Jamaica with her sandy beaches, unbeatably blue waters and luxury resorts is and has been a honeymoon favorite. Undeniably, the Caribbean climate makes this island one of the best destinations for newly-wedded sun-worshippers year-round. But there is more to Jamaica than her sandy white beaches; the incredible food, the plethora of water activities and the friendly faces are just some of the gifts of this Caribbean island – Jamaica is also making leads in eco-tourism and cultural-education tourism. If you are planning to honeymoon in Jamaica, be sure to venture outside the established resorts to experience some of the best cultural aspects of this romantic getaway – and to avoid tripping over other tourists.
Most of Jamaica’s resorts and accommodations are huddled by the waters, making the beaches somewhat crowded. If it’s quiet and solitude you’re looking for, check out the small, sleepy town of Treasure Beach. A small fishing village of hard-working people, it also boasts the island’s forefront endeavor in sustainable tourism. Local farmers and fishers are often seen in and out of Treasure Beach’s smaller accommodations, offering eco-tours and inviting visitors to experience local culture and food. Explore the sandy beaches and pirate coves while snorkeling on a quiet day or take an excursion out to the waterfalls, the rum factory or the mineral baths found nearby. Sample the delicious local cuisine of pumpkin soup, fresh lobster and crab. Treasure Beach is not overrun by tourism, but you will still find plenty of accommodation options, from small guesthouses to private villas complete with a personal cook. For more information on the area and places to stay, check out treasurebeach.net.
Jake’s Resort in Treasure Beach is becoming less of a secret as more and more honeymooners discover its charms. Its 38 secluded cottages boast a heavenly ambiance with sustainable and eco-friendly design in mind. With a spa service, on-site pool and two restaurants serving local cuisine, Jake’s has all the amenities of a luxury boutique resort without compromising the quirky and vibrant influences of local Jamaican culture. For more information visit jakeshotel.com.
If you’re looking for a more personalized honeymoon vacation package, you might want to visit the website of Port Antonio (portantoniojamaica.com) where you will find great information on eco-tours designed by the Portland Ecotourism Art Community Endeavor (PEACE). This local outfit works with a variety of local businesses, farmers, artisans, landowners and traditional herbalists to educate and personalize any type of vacation experience for backpackers and honeymooners alike. A particularly interesting tour that they offer is the “Nanny of the Maroons” tour – combining the wisdom of naturopathic healing and old-age Rastafarian medicine. A romantic honeymoon tour would be the bird and butterfly tours where a nature walk through the lush forests will inspire jungle romance. Accommodations in Port Antonio, in Portland Parish, range from guesthouses, hotels and villas, but again, far enough away from the touristy nightlife of Montego Bay or Negril. Located on the north-eastern coast of the island, it boasts a quieter, more poetic landscape with all the luxuries of a resort community.