Tag Archives: things to do in Jamaica

Little Dunn’s River Ocho Rios – Beach in Saint Ann, Jamaica

The pull of a beautiful waterfall with crystal clear water cascading into the ocean is hard to resist. Little Dunn’s River in Ocho Rios, Saint Ann, is a secret (not so secret among locals) alternative to the tourist masses descending on it’s more famous sister, Dunn’s River Falls. When I had a free afternoon after a few days of heavy driving recently, I jumped at the chance to experience Little Dunn’s River for myself. The descent to view the falls is an adventure in itself and if you love the simple things in life a visit to Little Dunn’s River will be sure to please you too.

If you are in the vicinity of Ocho Rios and want to experience a waterfall and beach setting, without all the hands tied together climbing en-mass part, check out Little Dunn’s River Ocho Rios – Beach in Saint Ann, Jamaica. 

How to get to Little Dunn’s River

If you are driving from Ocho Rios, take the highway out-of-town towards Saint Ann’s Bay. As you leave the town you will drive past Reynolds Pier and the helicopter base on your right hand side, keep going. Look out for a lay by on the RIGHT hand side, where there is a couple of small single storey white buildings. Park on right hand side of the road ONLY, out of the soft shoulder and on the grass verge; do not park on the opposite side of the road in the soft shoulder.  If you get to Rainforest Bobsled Jamaica at Mystic Ridge you have gone too far, so go ahead and carefully turn round! You have arrived at Little Dunn’s River.

If you are driving from the direction of Saint Ann’s Bay and beyond, head along the highway towards Ocho Rios. Once you pass Dunn’s River  Falls on your right, Dolphin Cove on your left and Rainforest Bobsled Jamaica at Mystic Ridge on your right hand side… look out just around the next corner you will see the lay by. Park your vehicle! You have arrived at Little Dunn’s River.

Entrance to Little Dunn's River
Entranceway in Layby

Entrance Fee and Access to Little Dunn’s River

Little Dunn’s River is accessed from one of two inconspicuous gateways off the pathway in the verge. The first of which has a double door gateway, the second further along the trail has a single gateway. You will normally see a couple of guys ‘manning’ the single gate and they will probably ask for a donation to keep the beach clean; use your discretion. However, Little Dunn’s River and the beach is officially free to enter and you do not have to pay for parking.

It is quite hard to traverse the descent to the falls and ultimately the beach. Therefore, I would not recommend Little Dunn’s River beach and falls for the infirm or unfit! Once you enter through either of the gateways you go down some concrete steps to a platform area. You can either go the right where is the beach area is hidden behind a tree bowing down into the ocean, or go the left where there is a stepped descent to another platform area where the falls are visible. Either way ends up taking you to the ocean. There are not really any falls to climb per se, but you can climb down a small area into the ocean and sit under one of the lesser waterfalls for an invigorating massage!

Steps leading to Little Dunn's River
Stairway to Beach

You have arrived at Little Dunn’s River.

Little Dunn’s River is open to the public and it’s a little more relaxed than some of the ‘paid for’ beach experiences. Many of the beaches in Jamaica have been bought by investors and commercialised so that there is no access to the public. This is a shame as everyone loves going to the beach and having a cooling and refreshing dip in the ocean and many of the locals are priced out in this way.

The actual ‘beach’ at Little Dunn’s River is very small , a sandy slither with a couple of bent over trees to sit on. Don’t bother coming with the whole beach caboodle as there won’t be room to spread out on the sand! There is a wide, shallow and clear area of water directly where the river (falls) enter the ocean which is nice for a dip for non-swimmers and the young. There is a couple of lines with floats directing swimmers away from the rocky areas under foot. If you want to swim and go deeper you can go beyond the bowed over tree to a warm and sandy area of the seabed…. Lovely!

Little Dunn’s River is a chilling spot to marvel at the beauty of nature, enjoy a dip in the ocean and to have an invigorating sit down under the waterfalls. The beach is really small, hence the low score, but the falls are beautiful. The ocean is shallow and calm and there is plenty of space to splash around and swim out. The facilities are limited and the washrooms are right at the very top (although I never checked they were open). There are a few vendors selling drinks and snacks, one of which was perched right on top of the falls! The whole area was very clean and I noticed the beach vendors regularly sweep off the debris on the sand. I arrived around 3.00pm and there were plenty of people around, after about an hour the crowds thinned and we could get a chance to go under the falls. I spent a few hours here to relax and unwind and really enjoyed myself.

Little Dunn's River Waterfall
Little Dunn’s River Waterfall

 

Crystal Clear Waterfalls
Crystal Clear Waterfalls

 

Little Dunn's River Ocho Rios
Little Dunn’s River Ocho Rios

 

Small Sandy Beach
Small Sandy Beach

 

The trail
The trail

 

Waterfall
Waterfall at Little Dunn’s River

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Appleton Special Dream Weekend 2016 – Things to do in Jamaica this Summer!

The summer event season is in full force in Jamaica! The Appleton Special Dream Weekend is another of the big name international music festivals taking place in Jamaica this summer. In it’s 8th year, this hotly anticipated week-long event is held in Negril between July 28th and 1st August 2016. With a whopping 9 separate day and night events being held between 28th July and 1st August this promises to be classy and internationally attended music festival. Tickets are selling like hot patties, so act now if you are travelling to Jamaica and want to attend.  Appleton Special Dream Weekend 2016 – Things to do in Jamaica this Summer!

 

Appleton Special Dream Weekend 2016 Event Schedule

DREAM LIVE Concert @ Negril, Jamaica

Location: Cayenne Beach, Negril, Jamaica

Date and Time: Jul 28 @ 10:00 pm – Jul 29 @ 4:00 am

Admission: $3,000

Food and Drink: On Sale

The Appleton Special Dream Weekend 2016 kicks off with the Magnum Dream Live concert, held at Cayenne Beach in Negril, Jamaica. The first event is hosted by Miss Kitty and boasts performances from Bounty Killer, Popcaan, Spice, Ding Dong, Masicka, Bella Blair, with music by Coppershot and Chromatic.

Dream Live Concert
Dream Live Concert

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Celebrity Playground (Red & White) @ Negril, Jamaica

Location: Wavz Beach, Negril, Jamaica

Date and Time: Jul 29 @ 2:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Admission: $6,000

Food and Drink: Inclusive

Dress Code: Red and White

The Hennessy Celebrity Playground event is a daytime affair starting at 2.00pm, giving you plenty of time to sleep off last nights hangover before you get out there again! The beach setting will be sure to perk you up anyway, as it is held on Wavz Beach in Negril, Jamaica. Featuring Chromatic, Jazzy T and Kurt Riley the all-inclusive party with the red and white dress code is sure to be a crowd pleaser.

Celebrity Playground
Celebrity Playground

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Twisted Spiritz (Glow) @ Negril, Jamaica

Location: Cayenne Beach, Negril, Jamaica

Date and Time: Jul 29 @ 10:00 pm – Jul 30 @ 4:00 am

Admission: $4,500

Food and Drink: Drink Inclusive

Such is the party spirit of Appleton Special Dream Weekend in Jamaica, that as one event ends, another starts! The Twisted Spritz Glow party is also held on Cayenne Beach in Negril, shortly after the daytime event. With Music by Coppershot, Illusion and DJ Tyrone from Canada this Skyy Vodka sponsored event, offers drinks inclusive of the entry price.

Twisted Spiritz Glow Party
Twisted SpiritzTwisted Spiritz Glow Party

 

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Daydreams (All White) @ Negril, Jamaica

Location: Wonderland, Negril, Jamaica

Date and Time: Jul 30 @ 2:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Admission: $7,000

Food and Drink: Food and Drink Inclusive

Dress Code: All White

The second of the Appleton Special Dream Weekend beach parties is Daydreams White Sands. popular and sophisticated event, with its all white dress code and Moet and Chandon Champagne sponsorship this all-inclusive event will be jam packed with revellers. With music by Coppershot, Chromatic and Crazy Neil.

Daydreams All White
Daydreams All White

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Yush (90s) @ Negril, Jamaica

Location: Cayenne Beach, Negril, Jamaica

Date and Time: Jul 30 @ 10:00 pm – Jul 31 @ 4:00 am

Admission: $5,000

Food and Drink: Drink Inclusive

Saturday evening’s entertainment at Appleton Special Dream Weekend is the Yush Event held on Cayenne Beach in Negril, Jamaica. This Wray & Nephew White Overproof Rum sponsored event is sure to get the crowd jumping with a live performance from dancehall star Elephant Man and friends, with the evenings music being taken care of by Kurt Riley and Jazzy T.

Yush
Yush

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Wet ‘N’ Wild (Water Party) @ Negril, Jamaica

Location: Cayenne Beach, Negril, Jamaica

Date and Time: Jul 31 @ 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Admission: $9,000

Food and Drink: Food and Drink Inclusive

Are you ready to get Xtreme Wet and Wild at the Sunday funday event at the Appleton Special Dream Weekend?! Take in one of Jamaica’s top waterpark attractions at this daytime, all-inclusive Appleton Special Sponsored event. This promises to be an action packed event water party held at Negril’s, Kool Runnings Adventure Park. There will be a live performance by Cardi B, with music by Chromatic, Code Lank, Coppershot and Redd Heat.

Xtreme Wet n Wild
Xtreme Wet n Wild

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World Vibes (Hardcore Dancehall Juggling) @ Negril, Jamaica

Location: Wonderland, Negril, Jamaica

Date and Time: Jul 31 @ 10:00 pm – Aug 1 @ 4:00 am

Admission: $4,500

Food and Drink: Drink Inclusive

The World Vibes worldwide domination event is being held at Wonderland in Negril, Jamaica. This Sunday night event is hosted by Badda-Bling of D-Unit and features music by Foota Hype, Boom Boom, Redd Heat, dancehall favourite Tony Matterhorn and Rebel Tone, Canada’s World Clash Champion.  This Appleton Special Dream Weekend event is sponsored by Appleton Special and ticket price is inclusive of drinks.

World Vibes
World Vibes

 

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Igloo (Cooler Party) @ Negril, Jamaica

Location: Cayenne Beach, Negril, Jamaica

Date and Time: Aug 1 @ 2:00 pm – 9:00 pm

Admission: $3,500

Food and Drink: On Sale. Or, bring your own igloo with food and drink inside!

The final beach party of Appleton Special Dream Weekend is the Igloo The Global Cooler Party. This beach party is a little different from the others as you are invited to bring your own igloo ( cool box) packed full of drinks and food for you and your friends. Come and celebrate Jamaica’s Emancipation Day at this event, with music by Coppershot, Ricky Platinum, Illusion and Selecta Shane.

Igloo
Igloo

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Dream J’ouvert (Paint, Water & Powder Soca Party) @ Negril, Jamaica

Location: Cayenne Beach, Negril, Jamaica

Date and Time: Aug 1 @ 10:00 pm – Aug 2 @ 4:00 am

Admission: $4,500

Food and Drink: Drink Inclusive

The final event of the Appleton Special Dream Weekend is the Dream Jouvert powder, paint and water Soca event. This event held on Jamaican Emancipation Day, promises to be a spectacle of sight and sound with a carnival atmosphere with a coloured powder throwing frenzy as the show stopper! The VIP area is a powder free zone, otherwise expect to get covered in coloured powder at this lively event in Negril, Jamaica! With a live performance on stage by KES and music by Kamal Bankay and DJ Smoke with Appleton Special sponsored event is one to take part in.

Dream Jouvert
Dream Jouvert

 

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Reggae SumFest 2016 – Things to do in Jamaica this Summer!

If you are travelling to Jamaica next month don’t miss Reggae SumFest 2016, this week-long festival is being held in different locations around Montego Bay, from the 17th to 23rd July. The summer has officially arrived in Jamaica, with the school holidays starting and the weather heating up, so get ready for summer! Summertime in Jamaica is always full of events, shows and beach parties and one of the most famous ‘Reggae SumFest 2016’ is gearing up for 17th to 23rd July. The Reggae SumFest festival celebrates Jamaican music at its best, with concerts, beach parties, shows, events and even a street party parading through the ‘Hip Strip’ in town. Reggae SumFest has provided first class entertainment to locals and visitors to Jamaica for the last 20 years, so don’t make this year pass without taking part! Reggae SumFest 2016 – Things to do in Jamaica this Summer!

 

 

Reggae SumFest 2016 Official Calendar of Events and Locations

Beach Party | JULY 17 | Aquasol Theme Park; Walter Fletcher Beach Complex, Montego Bay

Blitz – All White Edition | JULY 19 | Pier One; Waterfront, Montego Bay

Sound Explosion | JULY 21 | Pier One; Waterfront, Montego Bay

Dancehall Night | JULY 22 | Catherine Hall Entertainment Complex; Freeport, Montego Bay

Reggae Night | JULY 23 | Catherine Hall Entertainment Complex; Freeport, Montego Bay

 

Reggae SumFest 2016 Artist Line Up and Entry Information

If you want to attend Reggae Sumfest 2016, you can attend any or all the events taking place over the week-long festival. Pre-sold tickets are available at the Official Reggae SumFest website and at select tickets outlets located around the island of Jamaica. Check out the official Reggae SumFest 2016 Website for full ticket information. Where you can also buy Weekend and VIP Passes. If you leave it to the last-minute it is possible to pay a little extra at the gate to attend these Reggae SumFest events; please note these tickets may be limited.

BEACH PARTY | Aquasol Theme Park | JUL 17

Presold J$1,800 / US$15

At Gate J$2,000 / US$17

Line Up: Bambino, Chromatic, ZJ Sparks, DJ Crazy Neil, Ikel Marvelus & Team Shella, Powered by SUPER STRONG
Hosts: Miss Kitty and Yanique Barrett

Gates Open: 4 pm

 

BLITZ – ALL WHITE EDITION |Pier 1 | JULY 19

Presold J$2,300 / US$19

At Gate J$2,500 / US$21

Line Up: Kurt ‘The Party Animal’ Riley, DJ Kentucky, DJ Smoke

Gates Open: 8pm

SOUND EXPLOSION |Pier 1 | JULY 21

Presold J$1,800 / US$15

At Gate J$2,000 / US$17

Line Up: Stone Love, Metro Media, Black Kat, Pieces, Firelinks, Tony Matterhorn, Powered by SUPER STRONG

Gates Open: 8pm

DANCEHALL NIGHT | Main Venue | JULY 22

Presold J$3,200 / US$27

At Gate J$3,500 / US$29

VIP J$6,000 / US$49

Line Up: Beenie Man, Bounty Killer, Popcaan, I-Octane, Agent Sasco, Dexta Daps, Romain Virgo, Nesbeth, Spice, Ding Dong, Ishawna, Chi Ching Ching, Tanto Blacks, Charly Black, Ryme Minista, Harry Toddler, Masicka, Vershon, Devin Di Dakta, Jahmiel, Don Andre, Teejay, Savage, Ricky Teetz, Dre Zee

Backing band: Ruff Kutt Krew, Warrior Love

MC’s: Ms. Kitty, GT Taylor, DJ Bones

Gates Open: 7 pm
Show Time: 9 pm

REGGAE NIGHT | Main Venue | JULY 23

Presold J$4,700 / US$39

At Gate J$5,000 / US$41

VIP J$7,500 / US$62

Line Up: Super Cat, Barrington Levy, Luciano, Sanchez, Tarrus Riley, Busy Signal, Christopher Martin, Nature, D-Medz, Nicky Silk, DannI

Backing band: Warrior Love

House Music: Ikel Marvelus & Team Shella

MC’s: Barry G, Elise Kelly, Paula-Anne Porter

Gates Open: 7 pm
Show Time: 9 pm

 

 

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Ocho Rios Bay Beach

The main beach in Ocho Rios, situated on Jamaica’s north coast, is the wide white sand arch of Ocho Rios Bay Beach; which is also known as ‘Turtle Beach’. As many of the hotels along Main Street back onto the sand, it is a heavily used tourist beach and it’s popular with locals too. When the cruise ships are in town the beach also fills up with the passengers that flock to shore from the towering cruise ships that dock on the far side of the beach.

Cruise Ship Pier
Cruise Ship Pier

Directions to Ocho Rios Bay Beach and Entrance Fees

When driving down Main Street you will see Sandcastles Hotel on your left-hand side and then a couple of shopping plazas. Drive past and turn into the first car park on your LEFT, which has a barrier and a guard. The entrance to the beach is via the back of the car park through another gate. There is a fee for parking in the car park.

If you do not have a wrist band from your hotel there is a charge to enter the Ocho Rios Bay Beach (see below for full details of entrance fees). On paying the entrance fee the guard will stamp your wrist which allows you to leave and re-enter the beach later in the day if you choose the take a break and want to wander around the town. If the stamp is rubbing off ask them to re-stamp it before you leave the beach if you intend to return, as suntan lotion and sweaty skin will make it rub off quickly.

Hotels on Ocho Rios Bay Beach
Hotels on Ocho Rios Bay Beach

Ocho Rios Bay Beach Facilities

There are toilets and changing rooms, plus a restaurant and bar serving the beach goers. There are also seats and deck chairs available, where you can lounge or picnic in the shade of an Almond Tree. You will also see vendors plying their trade along the sand, which is convenient if you don’t want to leave your things to walk to the bar or craft market. If you don’t want anything a smile and a polite ‘I’m not shopping today’ or ‘I’m good thanks’, will see them walking on to the next punter.

The sand is regularly raked and is a pristine white colour. The sea has designated swimming areas and is shallow enough near the shoreline for children to play.  If you are into water-sports you will be spoilt for choice and jet ski’s are popular and readily available for rental.

There are two craft markets nearby to the Ocho Rios Bay Beach which can be found if walking along main street. Plus there is the sprawling Island Village complex, which has a huge choice of shops, supermarkets, banks, doctors, dentists, opticians, a post office and so on. Across the street there is also Burger King and KFC if you are wanting a break from Jamaican food.

Hotels on Ocho Rios Bay Beach
Hotels on Ocho Rios Bay Beach

Ocho Rios Bay Beach Entrance Fees and Opening Hours

Opening Hours:

Daily: 8:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Entry Fee:
Residents

Adult J$200
Child (2-11 years old) J$100

Non-residents

Adult US$3 (or equivalent)
Child (2-11 years old) US$1

Contact Details:
Phone

(876) 656-8031 Telefax: (876) 974-2731

Email

cjackson@udcja.com

Contact Details:
Phone

(876) 656-8031 Telefax: (876) 974-2731

Email

cjackson@udcja.com

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Post Updated: January 2016

Dover Raceway St. Ann Jamaica

If you are looking for a day out then why not give Dover Raceway located near to Browns Town, St. Ann, Jamaica a try? Offering  enthralling first class entertainment watching Motorbike, Motor Car Racing and Kart Racing. They have major Meets taking place monthly between April and November, which generally take place to celebrate the Jamaican Public Holidays throughout the year. Dover Raceway makes a change from the usual attractions on offer in Jamaica and appeals to the whole family as there are lots of things going on to keep all ages occupied.

With lively and knowledgeable comperes and a DJ playing the latest tunes between races, Dover Raceway is a fun day out and a must see in Jamaica. We have witnessed aerial shows with remote-controlled helicopters, dance competitions for the youngsters and celebratory antics on the track with the cars doing donuts and wheel spins! The whole of Dover Raceway is well thought out, clean and welcoming with great amenities on site, such as toilets, hot food vendors, bars and drink sellers and well as stands and promotional items to wander among. It is said that Dover Raceway is the most challenging in all the Caribbean and with twists and turns and two long runs to pick up speed you will be flag waving and cheering with the warm and receptive crowds that flock to watch these thrilling and exciting events.

Pedestrian Entrance Dover Raceway
Pedestrian Entrance Dover Raceway

History of Dover Raceway, Jamaica

When I started researching about the founder of Dover Raceway, Mr Alfred Chen, I found very little information online about him. He was of Chinese decent and is credited as people person who worked tirelessly in philanthropic and political roles right up to his untimely death. Mr Chen sadly passed away at the age of just 49 in a self piloted helicopter crash in Trelawny, Jamaica on 11th October 2000 when he crashed into hills shortly after taking off. He was greatly mourned, but his legacy lives on as Dover Raceway continues to draw in the crowds and introduce world-class racing drivers to the world at large.

The following information has been taken from other websites, with the original source mentioned:

About Alfred Chen

To fulfil his desire to race, Alfred Chen built a race track in his backyard. It became known as Dover Raceway later. Other race fans were invited to join him to race and before long, it became very popular. It is now the circuit racing track in Jamaica. It is also named the most challenging and most difficult in the Caribbean. Bike races are also held at this location. I have no knowledge of car drivers dying from accidents on this track, but at least 1 bike rider have died on this course. The raceway is 1.4 miles long with a front stretch of about 0.25 miles and a back stretch of 0.24miles. The track record is held by David Summerbell in a time of about 1 min 20 sec followed by Doug ‘Hollywood’ Gore.

Find the Source Here at Google Forums, written by: G. Lawrence

About Dover Raceway

The track is a road course which has 12 curves and a straightaway that allows top speeds of over 100 mph. There is one hairpin, 180 degree turn at turn number 5 that is always a fan favourite during tight races. There are many viewpoints from which to see the races including the main gallery where you can see the 2nd half of the straightaway where the cars are at full speed and turns 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6. This vantage point offers the widest view of the track with the most turns.

On the opposite side of the track, you can see turns 9, 10, 11 & 12 where they will accelerate up a steep hill onto the straightaway. Another popular spot is the VIP Race Tower. If you have the right wristbands, you can climb the 3 story tower for a 360 degree view of the race track. It is also quite a bit cooler up there because of the shade and you will get a nice breeze on most days at the higher elevation.

Find the Source here at wikimapia

Compere and DJ Stand Dover Raceway
Compere and DJ Stand Dover Raceway

How to find Dover Raceway, Jamaica

You can find Dover Raceway just north of Browns Town, St. Ann. If you are driving from the north coast, turn off the North Coast Highway at either Runaway or Discovery Bay and head inland towards Browns Town. There is a large sign letting you know where to turn off the main road heading into Browns Town, but we warned it is a long way to walk up a steep, winding and sometimes pot-holed road before you reach the raceway. If you reach into Browns Town itself you have come too far, turn back! If you are coming from the other direction, head out of Browns Town towards Runaway Bay / Discovery Bay about 5 minutes down the road you will see the sign post for Dover Raceway.

What is on offer at Dover Raceway, Jamaica?

But when you do reach the top it is a sight to see! There is ample parking on a grassy area, with security guards and Police Officers in attendance they ensure the safety of patrons and their vehicles. Once you head towards the ticket booth you will be given the option of a standard entry fee, or a VIP entry fee and children under 12 come in free, which is great if you have a family. They do offer pre-sold tickets at various outlets across Jamaica, which are listed further down the article. Cross over the pedestrian bridge and your nose will direct you towards mouth-watering delicious food, drink (alcohol is on sale) vendors, and some stands profiling related products, such as the sponsor of the event and engine oil and so on.

There are some seating stands which are open to the general public and others that need VIP passes to gain entry, but they fill up early and don’t give you much elbow room. However, I feel the most fun can be had by staking a plot on the grassy area right at the front. You will need to get here early to get a good spot and I would recommend wearing a hat at the very least as the sun can be scorching.

At lot of people bring tents (portable gazebos), umbrellas, seats and an igloo (cool box) filled with ice and drinks and plenty of food. Ideal foods to bring would be Jamaican Escovitch Fried Fish, Saltfish Fritters (Stamp and Go),  Fried or Jerk Chicken, Hard Dough Bread or Fried Dumplings, if you really want to get a plateful you could bring some Jamaican Rice and Peas, Jamaican Coleslaw or Jamaican Potato Salad too!

If you forget anything, don’t worry there are plenty of walking vendors selling sun hats, fedora’s, umbrella’s, as well as the obligatory cold drinks, nuts and snacks.

Motor Bike Dover Raceway
Motor Bike Dover Raceway

Dover ‘Independence of Speed’

My first taste of Jamaican motor racing came at the Independence Day celebrations with the track meet being held on 4th August 2013. It was very hot and sunny and as we had never been before we wasn’t sure what you were allowed to bring inside the enclosure we didn’t come with much. However, after about 1/2 hour in the scorching sun we had to buy and umbrella to shade us as we didn’t want to sit in the stands. There were plenty of vendors walking past so just as you felt thirsty or peckish there was a cold drink or bag of freshly roasted peanuts on offer. After a few hours we were hungry and ambled over the food court and got some tasty fried fish and chicken with rice and peas.

Independence of Speed 2013
Independence of Speed 2013

Dover ‘Heroes of Speed’

The second exciting driving meet that I attended at Dover was on October 21st 2013 and was titled ‘Dover Heroes of Speed’ to commemorate Heroes Day In Jamaica.  It was the last Meet on the 2013 season, so we were filled with anticipation for the days events. We came more prepared this time and brought back the umbrella we had bought the first time we came. We also brought a big bottle of frozen water, some good old Jamaican Wray and Nephew White Rum, a couple of icy cold sodas and some fish and crackers and other snacks!
This information was taken from The Jamaica Race Drivers Club Facebook page:
Dover Heroes of Speed Back on track! The deciding race meet for the Jamaica Race Drivers Club 2013 circuit racing championship See the return of Doug Gore’s Petcom Audi TT, David Summerbell’s Total Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution, Peter Rae’s Shell Mazda RX7, Natasha Chang’s Texaco Honda Civic. Witness the daring bikers Andre Norman, Adrian Blake, Stefan Chin and Robert McDonald Monday, October 21 starting at 10am Dover Raceway, St Ann Bring the entire family. Presold tickets available @ • Petcom Dunrobin • Petcom Ocho Rios • Tile City Kingston • Performance Centre Mobay • Campbell’s Wholesale Mandeville • Williams Auto Parts May Pen & Old Harbour.

Top Tips for Dover Raceway, Jamaica

  1. You can bring food, drink (including alcohol) so come armed and ready!
  2. Bring an umbrella, hat or portable gazebos and / or  sunscreen as it gets scorching hot watching the races in the midday and afternoon Jamaican sun.
  3. Many people bring seats, cushions or anything else they can find to sit on and make the viewing more comfortable.
  4. Get there early, there are qualifying races happening and the covered seating stands and good spots on the open grassy areas fill up quickly.
  5. Bring your own igloo (cool box) and fill it with ice and drinks, don’t forget some water and food to keep you going if you are drinking alcohol in the sun. If you don’t have an igloo, try freezing a bottle of water and / or a couple of sodas and bring them with you. As they melt out in the sun you will be provided with cool drinks all day, and if you have food it will help keep it cool until you are ready to eat it.
  6. If you don’t want to bring anything with you there are promotional stands, walking vendors selling hats, umbrellas, nuts, drinks, name it! Plus there is a good choice of food and drink stands to keep you watered and fed.
  7. Look out for the Jamaican favourite driver Natasha Chang, she is a bullish driver and is sure to always get the crowds on their feet with her exploits on the track!

 

Spectator Stands Dover Raceway
Spectator Stands Dover Raceway

 

About the Jamaican Racing Drivers Club – JRDC

The following information about the JRDC has been copied from the official JRDC website which can be found here.

The Jamaica Race Drivers Club was revived in 2003 to organize and promote motor racing, primarily at the Dover Raceway located just north of Brown’s Town, St. Ann. The Club has an active membership of approximately 80 competitors, led by an executive body comprised of 9 members. Events are held primarily on holiday weekends: Easter Monday; Labour Day; Independence Day and Heroes Day. The Dover events are usually two day events with qualifying on the first day followed by a full calendar of races in a variety of classes, including a special street car class, motorcycles and full fledged race cars, and attract crowds of between 4,000 to 14,000 spectators.

The Club improved the physical infrastructure at the track, including but not limited to:

  • The erection of a new pedestrian bridge at the spectator entrance.
  • The renovation of the current pedestrian bridge on the front straight.
  • The improvement of the track access road.
  • The expansion of the parking area.
  • The erection of vendor facilities
  • The provision of covered spectator stands.
  • The increase in the numbers of Bays
  • The provision of Media monitors (tele communications)
  • Live Broadcast Streaming.
  • The provision of wireless routing for the internet savy
  • The creation of a new access road
  • The increase of vending stalls
  • The increase of exhibit booths

The prize monies paid to winners in our events has also been raised and has increased the quality and quantity of the competitor entries. The JRDC plans to continue the innovations debuted in 2006 with respect to Race Driving schools held at the Track to encourage and develop nascent competitors in a safe and organized manner.

The JRDC would also like to increase our partnerships with corporate Jamaica, as we see many mutually beneficial linkages which exploit the rapidly growing subculture of automobile racing, both locally and internationally.

Contact: Jamaica Race Driver’s Club, 54 Molynes Rd Kingston 10 Ph. 758-JRDC (5732).

Office is in the Deluxe Medical Centre complex beside YP Seaton.

Find the JRDC website here:  http://www.jrdc.org/

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Motor Cars Dover Raceway
Motor Cars Dover Raceway

Jamaican Motorsports

http://jamaicamotorsports.com/

Dover Raceway (t): 975-2127

Prospect Plantation – Jamaica

 

[text_justify]Prospect Plantation is picturesque and full of Jamaican flora, facts and history. There are a few surprises too, it’s not all about sedate jitney rides through the grounds….[text_justify]

 

Things to Do in Jamaica

[text_justify] This well thought out offering from Dolphin Cove Ltd gives you a glimpse into agricultural life in Jamaica and can be found on the A3 between Reggae Beach and White River, St. Mary. If you are coming from the direction of Ocho Rios it is about ½ mile from White River, there is a sign and you have to pull off of the main road to the right hand side and approach the Plantation’s Driveway. Once the guard lifts the barrier, follow the driveway until you reach the car park and ‘reception’ area. There is a clean  bar area, restrooms and a gift shop and you can pay for your excursions here. I would recommend telephoning in advance to let them know you are coming and perhaps book the tour you would like.[/text_justify]

 

[text_justify]When I visited in the week, it was deserted apart from our party of three people, but they still welcomed us and gave us a sugary cane juice drink when we arrived. We were offered a jitney ride around the plantation, which is basically a tractor pulling an open sided truck with long bench seating onboard. When we embarked on the tour, we also had a guide and a security guard onboard and the three of them made a jovial group stopping and pointing out different crops and points of interest along the route and generally keeping us amused, entertained and informed.[/text_justify]

 

Prospect Plantation - Coconut Climber
Prospect Plantation – Coconut Climber

 

[text_justify]The jitney made several stops throughout the plantation and we were shown various crops and a grove where various dignitaries and celebrities have planted different tropical fruit trees over the years. We were also able to get off the jitney on a few occasions, first by the Ostriches which you can feed if you wish. Here we also watched Farmer Joe climb a 30ft Coconut tree and we were introduced to tropical fruits and invited to eat some coconut. We were told that Farmer Joe ate the Ostrich eggs, which might explain how he managed to climb the tree with such speed and ease! An Ostrich egg is also presented to you to stand on and take a picture, which unbelievably does not break. If you choose you can take some small notes as a tip was expected.[/text_justify]

History of Jamaica

[text_justify]We next made a stop by the Great House where you are free to walk around the lower floor of the property laid out in the original style. We were also able to walk through the beautiful and extensive gardens. There are bubbling water features and many unusual plant specimens and it is tranquil and fragrant with panoramic views to the ocean. The great Mahogany Tree which was planted by Sir Winston Churchill in 1953, takes centre stage in the front garden.[/text_justify]

 

[text_justify]Back in the jitney we ambled along until we came to a clearing where they had camels with their proud and able trainers. There was a cute and noisy young Camel in the paddock, who got most of the attention. If you choose you can take pictures with the camels and for an additional charge you are also able to ride them. Off again we made our way, slowing down by a Church in the grounds, before finishing the tour back were we started. The tour guide invited us to give him a tip too when we neared the reception area.[/text_justify]

 

Prospect Plantation - Jamaican Fruits
Prospect Plantation – Jamaican Fruits

 

[text_justify] Prospect Plantation is beautiful and worth a visit if you are in the area. Although it isn’t as fast paced as some of the other attractions in Jamaica, it feels more authentic and doesn’t feel like it has been overly ‘plasticised’ like some of the other tourist traps. If you have thrill seekers in the group, telephone in advance and book a camel, horse, Segway or you can bike and hike around the plantation, which might just get the teenagers involved! There is also a ‘Flavours of Jamaica’ cooking course if you want to try your hand at making some traditional Jamaican cuisine, which you get to eat afterwards… Yum![/text_justify]

 

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[text_justify]Prospect Plantation

 

Prospect Plantation Address and Contact Details:

Address: Prospect, St. Mary, Jamaica

Telephone: (876) 994 1058

Or check out their website here: http://www.prospectoutbackadventures.com/ [/text_justify]

 

James Bond Beach – Jamaica

If you are looking for a laid back attraction in Jamaica, or simply want to relax at an exclusive beach, then James Bond Beach in St Mary could well fit the bill…

Visiting James Bond Beach

James Bond Beach sounds suitably glamorous for an initial dip in the ocean and it provided us with an opportunity to get a drive out of Ochi, St. Ann and eastwards towards Oracabessa, St. Mary. The drive is a pleasant one along the highway which takes in ocean views along some parts of the road, whilst the farming enterprises of coconut and banana walks (plantations) that stretch as far as the eye can see make up the majority of the scenery on the journey. There are two gas stations along the highway near to Ochi, the first of which is a large PetCom gas (petrol) station just past Irie FM (on the by-pass in Ochi), that has a Pharmacy, supermarket, ATM and W.C.’s attached to it, the second one is a Texaco and is near to White River, just before the turn off for Exchange and has which has lesser facilities.

How to get to James Bond Beach – Oracabessa…

Driving along the highway leaving Ochi (Ocho Rios) the road is straight with no turn offs and it takes about 25 – 30 minutes to reach the beach, driving at the legal speed of course. There is a  large and hopeful road sign on the highway that depicts that James Bond Beach is 1km away, which is a vast underestimation as it was more like 5km when we checked it on the second visit.

Directions

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  • After passing the PetCom gas (petrol) station in Ocho Rios, drive along the highway and about 15km you will pass Ian Fleming Airport.  It was previously known as Boscobel Aerodrome and had a somewhat controversial name change after the renovations that saw it re-open in January 2011; however the new name further sets the scene as we search for the elusive James Bond Beach…
  • Keep driving along the same highway towards Oracabessa and you will eventually come to a deep corner about 1.5km past the aerodrome, where you will cross a bridge, continue forward. The beach is hard to find as the sign that lets you know where to turn off of the highway has blown down
  • Look out for a Shell Gas Station on the right hand side of the road and shortly after the road will bend and you will see a marl (white gravel) side road on the LEFT HAND SIDE, with a large sign for James Bond Beach and a wooden shop (where a Rasta sells fruits on the corner) TURN HERE; if you come to Oracabessa Crossroads you have come too far
  • Once you find the side road you have to travel about another 1 – 1.5KM to reach the entrance to the beach, so be warned if you are walking! Travel up to the end of the side road until you pass Jah Willy’s and you will be forced to turn right passing the unassuming fisherman’s Beach which is much more low-key and has a little shop serving beach goers
  • At the end of the road you will see the entrance which has ‘James Bond Beach’ written across the top of the gates, you found it!

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What is James Bond Beach All About?

James Bond Beach has an interesting story to tell… Owned by non other than Chris Blackwell, of Island Records and Island Outpost fame, who not only had a successful music and movie company, but who also has several high-end and exclusive resorts under his mantle such as:

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  • GoldenEye; Ian Flemings former home
  • Jake’s; Treasure Beach
  • The Caves; Negril
  • Strawberry Hill; Blue Mountains

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Chris Blackwell’s mother Blanche was born into a powerful family that made their money and livelihood in sugar and rum in Jamaica in the 20th Century. Blanche owned several thousand acres of land near Oracabessa and later sold some of it to both Ian Fleming and Noel Coward, who made homes there. She was considered to be the love of Ian Flemings later life and who he refered to as his Jamaican wife and muse, and who was said to be the inspiration for the James Bond character ‘Pussy Galore’. James Bond Beach also has the claim to fame of being the beach in which a young Ursula Andrews cavorted in the James Bond movie ‘Dr. No’.

Wash Rooms James Bond Beach
Wash Rooms James Bond Beach

What Is Offered at James Bond Beach?

You can drive your vehicle inside the complex and find somewhere to park; if there isn’t an attendant at the gate to take your entrance fee they will shortly appear before you can get out of the vehicle to take the money from you; we paid about $400 per person. James Bond Beach has a nice set up with a small but clean and sandy beach which boasts crystal clear waters, and has a few complimentary wooden loungers and a couple of picnic tables scattered about. As the sandy beach area is small the seating goes quickly and you may want to bring a beach mat or extra towel to lie or sit down on if it is busy.

If the beach isn’t your thing, or it is too busy for you, there is also a winding terrace that has been constructed over the rocks surrounding the beach and which offers up a larger area in which to sun yourself; although it could do with some repairs in places, as the sea seems to want to reclaim it. On both occasions we came there were only a few other groups present, which made it feel more secluded and quiet for a beach in Jamaica.

There is no gift shop or vendors on the beach, so once you pay for your entrance fee you will be limited to splashing the cash in the bar and restaurant…

Sunset Swimming James Bond Beach
Sunset Swimming James Bond Beach

Moonraker Bar and Restaurant

The large Moonraker Bar is prettily made from wood, is open on all sides and boasts a fabulous upstairs seating area that has scenic views across the ocean and the grassy area. The bar is well stocked and they had plenty of ice; a flask of Wray & Nephew costs about $700. There is also a restaurant with lots of fish (and chicken) dishes on offer, which cost around $1,000 – $2,000 per main dish dependant on what you ordered; but we didn’t eat there on either occasion we visited. A point to note is that the restaurant doesn’t look as though it opens when there a little or few people around.  A large grassy area that is surrounded by the clear blue sea on three sides affords you a change from the beach area and a stroll to look at the boats. The lawn and bar are packed full of people and really come alive and into their own when the venue plays home to the large stage shows and events that are held periodically.

The other amenities include large separate male and female changing facilities, offering a shower, communal changing areas with benches, wash basins and toilets; on both occasions we found them to be clean and with soap and tissues available. The beach normally closes at sundown, and I’m told it is busier at weekends when more of the locals and even Chris Blackwell and friends sometimes frequent it.

On the whole I would recommend James Bond Beach and feel it was worth the drive as it was clean, secluded, friendly, peaceful and with good vibes and amenities. The entry price wasn’t too expensive either and was indicative on what was on offer there. All round it was a nice experience…. I will definitely come again and will have to try the food next time though!

Jamaica 'One Love' James Bond Beach
Jamaica ‘One Love’ James Bond Beach

 

 

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Bless up, Jules

Keep the Conversation Going….

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Post Updated January 2016

Turtle River Park – Ocho Rios

Turtle River Park is worth a visit if you are in Ocho Rios, the beautiful landscaped park right in the middle of the town centre covers 3 hectares of land and offers a few surprises for visitors young and old.

Giving Jamaican’s and visitors a chance to get away from the hustle and bustle of the town and sit and relax in peaceful tranquility, the park is free to members of the public and open every day of the week. The park was opened on 18 June 2004 by  Prime Minister P J Patterson (PM of the time) after the (UDC) Urban Development Corporation decided the old bus park was ideal for redevelopment.

 

Turtle River Park Facilities

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  • Free Entrance to members of the public
  • Open all week
  • Clean Toilets
  • Snack Outlet
  • Childrens Swing Area
  • Seating areas / Picnic Tables
  • Landscaped Gardens
  • Ponds and water features
  • Parking – fee payable; free parking spots are available down the end of the road past the main entrance on Milford Road (do NOT park where you see yellow lines or  parking restrictions!)
  • Security – Wardens patrol park ensuring park rules are upheld

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Are There Any Turtles? 

Due to the name of the park I was intrigued to find out if there were turtles lurking anywhere, so I made two visits to look for them as it was too dark to fully investigate the park the first evening. I did notice on the first visit that there was a  barrier set across a bridge which gave access to a central island, which contained a smaller pond in the centre… I would have to investigate further in the daylight to find out why the barrier was there and if there were turtles here somewhere.

The second time I walked through the park I made sure it was daylight hours so that I could get some pictures and investigate the ponds when it would be easier to spot turtles if there were any to be found.

 

Palm Lined Walkway

After walking in the large main entrance on Milford Road, there is a long walkway which gives a glimpse of the ponds at the end.

The walkway is lined with palm trees and small hedges to either side, halfway down the walkway a central water feature starts to bubble and flow down towards the ponds.

Manicured lawns to either side of the walkway carry numerous ‘keep off the grass’ signs, which  I can only assume to keep the lawns in their magnificent state of lushness!

 

What is available at the Park?

There are gazebos scattered around the park, where groups of people sit quietly or talk, sing and recite from the bible, lovers young and old share a tender word and touch and everyday people just sit and chill out. Palm trees, bushes and planting leads you along pathways cut through the beautiful lawns to other areas of the park.

There is a children’s play area which has a couple of playhouses on stilts and some swings, although when I visited only a few of the swings had seats, but the children there enjoyed themselves none the less.

The turtle theme carries on through the park and I saw these cute little turtles sitting in a row across the lawn, maybe to create a division from the children’s area behind it. I noticed a trampoline with an enclosure, but  couldn’t see anyone attending to it and I assumed it wasn’t free to use.

Along some of the pathways there is a turtle emblem stamped into the concrete to break up the blandness and continue with the turtle theme.

Scenic Ponds and Waterways

 The park boasts a large man-made pond which is beautifully designed and has large specimens of what look like coy carp fish swimming in the  shallows.  Large trees, palms, clipped bushes, flowers and rockstone are tastefully scattered around to create a natural looking atmospheric area, which doesn’t look overdone.

A small bridge carries you over the larger pond that creates a moat effect, as there is an island in the centre which also has a pond with smaller fish swimming amongst the lily pads. A pathway leads you around the pond to an even smaller pond that had a fence around it….. Mmmmm what was in there?

 

At Last I found the Turtles!

There is a small waterfall that cascaded into the last pond and a small grassed area with rocks near to the water’s edge for the turtles to sun themselves on, or have a break from the water. A second waterfall left the pond and flowed down into the central pond, although a grill across the waterfall prevented the turtles from escaping any further into the other ponds.

A tree at the back of the enclosure provided partial shade to the pond giving the turtles some respite from the scorching Jamaican sunshine.

There were at least 10 turtles in the pond and one in particular took an interest and came out of the pond to walk over to the fence to see what was going on. The others looked on in mild interest and scattered if they felt frightened when you moved too quickly. The shells of the turtles were covered with a green algae but it didn’t seem to bother them as they looked happy and healthy swimming or lolling about in their watery enclosure.

As the fish in the ponds looked like fresh water fish I can only assume these specimens must be a form of fresh water turtle. There were small fish bundled up on the bottom of the pond, but it didn’t seem to be the turtle food? I did wonder what they fed them on though as there was no sign of food anywhere.

I spent a while with the turtles but as the night came down the park wardens came over and put the barrier back over the small bridge and ushered people back over into the main areas of the park before it closed shortly afterwards. I was happy that I found the turtles and that the park’s namesakes really did reside in the park’s ‘river’.

On leaving the park we walked through the entrance on Main Street which has the wardens hut and public restrooms, which I found to be clean and tidy, but lacking tissue, soap and hand towels!

All together the park is a nice attraction and looks as though it is manicured on a daily basis, as it is so beautifully kept. I would recommend a visit to the park especially if you want some peace and quiet, or if you have young children who would enjoy the turtles and play area provided.

Opening Hours:
Monday to Friday from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and on weekends from 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Entry:     
Free

Parking Rates: J$50 per hour and J$150 daily

Contact Information:     
Turtle River Park
Main Street
Ocho Rios, St. Ann
(876) 795 0078, 974 5015, 974 2612
Telefax (876) 974 2731