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Car hire - based in Kingston and want to explore

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Car hire - based in Kingston and want to explore

Hi,

My b/f and I are making a quick (3 night) stop in Jamaica after a 10 visit to the USA (Miami)

We will be flying into and out of Kingston (Norman Manley Int.) and staying in Kingston/Smokey Vale (City View Hotel)

Was thinking of hiring a car so we have maximum flexibility during our stay but I have a couple of questions.

Have heard that some parts of KIngston are sketchy, such as Downtown. Are there other parts of the island which should also be avoided? Will the 30km drive to the hotel be OK, looks like it is mostly in town, through suburbs?

Will it be a pain to find parking in New Kingston/Uptown if we want to spend a day in town?

Does anyone know if the B1 between Kingston and Buff Bay is a nice drive, looks like it goes through a national park, is it near to or in the Blue Mountains?

Is fuel expensive and how are the roads, I read it's LH drive which is fine, and that the speed limits are quite slow and quite strictly goverened ...

We want to minimise walking b/c my b/f is still recuperating from a broken leg, want to just see some sights, get a feel for the island, swim, take it easy.... So we are looking to try and see some other parts of the island and not just Kingston, not interested in visiting or staying at any all-in resorts ...

Any info much appreciated ....

Katrina

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1. Re: Car hire - based in Kingston and want to explore

"Have heard that some parts of KIngston are sketchy" - very true.

"Does anyone know if the B1 between Kingston and Buff Bay is a nice drive" - see the following

dangerousroads.org/south-america/1173-b1-roa…

"is it near to or in the Blue Mountains?" - Highway B1 goes thru the Blue Mountains.

"Is fuel expensive" - yes

"how are the roads" - The north coast highway (highway A1) is fine, Highway 2000 is great, most other roads need improvement.

"I read it's LH drive" - true

If you have never been to Jamaica before the renting of a car cannot be recommended. For a few reasons not to rent a car see the following

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g147309-c2512/Jamaica…

You may want to consider hiring a car with a Jamaican driver to take you around the island. Your hotel can arrange for a qualified Jamaican driver.

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2. Re: Car hire - based in Kingston and want to explore

Some parts of Kingston are sketchy - but only a few. Much of it is good and some parts have much to interest visitors.

Fuel prices - you will find fuel is cheap compared to Sweden.

Highway B1 is for experienced, preferably Jamaican, drivers. It does go through the national park and passes the information booth. After the coastal areas, it's very cool up there, although a great walking area. Scenery from a car will be a poor second for you and b/f. Better to go up there when fit, in my opinion.

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3. Re: Car hire - based in Kingston and want to explore

Hi guys, thanks for your replies.

So you don't recommend hiring a car ... that dangerous roads link doesn't work but I get the message, I guess that B1 road was on their list of roads to avoid ...

So how does it work with a driver, sounds like it would be expensive since we'd proably neeed them all day every day, and what does the driver do while we are at the places we want to visit? What happens if we want to spontaneously stop somewhere on the way?

Do you know of any particularly good drivers/companies offering chauffeur services?

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4. Re: Car hire - based in Kingston and want to explore

You will love the scenery from City View, it overlooks the city of Kingston, beautiful. I would not recommend you renting a car, the driving is one thing, the roads are another. Not as big a problem for the Ja. drivers. Ask the hotel to arrange transportation

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5. Re: Car hire - based in Kingston and want to explore

Thanks for your reply, KingstonCat, we're looking forward to staying at the City View!

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6. Re: Car hire - based in Kingston and want to explore

Depending where you go you can hire a driver to take you for the day and wait while you do whatever, and stop as you like along the way, or you can do a more defined taxi point A to point B type thing. Both are available in Kingston.

If you don't want to go far, there is Hellshire Beach which is the "main" city beach for Kingston, and there is a beach out at Lime Key (must take a boat there, from Port Royal), and there is a nice beach at Golden Shores in St. Thomas near Bath and Morant Bay. If you want to drive 2-3 hours out, there are a ton more in Portland, Ocho Rios and Manchester with Portland having, I think, the nicest classic white sand beaches.

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7. Re: Car hire - based in Kingston and want to explore

OK, thanks for the tips Ohliz :)

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8. Re: Car hire - based in Kingston and want to explore

Oh, and I haven't been but Fort Clarence looks nice, close to Hellshire. Less busy, it appears.

But one big attraction of Hellshire is the food...

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9. Re: Car hire - based in Kingston and want to explore

OK, cool. Yes I have heard good thingd about Hellshire as well. I was thinking of doing the following trips, after a little more reading :

* Port Royal / Lime Cay

* Port Antonio / Blue Lagoon / other beaches nearby if time allows

* Treasure Beach

* Kingston itself

Sounds like Portland might be worth checking out as well, as an alternative to Treasure Beach maybe.

We've only got 2 half days and 2 whole days so I wanted to keep the distances down whilst still trying to see a bit of the island.

Decided to leave the Blue Mountains till the b/f is fully mended (broke leg in June, still recuperating)

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10. Re: Car hire - based in Kingston and want to explore

Fort Clarence beach not quite as nice as Hellshire, but life guard at Fort Clarence.

For Kingston check: Devon House, National Gallery. Liberty Hall, Bob Marley Museum, Institute of Jamaica and Money Museum

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