The tropical isle of Jamaica is now providing travelers with learning vacations as a way to meet people on island and gain authentic experiences as part of their vacation itinerary. The Jamaica Tourist Board has been instrumental in highlighting some of the unique on-island learning activities that visitors can participate in as an add-on to their vacations. From meeting people with like interests to exploring off the beaten path locations, from taking agricultural expeditions and learning how to prepare Jamaican cuisine to share with friends and family back home, Jamaica’s learning vacations provide an experiential travel adventure that’s truly memorable.
Meet the People
The “Meet the People” program is a Jamaica Tourist Board initiative, an exchange pairing travelers with a Jamaican of similar interest. The meet-up can take place at a school, home, church, hiking trail, local craft market or even coffee shop over a cup of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee. The experience is uniquely Jamaican and free of charge for all travelers interested in broadening their horizons. Visitors can sign up online at VisitJamaica.com to see life through the eyes of a Jamaican.
Rastafari Indigenous Village
A visit to a Rastafari village is available for curious travelers. While many know aspects of the uniquely Jamaican philosophy, few have experienced the culture, language, music, dress, spirit and lifestyle for themselves. Visitors will learn the self-sustaining and eco-friendly habits of the Rastafari people. The experience of visiting the village will be interactive — visitors will be taken on a tour of medicinal herbal gardens, then try their hands at arts and crafts and finally become part of the community through drum rhythms and ancient chants. Those interested should visit RastaVillage.com.
Organic Gardening for Kids
The Tryall Club comprises 86 private villas atop a former sugar cane plot with lush, fertile land. Tryall is now opening their grounds to families who want to learn about organic gardening and a sustainable future. Tailored for kids of all ages, Tryall Club’s organic gardening classes transform its private herb and vegetable garden into playground where kids can learn about an array of plants and how to reduce their carbon footprint. The garden produces items such as Thai basil, edible hibiscus flowers, mustard greens, and much more. The participants will be introduced to organic methods of growing “super foods” as well as learn sustainable habits and receive cooking recipes. Travelers can book through the Tryall Club by calling toll free 1.800.238.5290 or visiting www.tryallclub.com.
Pressing Tunes Tour
According to Sean Paul, one of Jamaica’s outstanding dancehall artistes, “Music is the voice of the Jamaican people,” and now visitors can get an inside look as to why. Hotel MockingBird Hill and Backayard Magazine have partnered to create the ultimate music excursion to Kingston, the city where Reggae began. The trip includes tours of record companies’ studios, music stores and a visit to the Jamaica Music Museum, which features rare musical recordings, displays of iconic photographs and instruments. Reservations can be made at www.hotelmockingbirdhill.com.