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Jamaica, meaning “land of wood and water”, is a jewel of the Caribbean described by its local as a curvaceous beautiful woman who sits in a vast ocean of blue. No wonder this country with lush jungle, stunning waterfalls and beaches attract tourists from all over the world.
Beyond its main popular attractions, we put together some of our favourite places to experience the real Jamaican culture on its northeast coast. Next time you’re in Jamaica, venture out of your all-inclusive resort and discover some of the island’s hidden gems. Believe us – they are well worth the expedition!
Bonding with the beach at James Bond Beach
The Oracabessa Bay is the birthplace of Bond. James Bond. This is where the British author Ian Fleming bought a house in 1946 and wrote the famous James Bond novels while living there. GoldenEye, Fleming’s former winter retreat, is now an oceanfront luxury hotel tucked inside a lush garden, hidden behind tall trees and bushes.
Located 20 min. east of Ocho Rios, James Bond beach is a wonderful and secluded spot to enjoy crystal clear waters and stunning mountain views. Scenes from the classic James Bond movie Dr. No were also filmed on this beach.
- Tips: there is an admission fee of $5 per day. It is quieter in the morning and during weekdays.
- There are bathrooms and changing rooms on location.
- You can eat some delicious seafood at the two-story Moonraker Jamaican bar and grill.
- This beach is also a concert venue for local and international artists, including an annual tribute to Bob Marley. Make sure to check the schedule if you are interested in attending a concert.
Chilling with the fishermen at Oracabessa’s Fish sanctuary
If you walk along the James Bond beach, you will find the Oracabessa Bay Fish Sanctuary established in 2010 to protect Oracabessa’s marine ecosystem. It’s a great place to snorkel or meet some fishermen fishing on their colourful boats.
Tasting the love at farm-to-table restaurant STUSH in the BUSH
If you are in Ocho Rios, a visit to Stush in the Bush should be on your bucket-list. This sustainable organic farm is located about 35 min. west of Ocho Rios, in St. Ann Parish. The charismatic owners, Lisa and Chris, create delicious and intimate farm-to-table experiences for their guests, prepared with local ingredients. “Bush” in Jamaican patois refers to nature and the rustic farm setting, whereas “stush” refers to the fine dining and elegant presentation. It’s the perfect combination of Rastafari and chic.
Your experience starts with a walking tour of their farm and then a gourmet diner in their gorgeous wood cabin. Get ready to eat some of the best food in your entire trip to Jamaica!
Everyone who visits them is welcomed to plant a seed on the farm to leave his or her mark.
- It is strongly recommended to book well in advance through their website, as the seating space is limited (up to 15 people per seating).
- One rule: try everything!
- Option of a 4-course or 6-course vegetarian meal, customizable according to your dietary restrictions.