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Mandeville Travel Guide, Jamaica

The south coast of Jamaica, unspoiled region of the Caribbean island has remained unchanged by the tourist development that marked the other parts of Jamaica.

The centre of this region is the town of Mandeville, a mountain resort situated at over 2,000 feet above sea level on a 600m (2,000 ft.) plateau in the tropical highlands. The grassy square is somewhat like a village green and Mandeville has been described as the most English town in Jamaica.

The towns of Whitehouse, Treasure Beach and Black River are picturesque and expect tourists to visit them.

On the southeast coast there lies only one main town: Morant Bay, the place where slaves revolted against the rulers.

West to Kingston, Jamaica’s capital, is the former colonial capital, Port Royal. The city was plundered by pirates and in 1692 an earthquake destroyed it. Nowadays it is a highly tourist attraction due to the movie Pirates of the Caribbean which also presents Gallows Point, the place where pirated were hanged and their bodies were displayed as a warning to others.

Northwest Port Royal is the historic Spanish Town, once Jamaica’s capital. This town is famous for the trial of pirate Calico Jack Rackham whose body was squeezed into a tiny cage in order to be a warning for the other pirates. The Spanish Town is also the location of the House of Assembly, the place where Jamaica’s representatives met until the British conquered the island in 1866. Another interesting site is Cathedral Church of St James, built in 1714.

If you go west along the southern coast you will get to Bluefields. Here Henry Morgan set sail in 1670 in order to plunder the Spanish Panama. Bluefields is located in Cowpit Country, where runaway slaves revolted against the British for their freedom. The descendants of these slaves are the Maroons, who refused to be enslaved by the British.

The Black River is also part of the South coast with its crocodiles that aren’t aggressive.

You can get to this unspoiled paradise after a one hour drive from the International Airport at Montego Bay. The road will lead you through white sand beaches, fishing villages, waterfalls and wetlands, all part of this peaceful region.

The Arawak were the first to live along these shores before their civilization was destroyed. The Spanish settlers came in this region searching for gold; today's tourists seek for the unspoiled secluded beaches. Fishermen still sell their fish in open air markets.

There are plenty of attractions in this part of Jamaica. The secluded white sand beaches, Gourie Caves, the ostriches at the Cashoo Ostrich Park and the crocodiles in the Black River. A trip to Y.S. Falls is worth the effort. The YS falls are gorgeous and it consists of ten cascades.

The farm bearing the same name as the falls is 53 km from the town and once there you have to walk through the woods to get to the falls where you can have a bath, a picnic or swing on the ropes that are there for the brave ones.

You can visit Appleton Rum Estate in the sugar cane fields of St Elizabeth parish and learn about the process of making rum. A small museum presents artifacts from early days used to turn sugar cane into rum, a specific drink of Jamaican people. Tourists can even taste samples of liqueurs and rum.

Visitors may experience fine Jamaican cuisine in the restaurants located on Treasure Beach. The main focus is set on seafood such as escoveitched fish, spicy peppered shrimp or lobster.

The resorts offer all-inclusive in fine resorts where entertainment is part of the package.

There are plenty of bars in the area. One of the most famous is Pelican Bar, situated on stilts made from acacia trees. Another one is the little hut of Floyd having a half-thatched half-tarp roof. Here you can have dinner and drink Red Stripe beer and other types of drinks.

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