Girl sipping from coconut on a bamboo raft at Martha Brae

Bamboo Rafting on the Martha Brae, Trelawny

Lethe set the bar high for my rafting expectations last year and Martha Brae matched it. Martha Brae is a 32km long river which originates deep in the hills of Trelawny, a parish on Jamaica’s north coast. Bamboo rafting on the Martha Brae is rated as one of Jamaica’s top attractions. During colonial era, the river was used to connect the sugar plantations in Trelawny to the port of Falmouth. Bamboo rafts were used to float sugar and other crops to the coast where they would be shipped to Europe. Today, those identical 30-foot bamboo rafts are used to peacefully float visitors down a three-mile stretch of river through a lush rainforest and under the canopy of bamboo, coconut, fruit and flowering trees. The tour lasts approximately one hour and fifteen minutes, but can be more if you stop to purchase crafts and drinks during the trip.

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10 Cuisines to Enjoy in Kingston, Jamaica

Do you want to travel the world but don’t have a lot of money to do so currently? Well, let me let you in on a secret. A good restaurant is like a vacation. Its food can transport you to another part of the world. I’m not discounting that the best place to eat authentic food is in the actual country of course, however it is still possible to get food close to the real thing nearer to home. That’s especially true in Jamaica which has a melting post of cultures– a legacy of our colonial past as well as a recent booming culture of expatriates and internationally trained chefs settling in Kingston. Here are ten international cuisines you can enjoy in Kingston without a passport.

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Riverside Dining in Jamaica at Pretty Close 876

Jamaica is known as the Land of Wood and Water due to its rich biodiversity and over 100 rivers. Not all of the island’s rivers are navigable and some are seasonal which means that they run dry outside of the rainy season. The rivers which last all year create lovely recreational opportunities such as swimming, fishing, bamboo rafting and riverside dining. Jamaicans enjoy cooking outdoors on woodfire or coal stoves as many believe that this old-fashioned means of preparing Jamaican dishes results in better taste. Cooking outdoors by the river is great but eating by or in the river is even better. Pretty Close 876 is a riverside kitchen and dining experience in Gordon Town, St. Andrew. Here’s how to find it and what to expect.

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Close up of vegan food in Kingston Jamaica

Where to Get Vegan Food in Kingston, Jamaica

The traditional Jamaican diet is centered around meat, poultry and fish but there is a growing subculture of vegans and vegetarians across the island. Many persons choose to become vegan for health, environmental and ethical reasons, but others are driven by religious reasons. Seventh Day Adventists and Rastafarians are two such religious groups in Jamaica which adhere to a vegan diet. Whatever the persuasion, vegan restaurants have sprang up in response to the growing market for vegan cuisine in Jamaica. Here are nine eateries which cater to vegans in Kingston & St. Andrew, Jamaica. Some are strictly vegan while others are omnivorous with vegan-friendly options.

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Mountains and flowers

How to Prevent & Treat Altitude Sickness

Millions of people travel to high altitudes annually, especially in the Himalayas, Alps, Andes and North American Rocky Mountains. Traveling to a higher altitude without gradually acclimatizing often results in altitude sickness, and is most prevalent at 8,000 feet (2500m) or higher above sea level. My first experience with altitude sickness was on vacation to one of the world’s seven wonders, Machu Picchu. Getting to Machu Picchu requires transiting through Cusco, the old capital of the Incan empire, which is located at 11,200 feet (3400m) above sea level. Most persons arrive in Cusco by flight which gives the body zero time to acclimate naturally. This post covers what is altitude sickness, how to prevent it and natural + medical remedies to treat the condition.

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Girl looking at llama

9 Ways Peru Reminded Me of Jamaica

My favourite thing about traveling to a new country is being able compare their culture to my own. I’d done this for Trinidad in 2020, and now I’m doing the same for Peru. This time, I decided to compile a list of nine ways in which Peru reminded me of Jamaica (and five differences). This lighthearted post is written from my own observations after a week in Peru, so I hope not to offend anyone. Despite the negative features this post may highlight, I must say that I truly enjoyed my time in Peru and I appreciated the genuine warmth, curiosity and love that the Peruvian people expressed for Jamaica.

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Poster of Elle's Travel Guide to Machu Picchu

Elle’s Guide to Machu Picchu

In 2000, a Swiss foundation launched a campaign to determine the New Seven Wonders of the World. The original list was compiled in 200 AD, but only one of the seven ancient wonders still exists. More than 100 million votes were cast and the final results were announced in 2007. It’s impossible to please everyone, but there weren’t many naysayers about the choice of Machu Picchu as one of the world’s New Seven Wonders. Machu Picchu is one of the few intact pre-Colombian ruins left in the world. This Incan citadel was built in the 1400s on a 2,430m (7,970ft) mountain ridge in the Urubamba Province of Peru, 80km northwest of Cusco. The Incas had no written language so modern archaeologists can only surmise the importance of the houses, terraces and temples left behind. The city was left uninhabited for centuries following the Spanish Conquest, and only rediscovered by American archaeologist Hiram Bingham in 1911. In this post, I’ll share my Machu Picchu adventure + travel tips. Read my previous post if you’d like to know what this trip costed.

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A Day Trip From Venice To Padua, Italy

Taking the road less traveled is a mission statement by which I live. That’s why fellow travel blogger Lauren from oweittospaghetti.com is here today to share how to do just that in Italy. If you’re looking to escape the crowds and other tourists in Venice, a great day trip option is Padua, or Padova in Italian. It’s about 40 minutes by train from Venice and worth the trip to see a totally different side of Italy.

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Poster of 2022 Peru Travel Itinerary with Costs

My Perú Itinerary & Travel Costs (2022)

I’ve been asked several questions about my trip to Perú, and I thought a blog post would be the best way to answer those questions properly. Perú has been on my bucket list for years and this trip lived up to my expectations and then some. This trip allowed me to accomplish three things from my 30 before 30 bucket list which I posted in the heights of the pandemic. My 5-day trip to Perú was supposed to be 6 days, but a strike by the Jamaican air traffic controllers robbed me a day of my trip and I’m still a bit salty. Anyway, here’s what I did during my short trip and what things costed.

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Historic church

Exploring Cusco, Perú

Cusco (also, Cuzco) is a city located on the southeastern end of Perú near the Urubamba Valley of the Andes Mountains. This colourful and vibrant city is the former capital of the Incan empire and proudly preserves traces of its Incan ancestors. These ruins seamlessly exist alongside Spanish colonial and modern-day buildings. Cusco is the seventh most populous city in Peru with a population of about 428,000 inhabitants, and is located at 3,400m (11,200 feet) above sea level. This city hosts nearly 2 million tourists each year because it is the gateway to Machu Picchu, the 15th-century Incan citadel which is listed as one of the New Seven Wonders of the World. However, Cusco deserves more recognition than a transit town as Cusco is recognized as the Archaeological Capital of the Americas. Here’s how I spent a day in Cusco, what to expect and how to plan trips around the city.

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