Culloden Cove provides a great base to explore this lovely part of Jamaica. Top attractions – including the seven-mile beach of Negril, the beautiful YS waterfalls, cruising on the Black River looking at crocodiles, and the idyllic offshore Pelican Bar on a sandbank in the middle of the sea – are all within easy reach of the villa. Suggested activities are outlined below. At the end of the list are some recommended itineraries for day-trips.
Trips within one hour of the villa
Accompong and Cockpit Country – The beautiful hills of Cockpit Country (described as “upturned egg boxes”) are home to the descendants of the once-mighty Maroons, escaped slaves who waged guerrilla war against the British. Visit the village of Accompong, which remains a semi-autonomous state governed by a Maroon council, meet the ‘Colonel’, tour the museum and learn about a fascinating slice of history.
Appleton rum estate – Jamaica’s finest rum has been produced on this 11,000 acre estate since 1749. Take a tour of the estate, learn about the distillation process and taste a wide selection of fine local rums.
Bars – There are a number of local bars with great character. Leroy’s bar on the waterfront at Belmont is highly recommended for a drink at sunset, or steamed fish at their regular parties on Sunday afternoon.
Beaches – The beautiful beach which the Sandals Whitehouse hotel is situated on is just five minutes’ walk away and open to the public. There are also a number of lovely small beaches within a 15 minute drive that the staff can direct you to, ranging from secluded spots with nobody on them to beach parks that are popular with locals on weekends and public holidays. The famous seven mile beach of Negril is just an hour’s drive away.
Belmont and Bluefields – These two beautiful neighbouring fishing villages have white sand beaches, good seafood restaurants and a laid-back vibe. The large Bluefields Bay was the departure point for pirate Henry Morgan when he set sail to sack Panama.
Birdwatching – The nearby Bluefield Mountains are listed by Birdlife International as one of Jamaica’s ‘globally-important bird areas’. 20 of Jamaica’s 28 endemic bird species can be found here. Take a tour with an award-winning, experienced local guide, enjoy stunning views of the sea and see what you can see!
Black River boat safari – The Black River is home to one of the largest populations of crocodiles in Jamaica. Take an unforgettable trip up the lovely river into a beautiful country wilderness. Enjoy the magnificent views and spot the crocodiles and many species of rare birds. River fishing trips are also available.
Boat tours – You can be picked up from our private jetty and be taken on a boat tour to see dolphins near Treasure Beach, onto the Pelican Bar and then deep into the tributaries of the Black River.
Bamboo Avenue, and Middle Quarters – Bamboo Avenue is one of the famous sights of Jamaica – a two mile ‘tunnel’ of overhanging bamboo. On the way home, stop at Middle Quarters to buy some freshly caught hot pepper freshwater river shrimp at the roadside.
Fishing – Deep sea fishing trips can be arranged with experienced local fishermen who have rods and all necessary equipment.
Golf – A golf course designed by Greg Norman is planned for Culloden within the next 18 months! In the meantime, if you are a golf fan, Montego Bay and Negril are home to a number of world class championship golf courses – all within one hour of Culloden Cove. Clubs are available for hire at all courses.
Horse riding – Take a trip to the appropriately named Paradise estate and enjoy horse riding across an old plantation, along a deserted white sand beach and even through the sea.
Lovers Leap – According to legend, two young lovers – slaves at a nearby plantation – threw themselves off the 2,000 foot cliffs into the sea rather than be separated by their owners. There is a lovely restaurant and bar on the spot with a large balcony to enjoy the stunning panoramic view.
Montego Bay – Jamaica’s second-largest city is an hour’s drive away. A major tourist centre, the city has a beautiful white sand beach and a wide range of bars, restaurants and shops. Head for the public Doctor’s Cave beach. Montego Bay is also home to two of Jamaica’s best music festivals – the Jazz and Blues Festival in January and Reggae Sumfest in July.
Negril – The world-famous seven mile beach in Negril is just an hour’s drive away along the beautiful coastline. This is where sun, sea and reggae really come together. Relax on the pristine beach in the day-time, enjoy the waterpark and other local attractions, and in the evening enjoy the delicious restaurants and great local music.
Pelican Bar – Local fisherman Floyd had the vision to build a wooden bar on stilts, a mile off shore on a sand bar in the middle of the sea! You can be picked up by boat from Parottee on the mainland and enjoy a blissful few hours eating the freshest fish, lounging on their deck and snorkelling.
Peter Tosh Mausoleum – The neighbouring village of Belmont is the birthplace of reggae legend Peter Tosh (Bob Marley’s partner in the Wailers). You can visit his home and mausoleum and meet his Mum.
Restaurants – There are a number of good local restaurants near to the villa that serve delicious fresh seafood and good Jamaican food, made with local ingredients.
Royal Palm Nature Reserve near Negril has been created to safeguard a vast wetland area home to many species of rare plants and birds. Dawn or dusk bird-watching and fishing trips are available.
Sandals Whitehouse Resort – The luxury all-inclusive Sandals resort is a two minute drive away and boasts over a mile of white sandy beach. The resort also has eight international restaurants, a luxury spa, gym, tennis courts and the largest swimming pool in Jamaica. A wide range of water sports are on offer. Day and night passes are available.
Treasure Beach – This laid-back community has become a hub for eco-tourism on the South Coast. Treasure Beach is a string of fishing villages with black-sand beaches and some excellent restaurants.
Watersports – Sandals offer an extensive range of watersports including diving, kayaking and sailing.
YS Falls – This stunning 120 foot, eight tiered waterfall is one the most famous sights of Jamaica. The refreshing rock pools are perfect for swimming while a zip-line rope slide tempts the more adventurous.
A little further afield
Little Ochi, Aligator Pond – The best restaurant in Jamaica! Not the flashest by any stretch, but if eating an amazing range of delicious fresh fish and seafood on the beach sounds appealing you will love it.
Manatees – A small population of endangered ‘sea cows’ live in a wetland area, east of Culloden. These rare animals are thought to be the origin of the myth of mermaids. A trip to see the manatees up the lonely road connecting Alligator Pond and Alligator Hole is a truly unforgettable experience.
Milk River Spa – A charming old hotel houses a spa where you can bathe in the hot waters of the mineral springs and benefit from their curative powers.
Recommended day trips
1. Lovers leap – Little Ochi (for an early lunch) – Gut River (for a dip and some driftwood hunting) – manatees at Alligator Hole. A long but unforgettable day trip.
2. Midday Safari at Black River – Parottee g Lunch, snorkel and sunbathe at the Pelican Bar.
3. The morning at YS falls (walking up the falls, swinging down the zip-wire, swimming in freshwater pools) – Bamboo Avenue – Middle Quarters (visit to Bubbling Spring hot springs) – late lunch at Cloggy’s on the Beach, Black River.
4. Royal Palm Reserve – Negril beach – lunch at Idle Awhileg sunset drinks and dinner at the Rockhouse on the cliffs.
5. Early morning birdwatching tour at Bluefields – tour of the Peter Tosh Mausoleum – lunch and afternoon at Bluefields beach park or on Belmont beach – sunset drinks at Leroy’s bar overlooking Bluefields Bay.
6. Early lunch at Jack Sprat’s or Jakes in Treasure Beach – boat ride with Ted dolphin spotting on the way to hunt crocodiles in Black River.
7. Accompong – Appleton Estate.