Mountainous and beautiful, Columbus described it as ‘the fairest island that eyes have beheld’. It is the third largest of the Caribbean islands, with lush forests, rushing rivers and superb beaches.

Montego Bay, Jamaica’s tourist capital, and Ocho Rios is where I met and fell in love with Jamaica. Mo’bay’s bustling city centre, vendor stalls and waterfront is an exciting place for shopping and eating, but close by in the forested highlands of Rockland Bird Sanctuary you can feed tiny hummingbirds from handheld bottles of sugar water. Also nearby is Rose Hall-a fascinating Grand House of the Plantation times-the home of Annie Palmer, the White Witch of Rose Hall who murdered three husbands and a string of slave lovers before meeting her own gory end!

In its more recent history, Bob Marley brought fame to Jamaica. His songs of peace and liberation, the reggae beat and rhythms sound throughout the Caribbean and hallmark its unique atmosphere to all the world.

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But just west of Ochio Rios is where I’ll stay! At Dunns River Falls, a cool mountain waterfall tumbles 600 feet down a series of ledges through the forest to the coast. We held hands and daisy chained up the slippery route to the top. It’s perfectly safe, but you still stare aghast at the challenge. Afterwards we made the acquaintance of some very friendly dolphins at Dolphins Cove. We swam, jumped, twirled and snuggled up to these beautiful creatures. The experience is ethereal!

So Jamaica, farewell! But not goodbye–I’ll be back!

If you’d like to know more email charmaine@hallmarktravel.com

Meet me in the gallery!