Jamaica Journals

Exploring Real Jamaica

An April 2006 trip to Jamaica by Moggymoll

Blue Cave Castle Photo, Negril, Jamaica More Photos
Quote: A budget road trip through Jamaica's Western half—from experiencing Negril to traveling the southern and interior roads, to Cockpit Country, and back.

Exploring Real Jamaica

Best Of IgoUgo

Overview

Quote:
We entered Jamaica with the goal of seeing everything from the dense tourist areas to densely forested cockpit country. We started and ended the trip in Negril (an easy taxi ride from Montego Bay). We lazed in the sun the first two days in Negril while waiting for an available rental from a local jeep rental company. Upon attaining our island cruiser, the local Toyota version of a jeep, we immediately set off down towards Black River with every intention of seeing Jamaican "alligators" on the Black River Safari. Unfortunately we were waylaid by some local hustlers at "roaring river" and later caught by a torrential downpour. After many surprises from the flooded road, we finally found refuge at t...Read More
Blue Cave Castle Photo, Negril, Jamaica
Quote:
Blue Cave Castle is a quirky, yet beautiful, castle-style hotel located on the cliffs of the west end of Negril. In high season, deluxe rooms are $75 per night. Each room is uniquely decorated with tile floors, large windows, refrigerators, fans, and radios. Almost all rooms have a view of the sea. For just $10 more you can have AC and a TV, but with a location on the cliffs next to the ocean an AC is not necessary. There are also two stair cases down to the ocean below where snorkeling is free and you can explore Blue Cave as well. Each morning there is complimentary Blue Mountain Coffee in the courtyard.

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on May 3, 2006

Blue Cave Castle
Lighthouse Road
Negril, Jamaica, West Indies
(876) 957-4845

Windsor Great House Photo, Jamaica, Caribbean
Quote:
Considering its location on the northern edge of cockpit country, the rooms were rather nice. The rooms were clean, and relatively insect free. There is a communal toilet, however each room has a cold-water shower. Although, I recommend bringing your own food. The room prices may be cheap, but the meals were not for what you get. Breakfast provided by Sugarbelly (the caretaker of the house) consisted of toast, cereal and coffee ($5/each), and lunch mashed potatoes with cabbage, calaloo, and eggs ($10 each) and super of turkey sausages, fries, and salad ($15 each). This was the least fancy but most expensive of all meals eaten on the entire trip. Otherwise, this is a great place to stay for those serio...Read More

Member Rating 2 out of 5 on May 3, 2006

Quote:
The Astra Country Inn is just a few blocks off the main road down Ward Avenue. The rooms all have cable TV and are basic hotel rooms, nothing special. What makes the Astra Inn special is the hotel staff. They are extremely friendly, helpful, and very willing to work with you in arranging local tours. They will even drive you to restaurants or reggae concerts if you do not feel confident in your navigatori skills. If you're feeling lazy, but still want to try local Jamaican cuisine, they've got an excellent Jamaican-style restaurant on speed dial that delivers. The hotel has a restaurant itself, but make sure to let the cook know ahead of time you are coming to breakfast, lunch, or dinner. The breakfa...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on May 3, 2006

Astra Country Inn
62 Ward Avenue
Kingston, Jamaica
(876) 962-3725

Time 'N' Place Photo, Falmouth, Jamaica
Quote:
Time 'n' Place is a slice of heaven. If you want relatively undeveloped beaches, no hustlers, and no worries, this is the place!This small resort offers four wooden Thai-style huts on the beach for very reasonable prices. High-season prices vary from $65-95 depending on A/C and TV preferences. Each hut has a fan, mosquito netting and full bathroom. You can dine at the Time 'n' Place bar and restaurant, and enjoy the vistas of undeveloped white sand beach and aquamarine waters. Also, it is not a far drive to Oyster Bay to see the glowing waters.The owner and staff take pride and great care of their resort and customers. All staff are extremely friendly and helpful.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 3, 2006

Time 'N' Place
Po Box 93
Falmouth
+876-843-3625

Sips and Bites

Restaurant

Quote:
This was our favorite restaurant for authentic Jamaican cuisine in Negril. The food was cheap, but extremely tasty and satisfying. The brown stew fish, conch, and curry lobster were all excellent examples of the delicious Jamaican cuisine. Every dish comes with salad, rice and peas. Each meal was filling, and a unique experience for our American palates. Breakfast is a must as well. The ackee and saltfish were a hearty way to start off the day. The ackee was fresh off a tree behind the restaurant, as was the soursap fruit.

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 3, 2006

Sips and Bites
West End Road
Negril, Jamaica

Roaring River

Attraction

Quote:
Roaring River is a rather beautiful little creek with miniature falls leading down to a small blue-green mineral pool. However, make sure not to let anyone on a motorbike guide you to the site, as it will lead to much hustling. They will lead you to a false "tour office" where you can buy tickets for $15 each. A guide will take you for a short walk down to the mineral pool and back up again all the while climbing over barbed wire fence. This so-called tour takes no more than 15-20 minutes and you have no more insight into the roaring river than you did when you began. The guide will then tell you that you owe him $40 (don't pay him of course!). This might have been enjoyable if we had known beforehand...Read More

Member Rating 1 out of 5 on May 3, 2006

Roaring River
Petersfield Community
Montego Bay, Jamaica

Glistening Waters

Best Of IgoUgo

Attraction

Quote:
I am a biologist by profession and have studied the ins and outs of bioluminescent organisms, but no amount of studying can prepare you for the experience at Oyster Bay.On our visit to Oyster Bay we were initially unimpressed with the vast dark waters (especially after paying $17); however, as our guide at Glistening Waters slowly glided along the shore, we were stunned to see little flashes of bright blue-green darting past the boat—fish. Suddenly our guide revved the motor producing a fiercely glowing wake.The micro-organism responsible for the glowing water is a type of dinoflagellate, specifically pryodinium bahamene. Apparently, the cool waters from the Martha Brae River meeting with the warmer C...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on May 7, 2006

Glistening Waters
Oyster Bay
Montego Bay, Jamaica