Bath Mineral Spring, Saint Thomas

The rural community of Bath in St. Thomas is teeming with history and beauty, home to Jamaica’s oldest botanical garden and a mineral spring by the same name. Legend has it that the bath was discovered in the 1600s by a runaway slave with leg ulcers. He stumbled across the spring, used it to wash his wounded limb then noticed the next day that his leg was rapidly healing. He shared the good news then stories of the fountain spread, soon attracting visitors from islandwide. 

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Bath Botanical Gardens, Saint Thomas

Established in 1779, the rural community of Bath in Saint Thomas is home to Jamaica’s oldest and the Caribbean’s second oldest botanical garden. Two and a half centuries later Bath Botanical Garden may not be as well-kept as it once was but it’s certainly a beautiful national treasure worth visiting. Many foreign plants which we have since made our own were first planted here. These include flowers like the croton, jacaranda and bougainvillea and foodstuff like cinnamon, ackee, otaheite apples, jackfruit and breadfruit– the delicious Jamaican staple which I couldn’t imagine our cuisine without! 

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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. This white strip of coastline has two sections but the best part of it is that they’re both free! One 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 but the coastline and views are the same.

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Reggae Falls, Saint Thomas

Reggae Falls, a.k.a. Dam Head, is a jewel tucked away in the hilly rural community of Hillside, Saint Thomas (what an aptly named district!). This waterfall is not entirely natural as many years ago, the Johnson River which supplies it was being developed to power a hydroelectricity station. The project suffered some damage from a hurricane early in development, leading to its abandonment. However, its aesthetic appeal has not gone unnoticed by residents of the community nor dry land tourists* like myself, who are its main patrons. My only visit thus far was in January 2016. Its waters are touted to have healing properties due to its sulphur content. It is currently not commercialized and I hope it develops, once its ownership remains in local hands.

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