Skip the Strip: AN INSIDER’S GUIDE TO JAMAICA’S SOUTH COAST – Discover the Quiet Wonder of Jamaica’s Hidden Oasis

Renowned for its old world charm, secluded beaches and off-the-beaten-path allure, Jamaica’s South Coast is a veritable treasure trove of quintessential Caribbean culture. It is a region teeming with quaint fishing villages and elaborate Georgian architecture, a place known as much for its friendly people as for its pristine, untainted natural beauty. Complete with a rich biodiversity, delicious food and historical plantations, Jamaica’s South Coast is a not-to-be-missed destination getaway.

“With a rugged coastline, rambling hills, jungle wetlands, and colonial architecture, Jamaica’s South Coast is intriguingly diverse,” said Paul Pennicook, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism. “Its unspoiled beauty, warm people and lush vegetation has made it one of Jamaica’s heritage and ecotourism locations. Relatively untouched and all natural, the area is truly Jamaica’s best-kept secret, an ideal location for visitors who desire a laid-back and easy ambience.”

Jamaica’s South Coast is a treasure chest of coves and bays. A mixture of dark and white-sand stretches, rocky inlets, fishermen’s enclaves and secluded swimming spots, the region’s shores promise a range of possibilities.

Treasure Beach: With a six-mile stretch of black and coral-coloured sand, private coves and rocky shores, Treasure Beach is an untrodden respite brimming with the South Coast’s vibrant local culture and people. Having successfully maintained its charm as a modest fishing village, visitors can expect a truly authentic experience.

Treasure Beach, Jamaica
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What to Do: Birding at Bluefields, Jamaica

Jamaica is well known to the world as the land of rum, reggae and white sand beaches, but there is a side to Jamaica lesser traveled and equally alluring. A walk through the island’s interior opens you up to a wonderland of beautiful flora and fauna. A hike through the Bluefields Mountains on the South Coast affords sightseers spectacular views of Bluefields Bay as well as an opportunity to take in some of Jamaica’s 280-plus species of birds who call the island home, including 28 that are found only on Jamaica.

The thickly forested Bluefields Mountains rise from the sea to nearly 2,600ft and are listed by BirdLife International as one of Jamaica’s globally Important Bird Areas (IBA). Among the plant species of the Bluefields Mountains is the Chusquea abietifolia, a bamboo that flowers only once every 33 years and is due for its next bloom in 2017. Jamaica’s other unique residents include the Jamaican Tody, a bird that nests in the ground instead of in trees, varieties of rare yellow snakes and the Giant Swallowtail butterfly, which has a wingspan of up to six inches and is thought to be the largest butterfly in the western hemisphere.

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