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Bluefields & Belmont

Just off the A2 at Belmont, you can visit the Peter Tosh Museum, in a small green-and-gold building, open daily from 9am to 5pm. Technically, no admission is charged but you'll be asked for a donation. The Bob Marley Centre & Mausoleum at Nine Mile, reached from Ocho Rios, is more interesting, unless you liked reggae star Tosh's music better.

Bluefields was also the home of Philip Gosse (1810-88), an English naturalist who lived here for 18 months beginning in 1844 and wrote two books. His former abode is now privately owned and in poor condition, but you can walk by it, as it lies adjacent to the police station in Bluefields. In the gardens of the house grows a breadfruit tree said to have been planted as a seedling by Captain Bligh of Mutiny on the Bounty fame.

Snorkeling is good right off the shoreline. You can often get the owner of a local boat to take you over to nearby Moor Reef for US$35 per hour. Some of the boats hold as many as six snorkelers.

Black River

Reached along the A2 directly south of Whitehouse, going via South Sea Park, is Scott's Cove, a deep inlet that forms the frontier between the parishes of Westmoreland and St. Elizabeth. Here you'll find several fish and bammy stalls with vendors hawking their wares. (Bammy, for the uninitiated, is fried pancake-shaped cassava bread.)

Immediately to the southeast stands the 1,274-hectare (3,150-acre) Font Hill Wildlife Sanctuary, strung along 3km (1 3/4 miles) of seafront. Birders from all over the world flock here to see herons, egrets, and much rarer species such as blue-winged teals. Listen for the sound of the whistling duck. This is also a habitat for the ground dove, the smallest bird of that species. Give wide berth to the dozens of crocodiles that still inhabit the district.

You can follow a dirt trail here down to Font Hill Beach, a small strip of white sands set against a backdrop of sea grapes. The swimming is good here, as the waters are clear, which invites snorkelers to the offshore reefs. This is one of the ideal places for a picnic with supplies you picked up at Scott's Cove.

Exploring the Town -- Come here for a glimpse of old Jamaica before it disappears completely. Because the town appears to be in decay during the day, we prefer it under the kind, rosy glow of sunset while walking along its waterfront. You might also walk along High Street (the main street), taking in old colonial buildings, some in the West Indian gingerbread style and others mere rip-offs of Georgian architecture.

At the east end of High Street sits the Hendricks Building, site of the tourist office . This battered old structure dates from 1813. Also on "the High," you can see the old courthouse with its porticoes and the town hall with its pillared facade opening onto a mammoth banyan tree. Nearby you'll spot the Parish Church of St. John the Evangelist, dating from 1837.

Black River & The Great Morass 

Most visitors come here for a so-called "safari" adventure along the Black River and into the Great Morass. However, it's also possible to see many land-based sights, especially if you take the A2 north and east to Mandeville.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.