Take Your Pick
Brown's Town, Jamaica
Sitting on Bob Marley's Bed
Nine Mile - Located about an hour's drive from the coastline of Jamaica is the small village of Nine Mile where the legendary King of Reggae, Nesta Robert (Bob) Marley was born on Feb 6, 1945. Easily the most famous Jamaican, Bob Marley recorded hundreds of songs, including "Stir It Up", "One Love" and "Buffalo Soldier". Touring the site with your Rasta guide you will discover his birth house, the small one bedroom home where he lived as a young boy, "Mount Zion Rock" where he meditated and the mausoleum where he is now entombed. Because of its somewhat remote location, you'd think that very few people would venture here, but people come by the bus loads. And just to warn you, at the gate and inside the museum you will be offered something to smoke. Don't panic, just say "no thank you" and enjoy the tour.
Discovery Bay, Jamaica
Old Slave Cave
Green Grotto - The Green Grotto Caves feature an abundance of stalactites and stalagmites, a maze of limestone formations and a wonderful a subterranean lake. They have a historical significance too. The Arawak Indians were the first to inhabit the caves, slaves found refuge in its chambers, military weapons passed through from here to Cuba and the Jamaican government used it to store barrels of rum. The caves were also used in the James Bond film "Live and Let Die". In it 007, played by Roger Moore wrestles with Kanaga while a sharks swims around them. Then James pushes a compressed air capsule into Kanaga's mouth and he floats up and explodes.
Falmouth, Jamaica
Rafting Down the Marth Brae
Martha Brae - A raft ride down the jungle-canopied Martha Brae River is one of Jamaica's most popular tourist attractions. Your adventure begins at the Rafter's Village aboard one of the 80 handmade 30 foot bamboo rafts. For the next 60-90 minutes you leisurely float down the three mile picturesque river guided by a skilled captain. On your journey you will see exotic birds and lush jungle foliage - and you can even jump in the river if you like. Personally, I like piloting the little raft. Our captain let me take the pole and navigate the river for a half mile or so.
Falmouth, Jamaica
You'll Glow in the Dark
Luminous Lagoon - There are only a few places in the world where you can jump in the water and glow-in-the-dark, and one of them is the Luminous Lagoon in Montego Bay. At dusk a small boat takes you to a mangrove lined bay where a rare phosphorescent microbe called a dinolagellate lives. Well a microbe and billions of his microbe friends. It is at the convergence of the fresh water Martha Brea and the salt water Caribbean. Once you jump in the water the organisms emit an iridescent neon blue color with a fancy term of "bioluminescent". Even after you get out of the water you will glow in the dark. It's a fun experience and the glowing stops after a few years. Just kidding, a few minutes.
Kingston, Jamaica
The Wisdom Weed - You will not believe how many times I was approached to buy cannabis, ganja or the wisdom weed while in Jamaica. Needless to say, it was a lot, and I'm a pretty straight-laced looking sock monkey. That means there is a good chance you will be asked to buy some too. Just remember that marijuana cultivation, retail and consumption is illegal on the island - no matter what anybody tells you. So if you can't do the time, don't do the crime. And Jamaican prisons are hard time. Now if you want to take a tour of a ganja field, that's not illegal and is quite amazing. Make sure you decide on a one price to take you into the field and out of the field - otherwise you'll be unhappily surprised.
Montego Bay, Jamaica
Therapeutic Waters
Doctor's Cave Beach - Located on the "hip-strip" of Montego Bay, Doctor's Cave Beach is one of Jamaica's most popular and prettiest beaches. The sugary white sands gently slope to the warm, bath-like, crystal-clear turquoise waters of the Caribbean. The name "Doctor's Cave" came from Dr. Alexander James McCatty who owned the beach front property in the 1800s, and the only way to it was through a cave. Many of the good doctor's friends soaked in the cave waters and claimed they cured them of minor ailments. Well, in 1932 a hurricane destroyed the cave and left a beautiful beach behind. So pull up a chair, stick a brightly colored umbrella in the sand and let the waters melt your worries away.
Montego Bay, Jamaica
Let's Make a Deal
Craft Market - The Harbour Street Craft Market is Montego Bay's largest craft market and the place to find a nice selection of handmade souvenirs and crafts. You'll find t-shirts, magnets, wood-carved toys, musical instruments and plenty of straw hats. But this place isn't really a relaxing shopping experience, so be prepared to be pursued by sometimes aggressive vendors. Now, this monkey was here in the 1983 and again in 2013 - and things are a lot better, but they still do a very hard sell. I suggest only brining $20 or $30 and when it's gone you can't buy anything else.
Montego Bay, Jamaica
That's a Spicy Bird
Jerk Chicken - No, jerk chicken isn't a rude bird, it's a fire-roasted chicken that has been dry-rubbed or wet marinated with some very spicy hot sauce. The term "jerk" comes from the word "jerky" as in beef jerky, and is derived from the Spanish term "Charqui". Jerk chicken is a staple food of the Jamaican diet and you'll find it at road-side stands and restaurants all throughout the country. One of the most popular places in Montego Bay is the Pork Pit. Here locals and cruise ship patrons dine side-by-side and devour mounds of the spicy bird. They also serve excellent jerk pork, grilled lobster, and jerk shrimp served with an assortment of side items. A word of warning, you will need to order at least two Red Strip beers to put out the fire of the hot sauce here.
Negril, Jamaica
Cliff Diving at Ricks
Rick's Cafe - Certainly Negril's most popular bar and possibly the most popular bar on the island is Rick's Cafe. This adult playground is the place to listen to some great Reggae music, drink a few Red Strips, and jump off a 35 foot cliff into the ocean. Sunset is the time to be here. Watch the evening sun slowly extinguish itself in the cool cerulean waters of the Caribbean with a few hundred of you closest friends. Rick's is named after its founder, Richard Hershman and was established April 1974. It was the first public bar and restaurant on the West Cliffs (the area just southwest of the famous Seven Mile Beach) and it is still the best.
Negril, Jamaica
Built in 1894
Negril Lighthouse - Situated just south of the western most tip of Jamaica and visible from Rick's Cafe, is the Negril Lighthouse (also known as the South Negril Point). This 100 foot tall white concrete light was built in 1894 and continues to guide ships around the western shore. The white light lamp which originally operated on gas, today flashes using batteries charged by solar power. Next to the lighthouse is the caretaker's quarters. If you visit during the day and the caretaker is around, you will be able to ascend the 103 steps to the top of the light and be rewarded with a fantastic panoramic view of Negril and the Caribbean.
Negril, Jamaica
Longest Beach on the Island
Seven Mile Beach - Stretching continuously along seven miles of Jamaica's western coastline, the appropriately named Seven Mile Beach, is a golden oasis of sun and sand. In the 1960s this area was an undeveloped free-lovin' hippie hangout. Today, you will find some of the finest hotels and bars on Jamaica including Sandals Beach Resort and Spa, Hedonism II, Margaritaville and Rick's Cafe. But it still retains some of its anything-goes atmosphere with nudity allowed on several beaches. Favorite pastimes during the day are beach walking, parasailing, jet skiing, sailing, and diving. At night the beach parties begin with live Reggae music and dancing.
Ocho Rios, Jamaica
One Refreshing Attraction
Dunn's River Falls - The most popular and most refreshing attraction you'll find in Jamaica, is Dunn's River Falls. A 600 foot naturally terraced waterfall that you climb hand-in-hand through cool cascading waters along an incline of travertine rocks. Experienced guides lead the group and show you where to step to make your journey as safe as possible. From the wooden deck alongside the falls it appears to be an easy climb, but with the water crashing over you, it can be a little tricky. And the water pulls at everything - I almost lost my swim trunks a time or two. To climb the falls you should bring swimwear and a pair of aqua-socks or you can rent shoes on-site.
St Ann's Bay, Jamaica
Jamaica's Largest Export
Bauxite - On the way from Montego Bay to Ocho Rios you'll pass through St Ann and notice red dirt being transported to a docked ship. That red dirt is Bauxite, a raw material used in the production of alumina (the primary ingredient in aluminum). Discovered in the 1940s, at a time when bananas, coffee beans and sugar where the primary exports, Bauxite soon became the number one export of the island. In fact, Jamaica was the largest exporter of Bauxite in the world from the 1950s to the 1970s.
St. Bran's Burg, Jamaica
It's Haunted!!
White Witch of Rose Hall - Check out the photo, that white streak isn't a lawn sprinkler, it is the White Witch of Rose Hall in front of the house. Rose Hall is a Georgian mansion built in the 1770s by plantation owner John Palmer. According to legend, John married Annie Palmer, a cruel woman and practitioner of witchcraft and voodoo. After a short time Annie murdered her husband John, her next two husbands and several slaves she took as lovers. Today you can tour the house during the day or take the haunted tour at night. The interior is filled with European antiques, ornamental chandeliers and some nice artwork. Be sure to walk out back to Annie Palmer's tomb and take a lot of photos - you may just catch an image of the White Witch yourself.