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Roots & Culture

These are the must-see historical sites and must-do events for those travelers wishing to delve into the pulsating cultural milieu that shapes and defines Jamaican society. Keep tabs on the weekly events calendars in Kingston and Negril to plan your time in these areas. The roots of Jamaican popular music will become vivid with this tour, which touches on the island's evolving music industry.

Day 1

Arrive in Montego Bay for one night at Richmond Hill. If you arrive in the morning, visit Greenwood Great House or Bellefield Great House for a step back in time with a stop at Scotchie's for jerk either before or after the tour. Visit the Gallery of West Indian Art for some inspiration before dinner at Mobay Proper or The HouseBoat Grill. Hit Margaritaville to catch the pinnacle of Mobay nightlife if you still have energy before bed.

Day 2

Hit Doctors Cave Beach in the morning and then head to Negril in the afternoon to catch sunset and dinner on the Cliffs at LTU or Pushcart Grill & Rum Bar. Check out the night's live reggae band on the beach or at Negril Escape on Tuesdays.

Day 3

Make a loop from Negril to Roaring River and Blue Hole Garden or Mayfield Falls before descending to Half Moon Beach along the Hanover coast. Head back to Negril for dinner at Whistling Bird, Kuyaba or Chill Awhile.

Day 4

Leave for Kingston in the morning, stopping in Belmont to pay your respects to a reggae legend at Peter Tosh Memorial Garden. Make a pit stop in Middle Quarters for "swimps" and then in Scott's Pass, Clarendon, to meet the Rasta elders at the headquarters of the Nyabinghi House of Rastafari.

Day 5

Hit Kingston's cultural sights, or any combination of the Bob Marley Museum, Tuff Gong Studios, Culture Yard, and the National Gallery. Call Rita at Vynil Records to arrange a stop to buy the latest 45s. Have dinner at Shorty's on Hellshire Beach or at Gloria's in Port Royal before a night out on the town at Quad or Fiction Fantasy followed by a street dance.

Day 6

Leave in the morning for Jamnesia Surf Club in Bull Bay. Spend the day surfing and hanging with Billy Mystic and family.

Day 7

Spend the morning sampling the ritualized Rasta life at Bobo Hill if you're in the mood for some serious worship. Visit Reggae Falls in the afternoon before heading back to Kingston in the evening for dinner and another night out.

Day 8

Leave in the morning for Port Antonio, checking in at Great Huts, Drapers San or Goblin Hill. Spend the afternoon at Reach Falls or on the beach with a quick visit to Folly Ruins.

Day 9

Depart first thing for Ocho Rios stopping in Charles Town to meet the maroon coronel to take in some history and vision. In Ocho Rios, visit Reggae Xplosion at Island Village before dinner at Tropical Vibes on Fisherman's Beach.

Day 10

Visit Blue Hole Falls in the morning before a transfer to Montego Bay for an evening departure. Stop by Time 'N' Place or Culture Restaurant in Falmouth for a bite.