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Home Travel Best road trips in Jamaica

Best road trips in Jamaica

Jamaica isn’t any stranger to white sand seashores and sensual sunsets, however what is commonly missed is its road journey attraction. The biggest English-speaking island in the Caribbean, Jamaica will be slowly and comfortably traversed by automobile inside every week. 

Whether or not you’re in search of mountain views, a journey alongside the coast or a drive by means of quaint neighborhoods, these are a few of the finest road trips to take in Jamaica.


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Overhead shot of the town of Falmouth Port in Jamaica – lots of brightly colored buildings surrounded by trees and mountains
Falmouth is characterised by its brightly coloured Georgian structure buildings © Irina Wilhauk / Shutterstock

Falmouth road journey

Best historic journey

Montego Bay – Falmouth, Trelawny; Distance – approx 34km (21 miles)

For the historical past buff, Falmouth is a should. A fast 42-minute drive from Montego Bay, Jamaica’s second metropolis, will take you to one of many best-preserved Georgian cities in the Caribbean. Lots of Falmouth’s 18th-century buildings of Georgian structure stay intact as we speak. Drive by means of the historic city alongside Market Avenue, cease by St Peter’s Anglican Church and go to the put up workplace close to the cruise port. 

The road situations on this journey are good, with paved 2-way highways overlaying a lot of the journey. Coming from Montego Bay, renting a automobile for the journey may be very straightforward. 

Detour: On the outskirts of Falmouth is the Luminous Lagoon – dwelling to vibrant bioluminescent life that lights up the water in a cool neon blue. Drive there and e-book an evening tour to expertise one of many rarest and most magical water phenomena.

Distant view of two people taking a selfie on Negril Beach while others swim in the water
Seven Mile Seaside is beautiful for a romantic getaway © Ina Meer Sommer / Shutterstock

Negril ‘sand-and-sunset’ road journey

Best romantic road journey

Montego Bay – Negril; Distance – approx 80.8km (50 miles)

With seven miles of white sand seashore and sensual sunsets, Negril is the romantic getaway road journey. Situated about 81km (or 1½  hours) from Montego Bay, the roads are easy and well-maintained because of the sturdy tourism presence in Negril. But, Negril maintains a laid-back attraction with its lush tree-lined streets, native eating places and unbiased boutique resorts.

Proceed to the West Finish neighborhood for stellar limestone cliffs, and watch daredevils dive off the cliffs into the clear blue Caribbean Sea. Subsequent, drive to probably the most western finish of Jamaica to go to the Negril lighthouse, constructed in 1894. Each the cliffs and the lighthouse give nice sundown views, and Negril is commonly touted as the most effective locations in the world to look at the solar go down.

Native tip: Rick’s Cafe in Negril is among the finest locations to look at the sundown, however it will possibly get crowded in a short time. Be sure to arrive early and discover a great place at one of many multi-layered cliffs.  

Detour: Go to Barney’s Flower & Hummingbird Backyard to see an abundance of unique crops and flowers. The backyard can also be dwelling to the distinctive Jamaican swallowtail hummingbird.

South coast Treasure Seaside road journey

Best off-the-beaten-path journey

Kingston ­– Treasure Seaside; Distance – approx 138km (85.7 miles)

Journey alongside the rugged southern coast of Jamaica from the bustling capital metropolis of Kingston to the eco-friendly seashore city of Treasure Seaside. This journey takes you thru many small communities and throughout 5 parishes. In contrast to the north coast, the roads are much less developed with potholes of assorted sizes – some massive sufficient to swallow a small car. Move by means of the colonial city of Mandeville with its cooler temperatures and 18th-century Georgian structure. 

Cross over to a different parish and proceed to Lover’s Leap in St Elizabeth. At 1700 ft above sea degree, Lover’s Leap has panoramic views of Jamaica. The elevated spot can also be an ode to Jamaican folklore about star-crossed lovers who jumped the cliffs to flee their jealous plantation grasp. Subsequent, you’ll arrive on the eco-conscious Treasure Seaside. Identified for its farm-to-table tradition and tight-knit neighborhood vibes, Treasure Seaside is a calming haven located proper on Jamaica’s southern shoreline.

Native Tip: Though it’s positioned beachside, watch out of the waves at Treasure Seaside as a result of there are various rip tides. Heed all “no swimming” indicators and recommendation even when the water appears shallow. 

Planning tip: Plan your journey to align with the annual turtle-hatching season (most hatch from August by means of October) and watch hawkbill sea turtles return to the ocean in droves. 

Detour: Cooldown at YS Falls, one in all Jamaica’s prime pure points of interest about an hour north of Treasure Seaside. The seven-tiered waterfall flows into pure swimming swimming pools surrounded by lush vegetation and towering timber.

Buff Bay off-road journey

Best Off-Roading journey

Kingston – Buff Bay, Portland; Distance – approx 62.7km (39 miles)

When you like off-roading, then that is the road journey for you. Driving from Kingston to Port Antonio gives a wide ranging expertise by means of the winding mountain roads of Jamaica. There’s a comparatively clear route that’s nearly a singular road. Nonetheless, the roads are tough, and corners are sharp and winding, making it troublesome to see oncoming site visitors; drive slowly and punctiliously. When you can actually use a traditional automobile, it’s finest to take an SUV to navigate the bumpy unpaved roads that minimize by means of the Blue Mountains

Buff Bay is positioned in the parish of Portland on the northeast aspect of the island. It’s recognized for its excessive vegetation and rainfall and is dwelling to the Blue Mountains – Jamaica’s highest mountain vary. Earlier than you arrive at Buff Bay, cease by Newcastle to admire dreamy, misty views of the famed peaks. Proceed east alongside the Portland shoreline to expertise a few of Jamaica’s most pristine seashores. 

Native tip: One of the best time to take this journey is through the dry season. The realm experiences landslides through the wet season, and roads are generally blocked. 

Blue Mountains, Jamaica
Espresso plantations sprawl throughout the rugged Blue Mountains of Jamaica © Marc Guitard / Getty Photos

Papine to Newcastle road journey

Best day journey

Papine, Kingston – Newcastle; Distance – approx 22.8km (14 miles)

This brief but enriching journey is commonly missed by locals and guests alike. The one-hour drive takes you to Newcastle in the hills of the Blue and John Crow Mountains –  26,000 hectares (64,247 acres) of terrain designated as a World Heritage Website. 

Newcastle, which was as soon as a British Military navy hill station, is now a coaching facility for the Jamaica Protection Drive. To get there, take the route from Kingston to Papine and onwards to Irish City, move the Pink Gentle district (presumably a misnomer for the tiny sleepy mountain village), and proceed alongside the principle road. Alongside the route, pause to take footage of the mesmerizing ridgelines or strive some iconic Blue Mountain espresso, corresponding to at Cafe Blue or Mavis Financial institution Espresso. This journey is a implausible option to spend the day.

Native tip: In contrast to Papine, Newcastle is commonly chilly and misty, so deliver a jacket. 

Detour: Pack your lunch and go to Holywell Nationwide Park for a picnic in the Blue Mountains. The park is positioned en path to Newcastle and gives beneficiant views of Jamaica’s panorama. There are cabins to hire, and you may go on a guided hike to a waterfall.

A small dock on a beautiful lake in Port Antonio Jamaica, with a mountain in the background, at sunset
Port Antonio is among the quieter and extra secluded areas of Jamaica © Peace Photograph / Shutterstock

Ocho Rios to Port Antonio road journey 

Best seashore views journey

Ocho Rios – Port Antonio; Distance – approx 102km (63 miles)

This journey prioritizes the seashore, taking you alongside the shoreline from touristic Ocho Rios to unspoiled Port Antonio. Go away the vacationer bustle of Ocho Rios and proceed east alongside the gently meandering road that hugs the oceanside. Take the A3 road and drive by means of St Mary Parish, then hook up with the A4 road that may lead you in the direction of Annotto Bay and eventually Port Antonio.

This is among the extra languid drives in Jamaica. The road is paved however has just a few potholes, and it passes alongside small seaside communities and slowly slopes by means of the panoramic hills of St Mary. As you drive by means of the quiet village of Oracabessa, be looking out for the well-known Goldeneye Resort – as soon as the house of creator Ian Fleming and the birthplace of his most well-known character, James Bond. The journey descends into Port Maria, welcoming banana fields and a brief spurt by means of the mountains inland earlier than returning to the seaside on the A4 road exit. 

The A4 road from St Mary takes you straight to Port Antonio in Portland parish. A lot of this drive shall be alongside the northeast shoreline. Move by means of Annotto Bay and Buff Bay, the primary main cities you’ll meet in Portland, and proceed east. You’ll arrive at Port Antonio, Jamaica’s pleasant, unspoiled, attractive seaside. Have a meal on the Marina and sip on Jamaican Pink Stripe beer whereas listening to the lapping waves at Trident Citadel.

Native tip: The parish of Portland is a pure rainforest, so anticipate just a few gentle showers on this journey.

Detour: Goldeneye is beautiful, however Firefly touts the very best view in all of Jamaica. Take a cease at this nationwide heritage web site, which English playwright Noel Coward used to name dwelling. Firefly’s sprawling views throughout the Spanish Essential and the outdated pirate look-out is a wide ranging pause price each minute. 

Treasure Seaside to Negril

Best for rugged landscapes

Treasure Seaside – Negril; Distance – approx 99 km (61.5 miles)

The fantastic thing about this road journey is that it explores a few of Jamaica’s most untouched landscapes. Vegetation prospers right here, the place the sights and sounds of fauna in their pure habitat coincide peacefully with the local people. Spot crocodiles in the Black River and drive by means of the picturesque Bamboo Avenue – a 4km (2.5-mile) stretch of bamboo cover forming a chic arch on either side of the road. Cease by the Border neighborhood to eat fried fish from roadside stalls alongside your method. From Border, proceed to Bluefields, a small neighborhood in Westmoreland parish with the most effective public seashores you could find. 

The subsequent main city is Savanna-la-Mar, recognized domestically as “Sav” or “Sav-la-mar,” the place you may replenish and refill on private gadgets. Sav, the capital and important commerce city in Westmoreland, has glorious infrastructure for renting autos, discovering mechanics, banking, and many others. 

Native tip: Bamboo Avenue is pockmarked with just a few potholes. Watch out when driving, because the shade from the bamboo causes the potholes to appear like shadows.

Detour: From Parottee Bay, e-book a ship journey to Floyd’s Pelican Bar – a country and charming bar on stilts in the center of the Caribbean sea that sells the freshest seafood. When you’re fortunate, you may spot a dolphin or two in your method.

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