Jamaica’s Fabulous Eco-Tourism Experiences
The next time you plan a meeting or retreat in Jamaica, guests will welcome the opportunity to go off the beaten track. Here are five unique ecotourism experiences that will give them an opportunity to explore.
Explore the Cockpit Country
The Cockpit Country is a rugged and mountainous area in the Parish of Trelawny. Historically, it provided protection for runaway slaves who formed a Maroon community that fought hard to win its independence from the British. The Cockpit Country hold many opportunities for caving and hiking.
- River Bumpkin Farm
This 59-acre property was once the Potosi Estate, a sugar cane plantation where rum was produced. It dates back to the mid-eighteenth century and the original owner was Thomas Partridge. The Martha Brae River, which is also known for bamboo rafting, runs through it. While hiking or mountain biking, up to 60 guests can explore the historical ruins that include an aqueduct, a mill house, boiling house, and what was once the rum distillery. The property also offers river tubing and kayaking.
- Good Hope Estate
Good Hope Estate is a 2,000-acre plantation with a Great House that dates back to the eighteenth century. After exploring the Great House, groups can go on horse and carriage rides and enjoy the thrill of zip-lining, ATV adventures, and river tubing.
- Turtle River Falls and Garden
Formerly known as The Enchanted Gardens, this lush, 15-acre tropical oasis in a rain-forest setting overlooks Ocho Rios. Turtle River Falls and Gardens and Shaw Park Gardens and Falls above it were once part of the 600-acre Shaw Park Estate, a sugar plantation with a mill that was owned by John Shaw in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century. There is still a giant working waterwheel at the entrance. Turtle River Falls and Garden has meticulously maintained its gardens filled with indigenous and endangered plants and flowers. There are meandering streams and 14 cascading waterfalls. Guests are welcome to cool off as they climb the Ooh Falls. They can also interact with exotic birds at the walk-in aviary. Turtle River Falls and Gardens has facilities for meetings in the Elegant Octagon Reception Hall, which can also accommodate 300 guests for dining. The Great Lawns can be used for outdoor events. The restaurant with a man0made waterfall is under renovation and it will soon be reopened.
Step Back in Time and “Horse Around”
- Chukka Cove Farm
At Chukka Cove near Saint Ann’s Bay, guests can ride horseback through Llandovery and Richmond, two of Jamaica’s oldest sugar estates dating back to the 1660s. At the end of the tour, they may unsaddle their horses and ride bareback in the Caribbean Sea.
- Seville Great House Heritage Park
Seville played a key role in the history of Jamaica. Before Columbus invaded and captured the island in 1655, it was a Taino settlement. (The Taino were the first inhabitants of Jamaica.) Sevilla la Nueva was the first place where the Spanish settled. After the British defeated the Spanish in 1655, Captain Samuel Hemmings, one of the officers, was given a 2,500-acre land grant. Seville Great House, a Jamaica National Heritage Trust site, which dates back to 1745, was built by his grandson. At Seville, groups can explore the historical artifacts in the Great House and go on a plantation tour via horseback. They will view the old cattle pen that dates back to the time of the Spanish and explore replicas of a Taino village and the dwellings that housed the Africans who were enslaved on the plantations. Along the way, guides will point out the fruits and plants that grow on the plantation. Finally, the group will cool off as they swim horses in the Caribbean Sea. It’s a truly exhilarating experience!
For more information about Jamaica also read:
JAMAICA: 3 REASONS TO PLAN A TRIP RIGHT NOW
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