Four Days in Kingston, Jamaica

- featured, life, travel

You landed in the capital of the Caribbean’s largest island nation and have no idea what to do. I tend to be completely mesmerized by the luscious mountain views, the bustling city and glittering ports. Should you feel the same you would not know where to start exploring! Lucky for you, I’ve narrowed down a sampler of Kingston from my last trip that will please your affection for Jamaica. This will likely leave you planning your next trip back before you even step foot on this beautiful island paradise.

Night 1: Our party arrived around 6 pm so on our first night we checked into our hotel- Terra Nova Hotel in new Kingston. That evening we explored the hotel grounds and met up with our family members at the lounge for drinks and a night of laughter and catching up.

Day 2: The morning begins with a delicious Jamaican spread; flavorful ackee, saltfish, johnny cakes, and callaloo. All provided by the hotel. After a filling breakfast we headed to burn off some calories at the hotel gym. Our plan was to visit Ocho Rios, but a huge downpour put a damper on our plans. At that point I declared “ Everyting Irie” and decided to explore Kingston.

 

For our first stop, we visited the Bob Marley House. This was the  former home and studio of iconic reggae singer. We opted for the ninety-minute tour of the grounds and property, which costs  about $25 USD.

 

 

 

The tour was very informative and gave interesting insight to the life of Bob Marley and all the magic that occurred in that historic home. Unfortunately, while in the house you are not able to take pictures, the more reason why you should definitely make this a stop if ever in Kingston.  If you’re in Kingston and you don’t visit the Bob Marley museum- did you really go to Kingston?

After some three hours at the Bob Marley House, we wandered on to catch a view of Kingston from atop the hills. Then we visited a family for a traditional Jamaican fish fry.

Day 3: This day was all about a family wedding, which was the main purpose of our trip.

 

The wedding took place atop the magical Craighton Estate. To get there you have to travel about 35 minutes up a narrow and winding mountain road. At the entrance of the estate we were greeted by a limestone staircase that lead to a breathtaking setting.

With 150 people, and the Blue Mountain peaks as their witness the beautiful couple pledged their vows.

After the ceremony we meandered through the grounds to the great house at the estate where an eclectic matrimonial of rustic style and glamour decorated a tent and the surrounding areas.

There we celebrated the union of two amazing people and danced the night away while the starry sky shined and crickets sang along to reggae music.

 

 

 

Since Craighton Estate is known for their famous coffee tours and coffee happens to be one of my favorite beverages,  I’d like to discover Craighton Estate on my next trip to Kingston. Also explore the Blue Mountains a bit more.

Day 4: We didn’t expect to wake up early enough but somehow Jamaica was calling, so we actually woke up with the sun.

 

Around 8am we were met outside the hotel by the photographer- Sean and the tour guide, Nick . (Found in the links below the article), My original plan was to visit Ocho Rios but we opted to see some hidden gems. We decided to visit  St. Thomas to Cane River Falls. It is said that Bob Marley would go there to wash his locks. He even mentions this local spot in one of his songs, Trench Town.

The ride was a quick 30 minute drive up with views of Bull Bay and the surrounding mountains. It cost about $200 Jamaican Dollars per person to see and bath in the falls. If you plan to use a professional camera be prepared to pay anywhere from $50-100 USD and be sure to ask for permission beforehand.

 

 

 

 

We walked through caves and down concrete steps down to the falls. The location was definitely cozy and very peaceful as we were most likely some of the first to arrive on that beautiful Sunday morning.

The water was cool and clear and the roaring falls were gentle enough to take a nice dip. If in fact Bob Marley washed his locks here, it’s easy to see why, as the falls created a shallow pool refreshing enough to relax and enjoy scenery while washing those luscious dreadlocks.

Afterwards, we headed down to Wickie Wackie Beach where you can catch a spectacular view of the mountains and catch a nice tan on the sand.

I wouldn’t recommend this beach for swimming as the waves are tough but if you’re into surfing…

If you’re hungry be sure to stop at the restaurant right on Wickie Wackie beach for some authentic Jamaican cuisine, and hang out under this peaceful pavilion to take in the view. All I was missing in my hand was a Red Stripe beer to complete the experience 🙂

Returning to our hotel we stopped at Kingston Harbor Waterfront to snap some quick photos. Our tour guide continued the drive through Old Kingston ( downtown), passed the Coronation Market, government ministries and historic streets where musical influencers such as Prince Buster flourished. I was intrigued with the stories of prosperity and culture our guide shared with us and quickly realized that the buildings and structures in these culturally rich streets stand today as a testament of the past.

Day 5: On this day we opted for  relaxing at the hotel and decompressing before heading back home on an afternoon flight.

 

Tips for first timers:

 

XOXO Jolie

 

 

 

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25 Comments

  • Jolie
    Reply
    Olivia R
    October 27, 2017 at 11:12 am

    Ok so whoever your photographer is, I want him!! So glad you put links to that. Definitely makes me want to leave to Jamaica like now. In love with your blog!

  • Jolie
    Reply
    Paul
    October 27, 2017 at 11:52 am

    Now its time for Negril and Montego Bay

    • Jolie
      Reply
      maria
      October 27, 2017 at 11:54 am

      yesssss

  • Jolie
    Reply
    Leneen Faith
    October 27, 2017 at 11:44 pm

    Beyond awesome! Awesome read. Awesome writing. Awesome Trip. Awesome Human. Awesomeness all around! Keep the stories rolling @cupofjolie <3

    • Jolie
      Reply
      Jolie
      October 28, 2017 at 1:59 pm

      wow thank you 🙂 will try to keep them coming

  • Jolie
    Reply
    El Dogg the Magnificent
    October 28, 2017 at 9:48 am

    Sounds like a really cool experience… Great write up! Makes me want to spin my globe and pick an adventure 👉🏾🌍✈️ Thanks for the inspiration.

    Cheers!!!

    • Jolie
      Reply
      Jolie
      October 28, 2017 at 2:00 pm

      Thank you and yessss definitely spin that globe ASAP 😛

  • Jolie
    Reply
    Verity
    October 28, 2017 at 12:16 pm

    I didn’t realise that you could visit Bob Marley’s house, that’s really cool. Your photographer got some great shots. What was your highlight?

    • Jolie
      Reply
      Jolie
      October 28, 2017 at 1:59 pm

      Hmm…. my highlight from the tour was definitely getting a picture with one of the members from the Wailers…. I was excited to learn that from time to time his family and friends stop at the house just to hang out and remember old times 🙂

  • Jolie
    Reply
    Alexander Popkov
    October 28, 2017 at 3:05 pm

    Nice! I never knew there is Bob Marley museum! Definitely, a place to go, if I am there. I also like the beaches in this weather True, it isn’t good for swimming, but you get really dramatic photos.
    Overall, a good post, something to open before visiting Jamaica.

    • Jolie
      Reply
      Jolie
      October 28, 2017 at 3:08 pm

      Yes the beaches on that side are not for swimming lol boy I wish I could surf….. the tour guide told me that there are lessons on that beach so that could be something to look into as well.

    • Jolie
      Reply
      Doro
      November 19, 2017 at 11:00 am

      Alexander, there is even a Peter-Tosh- Museum since this year too in Kingston 😉

      • Jolie
        Reply
        Jolie
        November 19, 2017 at 5:27 pm

        Really? Didn’t know that….. awesome 🙂

  • Jolie
    Reply
    Umberta
    October 29, 2017 at 7:28 am

    Sounds like you had a great time! I’d like to visit Bob Marley’s house. And also the beach, as I actually am into surfing, that would be perfect for me! The waterfalls sound great too!

    • Jolie
      Reply
      Jolie
      October 29, 2017 at 10:23 pm

      Yes def. check out Bull Bay for surfing 🙂

  • Jolie
    Reply
    amit
    October 29, 2017 at 10:06 am

    I’ve always wanted to go to Jamaica, and very nearly hopped over there between my central and South America trip. Love how you decided to go find some hidden gems on your trip rather than just the normal touristy place. How cool was it be in a place were Bob Marley would go to wash his hair?

    • Jolie
      Reply
      Jolie
      October 29, 2017 at 10:26 pm

      Yeah I’m planning on going to South America this December 🙂 any cool places? Cane Falls was super cool and the locals there have some interesting gossip about Bob Marley lol… perhaps for another blog lol

  • Jolie
    Reply
    Farah Al Zadjaly
    October 29, 2017 at 11:17 am

    This is epically beautiful.. Definitely a destination I need to visit.

    • Jolie
      Reply
      Jolie
      October 29, 2017 at 10:26 pm

      Yes!!! A lot of history in this city 🙂

  • Jolie
    Reply
    Mandeep
    October 30, 2017 at 5:50 am

    Great article. I have visited Jamaica but never ventured to Kingston. Was mainly in the north. Now you mentioned saltfish, I fancy going out and getting some!

    • Jolie
      Reply
      Jolie
      October 30, 2017 at 6:52 pm

      Yeah it’s a traditional Jamaican dish…. you would love it!!!

  • Jolie
    Reply
    Doro
    November 19, 2017 at 11:06 am

    Thank you, Jolie for this lovely Kingston post. You loved Kingston, right. I’ll never understand, how so many people can say, Kingston doesn’t have much to offer for a traveller. Thats totally untrue. Even if you aren’t a reggaelover, here is much to discover in Kingston. We were there three days in February this year and couldn’t do everything what was on our “Kingston- Bucket-List” So we have to come back definately. Regards and keep on traveling!

    • Jolie
      Reply
      Jolie
      November 19, 2017 at 5:28 pm

      yes there is so much to do in Kingston, especially if you love music… plus there is so much history there, that’s what I love 🙂

  • Jolie
    Reply
    Siena Neal
    November 19, 2017 at 5:21 pm

    Cool photos, I love the theme of your blog! Keep up the hard work.

    • Jolie
      Reply
      Jolie
      November 19, 2017 at 5:29 pm

      Thank you my love just humble beginnings. I caught the wanderlust bug really bad 😛

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