Farther east, the business
section of downtown is home to many international corporations,
consulate offices, banks, insurance companies, and the world-class
Jamaica Convention Centre. This is the home of the International
Seabed Authority, the UN body that creates all laws for the world’s
The complete story
Adventure Guide - This travel guide walks with the adventurous
traveler to the heart of Jamaica, to the miles of sand beaches,
to the rugged Blue Mountains, to the country villages that provide
a peek at the real Jamaica|
modern center lies along the lovely waterfront on Ocean Boulevard,
where parks overlook the harbor and you can enjoy an afternoon with
the locals, dining on street food and absorbing the atmosphere.
This area is generally safe during weekday business hours, but when
5 o’clock rolls around it takes on the feeling of a ghost town as
business people head back up into the safety of the hills.
Most Kingston travelers
spend their time in New Kingston, north of the downtown area.
Bounded by Old Hope Road on the east side and Half Way Tree Road
(which changes to Constant Spring Road) on the west, the main thoroughfare
through New Kingston is Hope Road. Here you’ll find the modern
convention hotels, restaurants and nightclubs preferred by most
of the city’s visitors.
North of New Kingston lies
the city’s most beautiful area. Magnificent homes grace the Constant
Springs neighborhood, which offers stunning vistas, especially
in the early evening when you can watch the city lights come out.
East of Kingston, the views are even more spectacular, both day
and night. Follow Hope Road past the University of the West Indies
as it becomes Gordon Town Road and curls its way up into the Blue
AUTHORS’ TIP : Hire a good driver
for this stretch of Colorado Rockies-type road. Drop-offs are sheer
and there are no guardrails!
Wherever you travel in
Kingston you’ll find cuisine from around the globe. This wealth
of dining options is partly due to the 35 international embassies
and consulates based right in this city, the largest number found
in the Caribbean.
Think twice about renting
a car here. Along with the usual Jamaica traffic problems (which
range from goats in the road to king-size potholes), you’ll be faced
with a potential crime problem. With all that said, there are several
car rental agencies in town.
Budget Car Rental
876-924-8762 or 924-8626
Fiesta Car Rentals
Island Car Rentals
The best transportation
option within Kingston is a taxi. You can catch one at any hotel,
the airports and in most shopping areas. Travelers should be careful
to only use licensed taxis; these have a red license plate that
indicates the taxi is a Public Passenger Vehicle (PPV). Taxi rates
vary but are figured by car, not by passenger. Fares average about
US $5-7 for 10 miles.
Few of Jamaica’s taxis
are metered. If you accept a driver’s offer of his services as a
tour guide, be sure to agree on a price before the vehicle is put
Taxi tours are an excellent
way to see the city. You can set your own itinerary and travel at
your own pace. Sun Island Tours and Limousine Service ( 876-901-8826) offers guided tours.
Another option is a guided
group tour. You’ll find several tours for different interests.
GALAXY LEISURE AND TOURS
75 Red Hills Road, Kingston 20
931-0428, fax 876-931-8792
E-mail [email protected]
This company offers a large
number of both individual and group tours. Options include a Kingston
Historic Tour (Devon House, National Heroes Park, Craft Market and
more), a Kingston Cultural Tour (Terra Nova, Devon House, Bob Marley
Museum, National Art Gallery), Blue Mountain Eco Tour (with a stop
at Sangster’s Liquor Factory), Blue Mountain Highlight Tour, Kingston
by Night, Ocho Rios Highlight Tour (Shaw Park Gardens and Dunn’s
River Falls), a Black River Safari Tour (including YS Falls), Lime
Cay Picnic on Sundays (with transfer from Morgan’s Harbour in Kingston),
Rafting on the Rio Grande with departure from Kingston, Port Antonio
Highlights, and a Kingston Shopping Tour.
TOURING SOCIETY OF JAMAICA
876-975-7158 or 876-944-8400
E-mail [email protected] or [email protected]
The Touring Society of
Jamaica is a unique operator. Since 1991 it has offered unusual
tours that give an insider’s view of the island. Itineraries include
arts, architecture, music, gardens, natural history and epicurean
delights. They are designed for individual interests and might include
such activities as an overnight trip to the Blue Mountains to sample
Jamaica’s best coffee, an afternoon trip to Spanish Bridge in the
Ocho Rios countryside, or a week-long quest for Jamaica’s arts and
The society is especially
known for its mountain hikes into the surrounding Blue Mountains.
- Old Tavern Blue Mountain Coffee Estate.
This excursion to one of the top coffee plantations on the island
includes a picnic lunch.
- The Fairy Glade Trail and Newcastle.
This hike takes travelers through several ecosystems, ending the
day with sunset at the Gap Café.
- National Gallery and Spanish Town. History
and art buffs enjoy this tour into the city and the nearby historic
community of Spanish Town.
- Kingston Nightlife. This is a personalized
tour of the nightlife for which Kingston is known.
The Touring Society plans custom holidays
and events in Jamaica and can best be contacted via e-mail at the
30 Balmoral Avenue, Kingston 10
876-960-6685, fax 876-929-7512
This tour company offers
hikes in the Blue Mountains, including camping, as well as
bird watching and caving in the Cockpit Country.
More information on
• Where to stay
• Where to eat
• Things to see & do
for anything and everything Jamaican in our online store.