For most of us, a vacation to Jamaica conjures up images of sipping fruity drinks poolside and sunbathing along the pristine beaches; kicking back and relaxing with our feet up. However, Jamaica can also be a fantastic vacation destination for the action seeker!
There are over 1,000 cave systems in the country and you can build a thrill-seeking vacation around any of them. The Caves, an all-inclusive resort in Negril, is built right into a cliff and offers a number of action-packed activities including spelunking, cliff diving, snorkeling and scuba diving. The resort itself is absolutely beautiful and features a saltwater pool, private hot tub in a furnished cave, yoga on the beach, natural caves and cliffside alcoves, a cliff-top beach and cliffside jaccuzzi.
Speaking of cliffside views, The Caves’ restaurant and bar are actually built into the rocks, too, creating a very cool and unique scenic experience. The resort also offers water rafts, kayaks and snorkeling equipment for guest use, a guided snorkeling tour, bicycles and bicycle tours, plus land and sea day excurions. JetBlue offers direct flights to Jamaica from New York City, making The Caves a great off-season getaway.
Caves Restaurant and Bar
While in Jamaica, you can also explore sinkholes, underground rivers and caves in-depth with help and guidance from the Jamaican Caves Organisation. JCO offers three different hiking experiences. First, there is the Daytrip which is the easiest and least expensive excursion offered. The Daytrip covers a total of 4 kilometers and hikers can expect to see tropical forests, birds, butterflies and karst topography along the way. Depature is at 10:00 a.m. with an estimated return time of 2:00 p.m. The cost of the hike is $40 per person ($100 with transportation included).
Next is the Troy Trail, which can be completed in as little as six hours but may take up to 10 hours, depending on the overall fitness of the group. Due to the length of the trail and sunlight hours, the tour leaves at 8:00 a.m. Inexpensive but very modest accomodations are available nearby if you don’t mind “roughing it.” The guidance cost is $75 per person ($175 with transportation). There is a slight discount for groups of five to eight, but reservations must be made at least two weeks in advance.
Lastly, there is the Quick Step Trail, which covers 30 kilometers in two days, requiring an overnight stay in modest accomodations. The fee is $200 per person with necessary transportation. The same reservation-based discount applies for groups of five to eight. For more information on these tours, visit JamaicanCaves.org.