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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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Seven Annoying Things Bloggers Do

A lot takes place behind the scenes when creating a blog, vlog or even an Instagram post which non-creators may never fully appreciate. Thus, there can be a bit of friction and eye-rolling from non-creators when they are around creators in their element. Over the years, I’ve met and interacted with dozens of different personality types that coexist in the blogosphere and some interactions are better than others. Also, since I often travel with non-creators, this means I’ve probably been the annoying blogger to someone else too, ha! A bit of introspection is good for the soul. Here are the seven annoying things which bloggers do.

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