Last month, I travelled to Jamaica for the first time. After a ten-hour flight and a two-hour transfer, exploring this paradise island didn’t sound like my idea of fun… But, staring out of the coach window, I was mesmerised by the colourful shacks flashing before my eyes. There was no way I wanted to miss out on any time I had to explore here; especially as I only had 72 hours.
Mystic Mountain is around a five-minute drive from Coho Rios. Which was great for me, as I could spend my morning exploring and still have plenty of time in the afternoon to relax by the pool at The Moon Palace.
There’s one thing you should know before you go, though: if you don’t like heights, don’t look down while you take the 700-foot chair lift into Mystic Mountain. If you’re an adventurer like me then you’re in luck, because the view of the jungle as you rise up is unbelievable; it’s by far the best way to see Ocho Rios.
After you’ve taken in the views, I’d recommend heading for the bobsled ride; this 1000m gravity-drive through the rainforest is a totally unique experience. Not only do you get to see some of the best views of the island, but you can also control how fast you go. When I close my eyes, I can still feel the rush of wind as we sped down the mountain on this amazing ride.
The following day, my adrenaline-fuelled trip continued as I travelled to Chukka to try river tubing and quad biking for the first time.
I went with a group of friends to try river tubing , which was indescribable. Once our individual dinghies were tied together, the guide led us down river by leading from the front. Even though he had us singing songs and playing games while we tackled the ripples of the water, I couldn’t help holding my hands over my eyes as the exhilaration of the experience got the better of me. I really did love it, though!
After river tubing, we went off-track on a guided quad bike tour across the tropical countryside. We zoomed through puddles as high as my waist (or so it felt), and got the chance to stop and take in the views of the mystical mountains. The whole experience meant I really got a feel for the “real Jamaica”.
Dunns River Falls
I spent the rest of my trip in Ocho Rios, where I got the chance to go to Dunns River Falls. I was first to go on the first zip wire – there are three in total, which get longer each time. After the safety speech, I could feel my heart pounding in my chest. As my feet left the tree ledge and the wire took my weight, I stopped to look down at Dunns River. I was overwhelmed with adrenaline, but the sound of the water flowing echoed around me and calmed me down. It’s certainly a memory I’ll never forget.
Once the thrill of zip wire was over, it was time to stretch my legs. The guide led our group up into Dunns River where the water started to get higher and higher. It was a workout, but fun experiencing the natural water slides. My favourite part was actually the natural massage, where the pressure of the water pressed therapeutically into your back.
Despite only spending 72 hours on this Caribbean island, I fell in love with Jamaica. I explored my adventurous side and it gave me a thirst to experience even more. I’d definitely like to go back and uncover more of the local culture.