The parish of Portland on Jamaica’s northeast coast is rainforests, stunning beaches, and a chill vibe. Raft the Rio Grande, explore the Folly Ruins, or soak up sun at Reach Falls, with its underwater cave, heart-shaped pool, mountain views and lush vegetation. Another sweet spot is Geejam Hotel, secluded, home to a music studio, and Rumba Rooms with more than 40 pieces of art. Bushbar is craft cocktails and elevated cuisine like jerked lambchops.
Jamaica’s third-largest city is renowned for the turquoise waters of Doctor’s Cave Beach. Thrill seekers get their fix ziplining through the jungle and snorkeling at Montego Bay Marine Park. Time your visit for the annual Reggae Sumfest in July. Eclipse at Half Moon is the place to stay. Choose among the Great House, estate homes or cottages. Pamper yourself at the 68,000 square-foot Fern Tree Spa, with overwater bungalows ideal for a couples’ massage.
For a road less traveled, an hour from Negril is Bluefields. Perched along the hilly coast and overlooking the ocean you’ll find the Bluefields Bay villas, with private pool, butler, maid, full kitchen, chef, nanny, and elder care for seniors. Do as little or as much as you like. Arrange for dive tours, deep sea-fishing, glass-bottom boat cruises, or simply hang out in your gazebo, chill in a hammock and marvel at the sea.
By Sheryl Nance-Nash