There is little doubt that Brand Jamaica has captured the hearts and minds of travellers across the globe. Rich cultural heritage, warm, friendly people, outstanding gastronomy, riveting sounds of the one drop reggae beat, world class athletics and beautiful land and seascapes are just a few of the things that come to mind when you think about Jamaica.
To fully experience Jamaica, is to know the intimate spaces of our island; it is to taste the delicious land crab steamed with escallion, thyme, pimentos and pepper served with corn and coconut bits that have been sold along Heroes Circle for generations. It is to be delighted by the artistic reawakening of downtown Kingston. It is to recognize the essence of the people, their laughter and their cries. Our story begins in the capital city of Kingston, the cultural and entertainment mecca and indeed, the heartbeat of the island.
I-Xplor offers a 4-day cultural experience that transports you away from the “touristy” resort towns and into the very heart of Jamaica. On this journey you can immerse yourself and revel in a perfect blend of eco and community tourism, nightlife, history, art and of course sun, sea, sand and an abundance of fun.
Day 1 - Party Like a Real Yaadie
Jamaicans are vibes masters - consider what it would be like to party like a Jamaican; to hang out at some of the best local spots and vibe with our people like true “Yaadies”? Let us help you kick start your vacation adventure with a night on the town or as Jamaicans would say, “do road”! But first… food, and not just any food. We are taking you on a culinary journey to a bellyful of authentic Jamaican delights with your choice of perfectly seasoned jerked chicken or pork, roasted fish peppered to your liking or a rich and bubbling cup of red peas soup.
After you are satiated, get ready to move and groove all night to a diverse nightlife ranging from smooth Reggae Dub Clubs, wild Dancehall parties that keep you rocking til’ the early hours of the morning to bar hopping for drinks that will get you into the real spirit of Kingston.
Day 2 - Escape to the Blue Mountains
After a festive night, followed by some much needed rest, your tour guide will take you to Craighton Estate, nestled within the cool canopies of the Blue Mountains. Relax and enjoy the passing views as you are transported through hilly terrain to approximately 2,600 feet above sea level. See firsthand how the world renown Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee is grown and produced. If you are a coffee connoisseur, you will know that nothing awakens the senses more than a freshly brewed cup of coffee. Sip, breathe and enjoy the panoramic vistas overlooking Kingston, the lush vegetation and the soul replenishing hum of nature through cascading waterfalls and birds calling. Enjoy lunch out in the cool, crisp air at one of the many scenic and quaint cafes nearby.
Make sure you pack your hiking shoes for a trek across a river to hear about an important aspect of Jamaica’s history from a Rastafarian Elder. Learn how the fulfillment of a prophecy made by political activist Marcus Garvey that a black king would rise to the throne in Africa to redeem the people initiated a powerful movement. Follow the recount of how the 1930 crowning of His Imperial Majesty, Haile Selassie I in Ethiopia inspired the Rastafarian movement in Jamaica and played a major role in shaping a part of the island’s culture as we know it today.
Day 3 - Sun, Sea & The Sunken City
All aboard for a tour of Port Royal, a once wealthy, thriving centre for shipping and commerce in the Caribbean, dubbed the “wickedest place on earth”, governed largely by piracy and illegal trading. Over 300 years have passed since the disaster of the 1692 earthquake and this half-sunken city is now a humble fishing village teeming with historic remnants of its infamous past. Your guide will take you to the Fort Charles Museum, where you can learn about this and more while sipping on some rum punch and enjoying the various heritage sites and the cays along the way.
Lunch is at the famous Gloria’s, where you can indulge in a wide variety of richly flavoured seafood dishes including fried and steamed fish, honey jerk shrimp and curried lobster with traditional Jamaican sides such as festival - a sweet milky fried dough and bammy - a fried or steamed starchy flat bread made from cassava and soaked in coconut milk.
Of course, no visit to Jamaica is complete until you have surrendered your body to the gentle kiss of the tropical sun and the warm turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. Spend some beach time at the popular Lime and Maiden Cays, about a 15-minute boat ride from Port Royal then return to your hotel to recoup for your final day in Kingston.
Day 4 - The Visual Stories of Jamaica, An Art Lover’s Paradise
Wrap up your Kingston Adventure with a highlight tour of the city, including Emancipation Park, a tropical oasis in the heart of the city, noted for its bronze sculpture of the unshackled figures of a black man and woman memorializing the August 1, 1838 Emancipation Declaration. The 7-acre park is beautifully lined with lush foliage, expansive lawns, and an exercise trail. Next, a stop at the National Stadium to see statues of our many athletic icons, among them our very own sprint legend, Usain Bolt, “The Fastest Man Alive”. The highlight tour ends at Water Lane, an art lover’s dream, to take in the beautiful hand painted murals along the walls of this pedestrian street.
This carefully curated 4-day tour will leave you with an appreciation of who we are as a people and show what Jamaica has to offer over and above its popular white sand beaches and all-inclusive resorts. Experience and enjoy a fully guided tour of our Capital City, Kingston – the heartbeat of Jamaica and the Cultural Mecca of the Caribbean.
To learn more about the I-Xplor Kingston Experience, or to customize it, visit ixplorcaribbeantours.com.