Heading into the Big, Bad Blues (and Beyond)
|Rafting the old-school way, aboard bamboo on Jamaica's Rio Grande (Carl Purcell, Index Stock)|
Arrive in Kingston and head north to the Caribbeans highest mountain range, the Blue Mountains. A variety of small hamlets offer a wide array of different lodging options; stay in your choice of lodges or camp at Portland Gap. If youre set on a summit of Blue Mountain Peak, take advantage of one of the hostels in Penlyne Castle.
Head for Penlyne Castle and spend the day hiking the 14-mile route up the Caribbeans tallest mountain, 7,402-foot Blue Mountain Peak.
Head to Port Antonio on the northern coast and bike from the Nonsuch Caves14 limestone chambers bristling with stalagmites and stalagtitesto the surreal Blue Lagoon for a cool dip. Then return to Port Antonio for snorkeling, kayaking, and beach lounging.
Paddle down the Rio Grande aboard a bamboo raft to the southern coast.
Head overland to Ocho Rio to climb and swim Dunns River Falls, an impressive 600 feet of terraced waterfalls.
Return overland to Kingston.
There are domestic flights between most major cities in Jamaica. Buses and minibuses access everything, from the smallest of hamlets to the largest citiesbut dont expect any sort of Western schedule. The buses are seldom on time and always crowded. But its also a great way to meet locals. A number of car-for-hire and taxi services are available, as are rental cars and motorcycles. But if you decide to pilot yourself across Jamaica, be prepared for some serious combat driving: be patient and dont take anything too personally.
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication