On a Sunday, Shireen Aga, owner of Hotel Mocking Bird Hill, toured with me around Portland, a parish located on Jamaica’s northeast coast. The area is lush and full of vibrant communities. Take a local taxi and explore the region, which is a little sleepy in terms of tourism—a refreshing change from the towns where cruise ships dock.
For reliable, safe transportation, it’s recommended that you use an official JUTA (Jamaica Union of Travelers Association) taxi. They cost more but are more dependable, especially if you’re in a rural area. During my travels around Portland, Shireen and I used Attractions Link, a shuttle service owned by Wayne Murdock, who arranges sightseeing tours and acts as a guide too.
As we drove along the coast and then into the mountainous forests, a rainbow of colors appeared—not the least of which were ladies in brightly colored dresses and elegant hats walking to or from church. (Wish I could have snapped a picture of some of them; these women were joyful to behold!)
I also enjoyed the architectural color of rural Jamaica—little shops are everywhere—usually in the form of gaily painted shacks. Because it was Sunday, few were open, but I got a kick out of their décor anyway.
—Laurel Kallenbach, freelance writer and editor
P.S. I’d love to hear about the most colorful architecture you’ve ever seen in your travels. Feel free to leave a comment below.
Read more about my travels in Jamaica:
- A Cup of Jamaica’s Blue Mountain Coffee
- Creativity Blooms at a Writing/Yoga Retreat in Jamaica
- Rafting on Jamaica’s Rio Grande
- Reach Falls: Freshwater Fun in Jamaica
- Winnifred Beach: Where Jamaica’s Locals Go
- Room with a Jamaican view: Hotel Mocking Bird Hill
- What Makes Hotel Mocking Bird Hill So Green?
- Tropical Dining with a Jamaican Twist
- Artist Laura Facey’s Spiritual Voyage