Jamaica Community Tourism Sampler
This is a recommended tour itinerary that we have created for you to truly experience Jamaica.
Get away from the typical vacation and take a different type of trip to one of the world's most magical destinations. A Jamaica trip that engages your heart and mind. A community tourism adventure where you will sample five unique community tourism experiences. You can do hands-on activities, get up close, have meaningful personal encounters, and make a real difference with your travel dollars.
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, re and air. The tour start time is 10 am. The tour length is 2.5 hours. If you pre-ordered lunch, 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, also off Bogue Road and through the Fairfield and Irwin communities to Riverside Drive.
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 1 hour 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 local heritage. Hike through the brilliant green rainforest. Climb up to caves once used by runaway Maroon slaves. Savor local foods cooked the traditional way over a slow woodfire 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.
Accommodations: In Falmouth area: 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.
Day 4 Cockpit Country Adventure Tours: Heritage & Caving Adventure
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 Hike and a Birdwatching Tour.
Getting there: Albert Town is about a 1 to 1.5-hour drive from Falmouth.
Accommodations: Ocho Rios or Port Antonio: It is about a 2-hour drive from Albert Town to Ocho Rios and another 1.5 hours to Port Antonio. Either location is a good jumping o point for Charles Town Maroon Village, your destination on Day 4.
Day 5 Charles Town Maroon Village: Maroon for a Moment at Yankunku Prandes.
Today you will visit Charles Town Maroon Village, Museum and Asafu Yard in Portland Parish. Here, you will experience the best of traditional and contemporary Maroon culture and legacies. This vibrant community is known as the haunt of Quao, Maroon leader and hero. Enjoy authentic Maroon cuisine, herbs and healing, Asafu museum, traditional and cultural expressions, and guided hikes. Live like a Maroon for a moment! The tour start time is flexible, by arrangement with the Charles Town Maroon Council. The duration of the tour of the Museum and Asafu Yard with drumming and dancing is about 30 minutes. In addition to the Museum, Charles Town has several other experience options for groups of 5+ persons. These include Lunch, Hiking to historical sites, a Herb tour, and a Drum class. Basic cabin accommodation and homestays with community members are available.
Getting there: Charles Town is located about a 1.5 to 2-hour drive from Ocho Rios or about 1 hour from Port Antonio.
Accommodations: at Charles Town Community or in the Port Antonio area.
Day 6 Hiking the Trails of the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park and World Heritage Site
Today your destination is Holywell Recreation Area in Kingston Parish, where you will get out and experience a UNESCO World Heritage site, a biodiversity hotspot ideal for nature seekers. Pick from five wilderness trails winding through a cloud forest, bromeliads and ferny dells. Find fascination as local guides show you the park's secrets-- green valleys, beautiful views, and unique plants, animals and birds. The hiking tour start time is flexible, by arrangement with the Jamaica Conservation Development Trust JCDT, which operates the BJCMNP. The duration of the hiking tour is about 1.5 hours. Holywell offers comfy rustic cabins, including fireplaces. At Portland Gap Recreation area, very basic accommodation is available in two cabins with bunk beds or floor sleeping space. You may want to stay a night or two, adding on other tours offered by JCDT. The options include hiking to the Blue Mountains Peak, taking a Coffee and Nature Tour, or taking a Birding Tour.
Getting there: Holywell Recreation Area is located about a 1.5 to 2-hour drive from Charles Town or Port Antonio.
Accommodations: at Holywell or Portland Gap or in Kingston. It takes about 1.5 hours to drive to Kingston from the BJCMNP.
Day 7 Kingston: Free Day
Your trip ends a free day to explore Kingston, the capital and considered to be the cultural heartbeat of Jamaica. In 2015 UNESCO designated it a Creative City of Music for its world-class music scene, from reggae to mento, ska, dub, rocksteady, and dancehall. The Bob Marley Museum is located in the late musician’s former home and recording studio. The recently Peter Tosh Museum celebrates the activist and reggae legend who was a core of Bob Marley and the Wailers. Trench Town Culture Yard, where Marley spent much of his early music career, is the birthplace of many famous songs such as No Woman No Cry. Kingston also has a growing local food movement and other cultures and natural attractions such as the colonial era Devon House mansion and the Hope Botanical Gardens.
Accommodations: in the Kingston area.