Paradise on Earth
The first time I went to Jamaica I absolutely hated it. I arrived on a cruise ship and offloaded right into a swarm of highly aggressive vendors at the pier in Montego Bay. It was miserable.
A few years later Sandals asked me to stay their resorts. Then Couples asked me to stay at their resorts. By the time I’d experienced the luxury side of Jamaica I was hooked.
Last week we took the entire agency on a team trip to Jamaica. We stayed at some amazing resorts that were brand new to all of us. Now we have 7 we would recommend and two we would never book for anyone. Ha ha
While we were there were participated in three excursions that were a blast.
First we toured the White Witch Rose Hall Mansion at night. It was scary and fun and worthy of our time.
The next day we went to Mystic Mountain. I just love that place. It’s up on a mountain top in the rainforest near Ocho Rios. You ride up in a gondola similar to what you experience at a ski resort. The views are breathtaking.
Upon arrival you have a nice variety of activities to participate in. I love the Jamaican Bobsled ride. It evokes the glory of the Jamaican Olympic Bobsled Team (watch the movie “Cool Runnings”) and travels along stainless steel rails powered by gravity. Imagine a roller coaster in the middle of a rainforest, it’s great.
The Rainforest Zip Line is amazing, too. The guided tour covers the virgin areas of the mountain, flying through the treetops along a series of interconnecting trees and platforms. To my amazement the zip line tour included two vertical drops in addition to the zip lines. It’s a fun adventure for thrill seekers, that for sure.
The Hummingbird Garden is quite a change of pace. You sit and relax and watch gorgeous little hummingbirds as they dart in and out of the dense floral vegetation.
Someone managed to engineer a swimming pool with a great big slide right around the Bobsled entrance. When you’re hot and tired from all of the previously mentioned activities you just shoot down the slide into cool refreshment. Nice changing areas and lockers are available.
Mystic Mountain is situated on over 100 acres of pristine forest containing a diverse eco-system that the owners are dedicated to protecting. They even installed the foundations of the chairlift via helicopter to minimize the impact to the area. There are natural springs, tropical plants, trees and a wide variety of birds. Mystic Mountain is Jamaica is its’ natural state, beautiful and unspoiled.
If you are planning a trip to Jamaica and want to experience Mystic Mountain you do not want to book your resort any farther away than Montego Bay. The drive from Negril would be a grueling 3.5 hours on way, not worth it.
There are some amazing resorts in the Montego Bay/Ocho Rios area that are available for adult only vacations as well as family friendly ones. The price points of local resorts are widely varied giving us something for every budget.
All of us at The Joy of Travel now consider ourselves to be “Jamericans” and we look forward to helping you plan the perfect vacation to Jamaica.
Joy Gawf-Crutchfield owns and operates The Joy of Travel. Contact Joy at 918-339-4805