JAMAICA // SOUTH COAST
With a rugged coastline, rambling hills, a river cutting through jungle wetlands, and a
seaport defined by elegant Georgian architecture, the area known as South Coast is
intriguingly diverse. Travelers in search of privacy and solitude will enjoy isolated
beaches in this area, where the only footprints are their own.
Images Courtesy of: The Jamaica Tourist Board
The Georgian architecture that distinguishes the High Street in the town of Black
River is elegantly charming, and the 19th-century sugar plantations around the
seaport town of Savanna-La-Mar are a must-see for history buffs.
Tours and Activities
On the way to Mandeville, Bamboo Avenue is well worth a stop. Nearby, the town of
Christiana is always a riot of color from lushly planted gardens set 2,750 feet (838
meters) above sea level. To the north, Quashie’s River Caves in Trelawny stretch
12 miles (19 kilometers) underground with a river running through them.
Boat tours offered by Black River Safari and Irie Safari take visitors down the Black
River, Jamaica’s longest navigable river, to YS Falls, a 120-foot (36-meter)
cascading waterfall amid 2,000 acres of pasture.
Motor launch rides along the Black River are fascinating. Wildlife flourishes in the
surrounding protected wetlands, and includes lizards, frogs and crocodiles.
For those who prefer to keep their feet on terra firma the choice of activities is
equally appealing. The Pickapeppa factory offers insight into the making of its
celebrated spicy sauce, shipped all over the world, and the process of making rum
can be experienced at the Appleton Estate rum distillery. Coffee addicts will enjoy a
tour of the High Mountain coffee factory.
For a great game of golf, the Manchester Golf Club is an ideal choice. As the oldest
in the Caribbean region, this golf club offers old-world charm in a scenic setting.
A drive out of Mandeville can lead to several interesting spots. At Lover’s Leap, the
view from the 1,600-foot (488-meter) cliff top is breathtaking; and a guide will relate
the sad story of the two star-crossed lovers whose fate inspired the name. Cashoo
Ostrich Park welcomes visitors to its 100 acres of working farm. Further afield, the
town of Accompong is home still to the Maroons, descendants of slaves who fled
captivity during Spanish and British rule.
When Evening Falls
Sightseeing can build an appetite, and local fare is delicious along the South Coast
region, with a special focus on seafood. Border is known for its escoveitched fish,
and Middle Quarters for spicy peppered shrimp. The lobster at Jake’s is irresistible,
and a short walk along the beach can lead to a nightcap and a chat with the locals at
Jack Spratt, where a roaring bonfire sets a dramatic scene beside the dark waters.
Along the South Coast are several charming small hotels and one or two resort
properties with distinctive décor and scenic oceanside locations.
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