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Trip Report The Royal Palm Reserve in Jamaica

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Jamaica is my favourite holiday destination and no matter how many times I go, I just cannot seem to get enough of it. There is always something new to explore, something new to see. This time when I went, I checked out the Royal Palm Reserve. I booked my accommodation in the community of Silver Sands villas. Just in case anyone is planning a trip to Jamaica and wants to check them out, you can go to their site www.mysilversands.com. I booked the Endless Summer villa and my stay couldn’t have got any better. The views of the Caribbean Sea from the balcony were magnificent and the dishes prepared by the chef were heavenly.

Jamaica offers many eco-attractions and one of the best amongst them is undoubtedly the Royal Palm Reserve. The huge reserve is spread across over 300 acres and the brochure informed that it is home to about 300 species of animals, reptiles, birds and butterflies and over 114 species of flowers. Its little wonder then it is so popular with the wildlife buffs.

The park boasts many beautiful nature trails all very quiet and peaceful. I tried this beautiful half mile walk leading to a 30 foot tower. From atop, the views of Negril are simply spectacular.

The reserve is home to the endangered species, the West Indian Whistling Ducks. You can see them floating around the stocked fish ponds. These birds are a bit scared of people so you really have to be quiet while observing them. Otherwise they will simply fly off. Fishing is allowed in the ponds during the peak season. Fishing equipment is available upon request but you should bring a loaf of bread for bait and to feed the Whistling Ducks with.

Then there is this alligator that lives within the confines of a caged pond. Either he is too shy or may be because of the hot sun, it is usually hiding in the swampy waters so you really have to wait patiently to catch a glimpse of him.

The reserve is a great place to picnic and there are many shady areas where you can enjoy your meals with your family or friends. Otherwise, if you inform the staff in advance they are well equipped to prepare a meal for large groups also.

The entry fee to the park is quite reasonable, $10 US per adult and $5 per child for a day long access. So you can spend the day watching the wildlife, discovering nature trails and of course catching fish in the stocked ponds. If you are travelling with kids, you can also take them to an interactive museum that offers great educational opportunity to learn about the rich biodiversity and the local flora and fauna.

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