Jamaica
Jamaica Discovery Tour

Jamaica – Jamaica Discovery Tour – a 12 day Small Group Tour


Jamaica is a sun and sand destination for many, expectations ranging no further than beach barbecues and Reggae sound systems. However, there’s more to this Caribbean island than bland, all-inclusive resorts.

As well as headline sights in Kingston and Montegeo Bay and plenty of beautiful coastline this tour ventures deep into Jamaica’s interior, away from over-produced cultural evenings and faux authenticity. There’s time to explore historic towns and villages, visit fragrant produce markets and meet the people.

A beach is a beach but this tour shows that Jamaica is another country.

Jamaica is well known as the Caribbean island with beautiful beaches and fantastic resorts, but of more interest to us is the long-held connection to its African roots and a culture that spans continents.

Jamaica is a small island that certainly punches above its weight; with world renowned cuisine, music and sport stars it is hard to ignore this extraordinary Caribbean nation. From jerk chicken and rum shacks to Bob Marley and the national bobsleigh team, Jamaica’s much-loved culture brings a smile to your face. 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

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 ratings.

  • Fitness
  • Off the beaten track 
  • Culture
  • History
  • Wildlife

Tour Pace

Relaxed

Tour style

Traveller

Relaxed Pace

Relaxed tours are easy paced with plenty of leisure time built in. The tour will in all probability still be off the beaten track, with the occasional early start and there may still be occasional long drives. In general on a relaxed pace tour you can enjoy easy-going activities and experiences with opportunities to absorb the sights and immerse yourself in the local surroundings.

Moderate Pace

Moderate pace tours are ideal if you want a tour experience that combines activities and experiences with some time to relax. Typically you will be active and busy for part of the day but then also have time to rest and recharge your batteries. In general on a moderate paced tour there may be some long journeys involved but the tour is not an expedition or a road trip. On a moderate paced tour it will be necessary to have some early starts.

Busy Pace

A busy paced tour means that you can expect to be doing, seeing or experiencing something new almost every day, and moving on from place to place to pack in as much as possible. There may be early starts, long journeys and tiring days along the way, but you’ll return home feeling you’ve really experienced as much as you possibly could.

Pioneer Class Tours

On our Pioneer tours, you will be amongst an elite group of intrepid travellers and some of the first to explore a country that few have been privileged enough to discover. Of course, exploring such areas of the world will come with its challenges; it may mean several nights camping, long journeys by 4WD and the need to maintain a degree of flexibility for when carefully laid plans change. These are challenging tours in countries and areas that may have poor infrastructure, high levels of poverty and illiteracy. This can translate in to low standards in hotels, bad roads and poor driving standards among other issues. We try and smooth out as much of these issues as we can but you should be prepared to experience the bad with the good.

Traveller Class Tours

Our Traveller itineraries are at the core of our programme. These journeys are designed for travellers who still want to discover a land away from the tourist crowds but expect minimum standards. Accommodation will be primarily hotel based, although you could still find yourself camping, or the guest of a local family. Depending on the destination and itinerary, you’ll likely be travelling in a private vehicle, with occasional use of public transport. This is adventure travel with some of the rough edges smoothed out.

Itinerary.

Arrive in Montego Bay and transfer to your hotel. Depending on when you arrive there may be time to explore the city. No meals or guided arrangements included today. Overnight Toby’s Resort or similar, 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)

After a leisurely breakfast, meet with your local guide and begin by tasting the real Jamaica at a variety local food stall during a journey through the mountains to the south coast. Stop in Middle Quarters to try some peanut porridge, take a bite of fried fish and chew on a piece of sugar cane. There is an opportunity to shop for fresh ingredients at the market and help prepare a Jamaican lunch with assistance from Chef Rasta (included). After lunch, take a walk around the town of Black River with its colonial wooden houses, small fishing harbour and busy main street. In the evening, drive down to the fishing village of Parrottee and board your boat for a visit to the Pelican Bar, situated half mile out at sea on a sandbar. It is said to be one of the craziest bars in the world. Originally made of driftwood, it is now in quite a stable condition and you can have your personal memory carved into the wooden planks. Enjoy the crossing, relax in the sun and chill in the belly-deep water with an iced drink while pelicans and hopefully some dolphins watch you. Overnight at Idler’s Rest Beach Hotel, or similar. (BL)

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. Continue to Treasure Beach for the night. Overnight at Sunset Resort, or similar. (B)

The day is left at leisure for you to either relax or explore the beauty of the scenic South Coast. We recommend to visit one of Treasure Beach’s main bays – Billy’s, Calabash, Fort Charles (also known as Starve Gut) Great and Frenchman’s – for vibrant local culture and untrodden beached. Whilst in Treasure Beach, you may also want to check out a culinary experience at Hold A Vibz Cafe. Here you may enjoy freshly baked breads, sandwiches and smoothies while relaxing in this serene atmosphere! Overnight at Sunset Resort, or similar. (B)

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 Hotel Four Seasons, or similar. (B)

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 Hotel Four Seasons, or similar. (B)

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 Monkey Island, an uninhabited island. Overnight at Bay View Eco Resort & Spa, or similar. (B)

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 at Bay View Eco Resort & Spa, or similar. (B)

After breakfast, stop for your daily dose of vitamin on the north coast at the family-owned Sun Valley Plantation where we snack on seasonal fruits, drink freshly squeezed juices and observe hummingbirds in the gardens. Later, winding roads take us to Fern Gully, a towering green tunnel of ferns and other plant life that’s quite a spectacle. Arriving at the small fishing village just outside of Runaway Bay, we take time to chat to local people, before checking-in to hotel accommodation in the hills. Overnight at Geddes Great House, or similar. (B)

There’s good opportunity to discover rural Jamaica today, exploring the colourful and busy produce market in Brown’s Town. Afterwards we drive through the hills, enjoying panoramic views of the north coast as we pass through small villages en route. We take a step back in time, visiting one of the area’s great houses, dating from the colonial period. Here the current owner guides us around the dungeons where slaves were imprisoned. Later we visit Dunn’s River and experience the famous waterfalls. Here it’s possible to climb up 180m through tiers of limestone shaded by rainforest – or just use the stairs located next to the falls… Return to the hotel. Overnight at Geddes Great House, or similar. (B)

Time at leisure until your transfer to Montego Bay Airport for you to catch your flight back home. (B)

Dates & Price.

Tour Notes

This group tour operates subject to a minimum group size of 2 travellers.

Return flights from London to Montego Bay start at £599.

The Jamaica Discovery tour is scheduled to fit in with the direct Virgin Atlantic flights from London Gatwick to Montego Bay. Contact us for a quotation.

Mapped itinerary.

Want to see details of your itinerary on a map?

Download PDF.

Download the full tour dossier for this trip here.

Jamaica - Jamaica Discovery Tour Map

For expert advice get in touch now with our passionate,
well-travelled team.

+44(0) 191 296 2674 from THE UK
1-800-614-2967 from THE US & CANADA
1-300-956-415 from AUSTRALIA

Tour 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

Tour exclusions.

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

This was my first ever holiday to Jamaica. I felt we were treated like royalty and everyone was so friendly. There was so much to take in and the history of the island is fascinating. Thank you for taking such good care of us both.

Ms Beryl Shotton, UK