So I went to my credit card web site to put my Jamaica travel dates in…

A lot of people choose not to use credit cards in Jamaica. Or they use them but they keep the card always in sight, trail the restaurant server to the machine, all kinds of things to avoid risking their CC info being stolen or copied.

But I don’t get it. I use mine wherever I can, (though I completely get that it sucks for mom and pop places to pay the % cards charge them and there I tend to use cash).  But it’s much safer than carrying/storing tons of cash, or using a debit card (just because even if my fraud liability is zero I’ll have to wait to get that cash back in my account). The best cards will even get you a replacement card and maybe some cash to use if you get hacked or otherwise are a victim of cc fraud while traveling.

So, like a good traveler, I went online to let my CC company know the dates I’m traveling to Jamaica so they don’t decline my charges or allow fraudulent ones through after I leave.  This item is on my “going to Jamaica” checklist, always.

I logged in, clicked the link to provide the travel info, and got this message:

Say what? I knew I had zero liability but somehow this chip, which frankly hardly any stores I shop at here in the US actually use, means they don’t need to know I’m out of the country anymore?

OK, that’s cool.

(Though these days it seems they already KNOW exactly where I am…it’s kind of eerie how they wave through all kinds of weird charges from all over the country and the internet for god’s sake, but someone tries to charge $4.50 at a Wal-mart in Arkansas and they call me immediately with a fraud check. It’s spooky, even if they have actually discerned my travel plans because I -duh- bought the airline flights with that card and booked a hotel or whatever).

Anyhow, the zero foreign transaction fee is one of many reasons I use this card when I can  in JA – exchange rate is better than cash and there’s no fee at all. Add zero liability if anything happens. The only thing it doesn’t have that I wished it had, was rental car CDW coverage in Jamaica. It has that just about everywhere else.  Ah well.

I find myself wishing Capital One had some kind of referral program for people who love their credit cards (they don’t).

That feeling when you book…

You know, Jamaicaphiles, the feeling when you click the “book it” button for your airfare, begin looking at the hotels/villas/whatever where you will stay, check which of your favorite drivers are available (or rent that car)…..it’s a GREAT feeling!

For my blog folks, that means there will be a bunch of new posts in a bit. This trip is a very special one for a couple of reasons, in that my companions will be two of my very favorite people in the entire world, who I haven’t been with in Jamaica for many years.

Soon Come Jamaica!!

Getting plans together!!
Getting plans together!!

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 

Jamaicans.com 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 – Jamaicans.com

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)

portmore-beaches

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”.