From musicians to Olympians, Jamaica is home to an all-star cast. Here, we shine the spotlight on 3 of the island’s most famous exports…
Aston Martins and martinis – shaken not stirred, naturally – probably aren’t the first things you’d associate with Jamaica. But the island actually claims 007 as one of its own. Ian Fleming, the brains behind Bond, lived here for almost 20 years. And 3 of his books – Live And Let Die, Dr No, and The Man With The Golden Gun – feature scenes in Jamaica. When it came to putting it all on the big screen for Dr No, the location scouts were spoilt for choice. They settled on a perfect crescent of white sand, about 20 minutes’ drive from Ocho Rios. Today, it’s known as James Bond Beach, and it’s one of Jamaica’s finest. Rent a snorkel from the seafront shack and you can explore waters as clear as crystal.
Stay at… Couples Tower Isle. This stylish, adults-only hotel claims its own patch of James Bond Beach.
The blueprint for reggae was laid down in Jamaica, and Bob Marley drew up most of the plans. The superstar was born in the northern village of Nine Mile back in 1945, and he remains the best-selling reggae artist in history. These days, his music drifts out of practically every beach bar on the island. Thousands of tourists flock to Tuff Gong Studios in Kingston every year to pay homage in the place where the great Rastafarian lived and worked. It’s one of the biggest recording studios in the Caribbean, and it doubles as a Marley museum. Take a 1-hour tour and you can peek into the musician’s old bedroom and check out the gold discs he clocked up selling 75 million albums.
Stay at… Sensatori Resort Jamaica. The newest addition to the Sensatori collection has its own Rasta Lounge.
It might be renowned for being the world’s take-it-easy capital, but Jamaica can do adrenaline with the best of them. After all, this is the place that gave us a legendary bobsled team and Usain Bolt, the world’s fastest human being. For holidaymakers, adventure comes in the form of trekking, canoeing and white-water rafting. And you can have your very own Cool Runnings moment over on Mystic Mountain, on the edge of Ocho Rios. There’s a bobsled track carved into the rainforest, which twists and turns for more than 3,000 feet, skirting evergreen cyrilla shrubs and dodging ancient mahogany trees. Water babies, meanwhile, can get their kicks diving in Port Antonio’s Blue Lagoon, a seemingly bottomless hole of water fed by freshwater springs.
Stay at… Grand Bahia Principe Jamaica with our sister company, First Choice. This beachfront hotel is in Runaway Bay, just a 25-minute drive from Mystic Mountain.
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Author: Elle Hammond
Published: January 29, 2014
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