COSIGN Travel: Jamaica 2016

slide-05Cosign Travel: Jamaica
By: Milana Alchemista | @milanalchemista

COSIGN traveled to Jamaica this summer, and it was everything you could imagine. Beautiful beaches, beautiful people, sweltering heat, and freezing drinks. We flew into Montego Bay and took the 3 hour bus to Ocho Rios where we ultimately stayed at the Jewel Dunn River Inn, a seriously gorgeous plantation style, all-inclusive, adult ONLY resort. Upon arrival, we were greeted with cool towels (because it was hot as hell) and an even cooler adult beverage (because…. vacation). After check in, we were escorted up to our room decked out with a king sized four-poster bed, full complimentary mini bar and pristine view of the beach.img_3619

Ah yes, we were very close to being in heaven, but as soon as we had filled up on all the free (!!) food and drinks our bellies could handle and did all the obligatory baecation activities (read, lay on the beach, and continuously order Jerk chicken and drinks) we quickly realized this would be over all too soon. We didn’t want to spend our whole vacation drunk in bed (although we were tempted). Here are four things, besides the obvious, you have got to do when, not if, you visit Jamaica.img_3623

1. Get drunk!
Not just normal drunk, but get Jamaica-drunk. Extra points if you get drunk with a Jamaican.
Because of a long history of sugar plantations, Jamaica has the illest rum you can get your hands on. After you’re done sucking down all the free drinks at your hotel, ask for some dark rum neat (that means no ice, no mixer, you basic!) or a fresh daiquiri, not one of those sugary pre-made things. If you’re really about your business visit Appleton Estate, Jamaica’s biggest and oldest rum distillery, you can get your swerve on while you learn some island history. Drunk history is better than normal history, right?

2. Do some Bob Marley shit!
Where we stayed in Ocho Rios was close to Nine Mile in the province of St. Ann, where Bob Marley grew up. Official tours of his childhood home and village are offered and while it seemed to us like a bit of a tourist trap, we quickly realized the locals regarded Bob Marley as much more than just an attraction. Many people we met even referred to visiting his childhood home as a “pilgrimage”. Needless to say, Bob Marley isn’t just a Jamaican gimmick (like Red Stripe beer), he really is a hometown hero, which made the tour kind of amazingly inspirational. If that isn’t enough convincing for you, there are also plenty opportunities to get….ugh ….elevated.

3. Shop!
There are a ridiculous amount of people seeking to sell you things. All sorts of things. There will indefinitely be someone wanting to sell you weed (buy it), alcohol (buy it), and lots of t-shirts( ehh…buy it). In comparison to other vacations I’ve been on, Jamaica had some pretty nice trinkets for sale, I even got a handmade bikini. While I fully endorse collecting useful souvenirs from your travels, I will be so disappointed if you buy anything for the price marked on the tag. It’s not rude to negotiate a better price, in fact it is expected. If you feel like you absolutely need that “we be jammin” t-shirt, at least get it for 4 bucks, not the ten on the price tag.

4. Nature time!
Besides a stunning coastline, Jamaica has surprisingly beautiful countryside’s as well. After you’re done playing in the water, head inland and enjoy the rolling hills and greenery. If you’re more active, there are plenty of zip line courses, horseback rides, ATV trails, and hikes. If you’re not with all that, there are nature walks and tours you can do and still get to take it all in. Learning all of the natural remedies around the island, was actually my favorite activity. For like a week after I was obsessed with the idea of herbal medicine, but I gave up and started taking Claritin again. It was nice while it lasted. Either way, don’t go home without seeing (while above the influence) all the awesome things you don’t get to see at home.

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