A two-hour drive from Kingston up into the clouds, over the mystical Blue Mountains, and down to windswept northeast shores takes you to the Jamaica of travel dreams and fantasies long forgotten.
This is the Jamaica of yesteryear; a quiet enclave of authentic people and experiences, unspoiled nature, adventure, and absolute escape. No Margaritaville, no crowds, no all-inclusives – just the real Jamaica some say no longer exists.
This is Port Antonio, where the same bamboo rafts originally created to ferry banana crops to market from plantations several miles up-river still ply the waters of the Rio Grande.
Where the exclusive guest experience at such high-end hideaways as Geejam and the Trident Club isn’t complete without stopping in at local haunts like Woody’s Low Bridge Place or any number of roadside rum shops for a beastly cold Red Stripe or overproof rum.
Where the likes of Drake, Santigold, Gorillaz, No Doubt, Amy Winehouse, and other chart-toppers have tapped into the soul of Jamaica, recording gems at the legendary Geejam Studios.
For the uncommon traveler, this is your Jamaica.
*Photo credit: Flickr user Kent MacElwee.