16 Photos Showcasing the Beauty of St. Ann in Jamaica

Saint Ann is the largest parish in Jamaica, located on the island’s north coast. It is named for  Lady Anne Hyde, the first wife of King James II of England. You may know this parish for the resort town of Ocho Rios or perhaps even Runaway Bay or Discovery Bay. St. Ann lies almost smack in the middle of Jamaica and is also called the Garden Parish in light of its floral beauty. St. Ann is one of Jamaica’s oldest populated areas, tracing back to 600–650 AD. It is believed to be the earliest settlement in Jamaica. The Tainos, Jamaica’s pre-Columbian aboriginal people, were its first settlers. Christopher Columbus first landed in Jamaica at Discovery Bay, St. Ann in 1494. He eventually lived there for a year after being marooned in the Caribbean on his fourth voyage to the New World. The first Spanish settlement in Jamaica was at Sevilla la Nueva, and you can explore its colourful history today at the Seville Heritage Park. Today we take a look at 16 photos which showcase the beauty of this parish. See why we call St. Ann the Garden Parish of Jamaica.

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How to Travel With Only A Carry-on

It didn’t dawn on me that people traveled without checked luggage until earlier this year. I had that epiphany when my boyfriend and I were researching the steps it would take to reach to Machu Picchu from Jamaica. He said we’re not checking any luggage to take six airplanes and two trains. I scoffed at the idea initially and wondered how shall I manage to travel that light for one week. I warmed up to it eventually after I realized checked luggage for all those connecting flights wouldn’t be practical. If my luggage didn’t arrive on time at one leg of the journey, that would be disastrous. I learnt a lot from this experience so here I am sharing hacks on how to travel with only a carry-on, as well as the benefits of not having checked luggage.

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Hiking trail with 3 cows and 2 people

Bull Head Mountain, Clarendon

The Bull Head Mountains is a 545-acre mountain range located in north Clarendon. The mountain is named for its shape of a bull head when seen out from sea. Bull Head Mountain Peak is located at 3600 feet (1097m) above sea level, and the gentle trail which leads to it is one of the best hiking trails in Jamaica. The Rio Minho, Jamaica’s longest river, originates in the Bull Head Mountains and its natural spring water is bottled straight from the source. What’s even cooler about these mountains is that they contain the geographical centre of Jamaica and there’s a marker to prove it. This post covers how to find the geographical centre of Jamaica and the Bull Head Mountain Peak.

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Sign at Chukka White River Valley

It’s Time to Play at Chukka Cove in Ocho Rios

Chukka is the Caribbean’s largest eco-adventure tour company. Its founder Danny Melville would host polo matches on weekends, then take the horses for a refreshing swim afterwards. In 1983 Melville opened a local equestrian centre and complemented it with an opportunity for tourists to ride and swim with horses along a scenic coastal trail. Chukka’s signature Horseback Ride ‘N’ Swim at Llandovery was the first adventure tour of its kind in Jamaica and the rest is history. Chukka now operates over 60 tours with locations in Jamaica, Belize, Turks & Caicos, the Dominican Republic and Barbados.

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Exterior of home with garden

Escape to Runaway Bay, Jamaica With These 3 Villas

Runaway Bay on the north coast of Jamaica is said to be one of the island’s most beautiful towns. The town consists of hilly terrain which gently slopes towards charming white sand beaches, pristine reefs and imposing all-inclusive resorts. Runaway Bay is an important tourist hub. It lies 27km away from the bustling resort town of Ocho Rios, and is an hour’s drive away from the island’s largest international airport in the city of Montego Bay. The meaning of the town’s name isn’t clear. Some say it is so-called because of slaves who used the beach to escape to Cuba; others say the name has to do with the Spanish soldiers who fled Jamaica from this beach after invasion by the British. Nonetheless, people would rather pay money nowadays to escape to Runaway Bay; not from! Here are three delightful villas in Runaway Bay at which one can enjoy a great vacation.

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The 10 Most Luxurious Hotels in Jamaica

The island of Jamaica is renowned internationally for its white sand beaches, all-inclusive hotels and as a playground for the world’s rich and famous. There’s a wide range of deluxe accommodations in The Home of All Right ranging from sprawling beachfront hotels to secluded waterfront villas and cozy mountainside chalets. If you’ve ever wondered where in Jamaica do the celebrities vacation, or would like to live as luxuriously as they do, you’ve come to the right place. Here are Jamaica’s top 10 luxury hotels where you can have the singular experience of tropical Caribbean opulence.

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River surrounded by greenery

Calypso Rafting & Tubing on the White River

Bamboo river rafting is one of the most relaxing and scenic tours you can take in Jamaica. There are four rivers in Jamaica used for rafting, namely the Great River, Martha Brae, White River and Rio Grande. I’d planned to make White River my third rafting adventure, however all the rafts were booked when I arrived! Therefore, I ended up tubing down the White River instead which turned out to be just as fun, if not more. Read on to learn more about this adventure + how to plan your own White River rafting and tubing trips. White River is located mere minutes from the Ocho Rios Pier in St. Ann.

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Mountains and flowers

How to Prevent & Treat Altitude Sickness

Millions of people travel to high altitudes annually, especially in the Himalayas, Alps, Andes and North American Rocky Mountains. Traveling to a higher altitude without gradually acclimatizing often results in altitude sickness, and is most prevalent at 8,000 feet (2500m) or higher above sea level. My first experience with altitude sickness was on vacation to one of the world’s seven wonders, Machu Picchu. Getting to Machu Picchu requires transiting through Cusco, the old capital of the Incan empire, which is located at 11,200 feet (3400m) above sea level. Most persons arrive in Cusco by flight which gives the body zero time to acclimate naturally. This post covers what is altitude sickness, how to prevent it and natural + medical remedies to treat the condition.

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Girl looking at llama

9 Ways Peru Reminded Me of Jamaica

My favourite thing about traveling to a new country is being able compare their culture to my own. I’d done this for Trinidad in 2020, and now I’m doing the same for Peru. This time, I decided to compile a list of nine ways in which Peru reminded me of Jamaica (and five differences). This lighthearted post is written from my own observations after a week in Peru, so I hope not to offend anyone. Despite the negative features this post may highlight, I must say that I truly enjoyed my time in Peru and I appreciated the genuine warmth, curiosity and love that the Peruvian people expressed for Jamaica.

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Poster of Elle's Travel Guide to Machu Picchu

Elle’s Guide to Machu Picchu

In 2000, a Swiss foundation launched a campaign to determine the New Seven Wonders of the World. The original list was compiled in 200 AD, but only one of the seven ancient wonders still exists. More than 100 million votes were cast and the final results were announced in 2007. It’s impossible to please everyone, but there weren’t many naysayers about the choice of Machu Picchu as one of the world’s New Seven Wonders. Machu Picchu is one of the few intact pre-Colombian ruins left in the world. This Incan citadel was built in the 1400s on a 2,430m (7,970ft) mountain ridge in the Urubamba Province of Peru, 80km northwest of Cusco. The Incas had no written language so modern archaeologists can only surmise the importance of the houses, terraces and temples left behind. The city was left uninhabited for centuries following the Spanish Conquest, and only rediscovered by American archaeologist Hiram Bingham in 1911. In this post, I’ll share my Machu Picchu adventure + travel tips. Read my previous post if you’d like to know what this trip costed.

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