Jamaica is one of my favorite countries to visit and as much as I love tourist hot spots, I love exploring off the beaten path. My mom and I did a Western Caribbean cruise and rather than booking a tour suggested by the company, we decided to find a taxi and find the gems of Jamaica with a local. Stanley was our driver and quickly became our friend, bonding over our love of music and culture. Not only did Stanley take us to great spots, he also took us through neighborhoods to really experience the local life and every day struggles.
“The greatness of a man is not how much wealth he acquires, but in his integrity and ability to affect those around him positively.”
- Bob Marley
By no means am I the culinary expert of Jamaican cuisine but everything tastes better with jerk chicken, Jamaican patty, callaloo, yucca, festival, and coco bread! During my time there, I wasn’t focused on eating too much because I wanted to experience the beautiful city. If you’re a coffee lover, make sure to try their blend, Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee. Ya, mon!
Dunn’s River Falls: If you love climbing and waterfalls as much as I do, stop by this giant natural staircase! This place is considered to be a natural phenomenon since the sediments in the spring water continuously rebuild it. How cool! Plus, if you love history, this spot is where the Battle of Las Chorreras was held.
Mystic Mountain Rainforest Bobsled: As someone who is not a fan of rollercoasters, this was incredible and worth the up-close and personal experience through their rainforest. OR… just pretend that you’re in Cool Runnings or on the Jamaican Bobsled Team.
Oceans on the Ridge: The BEST views overlooking the city! Living in a postcard!
Fern Gully: If you love scenic routes, this is the place for you. Plus, you can find some interesting street vendors throughout.
Martha Brae River: Bamboo rafting is one of the coolest and serene experiences. There’s also an herb garden where you can learn about the medicinal and healing properties. While, it’s not in Ocho Rios, it’s definitely worth the trip!