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Kingston at sunset

Highlights of Kingston guided tour

Spend a whole day getting a feel for Jamaica’s capital, its historical Port Royal area and the Blue Mountains coffee-producing region on this guided tour. As well as seeing some of the city’s key sights, you’ll get a chance to delve into Jamaican history and culture, as well as the nature that surrounds Kingston.

Among the sights you’ll visit are the Bob Marley Museum, which is housed in the renowned musician’s former residence, Fort Charles and its museum and the National Gallery, which features a collection of early, modern, and contemporary art from Jamaica. You’ll also have a chance to taste the renowned Blue Mountains coffee that’s produced just outside the capital.

Throughout the tour, which you can enjoy as part of a small group or privately, your guide will provide a detailed background to the places you’re seeing, as well as sharing local anecdotes and historical tales that will help bring Jamaica’s past to life.

A private driver will pick you up in the morning from your hotel in Ocho Rios or Port Antonio for the drive to Kingston. Here, you’ll have the chance to visit the former home of Bob Marley. Within this 19th-century pale-yellow clapboard building is a museum dedicated to the renowned musical artist, who purchased the property in 1975.

Marley’s wife, Rita, converted the house into a museum a few years after his death in 1981, preserving many of the rooms and his personal treasures so they appear as they did when he lived there — you might notice bullet holes left in the wall from a failed assassination attempt in 1976. A short film tells you more about the musician’s life, while the One Love Café serves some of his best-loved dishes.

You’ll then head to Port Royal, a historical village located at the end of the Palisadoes tombolo, at the mouth of Kingston Harbour. Founded by the Spanish in 1494, it was the busiest hub for shipping and commerce in the Caribbean until an earthquake destroyed it in the late 17th century.

While Port Royal is now a quiet fishing town, your guide will tell you all about its past, including how it was once a popular spot for English and Dutch-sponsored privateers to spend their treasure, as well as for pirates from all over the world.

You can delve deeper into Port Royal’s past by visiting the 17th-century Fort Charles (originally Fort Cromwell) and its museum, where you’ll learn about its role in defending the English’s newly ‘acquired’ island. Your guide can also take you to see Giddy House, a 19th-century royal artillery house that took on its current jaunty angle following an earthquake in 1907.

You might also like to visit the National Gallery in Kingston, which is the largest public art museum in the English-speaking Caribbean, featuring a wide variety of pieces by Jamaican artists through the years.

Once you’ve explored Kingston, you’ll be driven out to the Blue Mountains just outside the city. As well as taking in the fresh air and views over the forested peaks, you’ll have an opportunity to sample the world-renowned coffee that’s produced in this part of Jamaica as your guide explains the coffee-making process from bean to brew.

You can either enjoy your own packed lunch at Port Royal looking out to sea or in the Blue Mountains. At the end of the tour, you’ll be driven back to your hotel.

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Audley Travel specialist Olivia

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Other experiences in Ocho Rios

These activities are designed to give you the most authentic experiences around where you're staying. We work with local guides, who use their knowledge and often a resident's eye to show you the main sights and more out-of-the-way attractions. Our specialists can suggest tours and activities that will introduce you to the local ways of life.

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