Sustainable Tourism and Natural Wonders of Jamaica

Sustainable Tourism and Natural Wonders of Jamaica @mockingbirdees

Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor Caribbean, Destination, Travel Blog, Travel Guides 25 Comments

Jamaica sits in the heart of the Caribbean, gifted with natural wonders.

Sustainable Tourism and Natural Wonders of Jamaica

Port Antonio, Portland Parish

Jamaica is rich in lush greeneries, mountains, wildlife and beautiful beaches. Exploring this beautiful island for a week was truly a privilege. I’ve learned how the locals try to protect their beloved Jamaica. Protecting the beauty of Jamaica is not just the responsibility of locals and government officials, tourists must also make that conscious effort to look for sustainable tourism. On our visit to the island, we’ve experienced great examples of maintaining and promoting sustainable tourism.

Sustainable Tourism and the Natural Wonders of Jamaica

In St. Ann’s Bay, St. Ann Parish:  Overlooking the Caribbean Sea

Jamaica is not just about the “all-inclusive” resorts. You need to explore outside and bond with nature, mingle with locals, eat local Jamaican food and experience what the real Jamaica can share with you.

There are ongoing efforts by the locals and small businesses to make Jamaica the top Eco-tourism spot in the Caribbean. There are rehabilitation projects to protect and preserve the natural resources, landscapes and animals.

Sustainable Tourism and Natural Wonders of Jamaica

A local community project in Winnifred Beach

I was happy to find out that the locals are making an effort to protect their environment. The community-based eco-tourism projects benefit the livelihood of the locals and enhance the visitor’s experience. Some establishments in Jamaica are starting to use solar panels as an additional source of energy.

People are taking action to make their way of life more self-reliant and sustainable. Most Jamaicans are into agriculture or have their allotment where they grow vegetables and crops.

This beautiful tropical island in the Caribbean is blessed with lots of endemic plants and animals that can only be found in Jamaica such as wild pines, giant swallowtail butterfly’s, Jamaican crocodiles, the black and Yellow-billed parrots, yellow snake and the national bird of Jamaica, the doctor bird (which is a type of hummingbird).

Sustainable Tourism and Natural Wonders of Jamaica

The Wild Pine

Sustainable Tourism and Natural Wonders of Jamaica

A Blue Heron in the Rio Grande

Sustainable Tourism and Natural Wonders of Jamaica

A White Heron in the Rio Grande

Due to the rich diversity of birds, bird watching has become a very popular activity on the island. Jamaica has more than 20 species of birds endemic to the island. There are loads of bird watching spot you can go to in Jamaica, amongst the most popular are John Crow and the Blue mountain peak.

Trekking the trail of the Blue Mountain’s highest peak is a must if you are up to the challenge when you visit Jamaica. Blue Mountain is also known for their best coffee. The Blue Mountain Coffee in Jamaica is regulated by the government to maintain the standards of one of the best coffees in the world.

Sustainable Tourism and Natural Wonders of Jamaica

The Blue Mountains

Regarding natural landscape, Jamaica has a wide selection. Frenchman’s Cove in Port Antonio in Portland Parish, Jamaica is one of the most famous beaches and is known for its luxury and privacy.  The beach was made famous in the 70’s and 80’s as a private beach in the Caribbean, where the rich and famous people would spend their time to relax. The beach is now open to the public with a modest entrance fee.

Check out some of the cool and cheap tours you could do in Port Antonio.

Sustainable Tourism and Natural Wonders of Jamaica

The Frenchman’s Cove in Portland, Jamaica

Winnifred Beach is a public beach with an authentic feel to it. Boston Beach is a charming beach that is also open to the public. Boston is known as the home of the famous Jamaican dish, the Jerk food. If you are up for surfing, the waves at Long Bay beach are perfect!

Sustainable Tourism and Natural Wonders of Jamaica

Winnifred Beach

Sustainable Tourism and Natural Wonders of Jamaica

Long Bay Beach

Sustainable Tourism and Natural Wonders of Jamaica

Dunn’s river falls in Ocho Rios; St. Ann Parish is another popular attraction where you can climb to the top cascades. The waterfall was said to be the location of a famous battle between the Spanish and British in the 17th century.

Check out some of the cool and cheap tours you could do in Ocho Rios.

Sustainable Tourism and Natural Wonders of Jamaica

Dunn’s River Falls

Reach falls in Manchioneal, Portland is another waterfall, which in my opinion feels more authentic as the area has not been commercialized. The trail guides will assist you throughout the trail. The waterfall was discovered by the slaves during the colonial times who were seeking refuge in the John Crow Mountain.

Check out some of the cool and cheap tours you could do in Portland.

Sustainable Tourism and Natural Wonders of Jamaica

Reach Falls

The river rafting in the Rio Grande, Portland Parish is very special and sweet. You can enjoy the scenic view and different landscapes along the river. The rafting journey is about 8 miles and takes about 2 hours. The Rio Grande was a route for the farmers transporting their banana crops to the Banana boats in Port Antonio for export. The Banana boats were also used by migrating Jamaicans as a cheap way to travel to the 1st world countries like UK, Canada, and the USA.

Sustainable Tourism and Natural Wonders of Jamaica

River rafting in the Rio Grande

We used Knutsford Express to travel around Jamaica, I think it is more sustainable rather than hiring your own car and cheaper too! For our pre-arranged day tours, we have a private transportation (can be shared with other guests) provided by the Hotel Mockingbird Hill with a local driver / guide to reach and explore the places that can’t be accessed by the bus. Mr. Whitley White was very friendly and knowledgeable about the area. During our free days, we also used the Route taxi, this is another type of public transportation in Jamaica for shorter routes between towns.

In terms of crops and vegetation, Jamaica is blessed with a fertile land. Being a tropical island, coconut trees can be seen everywhere. The national fruit of Jamaica is Ackee, this fruit is a staple in the everyday food of a typical Jamaican. Back in the colonial days, the country was famous for banana and sugar cane plantations.

The Sussex Great House in St. Ann’s Bay, St. Ann Parish is situated at the top of the hill overlooking the entire town. The guest house has their own farm where they grow their own crops. They also have their own spring which is used as the source of their water system. Our hosts Elle and David are very accommodating and friendly. They gave us tips on what to see in their local area and gave us a lift to town.

The Hotel Mockingbird Hill in Port Antonio, Portland Parish is a perfect example of a sustainable hotel here in Jamaica. They’re an eco-friendly boutique hotel that supports the local farmers and use local produce. The hotel’s restaurant, Mille Fleurs Restaurant also serve great food with a fantastic view. Request the table in their viewing deck!!!  Best view of Port Antonio while tucking in with the tasty Jamaican or international cuisines.

Sustainable Tourism and Natural Wonders of Jamaica

The hotel’s main building

Sustainable Tourism and Natural Wonders of Jamaica

An inviting reception and restaurant overlooking the lush greeneries of Port Antonio

Sustainable Tourism and Natural Wonders of Jamaica

Our luxurious eco-boutique room

It was a great experience to visit Jamaica. Sustainable travel is always the best way to preserve and protect the environment.

“Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints. Kill nothing but time.”

Note: Special thanks to David & Elle of Sussex Great House and to Shireen & Barbara of Hotel Mockingbird hill. This is a part of the Jamaica Inspires tour, but all opinions in this article are my own.

Monkey Dividers

About the Writer

Ryazan TristramRyazan Tristram is named after a Russian city near Moscow. The Miss Zan-shine of Everything Zany – A Photography, Lifestyle and Dual Citizen Travel Blog. She likes to travel, history, meet people & try exotic foods! Planning to explore more countries with her D.I.Y trips as a Dual Citizen (British – Filipina). Follow her travels on Facebook and Instagram.

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Comments 25

  1. I was extremely pleased to discover this web site. I wanted to thank you for
    ones time for this particularly fantastic read!!
    I definitely appreciated every bit of it and i also have you
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  2. After my holiday in Cuba earlier this year I am OBSESSED with visiting as much of the Caribbean as possible, and Jamaica is next on my list. To be honest, I hadn’t though about the responsible tourism options and know I know so many cool options are available, I’ll think twice when I come to book something. Thanks for the beach recommendations!

  3. I love coconuts! Lovely to read that the beaches are longer exclusive to the rich and famous and that everyone can enjoy their beauty. Jamaica has something for everyone!

  4. Mockingbird looks awesome! I so much want that coconut you were eating now haha Jokes aside, it is great when locals finally realize the wealth they have and take care of it, awesome to read this story

  5. It’s so great to hear that the locals are doing their part in preserving their place. I also loved the falls and the beaches. They all look so unspoiled.

  6. From The Blue Mountains to River rafting in Rio Grande, to taking the Knutsford Express to explore Jamaica, one amazing adventure thanks for sharing

  7. Nice to see more of the island than the usual tourist brochure full of all inclusive resorts. Nice to see the locals trying to become more sustainable. it will surely help them in the long term.

  8. awesome! I agree with you.. Jamaica is not about the all in clusives though everyone seems to think that, the whole island is seemingly a natural wonder…and your pictures certainly prove it…I would/will visit Jamaica sooner rather than latter

  9. Very nice.

    Unfortunately we missed Jamaica on our current adventures, so it was nice to take a peek through your eyes.

    I can’t believe anybody would waste their time at an all-inclusive anywhere… 🙂

    1. You will surely visit Jamaica soon, Chris. If you are there, remember, “Take nothing but pictures, leave nothing but footprints. Kill nothing but time.” 😉

    2. Thanks a lot Chris!

      Yes! I suggest include Jamaica in your travel destination list when you are planning to go around the Caribbean region.

  10. I would love to return to Jamaica and follow the path you have showed us. We were there as part of a cruise excursion, and so perhaps that put us into a different category and everyone seemed to have their hand out for tips. It turned us off, despite the fact that we had a great time and it is a beautiful country.

    I’d love to return as an independent traveller, and stay at some of the independent properties you have mentioned. The Hotel Mockingbird Hill looks lovely, and I really enjoyed all your pics.

    1. wow! Lucky you! I wish I can visit this lovely island too and personally see how the people do sustainable tourism. It might be helpful to other countries as well, especially those with booming number of tourists.

    1. Hi Mike! Thank you so much! I’m so glad you liked it! xx I hope you can can visit Jamaica soon. I’m sure you will definitely love it. 🙂

      1. Hi we did visit some years ago on a cruise. We would have enjoyed the stay much if we had the benefit of such good info so well put together as your chat and photos. Ace ?

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