16 Photos Showcasing the Beauty of St. Ann in Jamaica

Saint Ann is the largest parish in Jamaica, located on the island’s north coast. It is named for  Lady Anne Hyde, the first wife of King James II of England. You may know this parish for the resort town of Ocho Rios or perhaps even Runaway Bay or Discovery Bay. St. Ann lies almost smack in the middle of Jamaica and is also called the Garden Parish in light of its floral beauty. St. Ann is one of Jamaica’s oldest populated areas, tracing back to 600–650 AD. It is believed to be the earliest settlement in Jamaica. The Tainos, Jamaica’s pre-Columbian aboriginal people, were its first settlers. Christopher Columbus first landed in Jamaica at Discovery Bay, St. Ann in 1494. He eventually lived there for a year after being marooned in the Caribbean on his fourth voyage to the New World. The first Spanish settlement in Jamaica was at Sevilla la Nueva, and you can explore its colourful history today at the Seville Heritage Park. Today we take a look at 16 photos which showcase the beauty of this parish. See why we call St. Ann the Garden Parish of Jamaica.

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How to Travel With Only A Carry-on

It didn’t dawn on me that people traveled without checked luggage until earlier this year. I had that epiphany when my boyfriend and I were researching the steps it would take to reach to Machu Picchu from Jamaica. He said we’re not checking any luggage to take six airplanes and two trains. I scoffed at the idea initially and wondered how shall I manage to travel that light for one week. I warmed up to it eventually after I realized checked luggage for all those connecting flights wouldn’t be practical. If my luggage didn’t arrive on time at one leg of the journey, that would be disastrous. I learnt a lot from this experience so here I am sharing hacks on how to travel with only a carry-on, as well as the benefits of not having checked luggage.

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Hiking trail with 3 cows and 2 people

Bull Head Mountain, Clarendon

The Bull Head Mountains is a 545-acre mountain range located in north Clarendon. The mountain is named for its shape of a bull head when seen out from sea. Bull Head Mountain Peak is located at 3600 feet (1097m) above sea level, and the gentle trail which leads to it is one of the best hiking trails in Jamaica. The Rio Minho, Jamaica’s longest river, originates in the Bull Head Mountains and its natural spring water is bottled straight from the source. What’s even cooler about these mountains is that they contain the geographical centre of Jamaica and there’s a marker to prove it. This post covers how to find the geographical centre of Jamaica and the Bull Head Mountain Peak.

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Retreat to Nature at Neita’s Nest

Neita’s Nest is a creative nook tucked away in the hilly outskirts of Kingston and St. Andrew. Located in Bridgemount, a quiet suburban and historic neighbourhood, Neita’s Nest began as a private dwelling where the Neita family would often entertain relatives and friends. However, in 2010 its proprietor and host, Michelle Neita, opened her charming home to guests as a local homestay and bed & breakfast. Michelle’s gracious willingness to share her knowledge of Kingston’s rich history and culture to guests makes Neita’s Nest a useful resource and base for visiting creatives, researchers and scholars. As they would say, the rest is history. Neita’s Nest is far removed from the hustle and bustle of Kingston but close enough to all its amenities, making it a desired place to stay for visitors to Kingston, Jamaica’s capital city.

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Here’s Why You Should Donate Blood

Did you know that the Father of Modern Blood Banking is Black? The first successful human to human blood transfusion took place in 1818 by a British obstetrician James Blundell on a patient suffering from postpartum haemorrhage. At the time, transfusion reactions were high because it wasn’t until the 1900s that blood groups and the Rhesus antigen were discovered. Charles Richard Drew, born in 1904, was an African-American surgeon and medical researcher. He improved the techniques of blood storage which enabled the development of large-scale blood banks in World War II, saving the lives of thousands of wounded soldiers.

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Sign at Chukka White River Valley

It’s Time to Play at Chukka Cove in Ocho Rios

Chukka is the Caribbean’s largest eco-adventure tour company. Its founder Danny Melville would host polo matches on weekends, then take the horses for a refreshing swim afterwards. In 1983 Melville opened a local equestrian centre and complemented it with an opportunity for tourists to ride and swim with horses along a scenic coastal trail. Chukka’s signature Horseback Ride ‘N’ Swim at Llandovery was the first adventure tour of its kind in Jamaica and the rest is history. Chukka now operates over 60 tours with locations in Jamaica, Belize, Turks & Caicos, the Dominican Republic and Barbados.

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Exterior of home with garden

Escape to Runaway Bay, Jamaica With These 3 Villas

Runaway Bay on the north coast of Jamaica is said to be one of the island’s most beautiful towns. The town consists of hilly terrain which gently slopes towards charming white sand beaches, pristine reefs and imposing all-inclusive resorts. Runaway Bay is an important tourist hub. It lies 27km away from the bustling resort town of Ocho Rios, and is an hour’s drive away from the island’s largest international airport in the city of Montego Bay. The meaning of the town’s name isn’t clear. Some say it is so-called because of slaves who used the beach to escape to Cuba; others say the name has to do with the Spanish soldiers who fled Jamaica from this beach after invasion by the British. Nonetheless, people would rather pay money nowadays to escape to Runaway Bay; not from! Here are three delightful villas in Runaway Bay at which one can enjoy a great vacation.

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The 10 Most Luxurious Hotels in Jamaica

The island of Jamaica is renowned internationally for its white sand beaches, all-inclusive hotels and as a playground for the world’s rich and famous. There’s a wide range of deluxe accommodations in The Home of All Right ranging from sprawling beachfront hotels to secluded waterfront villas and cozy mountainside chalets. If you’ve ever wondered where in Jamaica do the celebrities vacation, or would like to live as luxuriously as they do, you’ve come to the right place. Here are Jamaica’s top 10 luxury hotels where you can have the singular experience of tropical Caribbean opulence.

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River surrounded by greenery

Calypso Rafting & Tubing on the White River

Bamboo river rafting is one of the most relaxing and scenic tours you can take in Jamaica. There are four rivers in Jamaica used for rafting, namely the Great River, Martha Brae, White River and Rio Grande. I’d planned to make White River my third rafting adventure, however all the rafts were booked when I arrived! Therefore, I ended up tubing down the White River instead which turned out to be just as fun, if not more. Read on to learn more about this adventure + how to plan your own White River rafting and tubing trips. White River is located mere minutes from the Ocho Rios Pier in St. Ann.

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Why Do Jamaicans Run So Fast?

Athletics is Jamaica’s favourite sport. Our love for athletics is inculcated from the primary school championship level to watching international meets on TV while banging pot covers to support, to watching the races at the corner shop bar or even in the middle of Half-Way-Tree. You can’t not love athletics as a Jamaican. Track and field is an immeasurable source of national pride at every major meet and we have produced the world’s fastest man and woman alive. For that reason, people often wonder why do Jamaicans run so fast. Here are the secrets behind Jamaica’s global excellence in athletics.

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