Explore Jamaica with Island Outpost as they take you to discover the island beyond the hotels, the one most tourists don’t always get a chance to see and experience. Beyond the beaches and main roads exists the island’s hidden gems. Venture out, and you might find yourself having a roadside chat with a Rasta, or exchanging a friendly smile from a vendor at Coronation Market. These are the moments that will stay with you long after checkout.
To this end, ten Island Outpost tours were launched, which dig deep into Jamaica’s culture, heritage and musical scene. A favourite, ‘Root of Roots’, is an extensive music tour that includes a live performance, a typical (delicious) Rasta lunch in Kingston, and a tour of the Marley family’s world-famous recording studio.
Stop 1: Marley Museum
Sing along to the iconic reggae artist’s biggest hits as you tour his former Kingston home. The tour guides are lively and often burst into song—especially when touring the room housing Marley’s Grammy awards.
Stop 2: Institute of Jamaica
At the Rastafari and the World Exhibit, you will learn everything there is to know about Rastas.
Stop 3: Lunch at Ibo Spice
Beat Street is the former epicenter of reggae and roots music in the 1960s, and now houses this super healthy restaurant specializing in ital—a strict dietary law followed by many Rastas. The fresh guava juice and vegetarian ital stew with plantains are mainstays at Ibo Spice. Learn more about the restaurant here.
Stop 4: Ethiopian Orthodox Temple
Whether you are religious or not, the Ethiopian Orthodox Temple in Kingston is worth a visit. The only Ethiopian Orthodox Temple in the Western Hemisphere stands beautifully incomplete, as construction has been put on hold numerous times due to funding over a span of 20 years.
Stop 5: Alpha Institute
The Alpha Institute is the Julliard of Jamaica. A stop at the prestigious music school includes a live musical performance by current students.
Stop 6: Horace Andy Record Studio
Roots reggae singer and songwriter Horace Andy, known for his 1973 cover of “Ain’t No Sunshine,” owns this amazing recording studio. Get an exclusive, behind-the-scenes access to a studio session with Andy himself.
Stop 7: Randy’s Records
Vincent “Randy” Chin was a legendary Jamaican record producer who opened a successful record shop, Randy’s Records, in 1958. While Vincent passed away in 2003, the shop is still a major destination for visitors.
Stop 8: Tuff Gong International Recording Studio
While Bob Marley never recorded at Tuff Gong International, now owned by the Marley family, recording equipment from his previous studios now live there. It has since become a world-renowned studio, with artists flying in from around the world for the opportunity to record there.
Learn more about the island Outpost Tours on www.islandoutpost.com