JAMAICA. Areas such as Ocho Rios and Negril provide a beautiful and safe part of Jamaica attracting numerous of tourists from around the world. There are plenty of things available to do from swimming with the dolphins at Dolphin Cove, cycling down from the top of the Blue Mountain Peak or visiting the birthplace of one of the most famous reggae artists of all time,Bob Marley, in the mountains of Nine Mile. During my stay in Jamaica I discovered the most beautiful and note-worthy sites were the ones where you could be in touch with the natural surroundings and where you could be in a peaceful and quiet environment. The most memorable places were The Enchanted Gardens (currently known as The Turtle River Falls and Gardens), Reggae Beach and Rick’s Café.
1.The Enchanted Gardens(now known as the Turtle River Falls and Gardens)
Located in Saint Ann, Ocho Rios and as one of the less advertised attractions, the Enchanted Gardens are large and beautiful botanical gardens that had been previously owned by the former Prime Minister of Jamaica, Edward Seaga. A tour guide can be hired to show you the fascinating history behind the gardens as well as the history of many of Jamaica’s local commodities. The Enchanted Gardens are located on a natural river gorge with 14 waterfalls and many of these waterfalls can be found with a history behind each special name.
Various types of heliconias, ferns, hibiscus, orchids, bromeliads, fruit trees and lilies(some of which hold national symbolism of the history of Jamaica) are scattered throughout the gardens.
A Koi pond with a variety of Koi and a lily pond can be found and there is the chance to interact with the different type of birds available (including Scott the Scarlet Macaw).
Overall, the Enchanted Gardens provide a wonderful and interactive experience at a very reasonable price which will leave you feeling like it was worth the journey.
A hidden gem found midway between Ocho Rios and Oracabessa, Reggae Beach provides a relaxing and pleasant day in the Caribbean. A quiet beach with a number of bars, coconut stalls, massaging stations, shops and reggae music playing, Reggae Beach is ideal for a getaway with friends and family. The beach chairs are shaded by the many trees placed in front of the sea currents creating the ideal beach experience. This is recommended for visitors who wish to go to a much less crowded and peaceful beach.
Famous for its beautiful sunsets, Rick’s Cafe provides a enjoyable and memorable time . With different types of drinks and food available, Rick’s Cafe is ideal for a relaxing evening. An area also popular due to cliff divers, the opportunity to dive off the cliffs is available to visitors providing a thrilling and one of a kind experience. Music bands sometimes perform in front of the cafe and it is a perfect spot to gaze at the sunset amongst the beautiful scenery of the blue Caribbean sea and the scenic cliffs.
Whether you are looking to relax, explore or be constantly on the move, a visit to Jamaica will leave you with a memorable and truly one of a lifetime experience.