Sights

This tiny English-style 'green', also known as Mandeville Sq, lends a charming village feel to the town center. On the north side is the Mandeville Courthouse, of cut limestone with a horseshoe staircase and a raised portico supported by Doric columns. The Rectory, the oldest home in town, adjoins the courthouse. Both it and the courthouse were completed in 1820. On the south side is a produce market, and a cenotaph commemorating Jamaica's dead from the two world wars. St Mark's Church, on the...

Hellshire Beach Recreation Area

White-sand beaches (owned and operated by the Urban Development Council) fringe the eastern Hellshire Hills and are reached via a road that leads south from Portmore via Braeton Newtown to Hellshire Point, 13km south of Braeton. The road meets the coast at Great Salt Pond, a circular bay lined with briny mangrove swamps where snook, mullet, stingrays and crocodiles ('alligators') can be seen. At the southeasternmost point of Great Salt Pond is Fort Clarence Beach Park (adult child USS3 1.50 S...

Contemporary Jamaican Music

Each year, Jamaica inspires pilgrims seeking sun, beaches and rum (or a potent cocktail of all three), yet it was the reggae revolution from the late 1960s to the early 1980s that put Jamaican music on the map and made it inexorably distinct from other Caribbean hotspots. Yet while that revolution's legacies can still be heard on the world's stages from great reggae ambassadors such as Jimmy Cliff, Burning Spear and Bunny Wailer, they are no longer the voices of Jamaican youth. There are new...

Sights Activities

This beautiful riverside spot, in a valley bottom below the town, has a waterfall plus picnic spots framed by bamboo. Two sinkholes full of crystal-clear water offer refreshing dips. You can hike from the center of town, though the going at the lower reaches can be muddy and slippery. Take the road that leads east from the National Commercial Bank it's 3km from here. Take the first left and then the second left. This forest reserve of pines, mahogany and mahoe growing atop and betwixt dramatic...

Information

Jake's Place (p271) is an unofficial tourist information source. On the internet, a good starting point is www.treasurebeach.net. 268 TREASURE BEACH & AROUND Treasure Beach TREASURE BEACH & AROUND Treasure Beach 269 Gold Coast Restaurant (see 25) Jack Sprat Cafe (see 10) Natural Vibes Restaurant 17 C2 Potsnapper Restaurant 18 C2 Q-en Coffee Shop 19 C2 C2 Fisherman's Nightclub 23 C2 Kingfisher Plaza 25 D3 Lennon's Wood Music & Things (see 26) Mermaid Art Gallery (see 4) Treasure Beach...

Medical Services

St Ann's Bay, about 11km west of Ocho Rios, has the nearest hospital ( 972-2272). A doctor's visit can be arranged by your hotel's front desk. Island Radiology ( 790-0150 Evelyn St near One Love Park) X-ray and ultrasound diagnostics. Ocho Rios Health Clinic ( 974-2691 Graham St S 8am-4 30pm Mon-Thu, 8am-4pm Fri) Expect long gueues at this public clinic. Ocho Rios Pharmacy ( 974-2398 Shop 27, Ocean Village Plaza) Pinegrove Pharmacy ( 974-5586 Pinegrove Plaza)

St Jago De La Vega Cathedral

From the town square, take White Church St south for three blocks to St Jago de la Vega Cathedral, the oldest Anglican cathedral in the former British colonies. It's also one of the prettiest churches in Jamaica, boasting wooden fluted pillars, an impressive beamed ceiling, a magnificent stained-glass window behind the altar, and a large organ dating to 1849. The church stands on the site of one of the first Spanish cathedrals in the New World the Franciscan Chapel of the Red Cross, built in...

Bus Public Transportation

Traveling by public transportation could be the best - or worst - adventure of your trip to Jamaica. An extensive transportation network links virtually every village and comprises several options that range from standard public buses to private taxis, with minibuses and route taxis in between. For the adventurous traveler who doesn't mind getting up close and personal with fellow passengers without the comfort of air-conditioning and is unfazed by the wild and often dangerous maneuverings of...

Environment

No less a world traveler than Columbus described Jamaica as 'the fairest isle that eyes beheld mountainous .all full of valleys and fields and plains.' And despite its relatively small size, Jamaica boasts an impressive diversity of terrain and vegetation - although few visitors venture far enough afield to experience it all. The country's primary forest, while dwindling, still harbors an amazing array of birds and plants, and new species are still being discovered in Cockpit Country. At 11,425...

Mavis Bank

Mavis Bank, around a one-hour drive from Kingston, is a tidy little village in the midst of coffee country. In the village center you'll find the police station ( 977-8004), a post office, a public telephone and the People's Cooperative Bank ( 977-8010 S 9am-3pm Mon-Fri), which represents Western Union. The Mavis Bank Coffee Factory ( 977-8015 tour US 8 S 9-11am& 1-3pmMon-Fri), 1km southwest of Mavis Bank, is a working factory that has been producing Blue Mountain coffee for over a century....

Sleeping Eating

Hotel Villa Bella (S 964-2243 r USS60-85) The Villa Bella is a charming and cozy old country inn perched on a hill at Sedburgh, at the south end of town. This former grande dame retains its original mahogany floors (now somewhat squeaky) and 1940s furniture. The 15 recently renovated, exquisitely decorated rooms have cable TV and deep bathtub-showers. Rooms in the annex are smaller. Gracious and efficient service recalls the days when Christiana was a center for 'old-style tourism.' Facilities...

Font Hill Beach Park Wildlife Sanctuary

Although this wildlife reserve and beach park ( 396-4133 adult child USS3 1.50 S9am-5pm), on almost 1300 hectares, east of Scott's Cove, is incongruously owned by the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica, it has not tarnished its natural beauty .after realizing the oil it initially sought offshore didn't exist. The sanctuary, which you can only visit accompanied by a guide, has scrubby acacia, logwood thickets and, closer to the shore, a maze of connected lagoons and swamps with a population of a...

Negril Long

Airpak Express (see 3) Caf Taino 1 D5 Caribic Vacations 2 C6 D1 Jamaica Tourist Board (see 65) D6 Negril Beach Medical Center 5 C6 6) Negril Marine Park Office 6 C6 C6 Aqu a- N ova Water Sports 8 C6 Bloody Bay Beach 9 D1 Caribic Vacations (see 2) JUTA Tours (see 63) Kool Runnings Water Park 10 D2 Negril Scuba Centre (see 47) Mineral Springs Office 11 D5 Ray's Water Sports 12 D2 Sun Divers (see 39) Treehouse Watersports (see 36) Tropical Tours 13 D3 Beachcomber Club & Spa 14 D3 Beaches...

Sleeping

Treasure Beach boasts one world-famous hotel and many restful guest houses that are as personable as the friendly folk who run them. There's a good selection of truly affordable lodging, making this one of the most economical places in Jamaica for an extended stay. Speaking of sticking around, the area also features a great selection of spacious villas, many of them fully staffed. Some in this category provide bona-fide luxury and considerable style, while others are more modest and practical,...

Middle Quarters

This small village on the A2, 13km north of Black River, is renowned for its women higglers (street vendors) who stand at the roadside selling delicious pepper shrimps - pronounced 'swimp' locally - cooked at the roadside grills. The shrimp are caught in traps made in centuries-old African tradition from split bamboo. US 3 will buy a spicy bagful. If you're really hungry, do as Jamaican truckers do and pull into Howie's Healthy Eating ( 378-8714 mains USS2-6 S24hr), on the A2 at the turnoff for...

Understanding Patois

When Jamaicans speak patois, the discussion may be incomprehensible to visitors. It might sound like a chaotic babble without rules. But don't be mislead there are rules. They're just different from those of traditional English grammar. Some words are unexpectedly present, for example, where others are unexpectedly missing. New words are invented and slip into general parlance as quickly as others fall from grace, and vowel sounds go sliding off into diphthongs. Like Yorkshire folk, Jamaicans...

HISTORY

Columbus anchored in Montego Bay in 1494 and called it Gulf of Good Weather. In 1655 a settlement appeared on Spanish maps Manterias, after the Spanish word manteca, or lard, from the days when the Spanish shipped 'pig's butter' derived from the herds of wild hogs that flourished in the nearby hills. Following the British takeover that year, the parish of St James was established. As sugar was planted, Montego Bay took on new importance, and St James became the most important sugar-producing...

Food Drink

A top Jamaican food website is www .jamaicans.com cooking which serves up a wide selection of dishes, kept fresh by a recipe of the month. The ubiquitous escoveitch fish was first brought to Jamaica by Jews who immigrated during Spanish rule. Jerk Barbecue from Jamaica by Helen Wil-linsky brings to life the visceral joy of preparing a toothsome jerk marinade. You can almost smell the wood smoke and pimento (allspice). From a simple roadside shack to the kitchen of a five-star hotel, Jamaican...

Dangers Annoyances

There are no particular problems in Negril that can't be encountered elsewhere in Jamaica, although in Negril they are multiplied, so a few reminders are in order. For more information on any of the subjects below, see p278. The hustlers who work the beach for a living will definitely want to establish a relationship with you, and you can expect to be endlessly offered everything from drugs to the hustlers themselves. Usually - but alas not always - you can shake them off with a firm 'not...

Jamaica Outdoors

Luring vacationers by the millions with visions of sugary sand and limitless sun, she soon rouses them from the poolside bar or beach towel with an enticing array of outdoor activities. Indeed, some of the most rewarding items on Jamaica's tourist menu are to be found exploring her caves, reefs, rivers and mountains. Even the most comatose beach-bum is going to wonder just what else is out there after a while. Jamaica's shores are as beautiful below the surface as...

Jamaica Talk

A good preparatory source is the movie Dancehall Queen, with dialogue in thick, at times impenetrable, Jamaican dialect. Here are some words you'll be sure to hear while strolling through the streets. ago - to be intent on doing something, as in 'Me ago duntown.' agony - a sexual act, or a style of dancing that suggests it arms house - a violent posture, common during sound- Babylon - the establishment, white society baldhead - a non-Rasta person of unsound viewpoint bandulu - a hustler,...

Black River Great Morass

There are many rivers to cross in this 200-sq-km wetland extending inland from the mouth of the Black River. For its singular scenery and its excellent wildlife-viewing opportunities, this is one of Jamaica's most satisfying explorations. The best way to get a feel for the morass is to explore it by small watercraft or tour boat quick excursions are easily arranged in Black River, but if you are heading on to Treasure Beach, lengthier forays up the river can be arranged there. Along the way,...

St Anns

N,1 IInihil ( oilII1K-Kl.il l lllk Artisans & Craft Village (see 25) C2 Marcus Garvey Statue (see 2) C2 B2 Ruins of Sugar Works 16 A2 Seville Pottery 18 B2 Site of Spanish Settlement 19 B1 Spanish Ruins 20 C2 Blue Bowl Restaurant. Cohall's Vegetarian Restaurant. Spicy Nice Patties & Pastir Supermarket Artisans & Craft Village (see 25) C2 Marcus Garvey Statue (see 2) C2 B2 Ruins of Sugar Works 16 A2 Seville Pottery 18 B2 Site of Spanish Settlement 19 B1 Spanish Ruins 20 C2 Blue Bowl...

Internet Resources

Afflicted Yard (http afflictedyard.com) Edgy culture site with entertainment listings. Dancehall Reggae (www.dancehallreggae.com) The place to go for the latest on the island's music scene. Insiders Jamaica (www.insidersjamaica.com) Tourist-board site focusing on inns and villas in Jamaica. Jamaica Gleaner (www.jamaica-gleaner.com) Best news source from the island's most reliable newspaper. Jamaica National Heritage Trust (www.jnht.com) Excellent guide to Jamaica's history and heritage. Jamaica...

Scuba Diving

Negril offers extensive offshore reefs and cliffs with grottoes, shallow reefs perfect for novice divers and mid-depth reefs right off the main beach at Long Bay. Clusters of dwarf tube sponges are a noteworthy feature. The West End offers caves and tunnels its overhangs are popular for night dives. Hawksbill turtles are still quite common here. Visibility often exceeds 30m and seas are dependably calm. Most dives are in 10m to 23m of water. (For more general scuba-diving information, see p53.)...

Negril West Coast

In the 1970s, Negril lured hippies with its offbeat beach-life to a countercultural Shangri-la where anything goes. To some extent anything still goes here, but the innocence left long ago. To be sure, the gorgeous 11km-long swath of sand that is Long Beach is still kissed by the serene waters into which the sun melts every evening in a riot of color that will transfix even the most jaded. And the easily accessible coral reefs offer some of the best diving in the Caribbean. At night, rustic...

Water Sports

Virtually the entire shoreline east of Ocho Rios to Galina Point is fringed by a reef, and it's great for snorkeling and scuba diving. One of the best sections is Devil's Reef, a pinnacle that drops more than 60m. Nurse sharks are abundant at Caverns, a shallow reef about 1km east of the White River estuary it has many tunnels plus an ex-minesweeper, the Kathryn. You can arrange dives and snorkeling at the Garfield Diving Station 395-7023 50 Main St, Turtle Beach 1-tank dive US 50, snorkeling...

Rocklands Bird Feeding Station

Rocklands 952-2009 admission US 10 S 9am-5pm is a favorite of birders. They have flocked here since 1958, when it was founded by Lisa Salmon, who tamed and trained over 20 bird species to come and feed from your hand over 140 bird species have been recorded here . Every songbird and hummingbird on the island seems to know about the place. You'll see ground doves, orange and banana quits, the Jamaican woodpecker a flicker and oriole, and, of course, hummingbirds, including the deep purple...

Boston

Boston Bay, 2.5km east of Fairy Hill, is a pocket-sized beach shelving into jewellike turquoise waters. High surf rolls into the bay and locals spend much of their time surfing you can rent boards on the beach . Few dispute its reputation as the best surfing spot in Jamaica. Alongside its surfing hot spot status, Boston is equally as famous for the highly spiced jerk chicken and pork sizzling on many smoky barbecue pits along the roadside. Today, jerk has garnered a worldwide fan base but until...

Air

There are four domestic airports Tinson Pen in Kingston, Boscobel Aerodrome near Ocho Rios, Negril Aerodrome, and Ken Jones Aerodrome at Port Antonio. Montego Bay's Donald Sangster International Airport has a domestic terminal adjacent to the international terminal. It's a bit of a walk - Air Jamaica Express provides a shuttle. In Kingston, most domestic flights use Tinson Pen, 3km west of downtown, but it's a 40-minute ride to the domestic airstrip from Norman Manley International Airport.

Q

Queen ofSpains Valley 211 Quickstep 258 Rackham,'Calico Jack'27, 220 radio 38, 275 rafting 53-4,54-5 Lethe 209 Martha Brae 205 Montpelier 210 Ocho Rios 154 Priory 171 Rio Grande Valley 140 ragga, see dancehall Ranks, Shabba 62 Rastafarianism 37-8,97 books 37 Reach Falls 139 reggae 39, 61, 62, 64 books 39,60 festivals 18,84 museums 149 Reggae Beach 160 Reggae Sumfest 18 Reggae Xplosion 149 religion 36-8 reserves resorts, all-inclusive 275-6 Retreat 121 Sabina Park 91-2 safe travel 278-80,...

Montego Bay Marine Park Bogue Lagoon

The waters of Montego Bay are gorgeous to behold both above and below the surface, but they have long been compromised by the effects of fishing, water sports and pollution. With the creation in 1991 of the Montego Bay 186 MONTEGO BAY Downtown Montego Bay MoBay Proper Overton Plaza All NationsCarriage Tours 21 B1 Aquasol Theme Park 22 A1 Burchell Memorial Baptist Church 23 D3 C3 Maroon Attraction Tours see 32 Montego Bay Marine Park Trust 27 B4 Museum of St James 28 C3 National Heroes Monument...

Canoe Valley Wetland

This is a government-owned wildlife reserve 377-8264 admission free S Mon-Sat , also known as Alligator Hole. It's notable for its family of three manatees all females that inhabits the diamond-clear water, in which crocodiles called 'alligators' locally also hover. They live amid dense, lm-tall reeds in jade-blue pools fed by waters that emerge at the base of limestone cliffs. Herons, grebes, jacanas, gallinules and other waterfowl are abundant. There's a small visitor center. You can take an...

Ipswich Caves

These limestone caverns, about 8km north of YS Falls, are full of stalactites and stalagmites. The cave entrance is at Ipswich, an almost derelict hamlet on the railway line between Montego Bay and Kingston. At the entrance you can hire a guide to lead you into the chambers for a small fee adult child US 2 US 1 . Natural Mystic Tours and Shafston Tours both lead excursions into the caves from Belmont and Bluefields respectively see p247 . The turnoff is off the B6, about 3km north of YS Falls....

Goshen Wilderness Resort

A sign outside this lakeside 'wilderness resort' 974-4613, 974-5189 Goshen adult child US 3 2 S 10am-5pm Tue-Sun , 6km east of Walkerswood, happily proclaims 'You catch it, we cook it.' Its prime attraction is 42 large ponds stocked with tilapia just waiting for you to yank them out of the water. Attractions include an aviary, a petting zoo, volleyball, paddleboats and kayaks, nature trails and horseback rides per hour US 40 . A one-hour ATV tour of the plantation and nearby hills costs US 45...

Bedbugs Lice Scabies

Bedbugs often live in dirty mattresses and bedding. Spots of blood on bedclothes or on the wall around the bed can be read as a suggestion to find another hotel. Lice, which are easier to see, cause itching and discomfort. They make themselves at home in your hair head lice , clothing body lice or pubic hair crabs . You catch lice through direct contact with infected people or by sharing combs, clothing and the like. Powder or shampoo treatment will kill the lice. Likewise, scabies - an...