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tivertonhouse - Jamaica help needed!

Old Jul 30th, 2003, 07:21 AM
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tivertonhouse - Jamaica help needed!

Hello Tiv,
(Or anyone who can help me with this question...)
I'd like to make a trip to Jamaica, but the island has so much variety, I have no idea where to start!
We prefer the more laid back and less touristy/developed areas with lots of natural beauty.
We like to explore on our own or with a guide, and I know safety can be a factor, so the locale we'd choose would need to be away from Kingston and/or any other areas that experience crime "issues" that might affect us.
(We have been to 30 to 35 Caribbean islands, so we know about using common sense, but just don't want to set ourselves up to have any problems.)
Prefer a medium sized resort as opposed to a villa. Mid-priced to luxury. (DON'T want an AI.)
A nice sandy beach (with palms and good snorkeling would be a plus) and some funky bars and restaurants and live music nearby are musts.
Any ideas?

THANKS!
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Old Jul 30th, 2003, 09:18 AM
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Hi Diana, I've never been to Jamaica but I am going there for two weeks in Janauary for my honeymoon. From all the research that I've done, Port Antonio looks like the least touristy with the most beauty. We're spending 4 nights in Negril (famous for its 7 mile beach, laid back attitude and night life), 4 nights in Treasure Beach at a place called Jakes (not touristy here either, but more like the desert), and 4 nights in Porti. We're also spending a night in the blue mountains and hiking the peak. We will be doing all our travelling with Carolyn Barrett (barrettadventures.com).

From what i've heard Mo Bay and Ochi are really touristy.

Hope this helps a bit
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Old Jul 30th, 2003, 09:24 AM
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Staying at a resort may well constrict and limit you, but here are some suggestions for Treasure Beach and Port Antonio, the two areas we'd recommend. Neither (until Sandals re-opens Dragon Bay in Port Antonio some time in the future) is resortland. Accomodations are on the smaller scale.
Outside of the villas in Treasure Beach, both Mar Blue.Domicil and
Jake's might appeal (we handle the former). The South Coast is quiet, drier,sunnier and much like Kenya with
many explorations available on land and sea:great guide service in area with Rebecca Wiersma of Treasure Tours. It's not really safety that is the big issue, it's the road conditions/traffic, and finding things since the best things are always hidden on island and you'd drive by if solo. Private boats can be easily
accessed for trips to Pelican Bar, Black River's Great Morass, Sunny Isle and more -- with YS Falls, Appleton Rum, Alligator Pond and Milk River Bath/Mandeville well within exploration radius of TB. Port Antonio (access via
Kingston then fly into Porty or have driver/van meet you for the 2 hour transfer) offers lusher, wetter,greener landscapes, a 1940s feeling of backwaters and little tourist presence,yet. Goblin Hill and Fern Hill seems to be favorites if you're not spending big bucks on a Blue Hole Lagoon villa. Many of the famed older resorts here are sadly on the slide and worse. Carolyn Barrett is a good experienced guide for Porty and Blue Mountains. Negril/Ochi/MoBay/SilverSands/Runaway Bay wouldn't be your cup of tea. Without at least two-three weeks at your disposal, it would be hard to combine both areas (see www.jamaicans.com/Westside Wanderings bulletin board section for a lengthy
Trip Report by OHLIZ, who did a lot of
trampoosing all over island, including
Porty and Treasure Beach in one go and self-drive). We'd recommend choosing one or the other, not both, since either can provide far more than a week or two of great discoveries.
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Old Jul 30th, 2003, 11:58 AM
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ohliz here.

I agree with all that's been said...but how much of a "must" is live music and would localsy street parties suit you? I didn't see many live music venues in PA or TB, certainly they're in Negril but there's so much live music there because there are many tourists there.

Long Bay (near Port Antonio) had a big live show the night of the day we were there, but i think it's fairly unusual.

Anyway, I have a lot of photos of the areas you're considering if you'd like to look:

http://www.alink.com/personal/liz/photos.htm#jam
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Old Jul 30th, 2003, 02:03 PM
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Thank you all SO much for the information. You have have given me exactly the feedback I needed to get started.
holly, I'm sure you did your homework for your honeymoon, and it sounds absolutely fantastic! Congrats and I know you will have a great time. I will take advantage of the time I'm sure you spent on research, and look at the areas you suggested.
We do love "localsy street parties" and cookouts liza, and memories of those experiences have been some of our very best.
We have been to some lively jump-ups (most notably Sunday School on Tobago where we spent 12 hours dancing, and dragged back to our hotel with the sunrise
tiv, we have 2 - 2 1/2 weeks, so maybe we can check out both Porty and TB, or maybe we can just pick out one and really get a feel for it.
Everyone, thanks for the sites to.
Irieness to all of you
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Old Aug 1st, 2003, 09:44 AM
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Diana, if you have 21/2 weeks at your disposal, then I would highly look into splitting your trip between the 2 locations. 1 week each should suffice in both PA and the South coast. I would also suggest doing a day trip or something of sorts to Negril just to feel the vibe there and sample the lovely lovely beach.
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