Discover the Best of St. Mary in 48 Hours
St. Mary is one of those parishes rich in history. It is geographically positioned and bordered by Portland in the east, and St. Ann in the west. Known for its cultivation and production of bananas it is famous for St. Mary’s Banana Chips. St. Mary has many heritage sites, such as the Galina Lighthouse, Rio Nuevo, and Fort Oracabessa. Along with the areas of St. Mary are quaint boutique hotels in Tower Isle and Oracabessa, and the famous one is Golden Eye. Ian Fleming, the author of the James Bond series, was known to have resided in Boscobel, St. Mary. You will find beaches on the coast and a bit of adventure too. I spent 48 hours exploring the parish.
Breakfast Stop at Junction
I headed to St. Mary via the Junction route. The winding roads lead straight to the famous rest stop, Friendship Gap, where I stopped for breakfast. At Friendship Gap, you can get a variety of authentic Jamaican food and fruits, my favourite is the peanut porridge. This time around though, I tried the red peas and peanut soup. For $400, it was well worth it, as it was very filling.
From there, I made my way to my first adventure for the day, an ATV ride.
An adventure at Dirt Adventure – Paradise Edge, Boscobel
If you are looking for an affordable adventure to do in St. Mary, try Dirt Adventure. Located in Boscobel, this location is easy to find via Google Maps. The property offers ATVs, boat cruises, horseback riding, and sea tubing. They also have package deals and special discounts for Jamaican locals once you provide a proper ID.
I started my adventure with their ATV ride. The staff there was very friendly and helpful, they provided me with safety tips, and they also became my personal photographer for the entire adventure. The ATV ride lasted about 40 minutes. This honestly is a great start for someone riding on an ATV for the first time. It was worth it.
Location: Paradise Edge, Boscobel
Hours: 10am- 6pm| Mondays – Sundays
Phone: (876) 476-3942
Cost varies (call or email for rates)
River Tubing at White River Calypso
Located on the border of St. Ann and St Mary, the White River Calypso property is nestled on the banks of the White River in Jamaica. This company has been in operation for 40 years. They are well established and are licensed and approved by the Jamaica Tourist Board. The drive from Dirt Adventure to White River Calypso took roughly 30 minutes.
The property has secure parking and bathrooms, and a shop on site where you can purchase refreshments and waterproof accessories for your phone.
Don’t worry if you can’t swim as each person is provided with a mandatory life jacket. A staff member can take photos of your tubing down the river. It’s a great idea to wear your water shoe as you will have a rest stop, where you will get a chance to walk in the river and enjoy the views. Be prepared to have a little adventurous tubing experience, as some parts of the river can be a bit bumpy, which adds to the adventure. The experience overall was great and relaxing and fun.
Location: Prosperhall, Exchange Road
Hours: 9am – 4.30pm | Mondays – Sundays
Cost: Cost varies (call for rates)
Visit the iconic Galina Lighthouse at Galina Point
Our last stop for the day took us to the Galina Lighthouse. The lighthouse is located close to Port Maria, with the help of some road signs and Google Maps, we were able to find the location. The Tower is over 40 feet high and is approximately 60 feet above sea level. It’s a cool lookout spot and is great for taking some really scenic photos.
Overnight at Strawberry Fields
I decided to stay overnight at Strawberry Fields Together – an 18-acre boutique with eco-friendly cottages and villas. Located in Robins Bay, St. Mary, Strawberry Fields is a natural sanctuary, ideal for nature lovers.
If you choose not to overnight, you can always spend the day and relax by the beach and explore the property. The venue is family-friendly. There is even a designated area for children to play. Food is available for sale at the property, but you can always take your food to cook.
I stayed at the Moonlight Magic cottage, which had a fan, a small kitchenette, a fridge with a queen-size bed, and a bathtub. The room had all the essentials needed for a night’s stay, and the view from the room was stunning. There is also a balcony with a seating area.
The small, air-conditioned rooms have the necessities of a TV with cable. The bathrooms are large with a big walk-in shower. What was impressive was the lovely view from the rooms.
Things to note:
This is not an all-inclusive hotel, but there is a restaurant on the property to purchase food. You have access to a small stove and fridge so you can take your food to cook.
Room Bookings: +1 876 512 4476 | +1 876 903 6369 • For reservations: firstname.lastname@example.org
Spend a full day at Strawberry Fields
I woke up early to explore, the beautiful scenery of Strawberry Fields. The 360 views of the ocean made a perfect backdrop for stunning photos. The cottage, where I stayed, had private access to a small, secluded beach area – which I loved. I took a dip in the water, which was nice but be warned it’s a bit rough. Ensure that you wear water shoes to protect your feet from rocks while in the water. There is another beach section on the property, which is much bigger, so you have that option as well.
There are several nice spots on the property to enjoy a nice picnic, and that’s what I did and had lunch and just relaxed.
If you have time, the property can arrange for you to take a hike and spend the day at Kwame Falls. You also have the option to go snorkelling at a nearby reef.
As a nature lover, Strawberry Fields is a unique place. It was an awesome budget-friendly stay!
Discover the best of St. Mary; her hidden gems are spectacular!
Toni-Ann is a Jamaican content creator, travel junkie, photographer, and coffee-lover. Check out her Instagram here.