"Circle the island by car" Jamaica Off The Beaten Path Tip by dutchwindmill
Jamaica Off The Beaten Path: 89 reviews and 83 photos
1) Rent a car. There may be cheaper places in the world, but how about an Auto Europe Toyota Yaris 4-door automatic with a/c for a week for USD 350? Just looked it up on onetravel.com - it's a small car (which isnt so bad given the size of the island) but it's a new type so it must have airbags and probably ABS and be in reasonable shape.
2) Take off! Road signs are not everywhere (but then again, everybody speaks English so you shouldnt have too much trouble finding your way).
The parish of Portland and its capital Port Antonio are a beautiful mountainous part of the island, with rafting and a bit of tropical rain forest. Don't expect a very scenic town though - several villages and towns have some nice colonial remnants (e.g. Lucea and Falmouth), but Jamaica is a third world country with the accompanying bad taste, lack of zoning rules enforcement and makeshift housing.
Port Antonio has some nice hotels and is much less touristy than Montego Bay and Ochi (Ocho Rios). Nice beach (entry fee): Frenchman's Cove. Another beautiful spot: Blue Lagoon (even though it's not blue, it's very deep - not the location of the movie with the same name by the way). One last nice beach (entry fee for non-staying guests): that of Dragon Bay hotel
(actually one of the locations of the movie "Cocktail" starring Tom Cruise). Better yet: drive half an hour further to Long Bay - beautiful white sands, nice laid-back rasta atmosphere (but the sea is often quite rough as it's out in the open - the beaches mentioned earlier are completely safe).
Continue through circling clockwise, stop in Kingston, then continue to the Soutch Coast: eat sea food in Alligator Pond, find lodging in Treasure Beach, see the alligators in Black River (little boat ride), check the YS Falls and continue to Negril. Drive back to Montego Bay (if that's where your flight departs) in time to board.
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