Mr B’s Island Tours
Wherever you are in the world, there’s no substitute for being shown around by a local. At Jasmin Hill Jamaica we are very lucky to have Lyndel Brown as our chauffer and tour guide. Lyndel knows just where to get the sweetest jelly coconut, the most succulent jerk chicken and the best-priced souvenirs as well as where to find the liveliest watering holes. He’ll take you to panoramic vistas, hypnotic waterfalls and lush botanical gardens, as well as showing you a few hidden gems that you won’t find in any guide book.
Jamaicans are exceptionally proud of their country. They love to see tourists explore beyond their villas and hotels. You’ll find nearly everyone you meet to be sociable, hospitable and eager to make you fall in love with their island home.
Here is a selection of the tours offered by Mr B. All prices are payable locally in US dollars, 24 hours before departure. Entry fees to the attractions are not included.
Day Trips in Ocho Rios
You won’t have to stray far from the pool at Jasmin Hill Villa Jamaica to see three of the island’s most-visited attractions. Dolphin Cove, Mystic Mountain and Dunn’s River Falls are all right here in Ochie. At Dolphin Cove you can interact with dolphins, sharks and stingrays.
Mystic Mountain offers a chairlift ride to a hilltop lookout point where you can sign up for the white-knuckle bobsleigh ride or zip-line adventure through a canopy of trees back down to the ocean. Nature lovers will marvel at the cascading torrents of Dunn’s River Falls, shrouded by rainforest and leading at their base to a quintessential West Indian beach of pure white sand and turquoise ocean.
Alternatively, Mr B can take you on a tour of Ochie’s duty-free shops, craft markets, art galleries and beaches. Then there is Prospect Plantation and Coyaba Gardens to visit.
Ochie Sunset Adventure
The vibrant capital, Kingston is only two hours’ drive from Jasmin Hill Villa Jamaica. There, a fusion of culture, music, history and natural beauty awaits. The National Gallery has an unrivalled collection of the region’s preeminent artists, and in Emancipation Park you can see the most controversial statue in the West Indies. Kingston is also where Bob Marley rose to fame. His former townhouse home is open to visitors and on the guided tour you’ll learn about the man’s music, politics, philosophy and sadly early demise. Port Royal, a small village set on a peninsula beyond the harbor, is where the real Pirates of the Caribbean hung out in the 1600s. It was from here that Captain Morgan and Blackbeard set sail to plunder Spanish, French and Dutch merchant ships. It’s said they left the British vessels alone in return for the authorities barracked at Fort Charles turning a blind eye to their antics and taking a cut of their profits. Part of Fort Charles still remains and you can take a wander around its ramparts.
Framing the city skyline are the verdant, undulating Blue Mountains. One of the world’s most expensive coffees is grown on these peaks and tours and taste-tests are available at several of the plantations.
Before heading back to Jasmin Hill Villa Jamaica, be sure to take afternoon tea or a sundowner at the chic, colonial-style Strawberry Hill hotel. It has one of the best views of the city.
Magical Montego Bay
The island’s second largest city and its environs have several must-sees. Lovers of myth and legend should make a beeline for Rose Hall Great House. This beautifully restored, 18th -century mansion is said to be haunted by its former mistress Annie Palmer who murdered three husbands and took slaves as lovers! The house’s interiors are lavishly furnished and the formal gardens and lily pond are a pleasure to stroll around.
MoBay is also home to Doctor’s Cave Beach Club. One of the most idyllic stretches of gently shelving sand on the island, there is a restaurant, beach service, changing rooms and showers so you can laze the day away. On the way back to Jasmin Hill Villa Jamaica, Mr B can take you on a driving tour of Falmouth for a small additional charge. Founded in 1790, Falmouth is known for its architectural heritage, with the largest concentration of Georgian houses, public buildings and churches in the Caribbean.
Or perhaps you’d like to spend the evening at the Luminous Lagoon. Once the sun sets, boat tours carry you across the brackish water disturbing the rare phosphorescent micro-organisms that inhabit the lagoon. They then sparkle like starlight, emitting the sunlight they have stored up in their cells during the day.
East of Jasmin Hill Villa Jamaica is delightful Port Antonio – a working town that sees few tourists. Here you’ll find fabulous beaches, a swanky marina and a majestic church. It’s also the gateway to the Rio Grande, a river that cuts th rough limestone rock formations. You can take a bamboo raft along its most scenic section, all the way to the ocean. These rafts were once used to transport bananas to the port, but act or Errol Flynn started to employ the raft captains to take him and his chosen lady on a romantic cruise. It became a trend and, from a seat made for two, you can sit back and admire the views as you glide gently downstream.
Before you leave town, ask Mr B to take you to Woody’s Low Bridge Place for arguably the best burgers and most potent Pina coladas in Jamaica – both made to a secret recipe.
Go to Goldeneye
James Bond author Ian Fleming penned his 007 spy novels in Jamaica. His gorgeous waterfront estate is now a luxury hotel and is opento non-guests for lunch and dinner. Ask Lyndell to make a reservation for you. The 35-minute journey to Goldeneye is a scenic drive, too.