Don’t get me wrong, I love Negril and the Reggae Marathon. I plan my entire year of running and training around the first Saturday of December. I especially love the feeling of running along the road along the beach in Negril.
But there is life beyond the gorgeous miles of soft white sand and warm clear water. If you want to get beyond that and enjoy a little of what makes Jamaica really special, here are a few places you might want to check out. To help plan your trips, a great resource is the Jamaica Tourist board web site.
About an hour from Negril is Mayfield Falls, located in the mountains of Westmoreland. A short, scenic hike takes you to the falls where you find the river of mineral water, known for its healing properties. Mayfield Falls has 21 natural pools, underwater caves and cliff diving. The property includes a bar and a restaurant that serves lunch.
Bathing suit, towel, camera and water shoes are all things that you should bring to get the most enjoyment out of your visit.
My sister’s and I always looked forward to the trip to Bluefields when we were kids: from packing the car with our picnic lunch to the drive through the cool hill country with the stop for Pepper Shrimps in Middle Quarters. From Negril your drive will be much less to visit this gem of a beach on the South Coast.
If you are a reggae fan as well, make sure to stop in at the Peter Tosh Museum.
Bamboo Walk (Avenue)
Bamboo grows wild in Jamaica. Near the Black River, between Middle Quarters and Lacovia, is a 2.5 mile stretch of the main road known as Bamboo Avenue (we called it Bamboo Walk as kids). The bamboo grows uninterrupted for several miles on both sides of the road, and for most of its length forms an arch above your head as you drive through.
The arch is mostly continuous but some of the bamboo was uprooted in previous years and it is yet to grow back fully. Bamboo grows very quickly though so it is still worth the drive from Negril to experience Bamboo Avenue. You’ll find a number of places along the road where you can pull over to buy refreshments and take photos.
Take some time this year when you come to Negril for the Reggae Marathon …274 days and counting… to experience the real Jamaica beyond the beach in Negril.
Until next time…
Reggae Marathon RunninGuy
NOTE: The featured image in this blog post is courtesy of Karen Fuchs