Roaring River Jamaica

August 8, 2010 by  
Filed under Jamaica Tours

Roaring River offers visitors an unique view of some of the natural wonders that are hidden in the hills of Jamaica.  Located less than an hour outside of Negril, Roaring River is just a short taxi ride or tour bus trip and a perfect excuse to leave your resort for a day.

Roaring River outdoors

While visiting Roaring River you can enjoy the river, the caves, the mineral baths nature walks and other eco friendly activities while your tour guide gives you a history lesson about the area.  I’ll refrain from sharing the history of the area here since it will mean so much more to you learning about it while touring the area.

Prices:  Your best bet might be to find a tour company that will make a visit to Roaring River part of a complete day exploring the west coast of Jamaica.  Tour companies can quote you a price that includes the admission ($15 adults and $5.00 for little kids) and you will just be left with tipping your tour guide.  If you want to venture out on your own (scooter or rental car) call one of the guides who will guide you up to the river from Negril, Savanna-La-Mar or any point between the two if you get lost.  Once there the guide will also be your guide for the tour.  I suggest using Carlos Vassell 876-459-2615 or Robert Forrester 876-574-6137 since I had good experiences with them.

Roaring River cave looking up

Security:  Roaring River has a security guard (Solomon Vassell 876-508-3458) that will watch your rental car or motorbike while you are touring the area.  There are some little shops and a few random people selling their goods in the parking area who only have a chance to make money when tourists show up so you might feel just a little pressured.  The pressure is very little compared to what you will experience in any of the tourist towns but it’s worth noting.

roaring river church group praaying

A word to the wise:  This applies all over Jamaica more so than just at Roaring River but it has left a few people sour at the place because they failed to understand some ground rules.

#1.  Agree on the admission price for your entire party.

#2.  Agree on what is expected by the tour guide after the tour.  Generally a few dollars a person is fine but make sure up front.  The tour guides are not hourly employees and your tips put food on their tables.

#3.  Agree on what the tour will consist of and what the optional extras are.  For example, hiking up into the village or having the tour guide take you up into the mountains would be extras.

#4.  Agree on how long the tour will last.  You might end up wanting to soak in the mineral baths for hours on end or having your tour guide play music in the caves for you while you enjoy a few beers and maybe a spliff or two.  If you are quoted a 30-60 minute tour and end up spending hours you should compensate your tour guide for his time.

I had no issues at all with the staff at Roaring River since I played by these rules, your mileage should be the same if you follow them as well.

Roaring River Guides

What to bring: A camera with a flash to take pictures in the caves.  I actually forgot to bring my external flash so all of my pictures were taken with the built in flash and they turned out just fine.  A bathing suit and a towel are needed if you want to enjoy the mineral baths.  I would suggest wearing your bathing suit there since there are not any changing rooms in the caves.  Shoes with excellent traction or water shoes will make your experience better than if you show up in high heals :-) .  An empty gallon jug or water bottle if you want to bring some of the mineral water back with you.  If you want to do something nice for the tour guides, feel free to print a copy of their picture from this article and give it to them when you go.

A slide show of some of my pictures of the Roaring River Tour. If you like the music please support the artist who also sells wood carvings on the beach 50 yards north of Rooms on the Beach. His name is Jah Earllocks and his contact number is 876-349-8834.

If you are looking for a tour guide to drive you to Roaring River or pretty much any other attraction on the island, check out Jamaica Tour Guide

roaring river facing towards the flats

Royal Palm Reserve Jamaica

August 6, 2010 by  
Filed under Jamaica Tours

The Royal Palm Reserve which is located just a few minutes outside of Negril Jamaica is one of the most popular eco tourism places in Jamaica. With it’s boardwalks, visitors can explore most of the property without ever stepping on bare ground or in most cases marsh or ponds. The Royal Palm Reserve offers something for everybody that enjoys the outdoors including but not limited to: butterflies, birds, flowers, trees, mountain views, an education about the morass and the list goes on and on.

The boardwalk at the Royal Palm Reserve in Jamaica

The boardwalk at the Royal Palm Reserve in Jamaica

Getting to the Royal Palm Reserve is very easy since almost any taxi in Negril will take you there. If you want to hire a tour company that will take you to the reserve along with some of the other west coast attractions call Clives Transport at 876-956-2615 or contact Clive through his website.  If you want to rent a scooter Contact Jah B’s at 876-957-4235 or visit their website where the prices might not be updated but their rental dirt bikes, scooters and motorcycles look the same.  While walking to the reserve might seem like an option you would have to plan an early morning arrival before the sun is high in the sky and a departure once the sun goes down.  A route taxi can get you within a 30-40 minute walk for about $5 from most places in Negril (don’t  quote me on the exact time it will take you to walk).

royal palm reserve bird

Admission to the reserve is $15 for adults and $7 for kids.  They sell water, soda and beer so pack a lunch if you are making a day out of it!  More information about the reserve can be found at http://negril.com/1/index.php?option=com_wrapper&view=wrapper&Itemid=134

Instead of going on and on describing the reserve, here’s a slide show of some of the pictures that I took this April (2010).  If you like the music please support the artist who also sells wood carvings on the beach 50 yards north of Rooms on the Beach.  His name is Jah Earllocks and his contact number is 876-349-8834.

Sam Sharpe Square

February 8, 2010 by  
Filed under Jamaica Tours

Sam Sharpe Square in Montego Bay Jamaica is a nice place to stop for a few minutes while enjoying a patty from the store in picture #3.  For more information on Sam Sharpe and a map of Montego Bay so you can find the square please visit:  http://wikimapia.org/1815705/Sam-Sharp-Square

Originally known as Charles Square, it was named after Admiral Charles Knowles who was the Governor at the time the square was laid out (1775). At various other times it has been called The Parade, Court House Square, or simply The Square. On October 17th 1983 the statue of Sam Sharpe was unveiled to mark Jamaica’s 21st year of Independence. The square was renamed in his honour.

The Right Excellent Samuel Sharpe (1801 – 1832), National Hero, was the leader of the week long Christmas rebellion which began on December 28, 1831 and spread rapidly throughout the parish. He was a Baptist deacon and freedom fighter who paid the ultimate price, his life.

A picture of the Sam Sharpe Story

A picture of the Sam Sharpe Story

Sam Sharpe Square 2

Sam Sharpe Square 3

Sam Sharpe Square in Monetgo Bay Jamaica

Sam Sharpe Square in Monetgo Bay Jamaica

The Ruins Ocho Rios

February 8, 2010 by  
Filed under Jamaica Tours

The Ruins at the falls is a restaurant and a great place to tour some beautiful waterfalls. While they are open for lunch and dinner, I would recommend going for lunch so you can spend an hour or so exploring the water falls, flowers, trees and everything else it has to offer.

The lunch at the Ruins is served buffet style with beer and wine included in the price. I think we paid around $15 US each and while the food was okay, the beer and wine were both horrible. So, don’t go for the free booze, go for the waterfalls! After reading a bunch of their dinner reviews I’m not going to risk spending $$$ on food that sounds no better than what we ate for lunch.

Pictures of the Ruins and Waterfalls

The Ruins in Ocho Rios Jamaica

The Ruins in Ocho Rios Jamaica

One of the waterfalls viewed from the dining area

One of the waterfalls viewed from the dining area

Some palm trees providing shade for the nature walk

Some palm trees providing shade for the nature walk

One of the many water falls at the Ruins

One of the many water falls at the Ruins

The Ruins Ocho Rios 5

Tourists playing in the water

Tourists playing in the water

A Picture of my favorite waterfall at teh Ruins in Ocho Rios

A Picture of my favorite waterfall at teh Ruins in Ocho Rios

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