From November 9-13, 2011 The Jamaica Tourist Board invited 9 Bloggers from across the US and Canada to experience the “softer” side of adventure travel in Jamaica. Bloggers Stephen Barrymore of The Wanderer Cynthia White of Johnny Jet, Lindsey Davis of Go Nomad Dave Bouskill and Debra Corbeil of The Planet D, Michael Ortiz of Smart Women Travelers, Robert Lloyd of Stop Having a Boring Life, and Teresa Plowright of About.com were those selected to enjoy these 5 days exciting action.
Upon arrival on the evening of the 9th, our bloggers (now guests of the Iberostar Grand Rose Hall in Montego Bay) were ushered my a bellhop and almost immediately introduced to their very own personal Butler who ensured that they were comfortable and connected to the internet so that they could share the journey they were about to embark on with the world.
Dinner at the hotel’s “Kiniko” Japanese restaurant was preceded by cocktails in the lobby, during which they were serenaded by a live saxophonist. Delights such as teppanyaki style chicken, lobster, shrimp rolls and tempura banana with hot chocolate hinted at the beginning of a trip filled with tasty treats as well as adrenaline pumping adventure.
The next morning: After touring the Iberostar Grand Rose Hall and the adjacent Iberostar Rose Hall Suites and Iberostar Rose Hall Beach properties, the bloggers headed for Mystic Mountain in Ocho Rios where they boarded the Sky Explorer which took them to heights of 700ft affording them stunning views of the turquoise waters of the Ocho Rios Harbour below. What followed was even more thrilling. Imagine taking a ride down through a rainforest in a bobsled! The visit ended with a stop by the Mystic Mountain hummingbird sanctuary, where among other species Jamaica’s national bird the swallowtail hummingbird had the bloggers in awe of their beauty.
Needless to say all this excitement worked up quite an appetite, and what better way to satisfy one’s hunger than with some succulent, spicy Jamaican jerk chicken and pork from Scotchie’s? Wash it down with an ice cold Red Stripe beer and you’re officially eating like a Jamaican. One blogger even dared to take a gulp of the famous Jamaican scotch bonnet pepper sauce!
After their culinary exploration it was time for the bloggers to experience one of Jamaica’s newest attractions, Chukka Caribbean Adventures‘ Jamaica Dogsled Encounter. The visit introduced the bloggers to a distinctly Jamaican take on the sport of dog-sledding, one that involves equipping the sleds authentic “Jamaican Mongrels” rescued by the JSPCA and given a new home at Chukka Caribbean.
The next day’s activities with a drive along Jamaica’s western coast to the famous “Capital of Casual” Negril for a ride on a Catamaran Courtesy of Island Routes. Negril’s casual, laid-back pace and natural beauty make it a favorite escape for locals and visitors alike and what better way to experience this than by sailing on its magnetic blue waters? A half an hour stop at the Sandy Bay Reef gave the bloggers a glimpse of the island’s underwater treasure. The catamaran then continued to sail pass the luxurious Rockhouse Hotel sitting on the cliffs overlooking the sea. It was here our bloggers dove in once more for some swimming in the nearby “Pirates Cave”. A short stop just infront of Rick’s Cafe saw a daredevil doing cliff diving displays and a trip to Margaritaville brought out the inner child in the bloggers who spent some time bouncing on the aqua trampoline!
After experiencing Negril’s relaxed atmosphere it was time for some more active adventure, an ATV Safari courtesy of Chukka Caribbean Adventures, Sandy Bay. In no time the bloggers strapped on their helmets and took a wild ride through the wilderness, setting their sites on a more off the beaten path experience. The journey took them hundreds of feet above sea level for a view of the Caribbean Sea and a brief lesson on the sweet tropical fruits which surrounded them.
On their very last day enjoying Jamaica’s adventure travel our 10 bloggers felt the thrill of soaring through the air above a beautiful river in the midst of a forest filled with historical relics on the Chukka Zipline Canopy at Good Hope in Trelawny. A marvelous hike and bike tour courtesy of Braco Stables ending in a ride down to the Braco private beach where the folks at Braco Stables had refreshments (which included delicious Patties and ‘Coconut Jelly’) awaiting the bloggers it was the perfect end to an absolutely amazing trip, the bloggers left as friends, all pledging to return for more adventures in Jamaica. For more photos from The Jamaica Tourist Board’s Soft Adventure Bloggers Meetup 2011 visit our Facebook Page here! Also enjoy Part 1 of our video coverage of the event posted above!
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