Finding a More Authentic Jamaica

IT’S not particularly easy to get to Portland parish, a lush, often rainy region on Jamaica’s northeast coast. The closest airport with jet service from the United States is Norman Manley International in Kingston, which is at least two, and sometimes three, hours away by car, depending on the number of potholes, trucks, chickens, goats and bicycling Rastafarians encountered on the road.

But that journey, on the A4 “highway” (a rather grand name for a road that can barely contain two cars passing each other), is worth the effort — and not just because of the steady stream of road stands offering ripe bananas or cold coconut milk, or the ubiquitous one-room bars slinging frosty Red Stripe beers or shots of clear overproof rum (which is 63 percent alcohol by volume).

Instead, what you will find is the real Jamaica, not the isolated experience offered by all-inclusive resorts that are the typical tourist destinations on this Caribbean island. Read More

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