Experiencing the Royal Palm Reserve

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The Caribbean island of Jamaica is simply stunning. The island is surrounded by turquoise water so clear the bottom is clearly visible and enveloped in lush tropical vegetation. Many people visit Negril Jamaica to experience exciting land and water activities, incredible shopping, authentic cuisine, and electrifying nightlife but for some, a trip to the island is more about much-needed relaxation. Of course, even adventurous people need some down time, which is what makes the Royal Palm Reserve so special.

The Royal Palm Reserve is one of the major eco-tourism attractions on the Negril side of the island. This vast reserve stretches over 300 acres, beautifully nestled in the 6,000 acre Great Morass. To the west of the reserve is the Orange Bay Community and to the east, the Negril Hills. The Great Morass, which includes the Royal Palm Reserve, is protected. This means the Negril Area Environmental Protection Trust has the huge responsibility of keeping flora and fauna safe and pristine for many generations to come.

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For anyone visiting Negril Jamaica and who wants to experience nature at its finest, a trip to the Royal Palm Reserve is highly recommended. In addition to the green vegetation that reaches as far as the eye can see, people have the chance to follow a number of nature walk trails, spend time fishing, and even bird watch the more than 50 distinct species. Because there is so much to see, this is the ideal day trip for people of all ages.

Another amenity of the Royal Palm Reserve is the half-mile boardwalk complete with a 30-foot tall observation tower. From this vantage point, mangroves can be seen, as well as the beautiful Cotton Tree Lake, which can also be reached on foot. Another feature is the on-site museum that includes posters created by local students, a wetland’s model, educational materials, and various natural exhibits.

Over the years, a tremendous amount of study and research time has been devoted to identifying vegetation and wildlife on this part of the Jamaican island. Some examples of things uncovered to-date include:

• Plants (119 species in all)
• Anchovy Pair
• Royal Palm
• Saw Grass
• Wicker Vine

• Animals (300 species in all but dominated by insects)
• Ants
• Butterflies
• Dragonflies
• Wasps

• Birds and Reptiles (52 species in all)
• Frogs/Toads
• Mongoose
• Pond Turtle

The Royal Palm Reserve is open every day from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm and admission is extremely affordable at just $15 per adult and $7 for children. Locals also enjoy spending at the reserve although for a significantly discounted rate. After paying admission, people are free to stroll through the reserve at their leisure. However, guided tours are also offered for groups such as students, wedding parties, company retreats, and so on.

The Royal Palm Reserve is truly amazing and something everyone who visits Negril Jamaica should experience. Because of the convenient location, people can spend a half day at the reserve and then go to a number of other nearby tourist sites or dine in some of the island’s favorite restaurants. However, the sheer beauty of the reserve is so captivating that many people find it easy to spend a full day exploring.