Road Trip in Jamaica Travel Plan

I think this is #20. No more entries are being accepted, but a flurry of last-minute entries means you’ll see 5 or 6 over the next week.

Here is another trip to a different part of Jamaica. I hope everyone enjoys this one too! Thanks, Rosanne

Road Trip in Jamaica

Day 1

Fly to Kingston ($300 and up) and rent a car ($600 and up for the 10 day trip). Remember to pack a high SPF sunscreen (SPF 30-50), insect repellant may be helpful some nights, and of course swimwear and camera. Drive to Morgan’s Harbour Hotel where you will stay for 2 nights. ($155 per night for a double room which includes authentic Jamaican breakfast) (10 minutes drive) Enjoy a lovely dinner by the water among the boats. ($25). Be sure to try freshly blended fruit punch.($5)

Some authentic Jamaican foods which you can try on your trip are: ackee and saltfish, callaloo, banana and dumpling with run down, fried plantains, fricassee chicken with rice and peas, stew peas, oxtail, curried goat, jerked pork, pumpkin soup, peas soup. Try Jamaican desserts found at local bakeries: gizzada, plantain tart, grater cake, fruitcake, sweet potato pudding. Two popular local chain restaurants found in most towns here that serve great Jamaican food are Juici Patties and Island Grill. Natural fruit and vegetable juices are also a great choice: otaheite apple (my favorite), beetroot, carrot, coconut water, cucumber, melon. Stop at any supermarket and you can find local handmade sweets such as tamarind balls and peanut brittle. Catherine’s Peak Spring Water is a great choice to keep you hydrated.

Day 2

After breakfast, take a boat ride to Lime Cay from the hotel. (15 minutes boat ride) ($8 for boat ride) Enjoy the day on this tiny island off the coast of Kingston. During the week, be sure to pack a picnic. You can pack sandwiches from the hotel’s restaurant. ($10) On weekends there is a restaurant and bar open on Lime Cay. Take a walk to Port Royal in the afternoon. This historic town has canons and ruins. ($5 for tour) Have dinner on the sidewalk at Gloria’s Rendezvous. ($15) I like the steamed fish and fish soup. Port Royal is a fishing village, so the seafood is freshly caught daily and very delicious.

Day3

After breakfast, drive to Port Antonio (2+ hours). It is a very scenic drive although the road is windy. Most of the drive is along the Wagwater river and then the sea coast. Along the corners are many fruit vendors. Try our exotic fruits grown by our local farmers: starapple, otaheite apple, jackfruit, mango, naseberry, sweetsop, sugar cane to name a few. Stop at Juici Patties in Port Antonio to buy a patty or meatloaf for lunch ($1 each) or chicken lunch.($6) Spend the evening in town taking photos. The market is a great place for photos. Market days are Friday and Saturday. Get to know people, ask about our culture Have gourmet dinner at Trident Hotel nearby ($30). The peacocks on the lawn are very friendly. Stay at Frenchman’s Cove for 2 nights. ($90-$130 per night per room/suite/1 bedroom villa, continental breakfast included).

Day 4

Frenchman’s Cove is a beautiful place where the river meets the sea. The lunch here is excellent and it is served on the beach. Try the escoveitch fish, which is fried fish with a pickle pepper sauce. ($10) Drive to the marina in the afternoon. (10 minutes) Have dinner at Norma’s on the Grill for gourmet Jamaican Food. ($25) After, take a stroll along the boardwalk to the Devon House Ice Cream Shop. This is our local chain with the best coconut ice-cream in the world. Coffee is my second favorite flavor. ($2)

Day 5

After breakfast, enjoy the beach until late morning. Before lunch, drive to Ocho Rios with a short stop in Port Maria (2 hours to Port Maria). Along the way, stop at Blueberry Hill for jerked pork, chicken, and homemade sausage. ($10) Eat at this roadside hut and enjoy the view of the sea from the cliffs. Along this drive, the lush vegetation includes banana and coconut trees. When you get to Port Maria, take a break and stop at Firefly. ($10 entry) (10 minutes drive from the main road). Firefly is the former home of British Playwright Noel Coward. Take a tour of the house and see where England’s Queen Mother once dined, enjoy the beautiful view of Cabarita Island surrounding the ocean and mountains. Have tea and biscuits ($2). Continue to Ocho Rios (1/2 hour). Check in at Sandcastles for 4 nights. ($85 per night per double room, breakfast included). Have dinner there ($20).

Day 6

Definitely climb Dunn’s River Falls. ($10 entry fee) (5 minute drive) The best day to go is when the cruise ships are not in, so you can enjoy and see the nature and beauty of these waterfalls. Take a walk from your hotel to have lunch at the coffee shop in Island Village Shopping Centre. ($15). The coffee is good too! Spend the afternoon shopping for nice souvenirs here. The stores are nice and it is hassle free. You can also get great Jamaican books at the bookstore. Here’s a second chance to have Devon House icecream if you were too full before.

Have candlelight dinner at The Ruins. ($30) The ambiance is lovely as you dine by waterfalls.

Day 7

Drive to Reggae Beach and spend the morning there. ($5 entry fee) (10 minute drive) This beach is my favorite. It is a white sand beach, clear blue sea, and there are plenty shady trees if the sun is too hot. A stone’s throw away is Harmony Hall. Have lunch here at Toscanini, authentic Italian food. ($15) Take a tour of the art gallery upstairs (free) and buy local artwork. The paintings are vibrant and lively reflecting Jamaican culture. The architecture of Harmony Hall is true to Jamaica. In the afternoon, head to Wassi Art Factory and see local artists making and painting pottery. (15 minutes) There are many nice pieces for your home. Have dinner at Bibibip’s Bar and Grill for great Jamaican food. ($15) Try the curried goat.

Day 8

Today, go tubing down the White River with Chukka Cove. ($51) It is a very scenic tour downstream, so make sure to bring a waterproof disposable camera for great photos. You are enveloped into nature among the trees and you see many birds along the way. In the afternoon, go on Chukka Cove’s canopy tour ($67) or horseback riding ($67 for 3 hours). If you prefer to relax, go to Cranbrook Flower Forest ($10). It is a beautiful park where you can swim in the river among tropical flowers and trees. Have a picnic. The store outside your hotel has crackers and corned beef. ($2) Eat like a true Jamaican. Have dinner at Cafe Aubergine, recently voted Jamaica’s most romantic restaurant. ($25) It is a half an hour drive but well worth it as the food is great and atmosphere cozy. I enjoy the lamb here.

Day 9

Return to Kingston (2 hours drive) and stay at The Courtleigh Hotel ($172 per night night per double room, continental breakfast included). I enjoy eating on the patio. Drive to Strawberry Hill before lunch (an hour drive). Have gourmet lunch overlooking the city and the Blue Mountains. ($20) Across the road, tour Craighton Coffee Estate. ($30) It is a 1-hour tour showing how coffee is grown and produced. In the evening, get a massage at Strawberry Hill’s Aveda Spa for the best way to end your vacation. ($115) For dinner stop at Starapples. ($15) (10 minutes from hotel). The oxtail is excellent.

Day 10

Depart Kingston (an hour drive to airport) At the airport, be sure to buy duty-free items such as Appleton V/X rum, and Blue Mountain Coffee, the best coffee in the world.

Filed Under: 2006 Summer vacation plan writing contest entries

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Comments (4)

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  1. Julia says:

    I can almost taste the Jamaican food and smell the sea breeze. Great itinerary.

  2. stephanie says:

    wow! pinch me I think I’m dreaming! the mystique of jamaica never ends…add reggae music blasting from the car and remember Jamaicans drive on the left!

  3. Evin Bail says:

    I love that this entry focuses on the less touristy aspects of Jamaica. My idea of Jamaica growing up was one of tourism, like island Disney. Thank you for this glimpse into the real Jamaica.

  4. Jill says:

    I love the trip – and it’s not one of those packaged, touristy vacations. Just watch out for those infamous potholes!!!

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