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Ask the Locals / Caribbean

Ask the Locals Travel Guide: Jamaica

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Sailing JamaicaThis weekend, Peter’s radio show is coming to us live from Breezes Runaway Bay in Jamaica.

Jealous yet?

Just keep reading to learn about some of the cool, off-the-beaten path experiences in this tropical getaway as told by the locals.

Don’t miss our photo gallery of awesome underwater Caribbean photos by Rick Sammon.

Susan Otuokon, Executive Director of Jamaica Conservation and Development Trust/Green Jamaica

Bamboo Alley on southwest coastFor relaxation and easy hiking, try Holywell Recreational Park in the Blue Mountain and John Crow Mountains National Park. Located about a 90-minute drive from Kingston, this park sits 3,500 feet above sea level and offers panoramic views of Kingston from picnic areas set in mist-covered forest

For those who prefer longer hikes, there are great two to four-hour treks with trained community tour guides to waterfalls and rivers throughout the park.

On a leisurely Sunday afternoon, try Crystal Edge Restaurant and Café in Irish Town, for a good Jamaican meal, followed by Blue Mountain Coffee and to-die-for pastries at Cafe Blue right next door.

For live, traditional Jamaican, Maroon and oldies music, you can’t beat the annual Misty Bliss Festival at Holywell, taking place this year on Sunday, February 28.

More travel options: Laid-Back Caribbean Travel: Jamaica’s Southwest Coast

David Morrison, Senior Blender, Appleton Jamaica Rum

I’m a Kingston boy, so most of my favorite spots are in the capital city.

Red Stripe beersMy favorite place for live music is Redbones Blues Café in New Kingston. Good food, nice relaxed laid-back attitude the way we Jamaicans like it.

If you’re looking for something to read on your Jamaica vacation, it’s worth browsing around Bookland on Knutsford Boulevard in Kingston. It’s a favorite among us locals—there’s lots of variety and I’m guaranteed to find almost anything I’m looking for.

One can’t-miss dining experience is Scotchies in Ocho Rios. If you like your food spicy, they serve wonderful jerk, and it is a must you are heading into Ocho Rios from the West.

More Jamaica travel information: