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Best of Jamaica

Usain Bolt may be beginning his retirement, but Jamaica can still give other Caribbean islands a run for their money. We’ve picked out some of the top sights and experiences here, and there’s a primer on local cuisine.
Reach Falls was once used by runaway slaves looking for a refuge
COMPILED BY RORY GOULDING, WITH CONTRIBUTIONS FROM OLIVER BERRY. PHOTOGRAPHS: RICK ELKINS/GETTY, THOMAS NORTHCUT/GETTY

SIGHTS

Blue and John Crow

Mountains National Park £

(blueandjohncrowmountains.org)

Jamaica's highest point is the 2,256m Blue Mountain Peak, part of a national park run by the Jamaica Conservation & Development Trust. Ecotourism is being promoted, with locals trained as guides. The JCDT (jcdt.org.jm) can advise on guides and hiking routes, and sells copies of the excellent Guide to the Blue and John Crow Mountains. The hike up to Blue Mountain Peak itself is a 7.5-mile round trip, with most climbers starting around 2am to catch the sunrise at the summit. The trail descends again through stunted elfin forest, then cloud forest, festooned with moss, and finally bamboo and primordial giant tree ferns.

Bob Marley Museum ££

(bobmarleymuseum.com; 56 Hope Rd, Kingston)

The large, colonial-era wooden house where Bob Marley lived and recorded from 1975 until his death in 1981 is the capital's most-visited site. The hour-long tour gives fascinating insights into the reggae superstar's life. His gold and platinum records are on the walls, plus Rastafarian cloaks, his favourite denim stage shirt and the Jamaican Order of Merit. Marley's simple bedroom has been left as it was, with his star-shaped guitar by the bed.

Dunn's River Falls ££

dunnsriverfallsja.com)

These falls, two miles west of Ocho Rios, are Jamaica's top-grossing tourist attraction. Great throngs of people can sometimes make it seem more like a theme park, but that doesn't make the climb any less exhilarating as you clamber up great tiers of limestone that step down 180m in a series of cascades and pools.

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Find the complete article and many more in this issue of Lonely Planet - December 2017
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