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Driving in Jamaica? Yes, You Can

Drive in Jamaica? Yes, you can. And yes, you should. Here’s the how and why.

LESLIE CLAIRE BAILEY

f you come to Jakes wanting to explore the community and countryside of which we are part, you’re coming in the right spirit. Your experience and understanding of our little piece of this incredible island will expand exponentially by getting out on the road and checking things out, getting lost, asking directions, taking turns you didn’t plan and stumbling upon things you didn’t intend to find—but will be so glad that you did. As with all things, a little courage and curiosity will take you far.

You may be daunted at first. Or even terrified, stricken with fear by the cars coming (seemingly) directly at you down the middle of a road (seemingly) wide enough for only one car. You may have the urge to steer the thing gently into the bush on the side of the road, and walk back to the rental company to let them know you’d made a mistake and ask them to please drive you to Jakes.

But fight this urge. Yes, there will be potholes (avoid them; or, avoid as many as possible). Yes, we drive on the left side the road (Americans: don’t worry; half the time you’ll be driving on the right side to avoid the potholes). Yes, people walk along the shoulder between the tall grasses with the cars whizzing by. (Expect them, go slowly, and toot the horn so they know you’re behind them). Yes, there are hairpin turns. (Toot the horn while driving your car around their angled corners). Yes, there are roundabouts (yield to the cars inside it). Yes, you’ll mistakenly use windshield wipers instead of a turn signal (get used to it; toot the horn). When in doubt, toot the horn.

We learn a lot about a place by the rules of the road. Here, driving is a dance, a friendly negotiation. And the key to understanding and navigating our roads is this: take the space that you need; do not take more, but do not take less. Knowing this you will do well. You will be able to explore to more deeply discover and understand our country and our people. You will access another side of the island.

—LESLIE CLAIRE BAILEY

Hertz, Avis, Budget, Island… You can rent a car from all the major rental agencies at either airport—Montego Bay or Kingston—and drive across the island over to Jakes.

Tip: Have the front desk send you directions before you land in Jamaica. Jakes will do a better job getting you here than either Waze or any other GPS devices.

Another great option that many of our return guests prefer: book a driver through Jakes and have them pick you up at the airport. Relax on the drive across the island. Then, have Jakes arrange a local rental car for you to during your stay in Treasure Beach. Quite honestly, that’s the best bet of all.

TREASURED SECRETS

“On the way from Mo’Bay to Treasure Beach, the best place to stop is ‘Border Jerk’ and the best thing to is eat chicken, pork and the cowskin soup.”

Richard James

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