Self-described as having the travel bug, Ms. BJ Peart is a Jamaican travel blogger based in Charleston, South Carolina. After 21 years abroad, she returned to Jamaica with a mission. Having spent a great deal of time travelling throughout the 14 parishes, she has explored many a hidden gem perfect for the spur of the moment road trip or a carefully planned vacation. From ecovillages to natural attractions, here are 5 highly recommended places to visit in Jamaica when you are not at work.

Ms. Brenda J Peart Peart indulging in a juicy mango. Image contributed by Ms. Brenda J Peart’s Facebook page
  • The Source Farm Ecovillage  

Looking to take a break from technology and tap into a higher sense of self? Look no further than The Source Farm. Indulge in an authentic farm life experience by renting an earthbag dome home. Founded in 2005, the community boasts 9 permanent residents with that number expected to grow as visitors can choose to become permanent residents. Current residents practice a very simple way of life relying heavily on self-sustainability. They believe in remaining connected to nature with practices more likened to that of our ancestors, the Tainos than the modern man. The farm is host to a variety of fruit trees and ground provision. But even with the strong emphasis on self-sustainability, the ecovillage still manages to maintain external alliances with organizations such as The John’s Town Women’s Craft Cooperative, Summer Institute, and Youth Arts and Crafts Project. According to Ms. BJ Peart, this is definitely a place that she will be visiting again.

The dome homes at the Source Farm ecovillage. Image contributed by Ms. Brenda J Peart’s Facebook page
  • Holywell – Blue and John Crow Mountains

Nestled within the Blue and John Crow Mountains, the Holywell community raises you up high enough to have as many as four of Jamaica’s parishes at your feet. You will be overlooking St. Thomas, St. Andrew, Portland, and a bit of St. Mary. From rigorous hiking trails to peaceful nature walks, experts and novices alike can find enjoyment at Holywell. While you can rent a cozy cabin for a comfortable stay in the hills, visitors also have the option of camping outside to achieve real immersion and oneness with nature. As a bonus, visitors are granted the opportunity to hike to Jamaica’s highest point, the peak of the Blue Mountains. Here coffee lovers can get their fix directly from the source. Ms. B definitely advises that you make a switch from the cliche beach outing to the Holywell experience the next time you feel like going on an adventure.

Blue Mountain forests
  • White Horses in St. Thomas

If you are searching for captivating natural sceneries, then a visit to White Horses should be on your bucket list. You will find this small town roughly 36 kilometers east of Kingston in St. Thomas. Entering this small town, you will be welcomed by the beautiful mini waterfalls cascading from the rock walls along the road. While this site is gorgeous in the day time, it is at night that Ms. B suggests that you will have the most fun mingling with the excited community of locals that come out to socialize and enjoy the scenery. Perfectly fringed on one side by the Caribbean Sea, White Horses is the place to indulge in a scenic and tranquil view of one of Jamaica’s most beautiful beaches.  Funnily enough, the small town did not receive its name due to the presence of actual white horses in the area. Rather, it is because of the majesty of the waves as they religiously and consistently crash and break against the shore, giving the impression of white horses galloping towards the shore.

  • The Blue Lagoon

Shrouded in mystique and fantastical stories, the Blue Lagoon is one of the most magical places to have caught the attention of many visitors throughout the years. This location was the focal point of the Brooke Shields movie that was also named The Blue Lagoon. The calm water at the lagoon makes it the perfect place for swimming or taking family trips. According to local legend, the Blue Lagoon is said to be both bottomless and the home of an ancient dragon. The depth of the Blue Lagoon has, however, been confirmed at approximately 200 feet. While you will not encounter any giant winged, fire breathing reptiles, the magic of the Blue Lagoon cannot be denied. Visitors have noted that the colour of the water seems to change as if by magic throughout the day depending on how the sunlight hits the surface.

Ms. Brenda J Peart explores the countryside on her visit. Image contributed by Ms. Brenda J Peart’s Facebook page
  • Dub Club

Located on Skyline Drive, Dub Club is a space adorned with culturally inspired artwork and offers visitors the most amazing view of the city lights of Kingston all the way down to the wharf. You can rock the night away with fellow lovers of Roots Rock Reggae music visiting from all over the world. With performances by upcoming and well-established musicians, the vibe of this location is undeniably irie. Ms. B suggests that you ditch the high-heels for comfortable shoes when embarking on this particular adventure. Be sure to check out their merchandise shop and ital kitchen for a treat. Luckily it is now easier than ever to make your way to Dub Club as Reggae Hostel offers a shuttle service from their Half Way Tree location every Sunday evening.

The city view from Dub Club at Skyline Drive. Image contributed by Kingston Dub Club Facebook page
Patrons rocking the night away at Dub Club. Image contributed by Kingston Dub Club Facebook page

All in all, in the event that you would like to get away or just have a change of scenery there exists a lovely collection of natural and cultural paradises tucked away within the island paradise of Jamaica. Whether you are looking for the perfect honeymoon spot or simply a friendly environment for a family outing, you now have Ms. BJ Peart’s picks of 5 interesting places to visit in Jamaica when you are not at work. Regardless of your interests, you will be able to find somewhere that will provide you with an unforgettable experience from Dub Club on Skyline Drive St. Andrew to the quieter lifestyle of the Source Farm ecovillage in St. Thomas.

Ms. Brenda J Peart visits the Dance Ja studio. Image contributed by Ms. Brenda J Peart’s Facebook page
Ms. Brenda J Peart admiring the beautiful Sunset in Charleston, South Carolina (her hometown). Image contributed by Ms. Brenda J Peart’s Facebook page