Jamaican Natural Spas & Baths

Now, you need to know something about Jamaica.  We are ‘extra’.  This Jamaican term means ‘over-the-top’ re anything to do with this country.  I mean it’s a postage stamp size merrily becoming the world’s sprint factory and long ago became a musical giant.  But there’s more,  including the fact that when my pops was a flyer, he flew the engineers around to put in the rediffusion towers for Jamaica’s first radio station.  Well, these Brits. told him they had to put in 6 times more equipment to get the signals out because of our geography and mineral content.  This latter also affects our natural spas.  I wouldn’t suggest you overuse or tarry overly long in them, they are powerful and if you do, you might come out feeling unwell.  A little goes a long way with Jamaican spas – 15 to 30 mins. and even within these limits you must titrate yourselves.   Small durations at regular intervals is always best.

They range from really basic to ‘mildly elegant’ and have history.  They are:

Rockfort Mineral Bath:  in the ruins of the old British fort of the same name, below Wareka Hill, easy access from Kingston.  Do not go weekends or public holidays.  You can get away with Saturday afternoons.  If you come only for the Spa, stay out in Port Royal at Morgan’s Harbour Hotel with sea food street cafe down the road and the Royal Jamaica Yacht Club up the road.  Bare in mind this spa is firmly sandwiched along the strip with our flour mills and cement factory …don’t ask…

Milk River Bath: utterly basic to rundown in the very deep southcoast of the island…stay at Jake’s or Marblu about an hour and 45 away for a little rustic luxury or for something spectacular and basic, looking like the Canaries – try Ocean Breezes.  One of the last virtually crime free zones in Jamaica; agricultural produce can sit in roadside stalls overnight; sadly, the melon seeds are from GMOed stock!  Other than Jakes and Marblu, the attendants are charmingly parochial and innocent of high end tourism.   Have patience.

Bath, St. Thomas: ‘mildly elegant’ and was the favourite of one of our governors’ wives, Lady Nugent (read her diaries).  Nice little hotel and should you choose to do it more naturally and bravely, many locals will form contracts with you to take you way into the bush to experience the head waters.  You’re on your own in these dealings…quite popular and not as inexpensive as you might think, bargaining required.