Jamaica: Its Peaks and Pearl-Sand Beaches

The island of Jamaica rests on a bed of volcanic rock and porous limestone, interspersed with inland waterways and fertile jungles, surrounded by pristine beaches and clear waters rich with aquatic wildlife. Add to that the country's coffee and cuisine, its friendly people and frantic cities, and the rock-steady rhythm of its music, and Jamaica's true identity verges on the mythic, a place best experienced to be understood. The active-minded can set off for a late-night ascent of Blue Mountain Peak, reaching the 7,420-foot summit by sunrise as the mist-enshrouded valley comes into view. This excursion offers a rare glimpse into Jamaica's coffee country, a land gloriously removed from the island's tourist mainstays. From there, hole up in a mountain retreat before heading to the coast via a Class I ride down the Rio Grande River aboard hand-made bamboo rafts. The more hedonistic can slink to Negril Beach or Ocho Rios Resort for miles of sin and sand, while those anxious for a little seclusion can easily find their own beachside bungalow on the North Shore. Jamaica is, after all, one of the prize jewels in the crown of Caribbean honeymoon spots.

Published: 13 Feb 2002 | Last Updated: 14 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication



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