Little Ochie Seafood Restaurant is an off-the-beaten-track local favourite located in Alligator Pond on the black sand of Jamaica’s south coast. The beachfront eatery offers fresh from the sea lobster, shrimp and fish and also allows guests to select their meal in the kitchen before it is prepared.
There’s more to Jamaica than just scrumptious food, stunning beaches and vibrant nightlife. The island is bejeweled with fascinating hidden gems and natural wonders suited for anyone looking for an off the beaten path adrenaline rush or simply a tranquil day amongst seductive scenery. Numerous navigable rivers and exhilarating waterfalls offer a number of exciting opportunities for activities and adventures. To help you decide which ones to visit here’s a list of 5 Must See Rivers and Waterfalls in Jamaica:
Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios is one of Jamaica’s most celebrated national treasures. It is hands down the island’s most frequented waterfall and one of most popular attractions in the Caribbean. This 600-foot majestic waterfall, known as “the Niagara of Jamaica” sees thousands of visitors from around the world each year climbing the limestone rock formation as water cascades past them and splashes into the ocean below. A truly outstanding treasure for everyone from the adventurous tourist to the more cautious individuals and an experience the whole family can truly enjoy together.
Jamaica’s rustic South Coast with its beauty unblemished, and natural wonders of flora and fauna virtually untouched extends a warm eco-friendly invitation to the adventurous visitor. Complete with charming fishing villages, miles of untamed beaches, excellent food, magnificent panoramic views over deep blue sea, wooded valleys and old plantations, this is just about as far away from packaged tourism as you can get. It is here that you will find Alligator Pond.
Located at the foot of the Don Figueroa Mountains, some 35 km from Mandeville. The name is said by locals to derive from the shape of the mountain range, which viewed from the beach has bumps which suggest an alligator’s back. Alligator Pond is the proud home of one of the longest fishing beaches on the island. Known to be the best place in Jamaica to procure all sorts of seafood – cooked or uncooked Alligator Pond is a virtual haven for seafood lovers. Usually the best selections are bought at the morning fish market, where patrons can buy the first catch of the day out of the boats of fishermen coming in from the sea. A trip to this region offers an experience of the authentic, off the beaten path Jamaica. Rustic, intimate and slow-paced, Alligator Pond is a delightful find.
Negril on Jamaica’s North Coast is one of the most popular destinations in The Caribbean let alone Jamaica. Famous for its unrivaled sunsets, seven mile white sand beach, seductive cliffs, caves, corals and coves it is one of the most romantic spots on the island. The Norman Manley Boulevard strip is teeming with activities for honeymooners, including water sports, sunset cruises and relaxing spas (to name a few). There are also a number of off the beaten path gems for couples who crave a little extra adventure on their honeymoon. One such gem is the Roaring River and Blue Hole in Westmoreland.
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Roaring River and Blue Hole are located just 45 minutes outside of Negril in a village called Shrewsbury and present an idyllic environment for the nature lover. A marvellous wonder hidden deep in the Westmoreland cane country. The river is a subterranean channel that runs for miles underground before appearing, almost miraculously, at a spot near Petersfield. Lush green vegetation abounds, and water lilies glide gently along the water’s surface, destined for nowhere in particular.
Located 130 miles from Kingston in Jamaica’s northwest (near Montego Bay and Ocho Rios) The Cockpit Country has the highest diversity of plants and animals anywhere on the island. It is a goldmine for birdwatchers, plant lovers and scientists with a sophisticated knowledge of the various species and a determination to withstand the humidity, the mosquitoes and the other harsh physical conditions that have kept the region free of large scale human settlement for centuries.
This unique karst landscape resembles the inside of an egg carton with its rounded peaks and steep-sided, bowl-shaped depressions. Limestone denudations traversing three parishes and covering over 500 square miles is one of the area’s main features. The so-called “cockpits” are caused because limestone, the predominant soil in the area, does not retain water. Rainwater therefore, percolates downward through cracks and fissures, creating in time a landscape of pits and valleys. Below the surface of the Cockpit Country are hundreds of rivers, streams and caves, providing some of the best spelunking opportunities in the Caribbean. Most of the Cockpit Country was a stronghold of the Maroons from the eighteenth century, when attacks by the British forced ex-slaves to use the harsh terrain to their advantage. The Cockpit Country is still home to one of the most important Maroon communities in the island, the town of Accompong in the parish of St Elizabeth.
Complete with charming fishing villages, miles of untamed beaches, excellent food, magnificent panoramic views over deep blue sea, wooded valleys and old plantations (to name a few) the rustic South Coast of Jamaica is a piece of paradise lesser traveled than the more popular North Coast. Enjoy views of the sweeping Pedro Bluff, the jagged shoreline of Cutlass Bay and miles of the bluest sea. Add centuries old great houses, natural waterfalls and wetlands to create an atmosphere for adventure, quiet wonder and relaxation.
The South Coast’s quiet shores and verdant highlands are (in addition to being excellent spots to watch the sunset) also perfect for viewing Jamaica’s colourful collection of tropical birds. If you’re thinking about visiting Jamaica’s South Coast and are wondering just what sorts of activities you might be able to lose yourselves in while visiting one of the islands most untainted spots then this list of things to do should do you some good:
Arguably the most beautiful and scenic part of Jamaica, Port Antonio in Portland was founded in 1729, and was many years ago the heart of Jamaica’s tourism industry. In recent years visitors have more frequently flocked towards the island’s West Coast for a taste of the wide spectrum of sights and activities to be found there, leaving Port Antonio free to stake its claim as one of the best “off the beaten path” destinations in Jamaica.
Here one gets a feel for the culture, the people, and the natural attributes of the real Jamaica. With it’s navigable rivers, twin harbors, waterfalls, freshwater blue holes and so much more presenting ample opportunities for snorkeling, scuba diving, surfing, river and sea rafting, kayaking, horseback riding, biking, hiking, boat tours and deep-sea fishing (to name a few) Port Antonio is almost like an island all to itself. The Rio Grande River and the river valley, lying within the Blue Mountain range, are among the region’s natural assets and it is in this valley that you will find the Scatter Falls and Fox Caves.
The Chukka ATV Safari in Ocho Rios, Jamaica is a wilderness adventure packed full of excitement and adrenaline! Adults and children 16yrs and older can climb on to the quad bikes and journey deep into the scenic Ocho Rios country side, through shadowed corridors and beneath the jungle canopy, across river beds and hillocks. Discover the history of the area and explore the beauty of the Jamaican wilderness. Then round it all up with a refreshing swim in the Caribbean Sea, some delicious Jamaican food and a spectacular view of the coastline. Best of all, no ATV experience is required!
Winner of the 2007 World Travel Award for the Caribbean’s Leading Nature Adventure Excursion Operator the 2 hour long expertly guided tour starts off at Chukka Cove Farm with a short safety briefing and riding lesson. You will then head across the Richmond Property, pass an old Sugar Factory, situated on one of the oldest estates in Jamaica, where you will learn its history. Ride through a river bed, lush forests and tropical foliage before stopping at the village of Chester, the home of the Chester All Age School. Observe the children in their learning environment and enjoy stories of the school and the community’s colorful history.
Nestled in the hills just outside of Montego Bay, Jamaica is an amazingly unique bird-lovers paradise. Rocklands Bird Sanctuary in the parish of St. James offers a thrilling experience even for people who aren’t usually “birders”. Visitors are given the opportunity to see and feed birds, in particular hummingbirds, by having them perch right on their fingers! It is surreal feeling the beautiful, tiny, delicate hummingbirds rest on your finger as you feed them while listening to the soothing sound of their hum.
With stunning emerald green chests and ruby red beaks you’ll want to watch them for hours. This interactive session occurs each day, mainly in the afternoon and the sanctuary is so “off the beaten path” that you’ll actually need directions to get there. Located in Anchovy, St. James it is approximately 30 minutes away from Montego Bay by car. Take the main road West of Montego Bay (towards Lucea and Negril), after about 3 miles you will come to a town called Reading where a clearly marked sign points to the road leading inland (left). Follow this inland road for about half a mile until you see signs to the bird sanctuary.