Jamaica Discovery Tour


Jamaica Discovery Tour

Style: TravellerCultural discovery away from the crowds
Duration: 12 days
Type: GroupSmall group tours with a maximum of 12 travellers

Dossier

On our small group tour we experience island life as we take it easy on powdery sands; explore lush jungles and the misty Blue Mountains and visit old plantation houses for a taste of history. This captivating culture added to the island’s natural wonders which include white-sand beaches, verdant mountain slopes and tumbling waterfalls means that you get all the ingredients for an unforgettable holiday destination.


Tour Rating

 Fitness ●●●○○ | Off the Beaten Track ●●●○○ | Culture ●●●●○ | History ●●●●○ | Wildlife ●●○○○

Tour Pace 

Relaxed 

Tour Highlights 

  • Explore the ‘real’ Jamaica as we get away from the main tourist routes
  • Shop in a local market and help prepare your own lunch with a local chef
  • Discover Accompong, where in 1739 runaway Maroon slaves signed a peace treaty with the British to gain semi-sovereignty
  • Watch the hummingbirds and walk in the beautiful Blue Mountains

Tour Essentials

Accommodation: 11 nights in mid range hotels
Included Meals: Daily breakfast (B), plus lunch (L) and dinner (D) as shown in the itinerary
Group Size: Maximum of 12
Start Point: Montego Bay – you can arrive any time on the first day
End Point: Montego Bay – you can depart any time on the last day
Transport: Minibus
Countries: Jamaica

Tour Itinerary Notes

While our intention is to adhere to the day-by-day itinerary as printed below, a degree of flexibility is built in. Overnight stops may vary from those suggested and on occasions alternative accommodation, of a similar standard to that named below, will be used.

Tour Guide

Our guides are a key strength, chosen for their knowledge of and passion for the areas in which they work. All of our guides are carefully hand-picked, and are not just passing through these countries, but are usually locally born. Unlike some companies it should be noted we do not send a guide or tour leader from Undiscovered Destinations in the UK as we have every confidence in our locally appointed representative who is responsible for operating the tour on our behalf. Where possible you will have the same guide throughout your trip but on occasions it may be necessary to change the guide at one or more points during the tour.

Day 1 – Montego Bay

Arrive in Montego Bay and transfer to your hotel. Depending on when you arrive there may be time to explore the city. Overnight Toby’s Resort or similar, Montego Bay

Montego Bay

Montego Bay, commonly referred to as MoBay, is the second largest city on the island. Christopher Columbus sailed into the bay in 1494 and named it "el Golfo de Buen Tiempo" or Fair Weather Bay. The first record of a Spanish settlement shows it as Monterias and the Spaniards hunted the herds of wild hogs that used to roam the hills and produced and exported 'hog butter' or lard. The name Montego derives from the Spanish "manteca" meaning lard, and Montego Bay is shown on some ancient maps as Lard Bay. Montego Bay's original claim to resort fame was the renowned white-sand Doctor's Cave Beach which attracted celebrities and socialites from all over the world. The beach is said to be fed by healing mineral springs and it certainly boasts the most uncommonly clear and sparkling water.

Day 2 – Montego Bay

A free day to relax after your journey. There is plenty to see and do in Montego Bay or you may wish to just relax on one of the beautiful beaches. Overnight Toby’s Resort or similar, Montego Bay (B)

Day 3 - Montego Bay to Treasure Beach

Today you will meet with your guide and begin by tasting the real Jamaica. We will be sampling a variety of culinary treats at local food stalls during a journey through the mountains on your way to the South Coast. Try some peanut porridge, take a bite of fried fish and chew on a piece of sugar cane. Shop for some fresh ingredients at the local market and help prepare and cook your own Jamaican lunch with assistance from your Rasta chef. We have time to walk around the charming town of Black River with its colonial wooden houses, small fishing harbour and busy main street. Overnight in Sunset Resort or similar, Treasure Beach (BL)

Day 4 - Treasure Beach

Discover the beauty of the scenic South Coast where your first stop is YS Falls, one of Jamaica's finest natural attractions. You can go for a swim in one of the cool pools and for the more intrepid, swing on a rope like Tarzan and make a splash. For the less intrepid, just relax in this unspoilt tropical paradise and watch the Hummingbirds frolic. Become a photographer at Bamboo Avenue, a road lined with giant bamboo plants that form a natural tunnel before we take a safari in the protected wetlands of Black River. View the resident crocodiles and travel through mangroves and wetland where you can spot a variety of birds like Egrets, Pelicans and maybe even the Fish eagle. Overnight in Sunset Resort or similar, Treasure Beach (B)

Day 5 - Treasure Beach to Christiana

Travel through magnificent mountains on your way to Accompong and get the chance to explore Cockpit Country in all its glory. This nature lover’s paradise is rich in culture and history and while you follow the road the exotic plants, birds and reptiles will amaze you. Accompong is the sole remaining outpost in western Jamaica where the Maroons live and their legacy makes up a significant chapter in the Jamaican history. During a walking tour you will hear all about this amazing group of people. Overnight Villa Bella or similar, Christiana (B)

Accompong

Accompong Town (from the Akan name Acheampong) is “a nation within a nation” which has no taxes, police and virtually no crime. This was Jamaica's original gated community up until the 1980s and the town’s gates were locked and outsiders had to seek permission to enter, but now visitors can come and go freely. Their autonomy as a self-governing community was established by a peace treaty with the British in 1739. Located in Cockpit Country, the local terrain enabled maroons and indigenous Taínos to establish a fortified stronghold that could protect them first against the Spanish and then later against the British who they successfully defeated during the First Maroon War. The inhabitants of Accompong share practices and a culture similar to their African heritage originating 200–300 years ago.

Day 6 - Christiana to Kingston

This morning we take a scenic drive along the South Coast and stop at one of the colourful fruit shops en route. Visit the former capital of Jamaica, Spanish Town, and admire the historical Emancipation Square and the Cathedral of St. James, the oldest one in the British Caribbean. Get a glimpse of Kingston Harbour as you enter this vibrant city and visit Trench Town Cultural Yard the "government yard" where Bob Marley lived and composed many of his best known songs. Take a look at Marley's old bedroom, his first guitar and the shell of his rusty Volkswagen camper van. Feel the vibes at the Parade, stroll through Kingston's National Heroes Park and walk in Marley’s footsteps at the Museum. You can get a taste of the Pirates of the Caribbean as you walk through Port Royal and watch as the fishing boats bring in their catch of the day. Enjoy breath taking views of Kingston with the mountains in the background. We visit Fort Charles before we head to the hotel. Overnight at Grand Port Royal or similar, Port Royal (B)

Day 7 – Blue Mountains

Today we follow a winding mountain road where we can enjoy impressive vistas, home of the famous Blue Mountain Coffee. We may get the chance to watch the soldiers being drilled at the Army Camp in Newcastle. Walk the mountain trails that will take you through Holywell National Park and ascend through modified forest 1,400 metres above sea-level. On the way up, there are panoramic views of St Andrew and Portland before the trail descends through primary forest. Go for a stroll and meet the people while you can get your caffeine fix at the local coffee shop before going back to Kingston. Overnight at Grand Port Royal or similar, Port Royal (B)

Day 8 – Port Royal to Port Antonio

We set off through the Parish of St. Thomas, one of the least developed parts of the island and that is the charm of it. Via Bull Bay, Yallahs and Morant Bay the road will take us through the sugarcane fields to the north-east side of the island. Enjoy having a swim in the (sometimes rough) sea at Long Bay and wash off the dust. Try the lunch at the famous Boston Jerk Centre (optional) and step on board a boat to admire the beautiful coast line of Portland with its expensive houses and explore an uninhabited island. Overnight in Bay View or similar in Port Antonio (B)

Day 9 - Port Antonio

This morning you can de-stress on a gentle raft ride on the Rio Grande. As your captain steers the bamboo raft downstream you can soak up the natural beauty with stunning views of the Blue Mountains, colourful flora and fauna and listen to the deafening silence. Admire the harbour as you stroll around the centre of Port Antonio and explore the craft market with its colourful vendors. Explore the historical part of town by going up the hill to Titchfield where you will find rustic wooden houses and a beautiful old hotel. Spend time in the beautiful Frenchman's Cove, a secluded white sand beach surrounded by lush tropical vegetation. Get your feet wet, surf the waves, relax and enjoy yourself right there on the beach. Overnight in Bay View or similar in Port Antonio (B)

Day 10 - Port Antonio to Runaway Bay

Today we will visit a kindergarten that is a part of the Jamaica School Project (only on weekdays and not during school holidays). Meet with the children and let them proudly show you their work. We stop at the family owned Sun Valley Plantation on the North Coast where you can snack on the seasonal fruits, drink freshly squeezed juices and observe the Hummingbirds at play in the garden. Scenic winding roads take us  to Fern Gully, a towering green tunnel of ferns and other plant life where we will stop for a picture. Get to know the locals at a small fishing village just outside of Runaway Bay before checking in to your hotel in the hills. Overnight at Villa Sonate or similar, Runaway Bay (B)

Day 11 - Runaway Bay

Discover rural Jamaica and explore the local market in Brown's Town with its array of fresh smells, great tasting fruits, variety of vegetables and of course, the colourful vendors. Drive through the hills and enjoy the panoramic views of the North Coast as you make your way through small villages. Take a step back in time during your visit of an authentic Great House and let the owner show you the dungeons where the slaves were imprisoned. Visit the famous Dunn's River and view one of the world's most beautiful waterfalls. You can enter the cool water and climb 180 meters up limestone tiers shaded by rainforest or just use the stairs that are located right next to the falls. Overnight at Villa Sonate or similar, Runaway Bay (B)

Day 12 - Runaway Bay to Montego Bay

At a suitable time you will transfer to Montego Bay for departure.

Inclusions:
Arrival and departure transfers
Transport throughout
All accommodation
Daily breakfast (B), plus lunch (L) and dinner (D) as shown in the itinerary
Services of English speaking guide for 9 days
Entrance fees for sites listed as part of the itinerary

Excluded:
International flights
Any airport taxes
Travel Insurance
Visas
Drinks
Items of a personal nature
Tips (discretionary)