A Recommended Guide in Negril
On our last visit to Negril, a friend of ours introduced us to his longtime guide, Ian Perry. We got to be great friends and found him to be knowledgeable, reliable and resourceful. Once, after realizing I'd left my backpack at a jerk place 20 miles behind us (DOH!), Ian whipped out his cellphone, found the number, and made sure the manager had it safely tucked away. We returned & I fetched my wallet, camera, etc. He's a lifesaver and he never even broke a sweat.
Ian took care of everything, from a shopping trip downtown to a private mini-bus back to the airport. He set up beach trips, made sure we had what we needed, steered us away from bad bargains and even translated for us (Jamaican/English). He's a laid-back Rasta, but he instantly stepped in when a hustler made me for a mark, and sent the guy on his way.
Hiring a personal guide was surprisingly worthwhile, if a bit pricey. We paid him about $10(US)/hr or $100 for a full day, plus meals, drinks and other stuff. Ian Perry can be contacted by writing him at Little London P.O., Westmoreland, Jamaica, W.I. His last known local cell number is 876-439-3949.
MUST HAVE SUNBLOCK
we only took carry on baggage but i suggest taking a spare bag along if you plan to shop. then you will have something to bring home those treasures you must have. sandals, a few swimsuits, 1-2 pair of shorts only. Pack light. we didn't dine anywhere fancy so we only needed our swimsuits and shorts. A beach wrap is a must for us ladies. it doubles as a skirt or dress to dine at your resort. PeptoBismol (for just in case), sunblock (even if you tan at home), tylenol (for the mornings if you indulge too much), hygiene products and any prescriptions that you have to take. take your cameras and film with you. Even though I tan very easily in the States and rarely burn at home, I highly recommend that you take sunblock with you and use it!!!! Especially on your face. I found out the hard way.
As you travel the back roads and thru the curves and over the hills and construction you will finually arrive at the Falls. It has a lot less people than Dunns Falls. No people bothering you to buy things. When you first arrive you will ride a bus pulled by tractor back to the falls thru a field with cows in it, then thru the jungle. You will go thru a few gates so don't get jumpy. We watched a ffew people swing from a rope for a $1 into the water. You can too ! It's very quite and more like a picnic area. The trees hold many air plants. It is very beautiful. If your lucky there will be someone there to tell you what the plants are. We brought some snacks & drink of our own. There are nice restrooms to change. A shelter house and a fella was there selling beer and other drinks. There was a gift shop at the very beginning but not at the falls.
Where the locals go, the real Jamaican food
Now, this is where the locals eat- not a tourist spot. You can find affordable genuine Jamaican food; ackee and saltfish, tuna or baracuda, steamed callaloo, bamee, fried bread fruit, sweet plantains, and festivals (a fried bread stick). Good food, but it is suggested that you don't go by yourself at night- druggies have a tendency to migrate over there. Just be aware. There is also nightly entertainment on their stage right outside the porch during the peak season. I love the bamee and salt-fish and also the baracuda. You can get a lot of food for about $J 400.
At Rick's Cafe while waiting for the sunset, watch the Jamaican "lifeguards" dive from the cliffs and the 95 foot tree dive. Have a few drinks, tip the lifeguards, then have a 45 foot leap yourself. The rush is amazing though a sure buzzkill. Try it, this old man did.