“Life is a big road with many signs. So when you’re hitting the bumps, don’t complicate your mind. Run away from hate, mischief and jealousy. Don’t bury your thoughts, put your vision into reality. Wake up Get up and live !” A famous quote from Good ole Bob Marley!
Like any other country, Jamaica has its ups and downs, but I have to tell you, this place is BEAUTIFUL and still populated by wonderful, fun-loving people. How do I know this? Well, to be honest, this is the place I call home. In my twenty-four years of life, both in and out of Jamaica, I have witnessed some extremely beautiful scenery. In fact, the other day I visited a beach that is not on the radar, it is called “Cotton Tree”… It is a splendid sight to behold! On your next trip or visit to Jamaica, once you’re in the Ocho Rios area, be sure to ask your tour guide about this hidden gem… It truly is a masterpiece.
Okay, let’s start with the top 5 places to visit in Jamaica.
Nine Mile Bob Marley – St. Ann
More or less, you may already know this, but for potential visitors reading this, let me enlighten you. Nine Mile is the birthplace and final resting place of the late but legendary Robert ‘Nesta’ Marley, popularly known as Bob Marley.
Fun fact: Bob Marley was and still is best known for his reggae songs, including the hits “I Shot the Sheriff,” “No Woman, No Cry,” “Three Little Birds,” “Exodus,” “Could You Be Loved”, “Jammin”, “Redemption Song”, and “One Love”.
Nine Mile is located on the outskirts of a place we call Brown’s Town, St. Ann. On your journey to Bob Marley’s Nine Mile, you will pass through several towns. Be sure to ask your tour guide to stop at one or, if time permits, a few of these villages as it is really eye opening. This is where you learn about rural Jamaica, the real Jamaica.
Upon arrival at Bob Marley’s Nine Mile, you will most likely be greeted by a Rasta-man. He is responsible for opening the gate wide enough for the driver to enter the complex and then locking it. Here is a notice for you. They will make sure to let you know that the laws inside the complex are totally different than those that apply outside the huge walls. What is so different? The Ganja and the herbs that grow behind those doors are a spectacular sight!
Dunn’s River Falls – St. Ann
The famous Dunn’s River Falls are located on the north shore of the island, outside of Ocho Rios. Dunn’s River Falls are very unique. The sound of the waters running down those huge rocks, the fresh scent in the atmosphere, the lush vegetation! Sigh, it is absolutely extraordinary! As a visitor to this beautiful piece of paradise, you are offered the opportunity to climb either up or down the falls, either alone or with a tour guide. Tip: If it’s your first time I suggest using a tour guide as they know the place and will be able to show you the footholds among other things that will get you over the falls safely. At the top of the falls you will find tranquility.
Fun fact: 1. There isn’t much noise from the rushing waters, just the wonderful sound of birds chirping and chirping as they explore their habitat.
2. As you descend you will definitely notice some small pools created naturally by Mother Nature, where you can stop to rest, take pictures or do whatever you want. Doctor’s Cove Beach –
Royal Port – Royal Port
Once upon a time Port Royal was a popular place where pirates would come and spend their treasures. It had the reputation of being the richest and most wicked city in the world! During the 17th century, the British actively encouraged and even paid buccaneers based in Port Royal to attack ships belonging to Spanish and French colonies!
Fun fact: On June 7, 1962, a massive earthquake struck Port Royal. This particular earthquake caused two-thirds of this city to sink into the Caribbean Sea! So!
Today, Port Royal is known as “The City That Sank” and is still covered in approximately twenty-five feet of water.
History is a wonderful thing. Pirates from all over the world are said to have flocked to Port Royal after this devastating event. They came as far away as Madagascar, which is on the other side of Africa.
The Great House of Rose Hall – St. James
The Rose Hall Great House is a very popular attraction, both with locals and visitors. This large house was the home of the late Annie Palmer, also known as ”The White Witch of Rose Hall”. For as long as I can remember, Annie Palmer has always been painted as a beautiful but extremely devious character. Legend has it that Annie Palmer, the white witch of Rose Hall, really enjoyed practicing witchcraft, balancing the minds of the young white women who came to the island and, above all… Legend has it that she was a born killer, like everyone else! those of her husband died suspiciously! Among other things, of course, but this would be too long for me today.
And last but definitely not least, Dolphin’s Cove – Ocho Rios St. Ann
Dolphin’s Cove is listed as the largest maritime attraction in the entire Caribbean! Isn’t that something? Dolphin Cove is the perfect host for a day of family fun. At a cost, you are presented with the opportunity to interact with their marine animals, such as dolphins, manta rays (without barbs), nurse sharks, etc. I think it would be easier if I gave them a synopsis of their packages:
o The “Toca” Program
o The “Encounter Swim” with the dolphins
o The “Swim With” the dolphins
o Swim, hold and feed the sharks and
o Be the “Guardian of the sea for a day”
However, marine animals are not the only things they attend to, but they organize activities such as nature walks where you can interact with animals such as:
Donkeys, goats, sheep, iguanas, Jamaican yellow snakes (non-poisonous), turtles, ducks, birds, etc. If you don’t know what some of these animals are, just do a Google search using the images feature, you’ll be sure to find what you’re looking for.