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.

Continue reading “Experience Life Off the Grid at Animal Farm”

Poet Reef, Hanover

Poet Reef is a salubrious luxury three bedroom waterfront villa located on Jamaica’s north coast in Cousins Cove, Hanover. Constructed of hand-cut stone and furnished with locally made pieces, the villa looks like a home which could have been built in a previous era, but is equipped with modern conveniences which would give it away as a gem from our generation. Poet Reef overlooks an expansive cove and the view is nothing short of breathtaking. Consider Poet Reef for your next vacation on Jamaica’s north coast if you’re looking for a unique place to idle awhile. Let me take you on a short tour of this beautiful property.

Continue reading “Poet Reef, Hanover”

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.

Continue reading “Lethe, Hanover”

Tryall Water Wheel, Hanover

I’ve heard of the Tryall Golf Course and Beach Club in Hanover on the outskirts of Montego Bay before, but I didn’t know that the property had a gigantic waterwheel. I noticed the Jamaica Heritage Trail signs while driving through the area some weekends ago, and decided to stop. I was in for a pleasant surprise. This still functioning cast iron waterwheel was assembled in 1700 by Henry Fairchild, the first owner of the estate. It was damaged in the 1831 Sam Sharpe Christmas slave rebellion but was subsequently restored.

Continue reading “Tryall Water Wheel, Hanover”

Fort Charlotte, Hanover

Last weekend I had the immense privilege of visiting and staying in Hanover, Jamaica’s second smallest parish, on the northwestern coast of the island. Hanover was the last of Jamaica’s fourteen parishes for me to visit and I accomplished that feat last August with a stay at the Grand Palladium Hotel. However, I didn’t explore the parish otherwise so it was exciting to be back less than a year later. I knew I had to check out Fort Charlotte in Lucea because I love exploring historical gems. One thing about forts is that they always command an amazing view of the harbour since they were strategically built to defend the nation’s waters.

Continue reading “Fort Charlotte, Hanover”