7 Off the Beaten Track Jamaican Places Which Are Totally Worth the Effort

Ahhh.. off the beaten track, a term which conjures up images of Jamaica’s rolling green hills, sweeping valleys, secluded beaches, serpentine rivers and cold majestic waterfalls in my mind. Jamaica means ‘Land of Wood and Water’ and the island certainly doesn’t disappoint– in fact I’m far from finished with discovering and exploring her concealed treasures.

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Bluefields Beach, Westmoreland

Ahh.. finally I got around to visiting Jamaica’s most western parish. Bluefields Beach in Bluefields, Westmoreland is an easy-to-find stop along the main road which links the St. Elizabeth and Westmoreland parishes. A decent sized beach, Bluefields is a victim of the beach erosion which seems to be plaguing many of our public beaches. There are also no watersports available at this one either, but it’s worth a quick pick-me-upper for someone craving some waves and salty air in this side of the island,  or in transit to other south or west coast destinations.

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Pelican Bar, Saint Elizabeth

One mile off the coast of Parottee in St. Elizabeth, Jamaica lies the coolest bar in the Caribbean, and possibly the entire world. The unique Pelican Bar resembles a gigantic bird nest made from driftwood, palm fronds and coconut tree trunks and is perched on a sandbar in the middle of the turquoise Caribbean Sea. The bar is named for the large flocks of pelicans which often rest there. Its owner, a local fisherman named Floyd Forbes, had a dream one night about a bar out at sea where he and his fishermen friends could sit and clean their fish or relax and have a beer.

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22 Photos Which Show Why Portland is Jamaica’s Most Beautiful Parish

Portland is easily Jamaica’s most beautiful parish with a great diversity in landscapes ranging from Jamaica’s highest mountain peak at a chilly 7,402 feet and dipping as low as to sea level with warm tropical breezes wafting in from the Caribbean Sea. What’s even lovelier is that this parish is relatively untouched from the droves of tourists which flock our major three tourist cities and towns, so it’s possible you’ll find many of these gems 100% empty (and uncommercialized) if you visit. Portland attracts a more ecoturist laidback vibe so it’s no wonder yoga and wellness resorts have been growing in popularity in this side of the island. I’ll let the pictures do the talking– here’s why Portland is my favourite ❤ and Jamaica’s most beautiful parish.

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Why I Won’t Swim With Dolphins in Jamaica.. Or Anywhere

Dolphins are the number three top tourist attraction in Jamaica. Swimming with dolphins is a bucket list item for many and these adorable smiling ads make it easy to see why. Regarded as some of Earth’s most intelligent animals, dolphins are as smart as apes with brains surprisingly similar to that of humans. They are very social mammals living in matrilineal groups that hunt and play together with as many as 1,000 members. Each pod has its own language, every individual has a name and survival and nurturing skills are taught. Their language is highly complex and to date has scarcely been deciphered by humans. They can swim 100 miles in a day and have been recorded to dive to 1,000 feet. Their hearing is better than adult humans and their sense of touch and sight is well-developed. Their biggest threat though? Man.

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Puerto Seco Beach, Saint Ann

Puerto Seco is a white sand beach located along Jamaica’s north coast in the historic town of Discovery Bay, St. Ann. Christopher Columbus is believed to have first landed in Jamaica on this beach with his three ships Santa Maria, Pinta and Niña in 1494. For this same reason, a park named after him lies just five minutes’ drive away. Recently leased and refurbished by the Guardsman Group security company, Puerto Seco is one of Jamaica’s most iconic beaches and was renovated to highlight that historic charm.

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2019: Mid-Year Mark

Last year I wrote a post titled “2018: Mid-Year Mark” because I wanted my readers to know I was alive and well despite two months of inactivity. Life was busy and I just didn’t have any shareable experiences to publish so it was a personal sort of check-in post, made complete with the goals and plans I had for the remainder of the year. You can check that out here if you’re interested. This year my blog hasn’t been inactive at all– in fact it’s probably the most active it has ever been. I made time for writing and travelling rather frequently while completing my medical degree, but I quite enjoyed putting together that post and thought I’d do one for 2019 even if we’re 21 days past the midpoint of the year.

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Fish Dunn Falls, Portland

Last month I decided to see what lies beyond the road to Holywell and what awaited was a pleasant surprise. I’d intended to visit at least one more waterfall from the parish of Portland going by this list of all the waterfalls in Jamaica, but ended up seeing three: Cascade waterfall which I already wrote about here, an unnamed pair and this mesmerizing beauty named Fish Dunn/Done Falls in the community of Silver Hill.

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Cascade Falls, Portland

Jamaicans are so matter-of-fact when it comes to naming places. Cascade waterfall is located in a tiny rural district by the name of– you guessed it– Cascade. What Cascade lacks in breadth it makes up for in height measuring over 100 feet tall! The waterfall is visible from the main road and that seems to be where most people are content with getting their view of this beauty. Of course, that wouldn’t be adequate for an adventurous soul like myself.

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Reach Falls, Portland

Well well well, if it isn’t more of my favourite parish in the whole of Jamaica! Portland is an ecotourist’s haven with idyllic beaches, cool forests, relaxing rafting on the Rio Grande, nature resorts, sanctuaries and close to a dozen majestic waterfalls, both named and unnamed. The elysian Reach Falls in Manchioneal is a series of delightful cascades along the Driver’s River. It was first discovered centuries ago by runaway slaves from plantations in the neighbouring parish of St. Thomas who sought refuge in the John Crow Mountains.

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