Immediately after we have gotten to the hotel and checked in, we will establish our weekly schedule. For our travels, we will be renting a van with a driver (sometimes they even throw in a guide). Most of our trips will involve being gone 8 to 10 hours, and we will miss lunch at the hotel; so we will be eating lunch on the road – which is nice because we get a chance to mingle with locals and sample ‘real’ Jamaican food (some of the hotel food is Americanized). I know a couple of neat jerk places – one in Runaway and the other in Ocho. Lunch and a drink will cost about $5.00. Since the van charges will be split among the 9 or 10 of us, this cost should be about $40 per day. There will be at least 3 days of touring. It is also customary to tip the driver $1 - $2.
If time permits, w may do a mini-trip on our first day of arrival. This will be to Falmouth (which is not far) to participate in a local activity known as “bend down day.” This is not something tourists do, but it is neat. People from as far as Kingston come and sell their wares on the sidewalks surrounding the town square. It’s also a good way to absorb some of the ‘real’ Jamaica. ‘Bend down’ is a name acquired by the fact that you have to bend over to examine goods and negotiate. Another bonus exists here in that the same town was the setting for the classic movie, Papillion, with Steve McQueen and Dustin Hoffman.
Now as to other adventures: Our schedule will be to some extent determined by weather and local calendars. For example, some places are only available on certain days, and the school systems will be getting out for Christmas (I want us to visit a local school).
Here are some of the places we are likely to visit: Green Grotto Caves, Dunn’s River Falls, Martha Brae River, Fern Gully, Spanish Town, Seaford Town, Croydon Plantation, Greenwood Great House, Palmer Estate, YS Falls, Black River, Blue Mountain, etc.
Obviously, we will not do ALL of these, so it’s impossible to pinpoint costs. However, admissions fee totals should run between $100 and $150. Other money for souvenir items is up to you. Tee-shirts, native handicrafts, etc. are quite reasonable.