Travel Tips & Features

Prospect Plantation – Ocho Rios

Written by Staff Writer

The 1000-acre Prospect Plantation, which dates from 1721, is full of surprises and an attraction suitable for visitors of all ages. You can make friends with parrots and owls and take a variety of guided tours to learn about the plantation’s history and greenery.

People from all walks of life have planted trees at Prospect Plantation, including former Jamaican Prime Minister P.J. Patterson. In 1953, Sir Winston Churchill planted a mahogany tree in front of the Great House. Commemorative plaques document planting information on trees all over the property. Today, the former sugar estate grows bananas, cassava, coffee, allspice, coconut and many other crops, but not for the commercial market.

Your tour may take you past sugar cane plants and a 17th-century cane mill, stop at the White River Gorge for a magnificent view of St. Ann and St. Mary parishes, and get a look at Jamaica’s first hydroelectric power plant.

You could get a demonstration of coconut-tree climbing and learn about Jamaican fruits and vegetables, and after the lesson, enjoy a piece of coconut topped with brown sugar and visit the neighboring ostrich farm where the giant birds will greedily snatch snacks of greens right out of your hand!

Prospect Plantation had three owners before Sir Harold Mitchell purchased the farm in 1936. Sir Harold’s View is a great spot to look out lookout over the plantation. It is said to have been his favorite spot on the farm.

After Sir Harold’s death in 1983, ownership of the plantation passed his son-in-law and grandchildren. The Great House was built in the early 1800s and boasts many antiques, paintings, and artifacts from days gone by. It is surrounded by beautiful gardens, where you can feast your eyes on the stunning view.

Tucked away in the woods is another plantation surprise – camels! Camels were used to work Jamaica’s sugar cane plantations during the 1800s. Today, you can choose between taking a camel ride or getting your picture taken with “Cindy” the camel and the crew.

The plantation offers a variety of enjoyable tour options, including the Complete Plantation Tour by Open-Air Jitney, Camel Safari and PlantationTour, Plantation Tour on Horseback, Horseback River Ride plus Picnic Lunch, or Camel Safari, Hike and Cycle.

Prospect Plantation is managed and operated by Dolphin Cove Limited. For more information, call 974-5335 or visit www.prospectplantationtours.com.

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Staff Writer