Author: Adrienne L.
Date of Trip: September 2010
Lots has been said about Jamaica and all that it has to offer: beautiful landscapes, rushing waterfalls, fresh seafood, spectacular beaches, breathtaking sunsets, delicious cuisine, warm hospitable people, Blue Mountain coffee, and of course Appleton Rum.
On our recent visit to the island we found all of these things and more. We stayed at the Riu, an all-inclusive resort in Montego Bay. Upon arrival in the lobby we were greeted by hotel staff offering an assortment of rum punches and other refreshments. Along with the refreshments we enjoyed a colorful performance by the resort entertainers. After check-in we proceeded to our suite, which blew us away. It was expansive and beautifully decorated with a huge Jacuzzi tub and an awesome beach view. We were so impressed that we immediately made a video to capture its beauty. Then it was time for lunch.
The resort has 4 restaurants, each with a different theme, all exquisite. Our first meal was at the Steakhouse, an open-air buffet, right on the beach. The food choices were plentiful and delicious. The team of master chefs put together a plethora of foods including Jamaican dishes.
Later the view from our balcony, facing the ocean was a perfect place to experience one of the most beautiful sunsets imaginable. After watching the sun melt into Montego Bay, we decided to attend the evening beach party. Approximately 200 people were in attendance at this food and beverage extravaganza. The atmosphere was festive and everyone was in a party mood. Even the sand fleas and mosquitoes came to dine — little did we know that we were their cuisine of choice. The entertainment was outstanding. The dancers arrived by boat carrying flaming torches and proceeded to perform a dance that paid tribute to Jamaica’s Taino and African history. Our video of the dance can be viewed at http://bit.ly/aXGXhP.
The Riu is a perfect family vacation destination that offers activities for all ages including snorkeling, water sports, and great excursions to other parts of the island. One of the excursions we really enjoyed was the Chukka Cove Zipline Adventure where we saw some of the most beautiful vegetation on the island. The adventure began with a rugged 30-minute bus ride up into the mountains. At the top of the mountain a team of expert guides outfitted us with helmets, pulleys and harnesses. After a safety briefing we were led down a trail through the rainforest that consisted of 376 steps.
We knew then that this adventure was not for the faint of heart, but it was too late to “tap out”. Eventually we arrived at the first of 10 launch platforms — and the adventure began. One by one we descended from launch pad to launch pad, along zip lines that ranged in length from 300-600 feet.; but seemed more like a mile. We whizzed past trees and seemed to be only inches away from a major collision. There were times when we felt like Tarzan and Jane. What a great way to be reminded that you are alive!
Although we had enjoyed Jamaica before, this experience was entirely new and even more enjoyable; perhaps because we were seeing it with “second time” eyes. Other than the sand fleas that insisted on feasting on us, it was a perfect trip. Even those little hungry critters can’t keep us from returning to this Jamaican paradise.