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Bamboo Rafting (martha Brae/mountain Valley)

Duration: 5 Hours

bamboo rafting (martha brae/mountain valley)

This rejuvenating tour will enable you to soak up the natural beauty of Jamaica’s lush mountain valleys, which are blessed with tranquil rivers, lush tropical flora and abundant wildlife. Climb on board a traditional bamboo river raft and float lazily down the picturesque Martha Brae River, renowned for its beautiful scenery and legends of witches and treasures. This is one of the most relaxing experiences you can embark on during your holiday in Jamaica.

The legendary Martha Brae River rises deep in the hills of the Cockpit Country and flows down to the sea at Falmouth. It is one of the most scenic and well-known waterways in Jamaica. The river allegedly takes its name from an Arawak Indian girl who, according to legend, knew the whereabouts of a secret stash of gold hidden along the River Matibereon. On hearing about this Arawak gold, Spanish treasure hunters captured the girl, who was believed to be a witch, and forced her to show them where the treasure was hidden. Pretending to cooperate, she led them into a cave and suddenly disappeared. Using her magic powers, she diverted the course of the river towards the cave, which quickly flooded. The Spaniards drowned and the secret was safe, but some people believe that the girl died too and her spirit still haunts the river today. The current name of the river is a misunderstood English translation of the original Spanish word “Matibereon”.

Legends aside, one of the main attractions of rafting down the Martha Brae River is the beautiful scenery. After enjoying a complimentary rum punch or fruit drink on arrival, sit side by side with a loved one on a traditional, 30ft bamboo raft as your experienced rafts man guides you gently down the river with a pole. Rafts such as this originally transported precious cargo such as sugar down the river to the merchant ships in the harbour. As you glide lazily downstream you will see many endemic birds and other tropical wildlife species, as well as exotic flora such as giant mango, breadfruit and calabash trees. Stopping on the way, you will get the chance to explore the lush tropical riverbanks, try out the Tarzan Swing at Tarzan’s Corner or swim in the refreshing river waters.

The three-mile river journey last approximately 90 minutes and ends at the Rafter's Village in Trelawny. Set in a beautifully landscaped, six-acre estate, the tourist complex includes gift shops selling local handicrafts, scenic picnic spots and a swimming pool. Relax with a rum punch and enjoy entertainment from the Village Mento Band, which is included in the tour price. This unforgettable Caribbean adventure is a wonderful experience for all the family.

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Hotel room capacity in Jamaica set to increase by 1,000 by the end of 2017

The number of hotel rooms in Jamaica is set to increase by more than 1,000 by the end of 2017, according to the Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett. The investment in the new rooms is said to exceed US$1 billion, and they include 150 rooms at the Azul Beach Resort in Negril, 600 rooms at the Hideaway at Royalton and Royalton Negril Resort, and 12 rooms at the Sandals Royal Caribbean in Montego Bay.

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