Historical Emancipation Park
We went to this beautiful park in Kingston. It commemorates the abolition of slavery. It represents the freedom of the slaves and of the Jamaican people.
Many people can be seen jogging around a running track in the park.
Jamaica used to be populated by indigenous Taino/Arowaks. But these people became extinct as a result of a combination of treatment by the Spanish colonisers, diseases contracted from the Spanish, and from natural disasters.
The English defeated the Spanish and began colonising Jamaica. The English saw massive economic potential from the sugar cane plantations. The sugar cane plantations required intensive physical labour, and sadly, this led to the introduction of slaves from west African countries to Jamaica, because it was believed that the African slaves could endure the heat of Jamaica and other Caribbean countries.
By the late 18th Century, Jamaica had the largest number of slaves in the British West Indies and also a very successful sugar industry. The sugar industry depended on slave labour, so the slave trade flourished.
There was however a growing debate about slavery in the British Parliament.
In 1808, the slave trade was abolished. However it took many more years for slaves to gain their full freedom.
In 1823, the Anti-Slavery Society was founded.
The Emancipation Act was passed on July 31, 1834 in the British West Indies at midnight.
However, full freedom to all slaves was not granted until four years later by Queen Victoria of England on August 1, 1838.
300,000 slaves were now free by law.
This abolition of slavery in Jamaica occurred well before the American Civil War of 1861-1865.
Emancipation Park is of significant historical importance to Jamaica and all slaves and descendants of slaves.
Well maintained gardens and lawns with beautiful flowers and the water features and photo banners of well known Jamaican politicians, artists, historical figures as well as charity workers who sacrificed themselves for the freedom of all Jamaican people and the country.
- Historical Travel
- National/State Park
Dunns River Falls
This is a Water Falls Park located at Ocho Rios north of Kingston. This is a nice place for family and couples to go on picnics, and there's other activities they offer like catamaran and boat rides etc. The water falls end down into the soft sand beach. People can actually climb the water falls rocks from the bottom where the main beach is and all the way to the top. Mostly people climb in groups and are escorted by a resort staff, but you can also do it on your own like we did.
There are also beautiful flowers and plants in the location.
People can also go swimming on the small beach.
The entrance fee is Jamaican Dollar J$ 1700 or about US$ 15. Current exchange rate as of Nov 2014 is 1 U$ = J$ 110. However if you are a resident of Jamaica the entrance is only J$ 600 or U$ 5. When we went here there are a lot of tourists from overseas and likewise many locals with their families. The water park has an eatery, a souvenir shop, shower rooms and toilets. You can also hire a locker if you have valuables with you at about U$ 5 for the whole day but there is a sign along the locker areas saying that they are not responsible if any of your stuff gets stolen or lost.
It is really good that we have a chance to visit and spend time here, we really enjoyed it.
- Water Sports
- Family Travel
Wickedest Place on Earth
PORT ROYAL and the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN:
We love history, and so when our Jamaican friend suggested that we visit Port Royal, Fort Charles, we were very interested.
There is a museum onsite, and the entry fee also includes a guided tour of the artefacts in the museum and the grounds of the Fort.
The guide we had had a wealth of information to share, and enjoyed telling the small group historical stories and information.
We learnt a lot during this tour, and it also gave us an appetite for more historical information.
There is an armaments building on site which was tilted and partially buried in one of the earthquakes. Inside the building, there is a point from which it is said to be 90 miles from Cuba. Trying to walk and maintain balance in the building is a challenge, and created much amusement. It felt like we were all at sea and struggling to stay upright.
There are also many canons on the site.
In 1657, the English Governor invited a group of pirates known as the Brethren of the Coast to come to Port Royal and make it their home port. The Brethren was made up of a group of pirates who were descendants of cattle-hunting buccaneers who had turned to piracy after being robbed by the Spanish. These pirates concentrated their attacks on Spanish shipping. These pirates later became legal English privateers who were given letters of marque by Jamaica’s governor.
Around the same time that pirates were invited to Port Royal, England launched a series of attacks against Spanish shipping vessels and coastal towns. By sending the newly appointed privateers after Spanish ships and settlements, England had successfully set up a system of defense for Port Royal. Spain was forced to continually defend their property, and did not have the means with which to retake its land.
The infamous and legendary pirate Henry Morgan moved to Port Royal from Tortuga.
In 1673 there were 17,272 persons in Jamaica. In that year Sir Henry Morgan became Lieutenant-Governor. This was the same Henry Morgan who, in 1668, attacked Porto Bello on the Isthmus of Panama, and plundered it. In 1671, leading a body of buccaneers from Jamaica, he attacked and captured the old city of Panama, plundered it and burnt it to the ground.
Port Royal was the most economically important port in the English colonies. At the height of its popularity, the city had one drinking house for every ten residents. In July 1661 alone, forty new licenses were granted to taverns. During a twenty-year period that ended in 1692, nearly 6,500 people lived in Port Royal. In addition to prostitutes and buccaneers, there were four goldsmiths, forty-four tavern keepers, and a variety of artisans and merchants who lived in 2000 buildings crammed into 51 acres (21 ha) of real estate. 213 ships visited the seaport in 1688. The city’s wealth was so great that coins were preferred for payment rather than the more common system of bartering goods for services.
Following Henry Morgan’s appointment as lieutenant governor, Port Royal began to change. Pirates were no longer needed to defend the city. The selling of slaves took on greater importance.
In 1687, Jamaica passed anti-piracy laws.
Instead of being a safe haven for pirates, Port Royal became noted as their place of execution.
In 1688 Sir Henry Morgan died and was buried with honours at Port Royal.
On June 7, 1692, the great Port Royal earthquake occurred. A watch was recovered from the sea bed which showed the time as 11:43am. The watch stopped when the earthquake hit. That watch can be seen on display in the museum.
Port Royal was then the chief city in Jamaica, famous for its riches. The House of Assembly met there. The buccaneers took their prizes there. The houses were substantially built of stone. The inhabitants lived a wild, reckless life, and Port Royal was described as one of the "wickedest places on earth."
Thousands perished in the earthquake of 1692. Minor shocks occurred all that day and for several days afterwards. The earthquake was felt all over the island; great landslides occurred and some springs disappeared. The dead bodies of the people floated in harbour and rotted on the land. Port Royal was almost completely ruined. Its surviving inhabitants endeavored to restore what was left of it to its former importance, but in 1704, a fire broke out in one of its warehouses and destroyed every building except the forts.
The entry for non-Jamaicans is about $10 USD.
If you like history, this place is a must.*
- Historical Travel
- Museum Visits
Milk River Baths
Milk River Bath is located at the Town of Milk River in the parish of Clarendon. We went to this place to experience what some locals enjoy doing on their weekends and holidays. It is bathing at the private spas with radioactive mineral waters, This bath resort spa also have rooms accommodation and a restaurant to cater for visitors who travel from a distance and want to stay longer. However we only stayed here for few hours. The first thing we were told was we should not stay in the spa continuously for more than 20 minutes or so and not more than 3 baths a day that we have to get off the water and later dip again due to its radioactive mineral contents. The water on the spa is continuously flowing and never recirculating so it is always fresh water coming from the underground spring and flows out into the river. It is a mineral water and is known for health well being like treating rheumatism , arthritis, nerve problems, headaches, skin disease etc. The spring mineral water contains high level of Magnesium, Calcium, Sulphur and Natural Chloride. The water has a temperature of 90 to 95 Fahrenheit. Be aware that the river nearby is also a crocodile natural habitat and they go to the park at night times sometimes you would see the crocs crossing the roads and going up and down the river. According to reports the mineral spring water here is the most highly radioactive in the world. Milk River Bath is another of Jamaica's great spas attraction. The radioactivity of the water is many times greater than many of the world's famous spas.
The relative radioactivity of the water has been found to be:
• 9 times as active as Bath, England
• 50 times as active as Vichy, France
• 5 times as active as Karlsbad, Austria
• 54 times as active as Baden, Switzerland*
- Spa and Resort
- Family Travel
Top hot spots for adventure seekers in Jamaica
1. Travel Around Jamaica - Private Day Tours
Using Travel around Jamaica (TAJ tours) to book all the best spots. They can arrange pick-up from the airport or your local hotel.
2. Dunn's River Falls
Dunn's River Falls are truly breathtaking cascading waterfalls offers 600 feet of climbing to its guests. If you are physically able to climb the falls it is a must-it's an incredible cascading falls challenge.
3. Rainforest Bobsled Jamaica at Mystic Mountain
Take a scenic ride along the North Coast to Bobsled Jamaica at Mystic Mountain Rainforest, one of the newest and exciting attractions in Ocho Rios. The rainforest sprawls on over 100 acres of land stretching from the north coast, entrance near Dunn’s River Falls to over 700 feet above sea level at the peak of Mystic Mountain.
4. Jamaica Zipline Adventure Tours
Swing through the trees with the greatest of ease on this adrenaline-charged Jamaica zipline tour! Ride a zipline in Jamaica - soar from one platform to the next amongst the tree-tops 45 feet (14 meters) above the ground!
5. Martha Brae River
Rafting on the Martha Brae is the island's number one rafting attraction, located about three miles from the town of Falmouth. The tour is twenty miles from Montego Bay and forty from Ocho Rios.
- Diving and Snorkeling
- Family Travel
Hike the river falls-Dunn River Tour W/snorkelling
Had a great time with this tour. It can be arranged from most of the hotels in Montego Bay.
It is day tour that starts with bus to pick you up and take you to Ochos Rios where Dunns River Falls is located. Since it is about an hours drive, you take lunch here that they have prepared. Then, you get on a boat that takes you out to do some snorkelling. Then to the river. Here you climb right up the middle of the river falls and then back to the boat; where they serve drinks and have a Jamaican style party as the boat returns you to catch the bus. Really good time. Irie mon.