Experience Life Off the Grid at Animal Farm

Nestled in the Montpelier Hills near Montego Bay, Jamaica lies the alluring Animal Farm and Nature Reserve. This 40-acre sanctuary sits in a lush rainforest valley which is supplied by the Great River, one of Jamaica’s fastest flowing rivers. Dr. Geoffrey Williams, the owner of Animal Farm, acquired the thickly wooded land in the 1990s and transformed it into a beautiful off-the-grid farm. Animal Farm is solar-powered, harvests water from the Great River and uses bio-gas for refrigeration and cooking. Animal Farm opened to guests in 2000 and quickly became a naturalist and ecotourist’s paradise, teeming with ferns, towering trees, flowering plants and beautiful exotic birds. Today, one can escape the hustle and bustle of city life with a stay in one of the farm’s eco-cottages, or enjoy an edutaining farm tour, hiking, birdwatching, bamboo rafting excursion or even a self-guided tour through the farm at one’s own pace. In this article, I recap my weekend getaway and share why Animal Farm deserves a spot on your Jamaican bucket list.

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Lethe, Hanover

Lethe is a rural district tucked away in the hills of Hanover, Jamaica’s second smallest parish. This small community sits on the banks of the Great River, one of Jamaica’s major rivers, which forms the boundary between the St. James and Hanover parishes. Lethe is easily the third most popular place to raft in Jamaica after the Rio Grande and Martha Brae rivers in Portland and Trelawny respectively. Rafting on 30-feet long bamboo rafts along the Great River in Lethe under a historic bridge and the cool viridescent canopy of towering trees and bamboo is an unforgettable experience.

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