The Essential Kingston Tour
Tour Participation Requirements
Sandwiched between the misty Blue Mountains and a vast natural harbor, Kingston began life in 1692 as a refuge for survivors of an earthquake that nearly swallowed nearby Port Royal whole. Today, it's Jamaica's lush, noisy, sprawling, and vibrantly alive capital. More than a third of Jamaica lives there, along with more than a few itinerant goats.
GoBe's guided tour will take you inside three of the town's must-see landmarks, and pass by many others that can be appreciated from the comfort of the vehicle.
The stops are all winners, but if there's one superstar, that'll be the Bob Marley Museum. The reggae legend's home and studio from 1975 till his tragic 1981 death at just 36, this large colonial-era house is a trove of Marley memorabilia – including his gold and platinum records, his favorite stage shirt, his Grammy for Lifetime Achievement, and his Rasta cloaks.
Bob overcame Tuff odds to get where he got. But then, so did George Stiebel, builder of Devon House, back in the 19th century. Son of a black housekeeper and a German-Jewish merchant, Stiebel conquered harsh prejudice to become Jamaica’s first black millionaire. His landmark home, filled with prized antiques and porcelain chandeliers, reflects the best that money and privilege could buy in Caribbean society at the time.
We'll drive though the beautiful 200-acre Hope Botanical Gardens and Zoo, and the University of the West Indies campus, where a mid-1700s aqueduct survives from the ruins of two sugar estates that once operated here. At Emancipation Park, we'll pass by a controversial statue that still has some Kingstonians in a hissy fit. But it makes for some memorable photos.
Out of proportion artistry? You decide.
When an 11-ft. bronze statue commemorating the 1838 end of slavery in Jamaica was unveiled at Kingston's Emancipation Park in 2003, there were gasps. Then there were gasps. Seems the male and female couple – gazing proudly skyward – aren't just nude but very generously endowed. As in, way more endowed than your usual classical figure. Some see this as an expression of strength. Others believe it sends a wrong, stereotypic message. That's art for you.
Non-refundable if canceled within 48 hours of requested services.