Thursday, September 24, 2009
Are you a Reggae or Dancehall music lover?..You can find all the information you need pertaining to this genre of music by clicking on the link below.
When and where did tourism begin in Jamaica?
Port Antonio is often referred to as the cradle of tourism in Jamaica. Tourism started in Port Antonio when the banana king, Lorenzo Baker, brought visitors to the island on the return trip after exporting bananas. Baker’s hotel, Titchfield, erected in 1890 was the first built to cater to overseas tourists. Essentially, it comprised a group of cottages on top hill at some distance from the dining room and kitchen. The ruins are still clearly visible on Titchfield Hill.
How many resort areas do we have in Jamaica and what are they?
There are six (6) Resort Areas in Jamaica. They are as follows:
1. Negril 3.Montego Bay 5 Ocho Rios
Port Antonio 4 Kingston Mandeville & The South Coast
What are the forms of tourism?
There are three (3) distinguishable forms of tourism in relation to any given country. They are domestic, regional and international tourism. Domestic tourism comprises of citizens of the country traveling within the country. Regional tourism comprises of all persons visiting from within the region. International tourism comprises all tourists domestic and outbound tourism.
How was the Jamaica Tourist Board established?
Attempts to organize a bureau responsible for marketing Jamaica resulted in the formation of the Jamaica Tourist Association in 1910. The next important milestone came in 1922 when the Government established the Tourist Trade Development Board. By 1954 the Government recognized the need for a more effective organization than the Tourist Trade Development Board. Out of this re-organization emerged a much altered and invigorated Jamaica Tourist Board established April 1, 1955, membership of which reflected all interests in the industry.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Columbus on beholding the island for the first time described Jamaica as “the fairest land…”. He has had company ever since. Jamaica, to many visitors epitomises paradise, a step above the ordinary. Our island seems to have always attracted her share of visitors, and despite the small size has made wonderful memories for millions of visitors each year. Jamaica with only 10,991 square kilometres (4,244 square miles) is more than beaches and hotels; it is a phenomenon, an experience – best savoured by immersion or in small bits. We have broken down these bits as resort areas. These resort areas include Kingston, Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, the South Coast, Negril, and Port Antonio.
Sheltered by the Blue Mountains, the Kingston Resort area is bordered to the north by Jamaica’s largest mountain range and to the south by the world’s 7th largest natural harbour. The resort area of Kingston provides a contrast of experiences that cannot be found in any other resort area or across the region. Kingston provides opportunities for natural, historical, cultural and recreational experiences.
Often referred to as “the heartbeat of Jamaica”, Kingston is considered the business and cultural capital of the Caribbean. The area is home to many thriving educational and entrepreneurial institutions as well as numerous entertainment and recreational facilities. Access to the area is made easy through the Norman Manley International Airport, the Tinson Pen Aerodrome, and a healthy road network.
The seat of government for the island, Kingston is the official home for the Governor General (the Queen’s representative on island), the Prime Minister’s Residence and Office (Vale Royal and Jamaica House respectively), as well as the region’s largest University campus (the University of the West Indies).
The Kingston resort area’s sights include:
�� The historic towns of Spanish Town and Port Royal
�� Theatres, playhouses and clubs
�� Meeting spaces of varying sizes and budgets
�� Galleries, craft shops and markets
�� Gardens and coffee farms
�� Bird watching and hiking trails
Jamaica’s bustling second city, Montego Bay (MoBay for short) is considered the tourist capital of the island. Graced with a modern international airport (Sangster International) and cruise ship pier which can accommodate megaliners, Montego Bay is a thriving city abuzz with activities for every budget and preference.
The “complete resort”, Montego Bay has all the very best that Jamaica has to offer including five (5) championship golf courses, boutique and luxury hotels, themed restaurants and gaming lounges as well as picture-perfect white sand beaches. Montego Bay is home to the Hip Strip – a full mile of restaurants, entertainment, shopping, fun and excitement.
The resort area encompasses the town of Falmouth with its fine examples of Georgian architecture and the Jamaican Vernacular. The sleepy seaside town of Falmouth dates back to the early 1700’s and was served by piped potable water before many major North American cities, including New York.
The Montego Bay resort area’s sights include:
�� Rose Hall and Greenwood Great Houses
�� Croydon and Hilton Plantations
�� The “Hip Strip”
�� White sand beaches
�� The Luminous Lagoon
�� Five (5) Championship Golf Courses
Encompassing the garden parish of St. Ann, the resort area of Ocho Rios is the nature lover’s escape. Fabled to be watered by eight rivers (as its name suggests) Ocho Rios provides a lush landscape of caves, gardens, rivers and white sand beaches. The name Ocho Rios actually derives from “Las Choreras” meaning “waterfalls” and may be a reflection of the many waterfalls in the area. From the Fern Gully located in the remains of an old river bed to the tiered waterfalls of Dunn’s River, arguably, Jamaica’s most popular attraction, Ocho Rios draws thousands of visitors back to arguably the island’s most romantic, picturesque resort area.
The “centerpiece of Jamaica”, Ocho Rios provides a range of activities from golf to watersports to equestrian and soft adventure activities. The area is approximately equidistant between the island’s two cities – Kingston and Montego Bay, providing excellent access from both international airports. The birthplace of Bob Marley and Marcus Garvey, Ocho Rios offers a variety of cultural experiences - Marley’s mausoleum at Nine Miles, ReggaeXplosion and Seville Heritage Park all help to chronicle Jamaica’s experience in story and song.
The Ocho Rios resort area’s sights include:
�� Dunn’s River Falls
�� Fern Gully
�� Shaw Park, Coyaba and Cranbrook Gardens
�� Dover Raceway
�� Craft and Duty free Shopping
The South Coast
Small intimate communities, rustic, comfortable inns, fresh produce and provisions are images conjured by the island’s South Coast. The eclectic “off the beaten track” resort area is the cradle of the island’s community based tourism initiatives. Rising in the cool hills of Manchester across the more temperate flatlands of St. Elizabeth, the South Coast is plantations and safaris, peppered shrimp at Middle Quarters and curried lobster at Little Ochie, cold Red Stripe at Floyds and Papaya Daiquiri at YS Falls. It is iconically, Appleton Estate and the unique flavour of Jamaica birthed in the cool, lush Nassau Valley and the people who make it the world’s finest rum.
South Coast sights include:
�� The towns of Mandeville, Black River and Treasure Beach
�� Milk River Bath & Spa
�� YS Falls
�� Safaris on the Black River
�� Lovers’ Leap
�� Appleton Estate
The quintessential “kick-your-shoes-off, do-as-you-please” resort area with its laid back atmosphere and picturesque sunsets, Negril is Jamaica’s most westerly of resort areas. Dubbed the “capital of casual”, Negril is a popular getaway for those who want an escape from the daily grind – it is the place to pack a bag and run to. Protected by law from large scale developments and high rises, the area has intimate bungalows on the beach beside sprawling all inclusives; pubs with live reggae music and local fare that cater to all budgets and tastes.
The picturesque eastern end of the island has a special allure for those who enjoy the calm peace of an English countryside framed by the majestic Blue Mountains and azure Caribbean waters. Port Antonio is quiet, quaint and intimate with its homely villas hidden in forested nooks and waterfalls gushing from the hillsides into serene rivers. One visit and you’ll understand why we say Port Antonio, naturally.
Home to the Maroons of Moore Town and the bastion of Jamaica’s sole heroine, Nanny, Port Antonio has been home to may other famous residents including Errol Flynn, the Hollywood actor who used cargo rafting on the Rio Grande as a recreational activity for his guests. The area receives more rainfall than any other area on island resulting in verdant pastures, rivers and landscapes teaming with indigenous flora and fauna.
Port Antonio is also a yachter’s haven with a modern marina, named in honour of Errol Flynn, and dry dock facility. Jamaica’s longest running fishing tournament – the Port Antonio Marlin Tournament – takes place in the area each October.
Port Antonio sights include:
�� Folly Ruins
�� Nonsuch and Foxes Caves
�� Scatter, Reich and Somerset waterfalls
�� The Blue Lagoon and Frenchman’s Cove
�� The Errol Flynn Marina
�� White sand beaches
Jamaica offers a vacation for every traveler and every budget. Scores of hotels, villas, inns and apartments are enhanced by attractions ranging from historic sites to soft adventure. A modern transportation system provides ease between and in resort areas.
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
Some people know the value of taking the path less traveled. In Jamaica, many of the best sights and attractions are off the beaten track. If you are yearning for something more than a typical vacation and if you are looking for an adventurer’s paradise, then the South Coast of Jamaica is for you. Miles of deserted beaches and exciting country roads await you in this little known area of Jamaica. Of course, if you want to lie by the beach and read a book, the South Coast of Jamaica offers some of the most beautiful and diverse beaches on the island. The center of the area is the mouth of Black River, the longest river in Jamaica, and the historic town of the same name. Once busy with the export of logwood, sugar and honey, Black River’s architecture reflects its prosperous past as the first town on the island to get electricity and motor vehicles. Today the town is a quiet peaceful, yet vibrant community and the surrounding area is one of unspoiled tropical splendor. The largest wetland in Jamaica is in the Black River area and is home to over 300 crocodiles and 100 species of birds including the famous, ‘Crocodile Dentist’, a green and black heron who swoops down to floss the teeth of the open mouthed crocodiles.
Further down the coast is the small sleepy village of Treasure Beach. The dry, limestone outcrops and wide dark sand beach is described as one of the most beautiful areas on the island. It is largely inhabited by fishermen because of it close proximity to the Pedro Banks. This area is unlike anywhere else in Jamaica, still relatively unknown and well worth a visit. The local people are always friendly and have developed their own brand of tourism, neighborhood tourism. Many of the inhabitants of this area have been living there for many generations and have lived quietly as fishermen and farmers. Their sense of belonging and connection to the land is strong and shows in the pride they take in their existence. The highlight of each day comes when the fishermen return in the early evening, bringing in the day’s catch. Treasure Beach is truly Jamaica’s diamond in the rough and offers a true glimpse into the daily lives of Jamaicans.
Jamaica’s motto is ‘Out of Many, One People’, and reflects Jamaica’s proud and diverse heritage. The majority of Jamaicans are African, however during the colonial period, large numbers of Irish, Germans, Welsh, Spanish and Portuguese Jews took advantage of the profits to be had by “King Sugar”. Following emancipation, Chinese and Indians arrived as indentured laborers. Each group carried with it a history of traditions and Jamaica proclaims itself a melting pot of racial harmony. After centuries of brewing, all have blended together to give the island its rich history and heritage of legends, cultures and customs displayed against the backdrop of Jamaica’s beauty. This melting pot is never more evident than in the people of the South Coast, especially Treasure Beach where you will come across many brown skinned, green eyed, blond haired mulattos of German, Scottish and Irish descent. Legend has it that a Scottish Expedition tried to colonize somewhere in Panama, failing dismally, they set course to wherever God took them. The landed at Bluefields and ended up in Treasure Beach, Southfield, Ballard’s Valley, Bull Savannah and Alligator Pond. Others were wealthy, well-educated Scottish and English families of royal decent fleeing Scotland after the Jacobite rebellion was squashed by the English and Cromwell assumed power in England.
the path less traveled….
The Black River is one of the few, easily accessible waterways along which one can see rare tropical animals undisturbed in their natural habitat. For those with the pioneering spirit, guided river tours are available to see the flora and fauna, an experience said to rival the breath taking beauty of the Florida Everglades. We will be happy to arrange guided tours up the river in comfortable motor launches. Expert guides are quick to point out the many Herons, Terns, Egrets, and Crocodiles on a seven mile tour into the wetlands.
Very close to Black River is YS Falls. These privately owned waterfalls are probably the most beautiful and unspoiled falls in Jamaica. Covered, tractor drawn jitneys take adventure seekers through the rich, tropical countryside to a remote corner of the valley where water cascades down 120 feet of beautifully formed rock. Below the falls, dream like swimming holes beckon visitors to take a dip in a setting of unparalleled tranquility. People who take the path less traveled are usually fascinated by the local history of the South Coast. One very tasty morsel of history comes in the form of a tour of the renowned Appleton Estate and Rum Distillery, where the finest rum in the world is produced. A visit to the 240 year old property typically includes a relaxing stop in the hospitality lounge to sample the local fare and tour the factory to see how sugar is turned into rum. The estate boasts an interesting gift shop full of locally made products and a challenge to anyone who can sample all the different rums and walk away.
In the nearby town of Maggoty, there are two exciting attractions quite close to each other. One is Apple Valley Park in the center of town. This is a park with a difference. There are rods and ponds for fishing, paddle boats and kayaks. There are trails for hiking and waterfalls for cooling down. For those who like to take it easy, try a tractor tour of the falls. The food and entertainment are also outstanding. The best of the local dishes are prepared to order and local musical groups often perform on an outdoor stage. A stop at Glenwyn Halt, just on the other side of Maggoty, is another highlight. Quaint bamboo huts along the river’s edge display a host of local crafts. There is a restaurant, bar and shops selling carvings, straw goods and clothing. A boat trip to the Maroon Treasure Caves, a short distance from the riverbank, is a must. Because fishing is one of the most popular occupations along the South Coast, seafood is always fresh and plentiful. Numerous cozy roadside restaurants and bars provide relaxing places to stop for local food and drink.
Bluefields Bay stretches for 6 miles along the coast and is broken up by a number of small coves. Along the western fringe of the Bay stands Paradise Park, a 1000-acre cattle and diary farm that has been in the same family for more than a century. Horseback riding can be arranged and afterward explore the grounds of the estate on trails cut through a tropical forest full of bird life. In May and June, you can pick sun ripened mangos right of the trees. The waters are ideal for swimming and you can picnic in a park where picnic tables and open barbecue grills are provided. You can also swim in the Sweet River after lunch.
On the other side of Treasure Beach, delights also await to tantalize the senses. No visit is complete without a trip to Guts River. The water is crystal clear and flows from an underground spring. The swimming hole is 20 feet deep and offers a wonderland of sea life to explore. The river flows into the sea where the beach beckons you to visit this pristine, untouched piece of heaven on earth. Further along is Manatee River, three manatees inhabit this beautiful marsh river and guided boat tours are offered to view them in their habitat. For the brave, feel free to jump out and swim with them. This trip is not complete without a visit to Milk River Baths. It is said to have the highest radioactivity of any mineral bath in the world and you are limited to no more than 30 minutes in its curative waters. Jamaicans swear by its power to ease the aches and pains of the body, leaving a cleansed and relaxed feeling. Legend has it that it was found by a slave who had been beaten so badly, he had been left to die. He lay in the waters and was completely healed.
Not to be missed is Lover’s Leap, where local folklore tells of two young lovers forbidden to see each other ever again. In a desperate bid to be together forever, the couple chose to meet at this spot where together they jumped off the 1700 feet sheer cliff into the sea below. The panoramic view along the coastline is spectacular and a restaurant, bar and small museum complete the experience.
Whether you chose one or all of these attractions, we will be happy to customize your sightseeing, tailoring them to your specific needs. Do not hesitate to ask for anything, our goal is to make your vacation one to remember. One thing you will never be disappointed by is the warmth and charm of the people you will meet. They are always willing to stop and chat, passing the time of day with you and welcoming you to their unique neighborhood.
They are always willing to stop and chat, passing the time of day with you and welcoming you to their unique neighborhood.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Visit Jamaican Friends Link-Up
If you have ever been to this little piece of Rock call Jamaica we will like to know what you think about it and what you enjoy the most, we will also like to know where you stay and which of our Attractions you went to..Thanks for your comments
Visit Jamaican Friends Link-Up
Cuisine of Jamaica includes a mixture of cooking techniques, flavors, spices and influences from the indigenous people on the island, and the Spanish, British, African and Indians who have inhabited the island. The cuisine includes various dishes from the respective cultures brought to the island with the arrival of people from elswhere. Other dishes are novel or a fusion of techniques and traditions. In addition to ingredients that are native to Jamaica, many foods have been introduced and are now grown locally. A wide variety of seafood, tropical fruits and meats are available.
Some Jamaican cuisine dishes are variations on the cuisines and cooking styles brought to the island from elsewhere. These are often modified to incorporate local produce. Others are novel and have developed locally. Popular Jamaican dishes include curry goat, fried dumplings, ackee and salt fish (cod) (the national dish of Jamaica), fried plantain, "jerk", steamed cabbage and "rice and peas" (pigeon peas or kidney beans). Jamaican Cuisine has been adapted by African, British, French, Chinese and Indian influences. Jamaican patties and various pastries and breads are also popular as well as fruit beverages and Jamaican rum.
Jamaican cuisine has spread with emigrations, especially during the the 20th Century, from the island to other nations as Jamaicans have sought economic opportunities in other areas.
- Ackee and saltfish
- Jerk chicken - grilled Jerk-spiced chicken/pork
- Curry goat and Curried Mutton
- Jamaican patties (beef, chicken, vegetarian, cheese, curry)
- Brown Stew Chicken, Brown Stew Beef
- Escoveitch fish (like Spanish cuisine escabeche
- Corned Beef and cabbage
- Saltfish with cabbage or callaloo
- Steamed fish
- Jamaican spiced bun
Mango and soursop ice Cream are two popular desserts. Jamaican ice cream is traditionally made with coconut milk, rather than milk or cream as used elsewhere. The most popular Jamaican ice cream flavours are grapenut and rum raisin.
Other popular desserts include potato pudding, gizzada (a small tart shell with sweet spiced coconut filling), grater cake, toto (dessert) (a small coconut cake), banana fritters, coconut drops, plantain tart. Duckunoo is a Ghanaian dish made with sweetened starch (usually cornmeal but can also be cassava) wrapped and boiled in a banana leaf. Also called "blue drawers'. Asham is ground or powdered sweetened parched corn. There is also Bustamante Backbone, named after the first Prime Minister Alexander Bustamante
Visit Jamaican Friends Link-Up
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 waterfalls in the world that actually fall directly into the sea.
The waterfalls are staggered and span some 180 metres (600 feet). Several small lagoons exist there, interspersed between the vertical sections of the falls. Climbing up the waterfalls is a popular tourist activity and is often, but not exclusively performed with the help of tour guides from the park. The side of the falls is covered with lush, green vegitation that help shade the area from the sun. This helps keep the water cool as people try and climb the waterfall. The falls can be walked up with relative ease, often a human chain is used snaking up the falls behind the tour guide. Dunn's River Falls was also the site of a location shoot for the 1988 Tom Cruise film Cocktail.
.Martha Brae's Rafters Village (Montego Bay; tel. 876/952-0889): Martha Brae's Rafters Village offers the best river-rafting experience in and around this popular resort. You sit on a raised dais on bamboo logs and watch the river scenery unfold.
>small>Visit Jamaican Friends Link-Up
Tourism has long been a mainstay of the Jamaican economy. However, prior to 1890, the industry was not organized. Available infrastructure was inadequate and much needed services were unavailable. The industry at that time largely comprised a number of lodging houses and inns which numbered in excess of 1400 in 1830.
With the passing of the Hotels Act of 1890, the government encouraged the building of accommodation for the Great Exhibition of 1891. Hotels were opened in Kingston, Spanish Town, Moneague, Mandeville and Port Antonio. Additional government and private sector initiatives resulted in the formation of several organizations including the Jamaica Hotel & Tourist Association and the Tourist Trade Development Board (the forerunner of the present Jamaica Tourist Board). During this time there was also a concerted effort to market the island as a health and pleasure retreat.
Today, tourism is one of Jamaica’s leading industries. More than three million visitors are welcomed to our shores each year. The elements of the tourism product include accommodation, transportation, attractions and tours, dining and entertainment (inclusive of festivals and events), and the support services.
Jamaica has a number of hotels, large and small. These vary from high rises to hotels in elegant old worlde style, and small modern hotels. The hotels offer a range of plans with dining and recreation options from All-inclusives to European Plans. Many cater to specific niche needs of groups and meetings, families, couples or sport/adventure.
There are also villas, apartments and guesthouses. These intimate small-scale properties provide visitors with greater opportunities to “create their own vacation”. The offerings include a combination of self catering and/or bed and breakfast facilities and provide viable options for the discerning traveller.
All accommodation offer modern conveniences, excellent services and good value for money. Currently the island’s room stock exceeds 26,000; approximately 5,000 additional rooms are expected to be added by 2010.
The island is served by many of the world’s major airlines both scheduled and chartered. Connections to Jamaica can be made from major cities in the Caribbean, Canada, United States of America, United Kingdom and Europe. Approximately two-thirds of total visitors arrive on island via air.
The vessels of the world’s largest cruise line companies all make landfall in Jamaica throughout the year. Cruise passenger terminals are found in Ocho Rios, Montego Bay, Port Antonio and Kingston. In 2006, Jamaica received over 350 cruise calls.
Ground transportation is readily available on island. The options range from luxury coaches, limousines and taxis to rental cars. Transport companies also provide a range of services including customized tours.
Attractions & Tours
There are numerous recreational opportunities in Jamaica. The island offers excellent facilities for tennis, golf and equestrian sports. Water sports of all sorts are available.
Jamaica abounds in scenic beauty. There are white sand beaches and rivers, large expanses of plains and mountains where the flora and fauna provide an attractive kaleidoscope of island life. For those who are inspired by nature, the island offers 252 species of birds (27 are endemic), 200 native species of orchids, 500 species of true ferns and about 50 species of coral.
Jamaica has plantation tours & great houses, dolphin parks and nature reserves, museums, galleries and soft adventure tours. There are also numerous craft markets and duty-free stores for goods, both bargain and luxury.
Dining and Entertainment
The island’s cuisine has been shaped by the people who have made Jamaica their home. Jamaica has many fine restaurants which offer an array of dining styles in Jamaican, American, Continental, East Indian, Chinese and Italian cuisines, among others. Each November, the annual Restaurant Week activities encourage locals and visitors alike to sample offerings at special prices in the island’s most renowned dining establishments.
There is a wide variety of festivals and entertainment events year round including community and international festivals. Jamaica’s native music – reggae – is celebrated in many festivals including Reggae Sumfest and Reggae Sunsplash, while the annual Festival of Arts highlights the island’s heritage in music, dance, drama, traditional folk forms and drama. Community festivals are constantly being added to the island’s calendar of events.
A number of clubs, theatres and playhouses all add to the many options for nightlife islandwide.
The island is served by two international airports – Norman Manley International in Kingston and the Sangster International in Montego Bay. There is a private jet centre in Montego Bay and four aerodromes serving small carriers for inter-island travel. Modern port and shipping facilities complement the industry’s services to cruise lines and private yachts.
Jamaica’s road network is one of the most extensive for an island of its size. New highways cut travel time significantly. Highway 2000 links towns in the southern section of the island while the North Coast Highway (currently under construction) will incorporate towns on the northern section of the island.
Modern communications networks support the tourist industry. Telecommunication services link the island with the world in real time. Mobile roaming and wireless facilities for the internet are readily available islandwide.
Tourism in Jamaica is all encompassing. It affects the life of every Jamaican. As a matter of fact, one of every four persons employed in Jamaica is part of the tourist industry. People are the foundation of the tourism product where it is the experience that counts.
As tourism thrives, linkages with other industries continue to grow as well. Tourism has direct links with agriculture and agro-processing, manufacturing and health. There are indirect links with education, sports and other sectors of the economy. This integration provides a stable basis for the industry and tangible benefits for the people of Jamaica.