South Coast Travel Guide
South Coast © Hanumann
The south of Jamaica is the most unspoilt part of this lovely Caribbean island; here many say the true heart of the nation still beats, relatively untouched by the tourism boom evident on the rest of the island and the resort development which, for some, mars the Jamaican paradise.
The centre of the region is the breezy hill town of Mandeville, founded in 1816 and lying 2,000 feet (610m) above sea level. The genteel British colonial influence is strong here, from the village green bordered by a church and courthouse to the Manchester Club, which is home to Jamaica's oldest golf course (founded in 1868). Negril is technically also in the south coast region, but as a booming resort town it has a different atmosphere to the rest of the south.
The surrounding area, and the south coast region, has numerous natural attractions and wildlife refuges. With its natural beauty and slow pace, Jamaica's south is sought after by more discerning visitors intent on secluded relaxation and an experience of Jamaican culture and nature rather than the glitz and glamour of a resort holiday on the Caribbean island. The south coast is the best region for travelling off the beaten track in Jamaica, and the sleepy fishing villages and pristine beaches still feel pleasantly undiscovered and uncommercialised.