the Bob Marley Museum. It's housed in the old colonial building where the reggae legend lived and recorded from 1975 until his death in 1981. After the two-hour guided tour, you're free to have dinner either in town or back at the hotel restaurant.

Kingston

Be ready for an early start to travel from Kingston by public bus to Jamaica's western tip, the laidback beach town of Negril. Once arrived, you'll head south in a taxi to the section of Negril originally settled by hippies in the 1960s and where cliffs as high as 15 metres lure daring divers. Watch them as you sip cocktails at Rick's Cafe while the sun dips into the Caribbean Sea.

Negril

After breakfast, take a dip at the incongruously labelled Seven Mile Beach (it's really four miles). Despite this curious detail, it's the finest stretch of sand in the land along with aquamarine waters and swaying palms. After checking out before midday, head inland (approximately 1 hour) to Mayfield falls. This eco-tourism attraction consists of two beautiful waterfalls, 21 natural pools, and swathes of lush plants and flowers all around. Take your time walking along the river, because the rocks can be slippery. Return to Montego Bay (approximately 1 hour) for your final night of reggae (or rest and relaxation).

Montego Bay

The trip ends after breakfast this morning.

Montego Bay
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Pricing & date

Best of Jamaica from USD 2,025
Selected Saturdays in 2019 & Selected Mondays in 2020 
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Important Information

  • - Meals: 7 breakfasts, 1 lunch

    - Transport: Local bus, Minivan, Taxi

    - Accommodation: Hotel (7 nights)

    - Activities:

    Montego Bay - Jamaican Patois speaking lesson
    Montego Bay - Rastafari village tour
    Montego Bay - Montego Bay visit including the Hip Strip, Charles Garden Market, Dome Street and Sam Sharpe Square
    Montego Bay - Dinner with locals
    Montego Bay - Jamaican cooking class
    Montego Bay - Glistening waters (Luminous Lagoon) boat ride
    Spanish Town - Heritage town tour
    Kingston - Orientation walk
    Kingston - Devon house
    Kingston - Bob Marley Museum
    Negril - Sunset at Rick's Cafe
    Negril - Seven Mile Beach visit
    Mayfield Falls - Waterfall Entrance

  • Available upon request

  • Contact us for more details

  • Season and availability

Accommodation

We believe that appropriate accommodation should add to the authentic travel experience, as well as providing utmost enjoyment. For that reason our accommodation is scrutinised by our staff on the ground frequently, ensuring the properties adhere to our high standards. This key will help you understand the levels of accommodation available on this tour.

SPEAK TO A SPECIALIST

Talk to one of our Destination Specialists to plan your South American adventure and turn your dream into a reality. With exceptional knowledge and first hand experience, our consultants will assist in every way possible to make your journey the most memorable it can be, matching not only the itinerary, but the accommodation and activities to suit your style of travel and budget.

Sustainability

Chimu Adventures undertakes a number of sustainability measures within its operations including:

1) Only using local guides and office staff to both maximise local employment opportunities and minimise carbon footprints. Local guides also ensure you benefit from the intimate knowledge, passion and culture of the country you’re visiting.

2) Where possible, using locally owned and operated boutique hotels to maximise the return to the local community.

3) Chimu’s “Pass it on” programme has provided funding to hundreds of local community projects in Latin America. Our aim is to empower local communities, helping them to develop their own infrastructure for the future. Since 2006, we have been working with Kiva (a well-known Non-Governmental Organisation), providing hundreds of loans to local businesses all over South America.

4) In our pre tour information we provide a range of tips and advice on how to minimise your impact on both local environments and communities.

5) Chimu Adventures’ offices also take a number of sustainability measures including carbon offsets for company vehicles and most staff travel. Chimu Adventure’s internal processes are also structures to create a paperless office and to reduce waste. There are also internal programmes to help staff minimise their carbon footprint such as our staff bike purchase assistance plan which encourages office staff to commute to work via bicycle. Currently almost half of our office based staff commute to work via bicycle.