Travel Tips & Features

My Jamaica Travel Series: Seven Days & Six Nights in Oracabessa

Written by Denise Lee

Oracabessa or Oracabeza as it was named by the Spanish that inhabited Jamaica , is located in the parish of Saint Mary. It is 2 miles away from Ian Fleming Airport and it has been a safe haven for private jets to fly in and out with ease.

Oracabessa is known as an artistic community with studios flocked mostly by musicians, painters and carvers. It is also home to the James Bond beach Club and has gained notoriety due to the James Bond Film Series.

It is one of the islands in Jamaica that are frequented by celebrities due to its private nature and understated charm.

A trip to Jamaica isn’t really worthwhile unless you plan to stay at least a week in order to soak up the culture, music and some of the historical sights around the island.

A travel itinerary to Oracabessa, Jamaica should include the following:

Accommodations at either Golden Eye Hotel and Resort, Golden Cloud Villa, Moxon  Beach Club or Casa Maria Hotel.

Golden Eye Resort is the former estate of writer Ian Fleming who became famous through the James Bond Series. The resort is situated on the beach in Oracabessa. It is quite luxurious and offers amenities such as shopping, dining, excursions, activities and a spa. Golden Eye has been voted by Conde Naste’ as one of the best resorts of our times.  The daily rates for accommodations range from $560 USD to $5500 USD. Most of the lodging provided are one to five bedroom suites. The Golden Eye Hotel & Resort can be contacted at (876)622-9007 or via email at [email protected]

Golden Cloud Villa Estate, is a private, gated property that has nine bedrooms. The villa is fully staffed with housekeepers, chefs and maintenance personnel. There is a fully equipped exercise room, tennis court, volley ball court and swimming pool. The weekly rate for securing the nine bedroom villa starts at $12, 500 USD for an entire week. However, the rate includes accommodations, meals, non-alcoholic drinks, transportation and tips. Reservations for Golden Cloud Villas may be secured by calling (877)682-7999.

Moxons Beach Club is located in Stewart Town, Boscobel, Jamaica which is approximately five miles away from Oracabessa. They offer modest accommodations and a rate of $136 USD per night. The hotel is located 2.7 miles from the City Center and 2.8 miles from James Bond Beach. Reservations may be obtained by calling (866)573-4235.

Casa Maria Hotel has a fair rating, and may appeal to travelers who are constantly on the go sightseeing and are not too particular about their lodgings. The hotel is located in the Castle Gordon district of Port Maria and five miles away from Oracabessa. Their rates are usually $96 USD per night, however currently they are running a special of $58 USD per night. To make a reservation at this establishment you may call (866)678-6350.

 

Travel around the island may be provided by Juta Certified tour buses or Juta Certified taxis.

Rising early is usually the best way to get the most out of your vacations. Afternoon siestas or naps on the beach generally make up for early mornings.

On your First Day in Oracabessa you may want to venture out and experience the culture by sightseeing and visiting the Bob Marley Museum. It is located in Nine Mile, Jamaica which is in the parish of Saint Ann’s.  The museum is the final resting place and mausoleum of reggae artist Bob Marley.

The memorabilia, art and music that is seen and heard is a tribute to the life and legacy of the world renowned reggae artist and his band the Wailers.

A late lunch or early afternoon meal may be enjoyed at the Coffee Plantation.  The Croydon Plantation is a coffee and pineapple plantation. The plantation is located near the Catadupa Mountains in Jamaica which is in Montego Bay and approximately 30 miles from Oracabessa. The Croydon Plantation is home to Blue Mountain Coffee and tea. One may experience the exotic fruits that are in bloom as well as enjoy a buffet meal, surrounded by beautiful, lush, green, mountains.

The Second Day travelers may experience an Horticulturer’s delight by paying a visit to Cranbook Flower Florist, located at Laughlands, Great River in the garden parish of Saint Ann’s. At Cranbrook  you may peruse the manicured gardens that include several species of tropical plants and flowers. There is even a trail which leads to a refreshing waterfall. The property has activities such as bird watching, pond fishing, croquet and volley ball. It is an ideal location to plan a picnic or just experience the surroundings. Admission to Cranbook is $10.00 USD.

For animal lovers, a trip to Dolphin Cove on Day three may be a spectacular idea. Dolphin Cove is located approximately 45 minutes from Oracabessa, near Dunn’s River Falls. Dolphin Cove presents a jungle like atmosphere where exotic birds, iguanas and snakes may be viewed in their natural habitat. At Dolphin Cove you are allowed to pet the animals and take pictures with them, all while experiencing the Caribbean sounds on beating drums. Admission cost at Dolphin Cove is Adults $49.49 USD, Children $32.99 USD, and Infants are Free of Charge.

Later on, an evening of fine dining may be experienced at the Harmony Hall Gallery and Toscanini’s Italian Restaurant. Harmony Hall features artwork of Jamaican Artists. There you can purchase decorated souvenir boxes  with original art. Located within Harmony Hall is the famous Toscanini’s Italian Restaurant rated by The International Travel Magazines as being the best in culinary delights.

By the time Day four comes along you probably have soaked up all the sunshine your constitution will allow, and experienced the island vibes to its optimum level. Therefore, at this point, you are probably ready for Adventure!

A helicopter ride from Ocho Rios is a fantastic way to view the island’s attractions. It also spares tourists from running around to all the places of interests. Helicopter Rides allow for the best views of the North Coast. While flying over the island you are able to see the Firefly Estate, a home formerly owned by Playwright Noel Coward. Firefly is rumored to have sightings of fireflies gathered at the hilltop at nights. Fern Gully is another attraction that is easily accessed via helicopter. It is a natural passageway that is covered by many species of ferns and fauna. The ride hovers  over sights such as Shaw Park Gardens, Dunn’s River Falls, and Prospect Plantation. For information on chartering a helicopter log on to www.jamaicahelicopterservices.com.

Once your spirits have entered relaxation mode and your sense of adventure starts kicking into high gear, Day Five becomes the point where most tourist want to indulge in an activity they have never experienced before. Ziplining will challenge your comfort zone. Ziplining in Ocho Rios is great fun, once you work up the courage to put on a harness and go zipping through a series of horizontal pathways.

It is imperative to excercise caution by not getting your hands entangled in the wiring while zipping, however, amidst  your anxiety, you are able to catch views of the Caribbean sea and surrounding attractions. The adrenaline rush experienced, will be well worth the ride.

When Day 6 arrives, you and your travel companions are ready to slow things down a bit because your trip is almost at the end. This would be a good time to visit a nearby attraction such as the Oracabessa Fish Sanctuary. Oracabessa is also considered a fishing village in Jamaica. The Oracabessa Foundation had the Oracabessa Bay declared an official fish sanctuary several years ago. The Bay has a rich eco-system with natural habitats such as coral reefs and mangroves. It is home to sea turtles, lobsters, king crabs and green, spotted moray eels.

Day 7 is all about relaxing. It is a time to unwind from all the sightseeing and adventure. A little rafting on The Martha Brae River may soothe spirits as well as give additional opportunities to soak up some more rays. Martha Brae River is located in Falmouth, approximately 30 miles from Oracabessa.

The final day is also a good time to buy last minute souvenirs and gifts. If you are not fortunate enough to be staying at the Golden Eye, then this would be the perfect time to visit. There you can go shopping in the gift shop and maybe treat yourself to some pampering at the Spa.

Your vacation has come full circle and time to leave is slowly approaching. On a trip to any parish in Jamaica will leave you with feelings of exhaustion and relaxation at the same time. However, all things considered, you may realize it was the best vacation you ever had because of the diversity and moments of bliss. So with irie feelings you set out on your merry re-entry to your stressful yet enriched life hoping to return again one day soon.

About the author

Denise Lee