The Ruff Tuff Guide To The Blue Mountains » Real Jamaica

This Real Jamaica article serves as a useful travel guide for those looking to explore the beautiful Blue Mountains & John Crow National Park of Jamaica.

Source: The Ruff Tuff Guide To The Blue Mountains » Real Jamaica

Rarely Visited Waterfalls and Rivers in Jamaica

I’ve been in a lot of bodies of water in Jamaica including a few from the following lists. But the land of wood and water certainly has more rivers than anyone can get into, including me, though I plan to try.

I often measure the quality of a day in Jamaica by the number of bodies of water I’m able to get into. A really good day would have a pre-breakfast swimming pool wake-up, an ocean swim or snorkel, a trip to a river or waterfall, and maybe a hot spring like at Milk River.  In fact I the day we went to Gut River and Milk River bath, I had a 4-water-bodies day.

This one is Breadnut Falls. It’s in St Elizabeth so not far from Treasure Beach which is one of my favorite areas to visit, so I think I will check it out next time:

Omigosh this one just speaks to me. I’ve been at this river but not this part, now I need to find this spot!

I’ve been to a few of these. Gut River is one of the more remote that can actually be reached by car, we spent a couple of hours there.  Mayfield is an old favorite, pretty close to Negril, so I’ve been 2-3 times.  I had a wonderful swim at Dornoch’s Head, though the drive down was not for the faint of heart. Kwame Falls was a boat-then-hike adventure along the wild and undeveloped NE coast, I’ll never forget that one.  So I’ve been to four…that leaves nine from that list.

There are more at the link here:  Waterfalls/Rivers in Each Parish You Probably Didn’t Know Existed | Sun Island Jamaica has a similar list.

This one is Reach Falls and it is probably still the most beautiful one I have visited in Jamaica. It’s been developed by the UDC since I was there, but Port Antonio is just not that busy a tourist area so I doubt it gets big crowds except perhaps locals on weekends. That’s pretty much all we saw there when we went.  The water comes from underground and doesn’t travel far above ground, just like Gut River, which is what I’m told makes them so clear.

I’ve been to the cousin of this one, this is Tacky Falls, in the same general area as Kwame falls.

Most people know about Jamaica’s most popular waterfalls like Dunns River, however, there are other Jamaican waterfalls located are all over the island.

Source: 9 Must See Jamaican Waterfalls That You Have Never Heard About –

I love lists like these, they help me make my own. What’s on your Jamaica bucket list?

Fort Clarence/Boardwalk Beach in Kingston

I’ve been to Kingston several times but have never gone to the beach there. That’s right – not to Hellshire for food or swimming, not to Lime Key. Out to Port Royal, but to eat only…I don’t think anyone swims there anyway.

And not to Boardwalk Beach or Fort Clarence, two beaches on the same general strip of Portmore sand (the ones at the top in this image)


Now that I’ve seen this article about Boardwalk, I’m curious. There’s a lovely peaceful looking beach, a restaurant with seafood and facilities….not bad for a short drive from town! $200J entry and you need to buy their food and drink.  Lots of pics and tips here.

Boardwalk Beach and restaurant
Boardwalk Beach and restaurant
The beach
The beach

Fort Clarence is popular too, as a quieter alternative to Hellshire.  Check these photos and tips about it.

Do you have a favorite beach in the Kingston area? Which, why? I’m not missing one next time I’m “in town”.

Places to stay in Strawberry Fields

Strawberry Fields forever….yes there is a real one, in Jamaica. There is a resort by that name but I refer to the “town” with the same name.

If you are traveling on the main north coast road, between Port Maria in St. Mary and Annotto Bay in Portland, there is an area that the road bypasses. I visited it and described this in two previous blog posts (1 and 2).

Back in the 1970’s it was a hippie haven, but the current resort is pretty upscale. I hear good things about it but haven’t visited as it’s a bit pricey for what I was doing when I was in that area. Super nice private beach and cottages.

Strawberry Fields Together resort
Strawberry Fields Together resort

There are other places to stay and I want to link them because they cover a wide range of styles and prices.

First, is Sata’s place. It’s not easy to call ahead but if you are in SF, the store (there’s really just the one, with a bar, just past the SF resort), is in front of it and can locate him for you.  His cottages are basic but comfy with beds and nets – think A++ camping or basic room. Prices match, I think he was charging $10-15 when I was there. So budget folks, check that out. The setting and views are unbelievable.

One of Sata's 3 cottages
One of Sata’s 3 cottages
Drinks by the sea at Sata's, food served here too
Drinks by the sea at Sata’s, food served here too

I visited River Lodge , just a short stroll down the road. This one is written up in a lot of guidebooks because it’s cool – it’s an old Spanish Fort converted into a guesthouse.  There’s a nice little pool for swimming on the property, and the rooms are pretty comfy. Still rustic, but very unique.

Stairs to one of the rooms at River Lodge
Stairs to one of the rooms at River Lodge
A room at River Lodge
A room at River Lodge

Now comes one that I didn’t know about when I was there, or actually I don’t think it existed yet as rentable cabins. Yerba Buena is a working farm as well.

Over in Robin’s Bay, you’ll pass the Robin’s Bay Resort. It’s large, and strikes me as the sort of places people might have large events, like weddings and conferences. Not so much a place for an adventure traveler to stay, but you can check it as you pass and see. No web site i am ware of for it.

The following photos were taken by a photographer who went on a hike there a few years back.


The Rugged and Wild coastline


One of the deserted and beautiful area beaches


Kwame Falls. A nice hike into the jungle from a black sand beach takes you here.


Dramatic beach

His photographs of Jamaica are amazing and well worth checking out. The ones he took at Morant Point have inspired me to visit there one day.

Do you know any other places to stay in the area?  A good contact for Sata? I’d gladly add to this post, just comment and let me know.

Happy trails!

Moving in Jamaica by route taxi, bus and minibus

Hi all,

It’s been over a year since I’ve been to Jamaica but I still stay connected, and today I want to share a blog post from someone else – the folks at Road Affair.  It’s a super detailed account of their travels around the island using route taxis, buses, and minibuses. Not too many tourists do this because the system can be somewhat mysterious and the comfort level isn’t super high. But it’s a very inexpensive way to get around and people ask about it a lot. I love this post because it offers specific prices and for various routes (as of August 2015) and great info on how and where to change, compares routes to take, really great.

So, check it out:

Getting Around Jamaica via Route Taxis

One of the best ways to get around Jamaica (JA) is by route taxis and I spit venom on the people who claim that they are unsafe. Not only are they safe, they’re a great way to experience the real Jamaica and interact with the locals.

I know many forums suggest taking private (chartered) taxis, but that’s boring and expensive (US$25 – 200+ depending on location).

Route taxis are the way to go. After all, it’s not the destination that matters but the journey! Plus what is JA without route taxis! Read More