Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Safety tips for your Jamaican trip

Jamaica is a traveler’s delight. Offering lots of sun, sand and sea, this land of reggae and jazz promises everything that you would want for a dream Caribbean vacation. There are plenty of sightseeing opportunities as also things to do both in water and land. However, to ensure that your trip is a smooth one, you must keep certain safety measures in mind.

Travel in groups

Jamaica is famous for its all-inclusive resorts where you can rent your own private Jamaican villa, condo, studio and apartment. Some of these resorts such as the Silver Sands resort encompasses a private beach and also provides facilities, services and plenty of activities to do within its protected environs. However, should you wish to venture out, you should travel in groups instead of venturing out alone to ward off unwanted interest.

Avoid venturing out after dark

After dark, it is advisable to remain in crowded tourist areas and at all costs you should avoid the inner cities. Also avoid some problem areas such as Hollywood, Beverly Hills and Spanish Town.

Maintain a low profile

For your own safety, don’t flaunt valuables such as expensive watches and jewelry. Keep important documents under lock and key in your own private apartment. When traveling out, just keep the amount of money you would require rather than carrying all of it.

Carry mosquito repellants and bug sprays

Use mosquito repellants and bug sprays to protect yourself against tropical diseases and also to ward off ants from your luggage.

Precautionary measures on the beaches
It is advisable to watch your steps while walking along the beaches and especially in the waters to avoid being stung by the sea urchins. Similarly, when going scuba diving and snorkeling, avoid disturbing the marine life for your own and its safety.

Drink bottled water

Even though tap water is claimed to be safe for drinking, you should opt for bottled drinking water. Bottles are recycled in Jamaica, however, the part under the cap remain untouched so do remember to wipe the mouth before drinking. Otherwise you can carry water taken from your own Jamaica villa.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

River kayak safari in Jamaica

If you are visiting Jamaica for the first time, you may welcome some information about what to do on the island. The island is well-known its beaches but there is much more on offer than simply the beautiful stretches of sand meeting the sparkling waters of the Caribbean Sea. While on the island, you can consider taking a river kayak safari offered by Chukka Caribbean Adventures. Also, if you are planning a family trip, you can consider staying in private rentals comprising private Jamaica villas, cottages and apartments that cater to all group sizes and budgets. These rentals are professionally managed, offer more space and amenities than hotels, and give you the freedom to explore the island at your own pace.

Coming back to the kayak river safari, the tour takes you along the White River starting at the Old Spanish Bridge built in the seventeenth century by the first European settlers. You can also paddle your way through the rapids and crystal clear pools under a canopy of lush green vegetation and huge bamboo groves.

Enjoy the views of the dramatic landscape including quaint thatched huts nestled in trees on the bank of the river as you go kayaking by. The tour then takes you through striking rapids and stunning lagoons. The adventure finally ends near the tranquil Bamboo Cathedral where giant bamboo arch over the water.

On disembarking the river, you will enter the beautiful gardens of the White River Valley where you can browse through a gift shop by the name of Valley Trader and shop for souvenirs, t-shirts and other keepsakes from the trip. And if all this has left you hungry, try out the sumptuous Jamaican cuisine at the eatery, River Valley Grill and be refreshed by cold beers and sodas at the Parrot Bar.

The minimum age for the tour is 12 years and so if you are travelling with small kids, you can consider staying in an accommodation providing child care facilities. This will be especially convenient if you want to indulge in some other activities also that are strictly meant for adults. Take the case of Silver Sands villas, located on the north coast of the island. The villas cater specially to families and offer among other services, childcare facilities as also children play area to keep them happy and occupied.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

River rafting in Jamaica

Jamaica has a spectacular coastline and several navigable rivers which open up endless opportunities for water activities including scuba diving, snorkelling, and river rafting. Then there are Jamaica rentals communities that have their own stretch of beach where you can swim and soak up the sun in peace and privacy.

Outside the rentals there are a host of activities that you can enjoy including river rafting. There are two types of rafting adventures available: bamboo rafting and white water rafting.

The best bamboo rafting trips are available in Port Antonio on the Black River. The bamboo rafts are captained by experts and so all you need to do is to sit back and watch the scenery as it unfolds before your eyes. The guides are well-informed and will regale you with interesting information to make the trip all the more memorable. You can also enjoy a moonlit tour.

Then there is white water rafting in fast paced water locations in places such as Ocho Rios, Montego Bay and again in Port Antonio. River rafting tours available on the Black River, White River, Martha Brae and Rio Grande. You can go out on your own or hire a guide to help you navigate the rapids. Tours are easily available and they usually last around five hours per trip. Some tours have an age limit and are not available for kids below twelve years of age.

While going for river rafting it will also be a good idea to take along sunscreen and mosquito repellents to keep away the sun and bugs. Also do take along bottled water as the Jamaican sun can get pretty hot.

You can enjoy river rafting trips and a host of other activities on the north coast of the island. The Montego Bay airport is nearby and the opening of the new pier in Falmouth is also bringing in its share of visitors all of whom prefer to set base in this part of the island. If you are travelling with family or kids, you could consider staying in family-friendly rentals such as Silver Sands Villas Jamaica.

Monday, June 13, 2011

Water activity tours in Jamaica

Jamaica has a spectacular coastline and some great navigable rivers which make it an ideal destination for those interested in water activities. Then there are some Jamaican rentals that encompass their own stretch of private beach where guests can enjoy swimming and snorkeling among other activities.

Here are some activities that you can try out. Guided tours are also available for a number of water activities.

Dolphins Cove: Located in Ocho Rios, this marine park is the perfect venue for a family outing. You can opt for the Ocho Rios package offered by some tour operators. In the cove, you can experience a one-to-one encounter with friendly dolphins as you swim and frolic with them. Before you enter the water for an unforgettable 30 minutes swim, you’ll first be given a brief initiation from a trainer. As part of the tour, you will be able to see some exciting birds, tropical fish, and reptiles. Also enjoy a gentle nature walk through lush, unspoiled tropical rainforest and see amazing Jamaican plants.

Hold and feed the sharks tour: The tour gives you the rare opportunity to meet the most fascinating and fearsome of all sea creatures, the shark. Under the careful supervision of the highly trained shark encounter facilitators, you can hold, touch, feed, swim in the same water as these sharks and learn the deep secrets of the Caribbean sharks.

The tour also takes you to visit Little Port Royal, a replica of Jamaica's most famous pirate 'Haunt'. Here you can witness pirates roaming through town and listen to the rhythms of Caribbean music and browse through the largest gift shops in Jamaica. You can also shop for souvenirs and sample tropical fruits and spices.

Jungle river tubing safari: This is another interesting tour that takes you to a Jamaican tubing adventure. As part of the tour, you will first be given an orientation complete with safety tips for the ride down the Great River. Jump into the tube and float down the river. During the trip, the guide will introduce you to the real Jamaica and provide you interesting commentary and information, while navigating the rushing rapids of the Great River. The tour gives you the perfect opportunity to sit back, relax and enjoy Jamaica's natural beauty as you watch flowing streams join with the river. Along the way, you’ll be able to glimpse some of the indigenous jungle animals in their natural habitat.

These tours simply provide an insight into the type of water activities that you can enjoy in Jamaica. However, there is much more in store for you. If you are not sure which tour to take, realize that there are some Jamaican rentals such as Silver Sands Villas Jamaica that also book tours for their guests with award-winning tour operator companies such as Chukka Adventure Caribbean, which was recognized as the which won the World Travel Awards Caribbean's Leading Nature Adventure Excursion Operator in 2010, the fourth consecutive year.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Attractions in Port Antonio Jamaica

If you love the outdoors, Port Antonio in Jamaica is for you. And just to deviate from the point, you can consider setting base in Jamaica rentals that provide convenient access to day trips to Port Antonio and other resort towns in Jamaica.

In Port Antonio, you can go on a hiking expedition up the Blue Mountains, discover exotic trails in the Rio Grande Valley and admire waterfalls as also explore hidden caves. Popular spots in Port Antonio include White Valley, Fox Cave, Dry River Falls, and the Corn Puss Gap Rail.

If scuba diving is a favourite activity, you can explore 8 miles of coral reefs and walls without being disturbed by other tourists. You can check out Alligator Head, which sports interesting sponge formations or see Hammerhead sharks in Fairy Hill Bank. You can also go for a swim or float on a raft on the famous Blue Lagoon, which is said to be bottomless.

Activities in Port Antonio

The Rio Grande Tours

Enjoy a raft ride along the Rio Grande. Legend has it that these rides originated with film star Errol Flynn when he organized races with locals transporting bananas on these rafts. These trips last three hours and all through the journey, you can enjoy scenic views. If you are a history buff, you can stop by in Nanny town for a quick history lesson. Nanny Town is named after a local hero who defended the town from English invaders.

Athenery Gardens and Cave of Nonsuch

Take a quick drive or easy walk outside of Port Antonio and you will reach Athenery Gardens. Here, you can see a variety of items such as stalagmites, stalactites, fossilized marine life, and evidence of the Ararak civilization. Explore the underground tunnel in this 1.5 million years old cave or just enjoy the panoramic view of the island and sea. The gardens are filled with coconut palms, flowers, and trees.

Somerset Falls

Enjoy a gondola ride and admire the cascading waters hidden in a rainforest. You can tour the falls (the surrounding vegetation is beautiful) then take a dip into the cool, refreshing waters. Ask the visitors who have seen these and they all say it is a magical experience.

Frenchman’s Cove, Port Antonio

This tropical beach is great for a wide variety of activities such as scuba diving, sailing, water-skiing, wind-surfing, and much more. The more passive can enjoy the sand, the surf, and the service.

If you are travelling with kids, you can consider staying in family-friendly Jamaica villas, cottages and apartments that have play area for them and also provide childcare facilities.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Places to visit in Jamaica: Montego Bay

If you are planning a trip to Jamaica you must visit Montego Bay. It is the second largest city in Jamaica and it is also the hub of the tourist industry on the island. The city has much to offer to its visitors including shopping plazas, stunning beaches, fine dining, challenging golf courses and everything else you could ever want from a dream Caribbean vacation.

You can check out the Silver Sands Jamaica, conveniently located on Jamaica's famous North Coast, about 30 miles from the airport, midway between Montego Bay and Ocho Rios. Set amidst spectacular surroundings, these vacation homes are designed and furnished to give you the best of luxury, comfort, and space. Giving you a glimpse of the best of Caribbean style and d├ęcor, they are perfect for spending quality time with the family or entertaining friends. Stay in Jamaica villas offering ultra luxurious facilities or choose a comfortable apartment that fits in with your budget. These vacation homes provide you the perfect opportunity to explore the island at your own leisure and pace.

There are numerous things to see and do in and around Montego Bay, some of which are:

Doctor's Cave Beach: This is one of the most popular beaches in Jamaica and the fact that it is located right on the "Hip Strip", close to restaurants and night life has only added to its popularity.

Rosehall Great House: Jamaica boasts some great estates and one of them is the magnificent great house of the infamous Annie Palmer (The White Witch of Rosehall), who was known for her murderous ways to both husbands and slaves.

Greenwood Great House: If you are a literary buff, you can visit the former plantation home of the Barrett family. Elizabeth Barrett Browning spent time there during her childhood. The house still contains furnishings and personal items belonging to the family.

Rocklands Bird Sanctuary: This is undoubtedly a paradise for the bird lovers housing countless varieties of birds including the Streamertail Hummingbird, the National Bird of Jamaica.

Green Grotto Caves: Explore these historic caves with a crystal-clear lake at the bottom located between Discovery and Runaway Bays. The first Jamaicans, the Arawak Indians are believed to have found shelter here, a fact that is backed by the multiple fragments of pottery and adzes that have been unearthed from time to time.

Cinnamon Hill Golf Course: If your holiday is incomplete without a round of golf, you can enjoy a challenging round of golf or simply take in the spectacular views.

Half Moon Golf Club: This is another golf course that you can visit. Designed by Robert Trent Jones, this golf course has set the standards for other golf courses in Jamaica.

After a fun-filled day, return back to your Jamaica villas where your every whim will be pampered to by the attentive staff.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Skydiving adventure in Jamaica

Jamaica offers a number of adventurous activities including sky diving.

You don’t have to be an experienced skydiver to enjoy the sport. In case you are a novice, you will be given hands on training by experienced and licensed masters so be assured that you will be in safe hands.

The tandem skydive is being offered by Skydive Jamaica and as their website prominently points out, the adventure is the perfect low-pressure way to experience a high-thrill skydive. It takes place at the Boscobel Aerodrome in St Mary.

As already stated, if you are a beginner you will be given the requisite training after which the adventure will begin. At the green signal, you can take the jump from a dizzying height of 12,500 feet. What better way to experience Jamaica than with your body flying through the air at a speed of 120 miles per hour. And just when you are about to forget the fears and relax, the instructor will pull the rip cord which will set off a six to eight-minute parachute ride back to the landing area on the airport.

The skydive is an adventure of a lifetime something that you would surely like to remember and share with your family and friends. To make this possible, the company also offers a video service free of cost which captures your entire flight right from suiting to landing. In fact, the package also includes 40 to 80 still pictures.

Fun and exciting as it is, you would like to calm your nerves and there is no better place to relive the moments and relax in the comfort of your own Jamaica villa or cottage. Round off your day with a delicious meal prepared to your taste by your very own chef while watching the video and the pictures again and again.