Written by Zoe Faulkner on 12 / 08 / 2021
Gap Year Advice
Photo credit: Rock Staar, Unspash
We are hugely excited about taking the leap to Jamaica - the land of Bob Marley, Usain Bolt, jerk chicken and world famous rum.
But it is so much more - and we are being guided off the beaten track by our local expert Maureen Wright-Evans who is going to head up our sustainable volunteering adventures across the island.
Lucky for us she has agreed to become our 'Jamaican fixer' to deliver Leap Team programs and help Leap VIPs facilitate their independent travels safely and responsibly. Born and bred on the island, Maureen and her team will provide an in depth understanding of the islands history and culture.
This is not to be missed.
Kingston - “The heartbeat of the island.”
This bustling town is a composition mix of history, culture and energy - a direct contrast from the laid-back north coast resort towns and remote areas. This is Bob Marley’s town, so you’ll quickly discover the spirit of ‘One Love’ and explore the extensive botanical gardens in the whole of the Caribbean — Hope Gardens, which are utterly stunning BTW.
However with all major cities you get the feeling of contrast so expect to see glorious colonial houses mixed up with very basic homes for those living in poverty and with little access to an education and healthcare. This is where Maureen steps in as she has set up many influential community projects to address this where our leapers can help teach, build and make a difference.
The Blue Lagoon
The Blue Lagoon is located in Port Antonio, is around 180 to 200 feet deep and famous for its glistening, turquoise blue waters encircled by lush greeny – a vision of beauty. You may recognise this stunning lagoon from the Brooke Shields’ movie, The Blue Lagoon. The water is known to be magical as it changes colour throughout the day depending on how the sun is shining on the surface.
Hike to the top of Dunn’s River Falls near Ocho Rios
Dunn's River Falls is one of Jamaica's national treasures standing tall at 180 foot high and 600 foot long this natural landmark is world famous. The small dome-shaped cataracts are usually associated with thermal spring activity found in limestone caves. This, combined with its location near to the sea, gives Dunn's River the distinction of being the only one of its kind in the Caribbean, if not the world.
Blue Mountain Highlights Tour
Jamaica is famous for its coffee which predominately comes from the Blue Mountains - which are the the highest mountains in the Caribbean. If you can, you must visit the Creighton Estate to see the process in action and travel back in time. This coffee is the most exclusive coffee worldwide.
Seven Mile Beach
Across Jamaica you’ll find at least 50 stunning beaches, but one of the best is the Seven Mile beach in Negril. Think white powdery sand, shallow waters and crystal clear turquoise waters. Utter heaven.
Bob Marley Museum
Jamaica is home to so many big names in Reggae including Bob Marley, Jimmy Cliff, Greggory Issacs, Shaggy, and Sean Paul and was historically used as an expression of political and social views and connected to the Rastafari movement, which began in the 1930s.
The best place to get a feel for this history is by visiting the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston - got to be done.
We are currently putting this together (watch this space) and are scripting a 4 week itinerary which will include a phase of community development, teaching, conservation and loads of the exploration outlined above.
on 12 / 08 / 2021