This is why we love Jamaica!
So you made your way to one of the greenest and most beautiful places on the planet and you checked in to our fabulous villa. Now what do you do? Relax! That’s what we do when we are here. Take in the breathtaking views, listen to the over 200 different kinds of birds on the island and let the pristine nature and the vibe of Panorama Villa work its magic on your body and soul.
But you have to do something and we suggest you spend as much time as possible at Geejam Hotels private beach were guests of Panorama have exclusive access. Ask the kitchen to prepare a cooler with water and Red Stripe and make the short trip down the hill to the beach. Geejam beach is incredible! You have a huge lagoon with crystal clear water surrounded by rainforest almost to yourself. Friendly eagle rays patrol the waters and you will see them if you grab one of the kayaks and head for the inner part of the lagoon. There is even a healthy coral reef right outside the beach and the snorkeling is world class and again, you have it all to yourself.
After a few days in the lagoon you feel obliged to do something else and luckily the solution is just a few minutes away. The amazing Frenchman’s Cove beach. It’s never crowded but head there after breakfast on a weekday and you will probably find yourself all alone on one of the world's most beautiful beaches. What makes Frenchman’s extraordinary is the crystal clear river that flows into the ocean here and yes, you will instagram it.
Want to see how this beautiful coast line looks like from the sea? Book a boat trip from San San Beach just 10 minutes from the villa and spend a good three hours exploring Dragon Bay were they shot the movie Cocktail, snorkel outside Monkey Island and take a dip in the blue lagoon before you head back to Panorama for a delicious lunch.
And yes, you can't leave before you have rafted down the Rio Grande on a bamboo float! It sounds touristy but we can guarantee you an experience you will never forget. Remember your factor 50!
What to eat?
There is just so much good and healthy food available here! For breakfast we usually eat lots of fresh fruits like mango, pineapple, watermelon, papaya, breadfruit and bananas. All local of course and some of it the guys in the kitchen just pick from the trees on their way to work. We even have avocado trees on the property and they taste ridiculously good! And don't forget to ask the crew down at the beach if there are some coconuts around, yummi!
The veggies also taste delicious and our favorites are carrots, broccoli and cauliflower. There is good access to fresh fish and we love a pan seared red snapper or mahi mahi. Lobsters and shrimps are also widely available and the chefs make a mean coconut shrimp curry. And of course, you can't visit Jamaica without eating tons of fabulous jerk chicken! We love the chicken wraps for lunch or just plain jerk chicken breast for dinner with lots and lots of veggies.
Our favourite way to get rid of the jetlag is to start our mornings with a walk down to the beach and up the hill again. It will take you a little less than an hour to do this trek and it's a very steep hill so it makes for good exercise. If you still have some juice left to burn when you get back to the house we have a little gym on the property that’s fitted with free weights, yoga mats and an exercise machine.
On Geejam Beach there are excellent conditions for swimming as the water in the lagoon is always very calm. Swim towards the little beach at the end of the lush lagoon and catch your breath while sitting in the crystal clear river that enters the lagoon before you head back. A medium good swimmer will make the trip in 25 minutes, we guess Michael Phelps would do it in six...
Snorkeling is excellent exercise and there is a fantastic reef just outside Geejam beach. To get to the outer part of the reef (where all the fun is ) you have to swim around it. You can easily spend a good hour out there but make sure you have enough strength left for the trip back. And don't walk on the corals!
The beaches and the pristine nature make this place special but it's the people, music, culture and vibe that makes it extraordinary. If you want to experience it during your stay we have two recommendations. Road Block! Every Thursday the main street in Port Antonio turns into a giant street party. It's an experience you will never forget, but bring your earplugs. Vinyl Sunday! Every Sunday down in our local village Drapers, different DJs flip records at the Natural Mystic Bar. It's literally the rebirth of cool.
What to bring
The villa and the hotel have most of the stuff you need but a good tip is to bring plenty of sunscreen from back home as it's a little hard to come by in Port Antonio. If you are bringing lots of different devices bring your adapter as well as you will use plenty of battery since it's wifi all over the villa area and at the beach. Geejam provides our villa guests with beer, wine and spirits but if you are a wine lover (like we are) you might want to bring a few extra nice bottles with you on the plane, so that you can really enjoy this view!
And yes, our villa actually has three resident dogs! They are all very friendly and cute but if you don't like dogs, just let the team know and Misty, Tequila and Tito will stay elsewhere.
So this was our way of trying to guide you through a week at Panorama Villa. There are of course lots of other things to see and do and if you have any questions we are more than happy to answer them. Just reach out to [email protected] and if you are not a Journeys member you can sign up here. Membership is free and so are our services and as a member you get special rates for Panorama Villa.
Maria & Even