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Jamaica’s Beaches at a Quieter Time

Give the long British winter a final heave-ho in favour of a long stretch of Caribbean sand, and with any luck by the time you’re back it’ll finally be over. Visit Jamaica’s Seven Mile Beach in late March and April, and you’ll miss the crowds of American college kids who descend on the island for spring break. During the shoulder season, there are far fewer tourists stretched out under its swaying palms and frolicking in the gentle surf, so you’ll have a greater chance of finding a spot of sand to call your own. Although many enjoyable hours can be lost imagining yourself the star of any number of vintage Bounty chocolate adverts on Seven Mile, you can also get a real taste of paradise – from jerk chicken to curried conch – at the various hippy-run restaurants and snack shacks that back onto the beach. Off-shore, you’ll find extensive shallow reefs perfect for novice divers and snorkellers – keep your eyes peeled for hawksbill sea turtles, quite common here. Heading inland, there are plenty of attractions to tempt you away from the beach, from the Bob Marley Museum, featuring the island’s favourite son, to rum distilleries, coffee plantations and the chance to plunge under waterfalls deep in the rainforest.

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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Lonely Planet - April 2016
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