The highest 7 highway journeys in Jamaica

Jamaica is not any stranger to white sand seashores and sensual sunsets, however what is usually neglected is its highway journey attraction. The most important English-speaking island within the Caribbean, Jamaica may be slowly and comfortably traversed by automobile inside per week. 

Whether or not you’re searching for mountain views, a experience alongside the coast or a drive via quaint neighborhoods, these are a few of the greatest highway journeys to soak up Jamaica.

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Falmouth is characterised by its brightly coloured Georgian structure buildings © Irina Wilhauk / Shutterstock

Falmouth highway journey

Greatest historic journey

Montego Bay – Falmouth, Trelawny; Distance – approx 34km (21 miles)

For the historical past buff, Falmouth is a should. A fast 42-minute drive from Montego Bay, Jamaica’s second metropolis, will take you to one of many best-preserved Georgian cities within the Caribbean. A lot of Falmouth’s 18th-century buildings of Georgian structure stay intact in the present day. Drive via the historic city alongside Market Avenue, cease by St Peter’s Anglican Church and go to the publish workplace close to the cruise port. 

The highway situations on this journey are good, with paved 2-way highways overlaying a lot of the journey. Coming from Montego Bay, renting a automobile for the journey could be very straightforward. 

Detour: On the outskirts of Falmouth is the Luminous Lagoon – house to shiny bioluminescent life that lights up the water in a cool neon blue. Drive there and e-book an evening tour to expertise one of many rarest and most magical water phenomena.

Distant view of two people taking a selfie on Negril Beach while others swim in the water
Seven Mile Seashore is gorgeous for a romantic getaway © Ina Meer Sommer / Shutterstock

Negril ‘sand-and-sunset’ highway journey

Greatest romantic highway journey

Montego Bay – Negril; Distance – approx 80.8km (50 miles)

With seven miles of white sand seashore and sensual sunsets, Negril is the romantic getaway highway journey. Positioned about 81km (or 1½  hours) from Montego Bay, the roads are easy and well-maintained as a result of robust tourism presence in Negril. But, Negril maintains a laid-back attraction with its lush tree-lined streets, native eating places and unbiased boutique inns.

Proceed to the West Finish neighborhood for stellar limestone cliffs, and watch daredevils dive off the cliffs into the clear blue Caribbean Sea. Subsequent, drive to probably the most western finish of Jamaica to go to the Negril lighthouse, in-built 1894. Each the cliffs and the lighthouse give nice sundown views, and Negril is usually touted as among the best locations on this planet to look at the solar go down.

Native tip: Rick’s Cafe in Negril is among the greatest locations to look at the sundown, however it may possibly get crowded in a short time. Ensure you arrive early and discover a great spot at one of many multi-layered cliffs.  

Detour: Go to Barney’s Flower & Hummingbird Backyard to see an abundance of unique vegetation and flowers. The backyard can also be house to the distinctive Jamaican swallowtail hummingbird.

South coast Treasure Seashore highway journey

Greatest off-the-beaten-path journey

Kingston ­– Treasure Seashore; Distance – approx 138km (85.7 miles)

Journey alongside the rugged southern coast of Jamaica from the bustling capital metropolis of Kingston to the eco-friendly seashore city of Treasure Seashore. This journey takes you thru many small communities and throughout 5 parishes. Not like the north coast, the roads are much less developed with potholes of assorted sizes – some giant sufficient to swallow a small car. Cross via the colonial city of Mandeville with its cooler temperatures and 18th-century Georgian structure. 

Cross over to a different parish and proceed to Lover’s Leap in St Elizabeth. At 1700 ft above sea degree, Lover’s Leap has panoramic views of Jamaica. The elevated spot can also be an ode to Jamaican folklore about star-crossed lovers who jumped the cliffs to flee their jealous plantation grasp. Subsequent, you’ll arrive on the eco-conscious Treasure Seashore. Identified for its farm-to-table tradition and tight-knit neighborhood vibes, Treasure Seashore is a calming haven located proper on Jamaica’s southern shoreline.

Native Tip: Though it’s positioned beachside, watch out of the waves at Treasure Seashore as a result of there are a lot of rip tides. Heed all “no swimming” indicators and recommendation even when the water appears shallow. 

Planning tip: Plan your journey to align with the annual turtle-hatching season (most hatch from August via October) and watch hawkbill sea turtles return to the ocean in droves. 

Detour: Cooldown at YS Falls, one in all Jamaica’s high pure sights about an hour north of Treasure Seashore. The seven-tiered waterfall flows into pure swimming swimming pools surrounded by lush vegetation and towering timber.

Buff Bay off-road journey

Greatest Off-Roading journey

Kingston – Buff Bay, Portland; Distance – approx 62.7km (39 miles)

In case you like off-roading, then that is the highway journey for you. Driving from Kingston to Port Antonio gives a wide ranging expertise via the winding mountain roads of Jamaica. There’s a comparatively clear route that’s virtually a singular highway. Nonetheless, the roads are tough, and corners are sharp and winding, making it tough to see oncoming visitors; drive slowly and punctiliously. Whilst you can actually use a standard automobile, it’s greatest to take an SUV to navigate the bumpy unpaved roads that lower via the Blue Mountains

Buff Bay is positioned within the parish of Portland on the northeast facet of the island. It’s recognized for its excessive vegetation and rainfall and is house to the Blue Mountains – Jamaica’s highest mountain vary. Earlier than you arrive at Buff Bay, cease by Newcastle to admire dreamy, misty views of the famed peaks. Proceed east alongside the Portland shoreline to expertise a few of Jamaica’s most pristine seashores. 

Native tip: One of the best time to take this journey is in the course of the dry season. The realm experiences landslides in the course of the wet season, and roads are generally blocked. 

Blue Mountains, Jamaica
Espresso plantations sprawl throughout the rugged Blue Mountains of Jamaica © Marc Guitard / Getty Photos

Papine to Newcastle highway journey

Greatest day journey

Papine, Kingston – Newcastle; Distance – approx 22.8km (14 miles)

This brief but enriching journey is usually neglected by locals and guests alike. The one-hour drive takes you to Newcastle within the hills of the Blue and John Crow Mountains –  26,000 hectares (64,247 acres) of terrain designated as a World Heritage Website. 

Newcastle, which was as soon as a British Military army hill station, is now a coaching facility for the Jamaica Protection Power. To get there, take the route from Kingston to Papine and onwards to Irish City, cross the Purple Gentle district (presumably a misnomer for the tiny sleepy mountain village), and proceed alongside the primary highway. Alongside the route, pause to take photos of the mesmerizing ridgelines or strive some iconic Blue Mountain espresso, similar to at Cafe Blue or Mavis Financial institution Espresso. This journey is a unbelievable option to spend the day.

Native tip: Not like Papine, Newcastle is usually chilly and misty, so convey a jacket. 

Detour: Pack your lunch and go to Holywell Nationwide Park for a picnic within the Blue Mountains. The park is positioned en path to Newcastle and gives beneficiant views of Jamaica’s panorama. There are cabins to hire, and you may go on a guided hike to a waterfall.

A small dock on a beautiful lake in Port Antonio Jamaica, with a mountain in the background, at sunset
Port Antonio is among the quieter and extra secluded areas of Jamaica © Peace Photograph / Shutterstock

Ocho Rios to Port Antonio highway journey 

Greatest seashore views journey

Ocho Rios – Port Antonio; Distance – approx 102km (63 miles)

This journey prioritizes the seashore, taking you alongside the shoreline from touristic Ocho Rios to unspoiled Port Antonio. Go away the vacationer bustle of Ocho Rios and proceed east alongside the gently meandering highway that hugs the oceanside. Take the A3 highway and drive via St Mary Parish, then connect with the A4 highway that can lead you in the direction of Annotto Bay and at last Port Antonio.

This is among the extra languid drives in Jamaica. The highway is paved however has a couple of potholes, and it passes alongside small seaside communities and slowly slopes via the panoramic hills of St Mary. As you drive via the quiet village of Oracabessa, be looking out for the well-known Goldeneye Lodge – as soon as the house of writer Ian Fleming and the birthplace of his most well-known character, James Bond. The journey descends into Port Maria, welcoming banana fields and a brief spurt via the mountains inland earlier than returning to the seaside on the A4 highway exit. 

The A4 highway from St Mary takes you straight to Port Antonio in Portland parish. A lot of this drive shall be alongside the northeast shoreline. Cross via Annotto Bay and Buff Bay, the primary main cities you’ll meet in Portland, and proceed east. You’ll arrive at Port Antonio, Jamaica’s pleasant, unspoiled, attractive seaside. Have a meal on the Marina and sip on Jamaican Purple Stripe beer whereas listening to the lapping waves at Trident Citadel.

Native tip: The parish of Portland is a pure rainforest, so count on a couple of gentle showers on this journey.

Detour: Goldeneye is beautiful, however Firefly touts the perfect view in all of Jamaica. Take a cease at this nationwide heritage website, which English playwright Noel Coward used to name house. Firefly’s sprawling views throughout the Spanish Important and the previous pirate look-out is a wide ranging pause value each minute. 

Treasure Seashore to Negril

Greatest for rugged landscapes

Treasure Seashore – Negril; Distance – approx 99 km (61.5 miles)

The fantastic thing about this highway journey is that it explores a few of Jamaica’s most untouched landscapes. Vegetation prospers right here, the place the sights and sounds of fauna of their pure habitat coincide peacefully with the local people. Spot crocodiles within the Black River and drive via the picturesque Bamboo Avenue – a 4km (2.5-mile) stretch of bamboo cover forming a sublime arch on each side of the highway. Cease by the Border neighborhood to eat fried fish from roadside stalls alongside your means. From Border, proceed to Bluefields, a small neighborhood in Westmoreland parish with among the best public seashores you’ll find. 

The following main city is Savanna-la-Mar, recognized regionally as “Sav” or “Sav-la-mar,” the place you’ll be able to replenish and replenish on private gadgets. Sav, the capital and predominant commerce city in Westmoreland, has wonderful infrastructure for renting automobiles, discovering mechanics, banking, and many others. 

Native tip: Bamboo Avenue is pockmarked with a couple of potholes. Watch out when driving, because the shade from the bamboo causes the potholes to appear to be shadows.

Detour: From Parottee Bay, e-book a ship experience to Floyd’s Pelican Bar – a country and charming bar on stilts in the midst of the Caribbean sea that sells the freshest seafood. In case you’re fortunate, you may spot a dolphin or two in your means.