Insider's View



One of the Caribbean’s most popular islands, Jamaica offers visitors a glorious feast of things to see and do. Learn more about visiting the island with tips and info from our On Location partner, Myrtle Dwyer, Director of Sales, Marketing & CRM for Glamour Destination Management in Montego Bay, Jamaica.

Q: Tell us about Jamaica and the highlights for travelers?

The island of Jamaica is rich in history and replete with a culture of diversity. Originally inhabited by the Arawaks, Jamaica was discovered by the Portuguese, Christopher Columbus on behalf of Spain and later colonized by the British so there are many relics from our past which intrigue our visitors. Our roots are steeply grounded in Africa from where slaves were shipped to work on plantations. The Indians came as indentured labourers and the Chinese came as well. Many arrived from the Middle East as merchants and their offspring still reside here.

This history had created an island with a variety of places worth visiting. The former capital of Jamaica, Spanish Town, still maintains many buildings of Spanish influence. Kingston the capital city of Jamaica is rich in history and culture. There, one will find the sunken city of Port Royal which was destroyed by an earthquake and is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Many tales will be told of piracy and trade. Currently, it is an interesting, sleepy fishing village with delectable seafood. The Maroons who defied British rule are known in Jamaica as "free people" who can be found from Accompong on the west to Charles Town on the east of Jamaica. Such villages are dotted close to the peak of our famous Blue Mountains where the world’s best coffee is grown.

Our travelers could be based in:

  • Negril with its seven miles of beach and known as the "Capital of Casual"
  • Montego Bay "the Complete Resort" with an international airport and many hotels
  • Ocho Rios –"the Garden Parrish of Jamaica" boasts the famous Dunn’s River Falls and nearby Nine Miles, the birthplace of the famous Bob Marley.
  • Port Antonio, once the playground of the rich and famous, where tourism began and you can go bamboo rafting on the famous Rio Grande River.
  • The South Coast of Jamaica is as rustic as it gets. Here one gets a close up view of farming and fishing in Jamaica.

Q: What travel services can you arrange?

We handle individuals, families, groups of friends, destination weddings; special interest, meeting and incentive groups. We also offer shore excursions for all ports in Jamaica.

Glamour DMC can facilitate all aspects of travel on the ground – from securing the most hard-to-get villa or that last room in a hotel during peak season; VIP fast track through the airport, meet & greet and airport transfers; customized tours and excursions along with a complete concierge service.

Q: Do you have a favorite tour itinerary you can tell us about?

My favorite itinerary is dubbed "Off the Beaten Track". This is a full day trip that gives you an in-depth look at Jamaica beyond the beaches as you travel through deep rural countryside to the south coast of Jamaica.

See children in their freshly ironed uniforms making their way to school on foot; farmers tending their small tract of farm land or people hanging out at the square in small villages. The ride takes one up hill and then down to the south along the coast where you might just get a glance of fishermen bringing in their catch along the beach. The country bus might be pulling up at the market where people peddle their wares, food from the farms or merchandise.

The first stop is Black River where you get on a boat and tour the river with a close up view of crocodiles which are summoned by their names. If you are brave you might want to feed them.

This "once in a life time" safari takes in mangroves and the true natural beauty of Jamaica. Black River was once a very important town for trade in Jamaica and many boats pulled in to collect produce like sugar, pimento among others.

Then it is off to the home of the famous Jamaican Rum Estate, Appleton, where one can taste and see the various processes of making rum from sugar. This ride goes through Bamboo Avenue which is resplendent with a canopy of bamboo for miles then purchase "pepper shrimps" famous in the area known as Middle Quarters. A well catered Jamaican lunch closes the visit to Appleton Rum Estate.

It is time to cool off as the journey concludes at the refreshing YS Falls, with calming natural pools and gently cascading waterfalls.

Q: What special interest tours are available?

Special interest tours include:

  • Great plantation houses like Rose Hall Great House, Greenwood and Bellefield Great Houses and Devon House which take you back in time to the great Sugar Estates
  • The Rastafari Indigenous Village Tour which gives you a chance to see how the Rastafarians live
  • Art and Garden Tour to Ahhh…..Ras Natango
  • Bicycle Tours in the Blue Mountains
  • Hiking in the Blue Mountains along with the coffee tour
  • Culinary tours
  • Tour of Historical churches
  • Farm tours and retreats like Durgas Den in Ocho Rios or Ambassabeth in the Blue Mountains

Q: What sports activities are popular in the islands?

Jamaican is well known for its sporting prowess and here you can find many activities – cricket, football, volleyball, track and field, road races, netball, swimming horse racing, car racing, basketball and much more.

Q: What do you recommend for a family vacation?

For family vacations – Water activities like rafting, kayaking, tubing river boarding, horseback riding and waterparks. There are family resorts with activities specially designed for children.

Q: What types of accommodation are available?

There is a wide cross section of accommodation available – stay in private homes, villas, neat inns, small hotels, all inclusive hotels, boutique hotels, luxury resorts and farm stays.

Q: What special food experiences do you recommend?

  • Jamaican Jerk is known worldwide and Sotchie’s which has several locations in Jamaica must be visited.
  • Boston is the home of Jerk in Port Antonio (chicken, fish, lobster, pork as you wish).
  • Ackee and salt fish is our national dish and these can be served with fried "dumplings" made from flour, boiled green bananas or fried plantains
  • A typical Jamaican dinner would include escoveitched fish, tasty baked or fried chicken, pork roast and port roasted beef.
  • Jamaican patty and "coco" bread is a "must try" on the island.

| Jamaica
Manulife Insurance

Bon Voyage Travel & Cruises

Mike Delf
Bon Voyage Travel & Cruises

6409 120th Street
Delta, BC V4E 3G3

 778-438-3068 (Fax)

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