Jamaica Island Tours
Guided Jamaica island tours are a great way of seeing the country minus the frustration of getting around yourself. "Tours" may range in sophistication from pre-booked trips to exchanging a few dollars for information from a friendly local, but they can be very helpful in learning about natural and cultural points of interest, as well as urban exploring in Jamaica's major towns. Most Jamaica island tours occupy about a half a day. Although hiring professional tour operators for longer excursions is recommended, taxi drivers may also offer to act as guides and can be very informative and helpful - just be sure to agree on a price before starting out! Here are a few ideas for Jamaica island tours and guided locales that will enhance any trip:
Plantation Tours: Trips to Jamaica's historical mansions and agricultural centers are the perfect alternative to a day on the beach. Popular guided destinations in the Blue Mountain region include Pine Grove coffee farm and Appleton Rum Factory, both of which offer short tours, complete with sampling. In Montego Bay, visits to Rose Hall and the Greenwood Great House offer a glimpse into what life may have been like for a 18th or 19th century plantation owner.
Natural Wonders: Dunn's River Falls, near Ocho Rios, is a must-see addition to any one of many Jamaica island tours covering the country's natural assets. Guides will coax visitors down a set of slippery steps, affording breathtaking views of the Caribbean below. In the Port Antonio area, plan a special trip to the Athenry Gardens, where access to underground caves is tucked into the lush tropics. There are also many ways to navigate Jamaica's system of rivers; guided raft tours, especially, are the ticket into Jamaica's "backcountry". Some Jamaican island tours of this type also involve jeep or horseback outings.
City Sights: Almost all of the country's major sightseeing outfits have Jamaica island tours that include exploring attractions in the cities. Traversing crowded urban centers like Kingston can be much more enjoyable with a guide handy to point out interesting facts about the city's history, culture, etc., that might not have been noticed otherwise. Individual locations within each city also have guides to assist tourists where necessary, including most museums - don't miss the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston, or the Coyaba River Garden and Museum near Ocho Rios.
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