Vacations are the stuff of childhood memories. Here are 5 family friendly adventures to have on the South Coast. The less developed areas of Jamaica allow children to get back to exploring nature and their imagination and parents to discover the child inside.
Go On Safari
The “oldest” attraction on the south coast, a boat ride up the Black River to see nature in all its glory – otherwise known as the Black River safari – is a great way to spend half a day. The longest navigable river in Jamaica, a cruise four miles up the Black River offers sightings of crocodiles, various wetland birdlife and majestic mangrove plants whose (often as long as 40ft) roots tower dive into the dark waters below. Although there are many tour operators, J. Charles Swaby’s is one of the oldest and has a mini “museum” as well as petting area – where visitors can hold baby crocodiles. Tel: (876) 965- 2513/( 876) 965-2086
Zipline Across a Waterfall
At the south coast’s only waterfall attraction YS Falls, adventure seekers can suit up, click in and fly across several hundred feet of waterfalls as they crisscross the many pools and cascades wedged between the lush landscape before reaching the base. Wedged in a beautiful valley at the base of the Cockpit Mountains, YS Falls also features two manmade swimming areas (where the river water has been channeled), a rope swing, bar and grill and a variety of seating areas for guests to spread out and relax in. Kids will also enjoy the tractor drawn jitney through the cattle and horse farm between the ticket office and the falls.
Tel: (876) 997 6369
See Dolphins in Their Natural Habitat
Although there are no guarantees -- many visits to the world famous Pelican Bar from Treasure Beach include the sighting of a dolphin pod that playfully jump an dive around the boat in their natural habitat – the Caribbean Sea. Magical as it is memorable, the sighting (an arms-length distance away) alone makes the 35-minute boat-ride worth it! Boat operators launch from Jakes Hotel Villas and Spa (876 965 3000), Frenchman’s Bay (in Treasure Beach) and dockside in Black River.
Off Road Bike Riding
In Treasure Beach tour guide Damian “Reds” Parchment offers bike rides down, up, over and through some of the areas most off the beaten path. A favourite trip, is the dawn ride which leaves before sunrise and takes riders through the farms the area is famous for before returning for fresh coconut water, a sea swim and a hearty breakfast at nearby Jakes Hotel or Smurfs Restaurant. Damian also offers assistance to riders participating in the Jakes Off Road Triathlon – held annually the third weekend of April.
Call Damian “Reds” Parchment (876) 586-2837 or
Jakes Hotel Villas and Spa - (876) 965-3000 for details
Release Baby Turtles
Join the Treasure Beach Turtle Group in one of their hatch and releases sessions during the months of May to December. The Hawksbill turtle is endangered species in Jamaica that faces extinction without programs like this one. A once in a lifetime experience for most, enquire at your local accommodations about information on the next hatching.
Tel: (876) 965-0126