Agent Name: Lisa
Date: June 2009
Trip Location: Jamaica
Overall impression: Jamaica is really lush and lovely. The one and a half hour ride from the airport to the hotel on the south side of the island lets you see a lot of the countryside and the homes along the way. This area has fewer tourists and gives you more a feeling of the real Jamaica. If you don’t care to drive and would rather get to your resort and start relaxing right away, there is the option
of using a helicopter transfer, landing on the sports field adjacent to the Sandals Whitehouse resort.
Favourite hotel: We stayed at the Sandals Whitehouse, a very inclusive resort that offers something for everybody. If you don’t want to leave the resort, there is really no need to go anywhere else. The spa offers all the traditional services you can want, kayaking and sailboats let you explore the water on your own, and the resort had both scuba and snorkeling tours available daily. There are enough activities to keep you as busy as you want, but for my husband and I this trip was all about rest and relaxation.
Favourite place: I loved YS Falls (www.ysfalls.com). Though not as well known as the falls at Dunn’s River, I found them much less busy and touristy. Located on the YS Estate, the ride into YS Falls is as interesting as the falls themselves, and you learn some of the history as your jitney ride winds its way up to the fall. Originally a cane estate it is now a working cattle and horse ranch, which you can see evidence of on your trip off the main road.
YS Falls is a natural adventure center. The staircase hugs the side of the falls to a variety of levels and pools at the bottom of each tier of the falls. Swing from the sides Tarzan style into the pools, or sit and enjoy a massage compliment of Mother Nature without any worry about your 30 minutes flying too fast. Nothing can beat how the tension eases away from your body as the water drops across your back. Finished climbing the falls? Enjoy time in the natural spring pool, take a canopy ride over the falls, bring a picnic lunch and spend some time in the garden enjoying the tropical flowers and birds. We took a lazy ride down the river on an inner tube, with our guide paddling nearby
the whole time. YS Falls is beautiful and relaxing with careful consideration to conservation so it is not overdeveloped and commercialized. The Falls have lifeguards, bathrooms and change facilities. During the wet season in May and October water conditions may not be safe for swimming.
Favourite restaurant: We dined on the property during our entire stay, but on our last night we arranged a candlelit dinner at the end of the pier. It was a real treat. We selected our menu items before we arrived at the pier, and the personal and intimate service was an experience well worth the splurge. Such a treat and the best meal we had during our stay
Travel advice: Jamaica’s economy is driven by tourism. People are offering you services as soon as you arrive. Know who your tour operator is and what your transfer arrangements are. If you are using one of the bus transfers offered by the tour operator, take the time to ensure that your luggage is loaded onto your bus before you board.
What to pack: Sunscreen and bug spray if you are walking along the beach after dark. Dress code is casual.
Most Memorable Attraction: Rick’s Café – to see the incredible sunset and cliff divers.
Travel Tips: Porters at the airport are very aggressive. I would advise to arrange taxi’s as local buses do not operate on a very regular schedule if at all.
Best Time of Year to Travel: December through May