Next Feb we are doing a CSS then CSA split trip. We thought that rather than dash from one to another we might take a longer scenic route and see a bit more of the island that you don't normally easily reach. If the transfer is 2 - 3 hours normally then giving it a whole day - say 7 - 8 hours - might open up a whole new set of possibilities.
Has anyone done this or anything like it and can offer us any suggestions for making a day of it? Where could we go? What could we see?
Do you think we would be able to negotiate with the Couples driver to add on the longer trip or should we start from scratch with a different driver?
I know it is ages away still but just thinking about it and planning ahead is part of the fun right?
The common advice would be to stick to the coastal road and see some of the famous sites between Ocho and Negril, like Rose Hall, Montego Bay (spend some time on the hip strip and swim in Doctor's Cove), swim with the dolphins (newly opened between Mobay and Negril), etc.
The wilder alternative would be to cross the island via one of the inland roads. There is little tourist traffic, and therefore not much to offer the "standard tourist" who is looking for plantation tours or jerk chicken on the beach. The Blue Mountains are in the far eastern part of the country, so you won't have time to see them. However, you can go into "Cockpit Country", which is the name of the wild central part of the western part of Jamaica.
You can take an eco-tour in Cockpit Country - see this web site for information:
So your driver would take you on the coastal road to Rio Bueno, then south to Albert Town. However, I'm guessing the drive from Albert Town to Negril would take 5 or 6 hours by itself. Best to get yourself a detailed road map of Jamaica. Figure an average of 25 mph on all inland roads. We've been on some, and they are nothing like the coastal "tourist" roads. Note that we have not done these eco trips, so this is not a recommendation, only a suggestion for further research.
We hired a driver for the day in 2010 to take us from Ocho Rios to Nine Mile. He was very good and only $100 plus tip. (Plus it's customary to buy his/her lunch.) Feel free to email me at "brizzyintx at gmail dot com." You can also search Trip Advisor for many good driver recommendations.
Bruce and Kelli
Fort Worth, TX
CN 2006, 2008; CTI 2009, 2010, 2011
CSA 2014; CSS 2016