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  • Writer's pictureCleo A

Free and Cheap Ways to Enjoy Jamaica

If the New Year left your funds low, you may want to find inexpensive entertainment until your pocket is full again. To help you out, we thought we’d list a few activities that you can enjoy for little or no money.

Go to a park/garden Walk, run, sit, skip. Public parks are for people to use freely and can be an inexpensive way to get fit, practice mindfulness or meet friends. Emancipation park is popular with runners in Kingston. Hope Botanical Gardens is great for picnics and other outdoor events, and admission is free, although you pay for parking. A big feature there is the Chinese Gardens, an outdoor museum with information about replicas of world heritage sites in China. Castleton Botanical Gardens in St. Mary is also free (woo) and you get even more than you bargained for with the Wag Water River flowing at its back.

Go for a swim There are still public beaches and rivers don’t require an entrance fee. Winnifred Beach in Portland is one of the more popular ones. Others include Pleasure Cove and Mahogany Beach in Ocho Rios, Bluefields Beach Park in Westmoreland and Dead-end Beach in Montego Bay. Of course, swimming doesn’t just have to be in the Caribbean Sea. There are plenty of rivers and waterfalls off the beaten track, that will turn any dreary weekend into an adventure (without worrying about your bank balance). Kwame Falls in Saint Mary is an example of a natural wonder that will take your breath away.

Hike Designated a UNESCO world heritage site in 2015, Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park is a hiker’s heaven. With easy to hard routes, there’s something for everyone to get out the house and see the beautiful island that is Jamaica. There is a small fee of J$100-200 to enter Holywell or the national park. But that is a cheap way to enjoy a stunning part of the island and experience all that nature has to offer. If you’re organized and pack your own lunch and refreshments then it’s an inexpensive adventure.

Visit some Jamaican Heritage If you’re trying to save cash, doesn’t mean you have to miss out on learning about our rich Jamaican culture. There are many monuments, churches and buildings that bring to life the rich history of the island. The ruins of Stewart Castle in Trelawny were built as part of the sugar plantation, fortified to protect from attack. Some may have heard of the site, but few Jamaicans actually make the visit. Do some research of local heritage sites near you and head out for a day of educational fun – without spending cash.

Watch the sunset No matter what happens in life the sun, moon, and air are all free. Celebrate and appreciate the world we live in. Head somewhere with open sky, (the higher the better) and take in the worlds daily light display. The sky transitions into blues, pinks, oranges and yellow. You can enjoy a sunset anywhere in the world but in Jamaica you can choose a beach or mountain sunset to end the day and prepare for the one ahead.

*This was originally written for an agency during my time in Jamaica*

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