Cruise Destinations: Jamaica

It’s the land of Bob Marley and beaches and if you’ve chosen it as a cruise destination, your hips will start swaying even before your liner touches port. This was the island where Christopher Columbus landed at the end of the 15th century. Then came 200 years of British rule, slave labor and sugar exports. It was only in the 60s that it became a free country and a tourist’s delight. One thing though – through it all, the music lived on.

Jamaica is a wonderful mix of history, picture-perfect scenery and brilliant blue beaches. Like the other Caribbean countries, this one too is blessed with stunning white sand shores that skirt shimmering, sparkling waters. Negril is the beach that attracts sun worshippers from all over the world and you should make sure to factor this one into your Jamaican trip. When you’re there, try the food at 3 Dives – even if you have to wait to get in, it’s well worth the wait. Time was when this was a hippie haven but today it is rated as one of the hotspot beaches of the world. Don’t miss the crocodile hideout or the lighthouse close by.

You must have a drink at the Pelican Bar which is perhaps, one of the most incredible places to sit and sip a drink. Almost a kilometer away from the shore, you can have your fill of seafood, order your favourite drink and slip into the water while you are waiting for your order to arrive.

The Puerto Seco Beach on the east is also a great seaside place to visit and it has its fill of bars and quaint old eating places with lots of things for children to do too.

Don’t miss out on the island’s biggest tourist attraction – Dunn’s River Falls. This is where the cool waters of the river gush down to meet the warm water of the sea in a glorious waterfall. You can climb down along the waterfall right to the beach, on the stairs made of limestone but this could be slippery so take a guide with you. The waterfalls are situated in a rain forest with some magnificent trees.

Check out the Green Grotto Caves, an exceptional rock formation with interconnected passages, go hiking along any of the scenic mountain trails, or take in the historic art and architecture sights in and around the city. Try not to miss the Bob Marley Museum, and if you’re a true reggae fan, you gotta take the Chukka Cove's Zion Bus Line …. mon – it’s a tour that will thrill your heart!

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