Glamping & More at Hidden Springs, Saint Ann

Last month, I was invited on a special road trip sponsored by Red Stripe. Red Stripe is a refreshing lager beer best enjoyed cold and on hot sunny days. This beer has become a Jamaican cultural staple, and is generously splashed onto jerk chicken during its preparation. Thus, there was no better company than Red Stripe to gather local talents on a ‘Jamaicanness Tour‘ to celebrate Jamaica’s unique food and adventure spots. They promised a day filled with fun, food and Jamaican experiences– and delivered. Our first stop was at Hidden Springs, an idyllic gem on Jamaica’s north coast which offers several accommodation options for the discerning traveler and nature-lover. These include two guest suites, glamping tents as well as a campground where you can pick a spot, and pitch a tent. Today, let’s recap my visit to Hidden Springs.

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16 Photos Showcasing Manchester, Jamaica

Manchester is one of Jamaica’s south central parishes. It’s often said that the north coast in Jamaica is for the tourists, while the south coast is for the locals. Of course, no parish is out of bounds for tourists, but it’s just that tourists seldom visit our quiet south coast when it’s more exciting up north. Manchester was formed in 1814 and is named for the Governor of Jamaica at that time. Manchester is primarily mountainous. Over 90% of Manchester’s surface is limestone which gives it an abundance of cockpits, sinkholes, caves and underground passages. That’s why most of the parish’s rivers run underground but form delightful swimming holes during the wet season. The longest and deepest caves in Jamaica are found in Manchester, namely the Gourie Cave near Christiana and the Smokey Hole Cave in Cross Keys. Manchester has large bauxite deposits, the raw material for aluminium production. Important crops in the parish are coffee, potatoes and citrus. Ortanique, a cross between the orange and tangerine, was developed here in Manchester, Jamaica.

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10 More Interesting Jamaican Place Names

A few weeks ago I posted an article entitled ‘Interesting Jamaican Place Names.’ So many funny Jamaican place names didn’t make the cut, so I had to write a sequel. Jamaican place names are influenced by its previous Spanish and British colonizers, as well as other groups of people who have inhabited the island at various points in history. Therefore, it’s not odd that Jamaica has its own Madras and Bengal, having received indentured servants from India after slavery was abolished in 1838. Other places are inspired by the land such as Cedar Valley due to the cedar trees, Annotto Bay because annatto trees were planted there, and Bath in St. Thomas because it has a mineral bath. However, we aren’t here to discuss those basic place names. Today we discuss ten more funny and interesting Jamaican place names which I’m sure you won’t hear anywhere else across the world.

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16 Photos Showcasing the Beauty of St. Mary, Jamaica

The St. Mary parish is located on Jamaica’s northeastern coast. You may know the parish for Port Maria, Annotto Bay, Oracabessa or Jamaica’s third international airport named for Ian Fleming. St. Mary has a long history and was one of the parishes inhabited by Tainos. Its parish capital, Port Maria, was the second town built by the Spanish in Jamaica. Many pieces of history lie in St. Mary such as the Rio Nuevo Battle Site which was the site of the final battle between the British and Spaniards for control of Jamaica in 1658. In 1760, Tacky led the most serious rebellion against slavery in the Caribbean at that time. You can visit the waterfalls named for Tacky and his fellow warrior Kwame today. After Emancipation, free villages were formed in St. Mary. As the price for sugar dropped, banana cultivation replaced sugarcane in the 1900s which explains why St. Mary is now known as Jamaica’s banana parish. Nonetheless, St. Mary is a very beautiful parish with several attractions and places to visit such as free rivers, beaches, historic forts, churches and even a maroon town (Scott’s Hall). Here are 16 photos to showcase the attractions and things to do in St. Mary.

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Galina Lighthouse, Saint Mary

The only time it’s acceptable to combine business with pleasure is on a business trip, of course. St. Mary is home to several beaches, waterfalls, swimming holes and historic sites. I visited the parish recently for a practical reason, but stopped at the Galina Lighthouse on my way home. Jamaica is home to eleven lighthouses, nine on land and two offshore. These lighthouses are all operational, and maintained by the Port Authority of Jamaica. Lighthouses are erected close to navigable waters in order to guide incoming sea and aircraft. They serve as visual guides based on their physical characteristics in the day, then deliver characteristic flashes of light by night.

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Four Haunted Jamaican Places You Can Visit

Every country has its fair share of legends and haunted stories, and Jamaica is no different. Jamaican history and culture is steeped in legends dating back to its pre-Colombian ancestors. Plantation society and the imported beliefs and practices of the enslaved Africans added another dimension to Jamaica’s supernatural. Jamaica does not celebrate Halloween, however the island has adopted some of its celebrations in recent years due to popular culture and globalization. Jamaicans need little excuse to party, but if we’re being honest– Jamaica has its own fair share of paranormal activity and characters. In this article, I’ll delve into Jamaica’s spooky folklore creatures and four haunted places in Jamaica where one can visit and have a paranormal experience– if you dare.

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10 Interesting Jamaican Place Names

Jamaicans are very matter-of-fact when naming towns and communities. If the community is on the side of a hill, it may be called Hillside such as in St. Thomas– the community with the beautiful Reggae Falls. There are several districts across Jamaica named Lookout, all providing panoramic views of the valleys below. Cooperage is so-called because it was the workshop of coopers in the 1800s, and these Irish coopers lived further up the road in– you guessed it– Irish Town. Many of the towns and rivers in Jamaica bear Spanish names because the Spanish were the first Europeans to colonize Jamaica: Ocho Rios, Port Maria, Port Antonio, Rio Grande and Santa Cruz, to name a few. Other towns got their names from British people and places such as Mandeville, Roxborough, Blenheim, Warsop, Devon and Maidstone. However, some Jamaican place names are much more interesting. Here are ten funny and interesting Jamaican place names which I’m sure you won’t hear anywhere else across the world.

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How to Save Money for Travel

I once believed that travel was only for the wealthy. Thankfully I had my wake up call six years ago, and the rest has been history. I’m nowhere close to accomplishing my international travel goals having only visited four countries to date, but I have managed to make a sizeable dent in my local bucket list of travel experiences. Travel requires money, but it doesn’t have to be as expensive as you may think! I also believe that travel is possible for nearly everyone, but some compromises will have to be made for travel to work on a budget. In this article, I’ll share practical tips on how to save money for travel, and while on the road. I use these tips to afford travel in my 20s.

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Colbeck Castle

Colbeck Castle, Saint Catherine

Colbeck Castle is a huge mansion located near to Old Harbour in St. Catherine, Jamaica. Details about the mansion are sparse, but it is believed to have been built in about 1680 by Colonel Jon Colbeck. Colbeck came to Jamaica at 25 years old in 1655 with the invading British army that took control of Jamaica from the Spaniards. The Crown granted Colbeck 1340 acres of land as reward, which he used to build his castle. At one point, Colbeck Castle even had a moat and was the largest building in Jamaica. The estate once produced sugar and tobacco. Colbeck went on to have a distinguished career as a member of the Jamaica Assembly, but is believed to have lived a solitary life. He died at age 52 years, leaving his fortune to his executors and the church. Over time, the building fell into ruin and became property of the Jamaican government. The castle became a national heritage site in 1990, and can be visited by tourists today for free.

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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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