Monday, May 21, 2007

Annual Events in Jamaica

Be sure to look out for these events that are held in Jamaica each year:

1. Reggae Sumfest

2. Air Jamaica Jazz & Blues Festival

3. Jamaica Carnival

4. Rebel Salute

See You in Jamaica

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Jamaica is Perfect for Photo & Video Shoots

Some of the best super models, photographers, and videographers made the capture that brought them to prominence in Jamaica. Have your next photo and video shoot in Jamaica...

Photo Shoot Photo Gallery

See you in Jamaica

Friday, May 11, 2007

Top 10 Must-See Spots in Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Ocho Rios, St. Ann, Jamaica, has the most attractions in the western Caribbean, as well as some equally enticing night spots. Ocho Rios is now a choice getaway spot for vacationers.

Here are the top 10 must-see spots in Ocho Rios

10. Ocean 11

Owned by businessman Manley Bowen, this ocean-front property, comprising bar, restaurant and coffee museum, is a must-see. Ideally located beside the Urban Development Corporation pier, Ocean 11 is a favourite for cruise passengers and hotel visitors. And now that it boasts Latin night on Thursdays and its signature event, karaoke night on Tuesdays, Ocean 11 is a major part of the town's tourism offerings.

9. White River Valley

Surrounded by lush green vegetation and an ambience to die for, White River Valley is your ideal getaway spot, especially for couples yearning for some quality time. If you are all about picnics, river tubing and horseback riding, then look no further.

8. Fisherman's Beach

Fisherman's Beach is Ocho Rios' version of Helshire Beach in St. Catherine or Little Ochi in St. Elizabeth. Bluntly put, no other place in Ocho Rios offers quality authentic Jamaican seafood.

Whether you are a lobster, crab, fish, conch or sea-cat lover, Fisherman's Beach is definitely the place to go. Nestled neatly between the Island Village Shopping Centre and the Reynolds' Pier, it has come a long way in its aesthetic appeal to visitors.

7. John Crows

If you are into enjoying your meal at a streetside café while listening to a steady flow of local music then this is definitely the place to be. Clean, exciting and blessed with a top class atmosphere, John Crows is now a major hot spot. Like Fisherman's Beach, it is one of those 'new kids on the block' that should be around for a very long time.

6. Ruins at the Falls

Now here is a quality place that is hard to ignore. When you talk about location, ambience and natural beauty, it's not difficult to see why this establishment is considered one of the best that Ocho Rios has to offer. It continues to be the first choice reception spot for newlyweds.

5. Prospect Plantation

Wherever you find camels, ostriches, horses and enough wild life to make you believe you are somewhere in the tropics, then that has to be a must-see. No, it's not east Asia or Africa; it's Prospect Plantation in Ocho Rios, where nature in all its splendour awaits. While this place has not done much by way of local advertising, visitors will be pleasantly surprised at how wonderful a tour of this property can be. It is fun, it is exciting and an experience that visitors will not soon forget.

4. Dunn's River Falls

Still one of the most popular attractions in the Caribbean, Dunn's River Falls is a favourite for locals and tourists.

3. Margaritaville

The real happening spot in Ocho Rios is Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville. Owned by two of the brightest business minds in the country, Brian Jardim and Ian Dear, there is no doubt as to the establishment that commands the bulk of the nightlife in Ocho Rios. Always very innovative, Jardim and Dear have created a top class signature attraction that has served the resort town very well.

2. Hard Rock Café

While the jury is still out on this new establishment, it should be able to outclass its competitors in terms of quality and international appeal. I suspect the best is yet to come from this internationally renowned restaurant and bar and if anything, it has raised the bar in terms of quality attractions. If you haven't been to Hard Rock Café yet, then hurry, it's worth going miles to see.

1. Dolphin Cove

This is without a doubt the number one attraction in Ocho Rios today. And with the new expansion on the verge of being completed, it's difficult to see how anyone can compete with Dolphin Cove.

Other Places to See:

Spring Gardens Seafood Bar and Grill, Bi Bi Bips, Evita's, Mama Marley's, Jerkin at Taj, and Coconuts.

Written by Garwin Davis, of the Gleaner (Jamaica)

See you in Jamaica

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Maps of Jamaica

Here are a few maps of Jamaica:






See you in Jamaica

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Jamaican Attraction: The White Witch of Rose Hall's House (Montego Bay)

The White Witch, Annie Palmer, is a character in Jamaican folklore. According to legend, she was a beautiful but spoiled young white woman who arrived on the island as the wife of the owner of Rose Hall Plantation, east of Montego Bay. Annie's husband, and several husbands afterwards, all died suspiciously. Annie became known as a mistress of voodoo, using it to terrorize her slaves, while she took male slaves into her bed at night and subsequently murdered them. The legend has her dying during the slave uprisings of the 1830s.

While there is little evidence that Annie Palmer actually existed, the house is real (seen above), and has been restored as a tourist site.

Be sure to visit this great house.

See You in Jamaica.

Surfing in Jamaica

Did you know that there is surfing in Jamaica? Yup! here are some pictures evidencing it. these pix are from Portland, which is in the eastern section of Jamaica.

Surfing in Jamaica Photo Gallery

See you in Jamaica.

Beaches of Jamaica

The beaches in Jamaica are plain awesome. Seeing is believing.

The Beaches of Jamaica Photo Gallery

See You in Jamaica.

Spring Break Jamaica

More and more Jamaica is becoming the place to be for spring break. Don't be left out. Make sure you are in....

Spring Break Photo Gallery

See you in Jamaica.

Jamaican Attraction: Dolphin Cove

Situated near Dunn's River Falls, within walking distance, Dolphin Cove is a marine attraction that you will not want to miss and one that you will never forget. There is a lot to do at Dolphin Cove, but the highlight of your visit will certainly be the interaction with the bottlenose dolphins, be it an encounter or an actual swim with one of these wonderful animals.

Dolphin Cove Photo Gallery

See you at Dolphin Cove.

Jamaican Attraction: Doctor's Cave Beach Club

Doctor's Cave Beach Club, Montego Bay (also known as Doctor's Cave Bathing Club) has been one of the most famous beaches in Jamaica for nearly a century.

It is noted for its crystal clear turquoise waters and near white sand. Its sheltered location provides calm waters encouraging even the most diffident swimmers to practise safely.

Dr. Alexander James McCatty had founded a sanatorum in Montego Bay in 1880. He allowed his friends including several doctors to bathe at his small beach which was entered through a cave. In 1906 he donated the property to the community and the private members club was formed, which continues to this day.

In the 1920's, Sir Herbert Barker, an English osteopath, visited the beach and was impressed by the curative powers of the waters. He wrote an article which helped the beach become well known and gradually hotels were built nearby so that tourists could enjoy the beach.

To mark the centenary of the club a 15 foot tall bronze statue, Balance, by Basil Watson was unveiled on 18 November 2006. It features a woman being balanced above a man with their arms at full stretch.

The beach has a broad swath of very clean, near white sand some 200m long. It is fringed by trees, and has numerous facilities: bar, restaurant, well appointed changing rooms & showers. For members there are several club rooms.

As well as for members, the beach is open to the public (entry J$350). Chairs and umbrellas are available (J$300 each). The beach can get crowded in season, but out of season its peace is only disturbed by the chant of holdidaymakers undergoing organised games in the adjacent Breezes Hotel property some 200m away.

The beach is part of the protected Montego Bay Marine Park which has many species to be seen on coral reefs which can be viewed by snorkellers, probably using local boats to access the best locations.

See you at Doctor's Cave Beach

Jamaican Attraction: Dunn's River Falls

Dunn's River Falls is a famous waterfall near Ocho Rios, Jamaica and a major Caribbean tourist attraction. The falls empty into the Caribbean Sea. It is one of the very few rivers in the world that actually fall directly into the sea.

The falls can be walked up with relative ease on the side closest to the board walk. This is often done by groups who form a human chain as they walk up the falls. These chains can be rather annoying as the attendants are more interested in getting their party up the falls, so if you are not in one of the chains, manuvering up the falls is troublesome. More adventurous climbers can attempt to scale the falls away from the edge, but this requires a greater degree of endurance. Be aware that this route is much harder and if you fall, a serious injury could occur. Several small lagoons exist interspersed between the vertical sections of the falls.

Special shoes can be rented, but are not required, to climb the falls. The staff at the falls, including the guides who take groups up the falls, will take photos of visitors posing on the falls with the visitor's own cameras.

There is a private beach, which is included in the admission price.

Parts of the James Bond movie Dr. No were filmed here. Most notably, the scene where Ursula Andress walks onto the beach.

Dunn's River Fall's Photo Gallery

See you at Dunn's River Falls

Jamaican Vacation Spot: Ocho Rios

Ocho Rios is a town on the northern coast of Jamaica, located in the parish of Saint Ann. It is a popular tourist destination, well known for scuba diving and other water sports.

Ocho Rios was once a sleepy fishing village until it was discovered. Ocho Rios is a favored destination of many famous beachcombers such as disco diva Donna Summer, and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones. Mark Hamilton was once quoted as saying "The moon resides in Ocho Rios". It is now second only to Montego Bay in importance to the tourism industry in Jamaica.

It is a popular destination for cruise ships.

Ocho Rios is also known as the home of Dunn's River Falls. This is a popular attraction that is visited by thousands of visitors each year. Dunn's River Falls cascades down approximately 600 feet into the sea. Fed by springs located in the hills above, visitors take pleasure in 'climbing' the falls as the water rushes around them.

Several of the best resorts in Jamaica are located near Ocho Rios, including the all-inclusive Sans Souci Couples Resort & Spa and the Sandals Grand Ocho Rios, the newly built RIU Ocho Rios, the refurbished Shaw Park Beach Hotel & Spa, the Jamaica Inn, Royal Plantation and The Blue House Luxury Bed and Breakfast Inn. Ocho Rios has gained substantially in popularity among vacationers in recent years as the north coast highway has been improved from the international airport at Montego Bay to Ocho Rios -- a ninety minute drive. The city is also considered one of the safest areas for tourists in Jamaica.

There are a number of good restaurants, a lively night club scene at Margaritaville as well as the nation's two most popular attractions in Jamaica -- Dunn's River Falls (described above) and Dolphin Cove, where visitors are able to swim and interact with dolphins.

The resort was featured in the 10cc track "From Rochdale to Ocho Rios".

Ocho Rios Photo Gallery

See you in Ocho Rios

Jamaican Vacation Spot: Montego Bay

Montego Bay is a city in Jamaica that contains Jamaica's largest airport, the Sir Donald Sangster International Airport.

Montego Bay is known for its duty free shopping and cruise line terminal at its Free Port on a beautiful peninsula jutting into the bay. Its sheltered Doctor's Cave Beach with clear turquoise waters is one of the most famous beaches on the island. The bay is surrounded by picturesque low mountains.

Montego Bay is fourth in population to Kingston, Portmore and Spanish Town with about 120,000 people and lies in the Parish of St. James on the northwest coast of the island. Air Jamaica and several American and British airlines run their Caribbean hub in "MoBay" (Sangster International Airport) connecting the island with the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany, and recently Canada with flights to Toronto and Edmonton. The southern U.S. cities of Houston, Atlanta, Tampa, and Miami are reached by nonstop flights in less than three hours. Other locations like New York City, Boston, and Chicago are reached in under four hours.

The name "Montego Bay" is believed to have originated as a corruption of the Spanish word manteca ("lard"), allegedly because during the Spanish period it was the port where lard, leather, and beef were exported. Jamaica was a colony of Spain from 1511 until 1655 when Oliver Cromwell's Caribbean expedition, the Western Design, drove the Spanish from the island. Christopher Columbus, when he first visited the island in 1494, named the bay Golfo de Buen Tiempo ('Fair Weather Gulf').

During the epoch of slavery, from the mid-17th century until 1834, and well into the 20th century, the town functioned primarily as a sugar port. The island's last major slave revolt, the Christmas Rebellion or Baptist War (1831–1832) took place in the area around Montego Bay; the leader of the revolt, Samuel Sharpe, was hanged there in 1832. In 1975, Sharpe was proclaimed a national hero of Jamaica, and the main square of the town was renamed in his honour.

In 1980, Montego Bay was proclaimed a city by act of parliament, but this has not meant that it has acquired any form of autonomy as it continues to be an integral part of St. James parish.

Today, the city is known for its large regional hospital (Cornwall Regional Hospital), port facilities, second homes for numerous upper class Jamaicans from Kingston as well as Americans and Europeans, fine restaurants, and shopping opportunities. The coastland near Montego Bay is occupied by numerous tourist resorts, some newly built, some occupying the grounds of old sugar cane plantations with some of the original buildings and mill-works still standing. The most famous of these are the White Witch's Rose Hall and Tryall, both of which now feature world-class golf courses.

The city was the subject of the namesake song by Bobby Bloom in 1970, later covered by Jon Stevens ten years later, and was revived by Amazulu to became a minor hit in the U.S. in September 1986.

Montego Bay Photo Gallery

See You in Montego Bay

Jamaican Vacation Spot: Negril

Negril is a large beach resort located across parts of two Jamaican parishes, Westmoreland and Hanover. Westmoreland is the westernmost parish in Jamaica, located on the south side of the island. Downtown Negril, the West End cliff resorts to the south of downtown, and the southern portion of the seven mile beach are in Westmoreland. The northernmost resorts on the beach are actually located in Hanover. Both parishes are part of the county of Cornwall. The nearest large town and capital of Westmoreland is Savanna-la-Mar.


The name "Negril" is a shortened version of "Negrillo," as it was originally named by the Spanish in 1494. The name is thought to be a reference to the black cliffs south of the village. Although Negril has a long history, it did not become well known until the second half of the twentieth century. Negril's development as a resort location began during the late 1950s, though access to the area proved difficult as ferries were required to drop off passengers in Negril Bay, forcing them to wade to shore. Most vacationers would rent rooms inside the homes of Jamaican families, or would pitch tents in their yards. The area's welcoming and hospitable reputation grew over time and the first of many resorts were constructed in the mid to late 1960s.

When the road between Montego Bay and Negril was improved in the early 1970s, it helped to increase Negril's status as a new resort location. It was a two-lane paved road that ran approximately 100 yards inland from two white coral sand beaches, at the southern end of which was a small village. The long paved road from the village ran north to Green Island, home to many of the Jamaican workers in Negril.

After Negril's infrastructure was expanded, in anticipation of the growth of resorts and an expanding population, a small airport was built near Rutland Point, alongside several small hotels mostly catering to the North American winter tourists. Europeans also came to Negril, and several hotels were built in order to cater directly to those guests.

Geography and Ecology

The geography of Jamaica is quite diverse. The western coastline contains the island's finest beaches, stretching for more than six kilometers along a sandbar at Negril. It is known as the "7-Mile Beach" although it is only slightly more than 4 miles in length, from the Negril River on the south to Rutland Point on the north.

On the inland side of Negril's main road, to the east of the shore, lies a swamp called the Great Morass, through which runs the Negril River, amidst which is the Royal Palm Reserve, with wetlands that are protected since they are responsible for the growth of coral in the region, which upon death, begin to decay, helping to form coral sand along the beachfront.

In 1990, the Negril Coral Reef Preservation Society (NCRPS) was formed as a non-profit, non-governmental organization to address ongoing degradation of the coral reef ecosystem. The Negril Marine Park was officially declared on March 4, 1998 covering a total area of approximately 160 square kilometers and extending from the Davis Cove River in the Parish of Hanover to St. John’s Point in Westmoreland. The Government of Jamaica delegated the NCRPS to manage the Negril Marine Park in 2002.

Negril Today

For years, Negril's has been rated as one of the top ten beaches in the world by many travel magazines. The north end of the beach is home to the large, all-inclusive resorts, and to the south are the smaller, family-run hotels. This combination gives the Negril area a large variety of rooms, services and prices. South of downtown Negril is West End Road, known as the cliff area, which is lined with resorts that offer more privacy. These areas offer easy access to waters good for snorkeling and diving, with jumping points reaching more than 40 feet high. Rick's Cafe is a great place to watch the cliff jumpers or become a cliff jumper yourself. Rick's is considered one of the 1,000 places to go before you die.

That Negril is still fairly underdeveloped remains a significant factor in its undoubted charm. This may not last, as a new highway from Montego Bay and an improved infrastructure may bring more tourists. In recent years it has also shown signs of becoming a popular location for U.S. college students to visit during spring break.

The last few years have seen major development along the famed "Seven Mile Beach." The resorts include Couples, Sandals, Beaches, Grand Lido and Hedonism II. A branch of Jimmy Buffett's chain restaurant and bar, Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville, and a duty free zone have also been added.

Negril Photo Gallery

See You in Negril

Fly Air Jamaica

Air Jamaica is our national airline.

Air Jamaica was established in October 1968 and started operations on 1 April 1969, when it connected Kingston and Montego Bay, with New York and Miami. At that time the Jamaican government owned a substantial part of the airline, with Air Canada owning a minor share and providing technical, maintenance and logistical help.

During the 1970s, Air Jamaica saw a huge expansion. Flights were added to Toronto and Montreal in Canada, to Luis Muñoz Marín International Airport in Puerto Rico, to Philadelphia and many other destinations, especially across the Caribbean. Long-haul services to Europe were started on 1 April 1974. Air Jamaica used Douglas DC-8s for a large part of the 1970s, but the Lockheed L-1011 Tristar and Boeing 727 jets became a part of the fleet towards the end of the decade when the government bought over Air Canada's small share. During the 1980s, growth slowed. Nevertheless, new routes were still opened, to Baltimore and Atlanta.

During the 1990s Air Jamaica continued to expand: the airline took over the Kingston-Nassau, Bahamas route, which had been left by British Airways, began a code sharing agreement with Delta Air Lines and opened routes to Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix (which was later dropped), and to Frankfurt, London, Manchester, Santo Domingo and Ft. Lauderdale. The route to Phoenix was opened because Air Jamaica was looking for expansion in the American West, beyond its route to Los Angeles. In 1994 the company was partially privatized, with the government retaining 25% of the company and giving 5% of it to the airline's employees. It started buying Airbus equipment, including the Airbus A340, and began a feeder service, a frequent flyer program (7th Heaven), and an inflight magazine, named SkyWritings. The airline also underwent a livery change during that decade. Air Jamaica has now opened a large operations base in Saint Lucia.

Air Jamaica Photo Gallery

See you on Air Jamaica