Community Tourism On Jamaica's West and South Coasts
This is a recommended tour itinerary that we have created for you to truly experience Jamaica.
Explore the unique places of the West & South Coasts of Jamaica. Just outside Montego Bay, immerse yourself in the philosophy of humanity and community at Rastafari Indigenous Village. From the gateway of Falmouth, get to know Cockpit Country the most pristine and culturally significant yet little-known part of Jamaica. Learn about the rich history and culture of the Maroons from your Cockpit Country community tourism hosts, Bunker's Hill River Xperience and Cockpit Country Adventure Tours. In the company of their expert local guides who are born and raised in the areas, explore caves the Maroon warriors used as hideouts for launching guerrilla attacks against the British. Travel on to Treasure Beach, the Home of Community Tourism, where you can make a beautiful Starlight lantern with the Treasure Beach Women's Group.
Day 1 Pre-tour:
Montego Bay Arrive in Montego Bay at any time. There are no planned activities because flights arrive throughout the day.
Accommodations: Montego Bay area
Day 2 Rastafari Indigenous Village:
Rastafari Roots, Rhythms, Reasonings This morning you will immerse yourself in a Presentation of Love at Rastafari Indigenous Village, in St. James Parish. Engage your senses as you travel through time and tradition, experiencing the Rastafari philosophy and lifestyle for yourself. Meet Rasta Village community members one-to-one and share their world of nature: sincere, authentic, touchable experiences with earth, water, fire, and air. The tour start time is 10 am. The tour length is 2.5 hours. If you pre-ordered lunch, the tour length is 3 hours.
Getting There: RIV is located just outside Montego Bay. Normal access to the Village is from the Porto Bello community, five minutes from Bogue Road. However, if the river that runs through the Village is high, access is by Irwin community, which also turns off Bogue Road and travels through the Fairfield and Irwin communities to Riverside Drive. The remainder of the day and evening are free to explore Montego Bay and the area.
Accommodations: Montego Bay or Falmouth: Bunker's Hill Xperience, which you will visit on Day 3, is about a 2-hour drive from Montego Bay and a 1-hour drive from historic Falmouth so you can stay either location.
Day 3 Bunker's Hill Cultural Experience & River Tour: Food, Cave & River Community Experience
Today you will get off the beaten path and into adventurous fun, tasty local food, and authentic rural culture at Bunker's Hill Cultural Xperience & River Tour in beautiful Cockpit Country, Trelawny Parish. Learn about Taino, Maroon, and other local heritages. Hike through a brilliant green rainforest. Climb up to caves once used by runaway Maroon slaves. Savor local foods cooked the traditional way - over a slow wood fire while taking in the peaceful and restorative river experience. The tour start time is flexible, between 10 am and 4 pm. The duration is 2.5 hours including hiking, caving, and lunch. You can relax by the river after the tour.
Getting There: Bunker's Hill is located about 45 minutes off the main road from Falmouth. Access is hampered by poor road conditions including rough edges, washed out areas and potholes. The driving conditions are challenging. Transportation can be arranged with local taxi-guide drivers. Costs are negotiated directly with drivers. After leaving Bunker's Hill, the remainder of the day is yours to spend as you choose.
Accommodations: in Falmouth - It is about a 1 to 1.5-hour drive from Falmouth to Albert Town, the location of Cockpit Country Adventure Tours, your community tourism host on Day 4.
Today you will travel to another part of Trewlany Parish, Albert Town, where Cockpit Country Adventure Tours is located. The tours are operated by the Southern Trelawny Environment Agency STEA, which has been working in Cockpit Country Conservation and Tourism since 1996. History, adventure, and awe come alive as they show you the secrets of this most pristine and culturally significant yet little-known part of Jamaica. You will retrace the steps of and learn about how the Cockpit Country Maroon warriors used caves, camouflage and guerrilla warfare to defeat their British enemies. Come, explore and conquer the experience for yourself. The tour start time is flexible, by arrangement with STEA. 10 am start time is recommended. The duration of the tour is about 3 hours. If you pre-ordered lunch, tour length is 3.5 hours. Homestays with local families in Albert Town can be arranged. You may want to stay a night or two, adding on other tours offered by STEA. The options include a Nature Hiking and a Birding Tour. Getting there: Albert Town is about a 1 to 1.5-hour drive from Falmouth.
Accommodations: Homestay in Albert Town or continue on to Treasure Beach, located about 2.5 hours from Albert Town.
Day 5 Treasure Beach Women's Group: Crafting Your Art Treasure
Today you will visit the Treasure Beach Women's Group Center for a hands-on art workshop. Let the artist within you come alive. Create and take home a memento of Treasure Beach, the Home of Community Tourism. Paint a Starlight, the signature pottery art product of the Treasure Beach Women's Group, enjoy a yummy Jamaican snack and fun cultural activities, all while contributing to TBWG's community development projects. The tour start time is 10 am or 2 pm on weekdays, except Friday, by arrangement with the TBWG. The duration of the workshop is about 3 hours and the minimum ideal group size is 10. Arrangements for smaller groups can be negotiated.
Getting there: Treasure Beach Women's Centre is located on Old Wharf Road in Treasure Beach. It includes the Treasure Hunt Craft Shop, which sells locally made craft items.
Accommodations: in the Treasure Beach area. As the Home of Community Tourism, there are many community tourism experiences you can self-book.