If you know me, you know I love Jamaica.

The land of wood and water captured my heart from the first plane touch down and it hasn't let up since. I love the people, the culture, the food, the attitude, the pride. I love it all, and would live there if I could. I want my friends, family and readers to visit as well and I am that annoying person always bringing it up. I am starting to lose count on the number of times I have been to Jamaica (I think 5 times now?), so I cannot believe I have not yet written about my trips there. Instead of trying to synthesize it all into one, long post, I am going to make separate posts about the different cities I have been fortunate to visit.

While I enjoy the character of city life, I fall in love with the parish of Portland each time I visit. When you depart Kingston and drive into the hills towards Portland, you experience a completely different vibe. The first thing I notice is the surrounding nature! The hills, the mountains, the rivers, the sea...and of course, the colorful homes & buildings! If rest and relaxation is truly what you are looking for, this is the first place in Jamaica to consider. Escape the tourists and lay back. It has beautiful beaches, amazing food, vibrant nature and all the island vibes you need for that zen life.

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Must-See and Must-Do

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Frenchman's Cove

Are you looking for white sand beaches? You have come to the right place. Frenchman's Cove is idyllic. It is truly gorgeous. If you want the warm, sea water, you've got it! Want to rinse off the sand and take a refreshing dive in cool waters. Absolutely, you can - there is a river right there that merges with the sea. The entry fee at $10USD is hefty for that part of the island, but with a restaurant and free WiFi, it is pretty worth it. San San Beach next door also deserves special mention. 

Monkey Island

Monkey Island is a small, uninhabited piece of land. It is called so because there used to be a colony of monkeys on the island who have since died off. Though mostly covered in vegetation, there is a small white sand beach that is perfect for small groups. Laze around in the shallow waters, read a book under a tree or take a picnic chair and drink a beer as you contemplate life.

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Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon is one of my favorite places in Jamaica. It's blue...or is it turquoise...or is it green....waters are entrancing and beckoning. I remember stepping out of the car and my eyes widening at how magical the sight was. My friend and I dove into the deep waters and swam to our hearts delight. Looking at the homes along the banks of the Lagoon while sailing on a bamboo raft was a very calming experience and I highly recommend it! Pellew Island, better known as Monkey Island, is nearby so you can include it on your ride.

Boston Jerk Chicken

Boston Bay Jerk Centre is a famous Jamaican landmark, known worldwide as one of the go-to places for jerk chicken. I would say, try it because of its history, but it is not consistently my favorite. While I do not dream of their food, I have had fantastic jerk there. Stay tuned for a future blog on Kingston where I will tell you a sweet jerk spot you definitely MUST go to. 

Even after making a couple trips to Portland, there is still so much more to see. I will be going back to Jamaica in the spring, and plan to visit Reach Falls! Any tips you have would be awesome!