Treasure Beach, Saint Elizabeth

There is a little corner of Jamaica which is stuck in an era before the crime, high-end tourism and commercialization. That little corner is known as Treasure Beach. Treasure Beach is a small coastal town which prides itself on community tourism where foreigners co-exist with the locals in harmony. Mom-and-pop shops reign supreme and there are no large all-inclusive resorts. The accommodations are only small boutique hotels, Airbnbs and villas. Crime is almost non-existent in this side of Jamaica. Sounds utopian, doesn’t it? Well, it’s true.

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St. Elizabeth: Jamaica’s South Coast Belle

Saint Elizabeth is known as the breadbasket parish of Jamaica, producing nearly a quarter of the nation’s produce despite getting less rainfall than its counterparts. The parish’s landscape includes the lush unspoilt mountains of the Cockpit Country, the majestic Santa Cruz Mountains which run south, divide the wide plain into two then plunge to a precipitous drop at Lovers’ Leap, the meandering Black River with its numerous cascading tributaries, most notably the YS Falls, and the sleepy sea-faring town of Treasure Beach with its quaint colourful off-the-radar cottages and villas.

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Pelican Bar, Saint Elizabeth

One mile off the coast of Parottee in St. Elizabeth, Jamaica lies the coolest bar in the Caribbean. The unique Pelican Bar resembles a gigantic bird nest made from driftwood, palm fronds and coconut tree trunks and is perched on a sandbar in the middle of the turquoise Caribbean Sea. The bar is named for the large flocks of pelicans which often rest there. Its owner, a local fisherman named Floyd Forbes, had a dream one night about a bar out at sea where he and his fishermen friends could sit and clean their fish or relax and have a beer.

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YS Falls, Saint Elizabeth

YS Falls is the twelfth Jamaican waterfall I’ve visited and written about on here, and I couldn’t be happier. Waterfalls are my favourite natural feature and like the other eleven falls, YS didn’t disappoint. YS Falls is located near Jamaica’s South coast and is part of a river which emerges from limestone caves and springs high up in Breadnut Valley, St. Elizabeth. The YS River is the main tributary of the great Black River, the longest navigable river in Jamaica and also the widest. Consider taking a combined tour to the YS Falls and Black River Crocodile Safari.

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Lovers’ Leap, Saint Elizabeth

Lovers’ Leap is one of Jamaica’s most romantic spots, so I was happy to visit this breathtaking place for the first time in the right company. It gets its name from the legend of two star-crossed lovers and slaves who decided to jump over this cliff rather than be parted by a jealous plantation owner who wanted the female slave for himself, and would likely have had her partner beaten, sold, maimed or worse yet, killed. Legend has it that they did not die but instead were caught in a moonlit net and gradually lowered to safety, which is just as likely as (insert unlikely event here). However, as to whether or not any couple even jumped here in the first place, who cares? It’s a romantic story set in a glorious location and that is what people drive for miles to see. The photos will reveal why shortly.

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Breadnut Valley Falls, Saint Elizabeth

Magic happens when local female travel bloggers get together, and Breadnut Valley happened to be the first destination of hopefully many future linkups. Breadnut Valley Falls are a series of mesmerizing cascades and turquoise pools set in Breadnut Valley, Maggotty, St. Elizabeth parish. For an off-the-beaten path waterfall, surprisingly little hiking was involved! With that said, let’s talk about:

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Black River Safari, Saint Elizabeth

Black River is Jamaica’s widest river and home to our largest and most feared reptile, the American crocodile. Jamaica’s crocodiles are mainly found along the south coast, and the Black River is the best place to see them up close. Run by J. Charles Swaby, the Black River Safari offers pontoon boat rides which carries one onto the river where they’ll hopefully get a chance to see the crocs in their natural habitat. If you visit on a day where the crocs are shy, you won’t leave disappointed by the natural beauty of the river and its vegetation. Also, you’ll still get a chance at seeing them up close in the nursery which is included in each tour. Consider taking a combined tour to the YS Falls and Black River Crocodile Safari.

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Experience a Jamaican Rum Tour at Appleton Estate

The Joy Spence Appleton Rum Estate Experience is an elegant Jamaican rum tour showcasing what it takes to make one of the world’s finest rums. Set in the delightful Nassau Valley in the parish of Saint Elizabeth, the Appleton Estate was established in 1749. However, it is believed that origins of the Estate date back to 1655. Appleton rum is one of the few in the world to claim a terroir, that is, a rum 100% produced in the perfect trio of unique weather, soil and topography of the Cockpit Country. This imparts a unique quality. And why is this tour named for Joy Spence might you ask? Well, she’s been with Appleton for over 30 years and is the world’s first female to be appointed Master Blender. That’s definitely a big deal.

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