As much as I love travelling and adventures I don't go out as often as I would like so when the opportunity comes I grasp it with both hands. My last adventure took me to the beautiful parish of Portland. Longing for an adventure I was more than happy to jump on board when my friend planned this day trip. The plan was to spend the day exploring Portland. We would go rafting on the Rio Grande River, grab some food at Boston Jerk and then take a dip in the beautiful blue waters of Boston Beach.
The first activity was rafting on the Rio Grande river. This was a first for me and trust me when I say it was an extremely relaxing and exhilarating experience. We procured a cooler, got some ice, some drinks, water and a few snacks and said goodbye to the bustling streets of Kingston.
What started as means of transporting bananas from the plantations for export has now become a popular attraction in Jamaica. Rafting on the Rio Grande River is one of four river rafting tours currently offered in Jamaica. Our tour was booked before the day of the trip. We booked the 1.5-hour tour which cost $6000JM for two persons on a raft. This tour took us partially up the river and back. The tour is led by licensed raft captains. Each captain makes their rafts and this can take up to three days. Once completed the raft may last up to 6 months.
We drove to Portland via Stony Hill a residential area in the parish of St. Andrew. The crisp, clean air was a refreshing change from what we left behind in Kingston. Our adventure started in the morning when the sun wasn't as hot so we drove with the windows down and truly enjoyed the fresh air. The journey took us along narrow, winding roads, past lush vegetation and picturesque views of the Caribbean Sea. After about two or three hours we finally arrived at our destination and the real fun began.
Floating Down the River
Rafting is extremely relaxing. I was a little scared about floating down the river on a few pieces of bamboo tied together but our guide assured us that we were safe. We were also given life jackets for added security. For the most part, the water was shallow. The sparkling, almost emerald green water flowed calmly in some instances and picked up speed in others. The water was so clear that we could easily see the rocks on the riverbed. We floated by scenic greenery as the river is flanked by verdant foliage.
Our captain was super accommodating. He answered our questions and gave us little details about the tour, where he grew up, and the industry. During the tour we stopped so we could take photos and we also stopped to take a dip and cool off in the river. The sun was out in full force so I was more than happy to take advantage of this opportunity. We then made a final stop at 'Mermaid Rock' for photos before making our way back to the starting point. The sound of the flowing river along with the occasional chirping of birds made the ride even more relaxing. If I wasn't entranced by the beauty around me it would be easy to fall asleep.
All in all, rafting on the Rio Grande River was an extraordinary experience and I would do it again. I immensely enjoyed the serenity of floating down the river while appreciating the beauty of nature in its purest form. This is a must-do activity if you ever happen to be in Portland Jamaica.
Things to bring with you
Walk with cash - In case you want to tip your captain.
Sunscreen - You'll be in the sun for the majority of the journey so protect your skin.
Umbrella/Hat - This will shield you from the sun
Water shoes (Optional)
Camera - Even though pictures do not do justice to the beauty your eyes will behold you will always have them to look at to remind yourself of the experience.
Water - You may get thirsty along the way.
Have you ever been rafting on the Rio Grande River? How was your experience? Tell me in the comments below.
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