Jamaica: Northern Jamaica: Quiet Coast
The peaceful north coast offers a slower, more authentic opportunity to enjoy Jamaican culture.
Arrive in Kingston this morning, where you will meet your driver and transfer by private car to the small fishing and farming village of Robin’s Bay. The drive will take approximately 1 hour. Upon arrival check into your estate house inn, one of Jamaica’s hidden gems. Tucked away on an undeveloped section of the north coast, Robin’s Bay and the surrounding region offer a slower, more authentic opportunity to enjoy Jamaican culture.
The estate house is a refurbished 1950’s villa located high on a hill with commanding views of the mountains and the sea, three acres of tropical gardens, a friendly staff and excellent local cuisine.
If your arrival is before midday, you will have the option to schedule an estate tour this afternoon. The estate tour is an excellent way to learn about the Jamaican countryside and Jamaican history. Dolly, your knowledgeable guide, will entertain and educate you, while introducing you to the natural and cultural history of the estate and its environs.
The tour begins in the craft shop, which features locally produced crafts and a panoramic view of the mountains and the sea. While you enjoy a drink of juice made from local fruits, your guide will introduce you to regional spices, produce, traditional songs, and the estate’s history. Take a short walk to the property’s organic coconut oil operation. Walk through the unique manufacturing process of cold pressed organic coconut oil that can be used in cooking, aromatherapy and massage therapy. Next, a short taxi drive through the scenic coconut groves brings you to the large orchid house where you will find 100,000 orchid plants.
If time permits, visit the 300 year old windmill tower, the stone base of a windmill used to power a sugar mill during the English plantation days; or Blue Hole, an interesting circular coral formation on the rocky coastline with a tunnel leading to the sea.
Choose lunch at the inn, or a seaside lunch at Jack’s Bay, on the swimming beach, which offers a more casual atmosphere with Jamaican music and the ocean for company.
The remainder of your day is at leisure. Relax by the pool, visit the beach, or take a gentle hike. The 1600 acre estate property has over 20 miles of walking trails and a wide range of ecosystems that include fresh water ponds, a mangrove swamp, streams, forests, pastures and coastline. Keep an eye out for some of Jamaica’s endemic birds, such as Jamaican Mango, Vireo, Elaenia, Tody, and Woodpecker.
Dinner this evening is included. The estate house restaurant offers authentic Jamaican dishes created from fresh local produce, fish and meat. There is a wide variety of dishes to choose from, including Jamaica’s national dish, ackee and saltfish, and the country’s famous jerk chicken and pork.
After breakfast at your hotel this morning, set out to hike the fabled black sand beaches of St. Mary’s Parish. The drive to the start of your hike will take approximately 20 minutes.
The Parish of St Mary is one of Jamaica’s smallest, and among the least touched by tourism. Your privately-guided ramble along Robin’s Bay begins with a hike through the gently rolling hills to the beach. The wooded trails offer shade for sections of your hike, with open areas and tranquil vistas in the bright sun. A hat is recommended.
A picnic lunch on the beach will be provided, prepared with the freshest available local ingredients.
Continue on to a colorful guest house surrounded by beautiful tropical flowers, shrubs and a diversity of local fruit trees. Here you will enjoy the delights of a Jamaican-style afternoon tea, with cake, sandwiches and tarts, sitting on the farmhouse veranda with the owner. Your hostess is famous across the island for her hot pepper jelly and is a keen gardener who will give you a tour of her organic gardens after tea, perfect to help walk-off any lingering calories.
Return to your hotel in the late afternoon. You will have time to swim or relax before dinner.
Tonight, enjoy your final dinner at the estate house restaurant.
This morning begins with an early breakfast and check out. Meet your driver by 8:00am for your transfer to the Blue Mountains, where you will set out from a small village, hiking the lush and cool mountain trails through the forest reserve.
Today’s hike will vary depending on how much time you would like to spend. The terrain is moderately difficult, the trails lined with wild flowers and offering scenic vistas across the valleys and hills as you pass through peaceful villages.
A picnic lunch will be provided for you today.
Visit the Old Tavern Coffee Estate, Hollywell National Park, and, if you wish, the Rasta farmers coffee farm. Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee is considered to be among the best in the world. Join your hosts for a perfectly brewed cup.
This afternoon, transfer to Kingston for your return flight, or on to your next Willing Foot destination.
This is just the beginning.
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