Johnny Falls, Saint Mary

There’s this waterfall hidden in Palmetto Grove, St. Mary called Johnny Falls which I heard of years ago on Facebook. There were no directions on how to find it anywhere, so I added it to my list of Jamaican waterfalls to visit and moved on. Last year my interest in visiting Johnny Falls piqued again with Grove Swimmers, a fearless group of youngsters who perform admirable dives into the river which runs through their district, headed by 17-year-old Nathan Douglas. They have taken to Instagram and YouTube to showcase their talent, and have even been featured in national newspapers. Thus, I happily tagged along with a group of avid explorers and friends to cross this enigmatic and twenty-second Jamaican waterfall from my list with Nathan as my unofficial tour guide.

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James Bond Beach, Saint Mary

I’ve never read nor watched a James Bond book or movie but living in Jamaica, the character is familiar because of locations like this beach immortalizing his name. James Bond Beach is found along Jamaica’s northeastern coast in the quaint scenic town of Oracabessa, St. Mary. This beach is part of the late Ian Flemming’s estate, writer of 007. He lived nearby in Goldeneye, now an exclusive luxury resort, so James Bond Beach was one of his frequented swimming spots. The beach keeps its affiliation to Flemming and his series rather low-key but for true fans, swimming where your idol once did should be thrilling enough.

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Castleton Botanical Gardens, Saint Mary

The Castleton Botanical Gardens sit in a river valley on both sides of the Junction main road which links the Saint Andrew and Saint Mary parishes. It is one of the oldest botanical gardens in the western hemisphere, established in 1862 by English planter Colonel Castle on what was once a sugar plantation.

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