Columbus Park, Saint Ann

Columbus Park is a historic open-air museum which sits by the side of the road in the north coast town of Discovery Bay. The park overlooks the expansive bay and features ruins from Jamaica’s Spanish colonization period and other relics & replicas from times past. Sadly, the park has fallen into a state of disrepair but the concept is a good one. Hopefully some improvements and repairs are made in the near future but in the mean time, let’s take a look at the park’s current state.

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Seville Heritage Park, Saint Ann

Seville Heritage Park in Saint Ann’s Bay marks one of the first encounters between Old and New World. Unless you’re Jamaican or took Caribbean history classes, you’re likely hearing for the first time that English-speaking Jamaica was first colonized by the Spanish hence the town Sevilla la Nueva was named for Seville, Spain. Christopher Columbus first set foot in Jamaica in 1494 making an already well-known inhabited island first known to Europe. In 1503-4 he lived at the well-developed Taino town of Maima for over a year with his men after getting shipwrecked. However, it wasn’t until 1509 that Sevilla la Nueva was established becoming the first permanent European settlement in Jamaica and changing Jamaican, European and World History forever.

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Cardiff Hall Beach, Saint Ann

I can’t help but ruin the surprise at the start. I’ve finally found a free Jamaican beach which I rate full stars! I had the opportunity of spending time in Saint Ann as part of my medical training and with what free time I had, my colleagues & I went beach-hopping on a budget like true A.f.E. style. What better place to go beach hopping than on the north coast! I couldn’t let my time in St. Ann pass without doing so even if I prefer rivers to beaches. On one overcast afternoon we sought out Cardiff Hall Public Beach in Runaway Bay, also called Flavour’s Beach because of a restaurant on the property by the same name. Here’s how that went:

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Fantasy Beach, Saint Ann

Fantasy Beach, also called Priory Beach, is a large strip of coastline for the tiny Saint Ann town of Priory. This sleepy public beach just outside of Ocho Rios wakes up on weekends to mostly local families who stop by to swim, play football, have dinner and unwind.

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Tuff Gong Studio, Saint Andrew

Tuff Gong International’s Making of the Music Tour is an engaging behind the scenes look at the record-making process from rehearsal to album. The studio was founded by Bob in 1965. Its name is derived from Bob’s nickname “The Gong” which he shares with Rastafari founder Leonard “The Gong” Howell, and tuff you had to be to survive in the Jamaican music business. Tuff Gong boasts one of the planet’s few remaining operational vinyl record manufacturing plants and is one of the Caribbean’s largest recording studios. Artistes, musicians, producers and tourists travel from all over the world to see and use this studio because it is said to have a special creative vibe; maybe since its mixing board is the same one used by Bob on all of his records. Since its inception, Bob Marley and Tuff Gong International have sold millions of records and continue to do so with many of Bob’s children following in his musical footsteps and still recording at the studio today.

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Lyssons Beach, Saint Thomas

Lyssons Beach is one of Jamaica’s better public beaches, a prime jewel in Saint Thomas near its capital Morant Bay. Lyssons Beach features a white strip of coastline which has two sections but the best part is that they’re still both free in 2022! One part of Lyssons Beach is managed by the Natural Resources Conservation Authority (NRCA), a government arm charged with maintaining Jamaica’s shoreline. The other is owned and operated by the University of the West Indies (UWI) for its students. My experience is based on the UWI portion of Lyssons Beach, but the coastline and views are the same.

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Penfield Falls, Saint Andrew

Let me start by saying that these falls are unnamed. It’s a pity to have such beautiful cascades of the Hope River tucked away in Penfield, a small district in Gordon Town, yet after all these years they are still nameless. Until a name for these falls catches on, we will call them the Penfield Falls after the district in which they are located. This is to distinguish them from the other four waterfalls in Gordon Town which can be accessed through the Pretty Close 876 property.

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Somerset Falls, Portland

Somerset Falls in Hope Bay, Portland is a series of picturesque cascades meandering through the lush green backdrop of a tropical rainforest. The falls run through an old indigo and spice plantation, but the property bears no semblance to its former purpose today.

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Bucket List Jamaica 2017

17 in ’17. Make some bucket list goals which are pocket-friendly and doable. It is useless to have a long list of places entirely out of current reach. I have Marrakech and Madrid goals too but for now, here are 17 places in Jamaica to which I’ve never been and will try to visit for 2017. Some of them I’m ashamed to have never visited 🙈🙈🙈. I mean, I’ve lived here all my life.

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Falling Edge Falls, Saint Andrew

Falling Edge Falls is nestled away in the rural community of Stony Hill. This area receives very high rainfall annually, making it a suitable site for catchment facility the Hermitage Dam and Reservoir. If you’ve ever wanted to see one of the two notorious corporate area reservoirs, consider this killing two birds with one stone. Nothing I’d found online mentally prepared me for my adventure on the 30.12.16, but I owe previous blogs many thanks for ensuring I was prepared with sneakers (phew! because I usually approach water bodies in flip-flops). I nearly didn’t see the falls today because I didn’t realize how very far apart the reservoir and falls are. I’ll describe the trails as best I can, for anyone choosing to quench their wanderlust with this treasure.

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