Treasure Beach, Jamaica – Laid back vibe and tasty food
Treasure Beach, Jamaica – Laid back vibe and tasty food
Hippie – Artsy – Upcoming – Windy – Poor road conditions – Rastas – Delicious food – Lot of restaurants and bars – Laid back – Friendly people – Sustainability – Dry air / area – Less green – Countryside – Strong community – Yellow sanded beach – Non touristy – No hustlers – Lazy lifestyle – Fishing village – Real Jamaica
Journey to Treasure Beach
Treasure Beach is the generic name for four coves; Billy’s Bay, Frenchman’s Bay, Calabash Bay and Great Bay. The sea can be rough and the color is more green instead of blue. An artsy place, friendly people, no hustlers, lots of fishing boats, no exclusive resorts and a local community promoting sustainability. A public beach and no entrance fees here. Here you can experience the real Jamaica!
After another yummy breakfast of omelette and fresh fruits prepared by Betty of Orchid Cottage she brings us to the bus. She also gives us packed fruits on the go, that we forgot at the bus station (we know, stupid). Hopefully someone else enjoyed it.
The Knutsford departs at 08:30 from Kingston to Gutters (with a short stop in Mandeville). From Gutters we take a route taxi to Treasure Beach. Probably it’s better to travel further to Black River (Luana) and take a route taxi from there to Treasure Beach, because from there it’s shorter, about 45 min drive and it’s cheaper.
The Knutsford has no bus stop in Treasure Beach. Why not we ask ourselves? The place is really upcoming and tourists will visit the place more. However, maybe it’s better Treasure Beach maintains less easily accessible.
Around 11:20 we arrived in Gutters, a little sleeping village. We hardly were dropped off at the bus stop and stretched our legs, a route taxi immediately was offered. For USD50 he will drive us to our accomodation in Treasure Beach. Now we know he asked way too much. A 1,5 hour drive leads us to Treasure Beach. I think the speed was not more than 20 km per hour. The roads are very bumpy, lot of holes and curves. And if you are unlucky, there is a big truck in front of you.
We were looking forward to our next destination and our stay at ‘Drew’s Escape’ we already booked at home. A wooden eco cottage close to the beach, a dream destination according to the pictures on AirBnB. We spent three days here.
The taxi driver couldn’t find it, but off course that’s ‘no problem’ in Jamaica. Just ask and there is always someone who knows someone who knows someone… Eventually, a group of friendly Jamaicans among which some people who were heading to church and a rasta on a bicycle who knows Andrew the owner, showed us the way.
And yes! The description of the cottage was above all expectations. Completely back to basic and very romantic. A wooden cottage with a veranda and a hammock, an outside shower, a bed with a mosquito net (really neccessary) and a small refrigerator (nice to have in this climate). Lots of birds surrounded the eco cottage which was build by Andrew himself. All natural materials, amazing details and no fuss. Andrew is a really friendly laid back guy with beautiful dreadlocks. We have noticed there are more Rastas (or shall I say people with dreadlocks, because not every Jamaican who had dreads is a Rasta) in Treasure Beach than in the rest of Jamaica. Actually only less than one percent of the 2.7 people living in Jamaica consider themselves Rastafarian. When you are traveling Jamaica you expect lots of Rastas but it’s a minority.
Lazy tropical lifestyle
We put our backpacks in the cottage and we explore the area. The air in Treasure Beach is much dryer and the area is less green than the rest of the island, especially in comparison with Port Antonio. Our first impression of this fishing village felt really good; a relaxing laidback vibe, a kind of hippie atmosphere in the countryside. Happily there are lots of restaurants and bars to choose from, which sometimes was difficult to find elsewhere (outside the cities) in Jamaica.
We do not understand why the Knutsford bus is not stopping in Treasure beach, because the place is amazing! Again, not crowded and a few tourists in this fishing village, just as elsewhere in Jamaica. Only in Negril and Ochi you see many tourists. We do not understand people do not explore more the island.
We decide to relax and stay close. We don’t want to take any taxi during our stay here, becaude this trip contains already many travel hours. Our goal was to try lots of local food and to chill on the beach!
Enjoying local food
We ate a delicious pizza and ordered a Pina Colada and a Red Stripe at Jack Sprat. Go there, because it’s a beautiful location at the sea to hang out and swim. With a bohemian interior and film posters on the wall, rum bar, great music you tend to come here every night! Delicious fresh seafood and if you want they put lobster on your pizza. The price for a pizza is around €13, – which is really affordable.
The vibe in Treasure Beach we liked the most. Everyone is very friendly and says hello to each other. Spending the night in Andrew’s eco cottage was incredible. We could hear the waves of the sea and the birds wake you in the morning.
In the morning we are heading to Smurfs café, because everyone says this is the place to have some good breakfast in Treasure Beach. A few ladies make for you the best ackee, eggs, pancakes and roasted coffee for a fine price and in the meantime you are chilling in the outside area. It’s like you are visiting your grandma. All different kinds of tableware with all sorts of advertisement on it, like they got it for free somewhere. Coffee is served in large mugs, where do you get that these days? I order banana pancakes with fruit salad and Remco omelette with cheese and toast. All together around €15,- very affordable. We really liked it here.
After breakfast we are exploring the area, jump into streets and little shops and strolling along the coast. We are having lunch at Eggy’s located at the beach. We take a Red Stripe and rice with peas and veggie chuncks, Remco orders shrimps with rice and peas. Rice with peas is a typical side dish in Jamaica. Very simple dished, but delicious seasoned. Quite expensive to eat here, we paid JD5300 which is about €40,-. Maybe it was a special tourist price.
Despite the fact Treasure Beach is quite unknown for tourists there are amazing guesthouses, yoga centres and boutique hotels. Thanks to Jake’s hotel more tourists are exploring Treasure Beach these days. Jake’s is a famous hotspot with its colourful, arty, boutique hotel build on a rock with a hippie easygoing vibe and a cocktailbar. It’s not cheap to stay here, but you can enjoy the place by only drinking a cocktail here. The cocktails are delicious, we tried a pineapple punch and a Jake’s special rum punch, yumm! The cocktails are served with rvs straws, big thumbs up for the sustainable straws! Price JD1600, around €11,- for these two drinks.
In the evening we go to Kim’s Place, about 40 metres from Drew’s Escape and they serve tasty Jamaican food and this place is famous for his burgers. We order Red Stripes with (very large!) veggie burgers and as sides a salad, bammy and plantain. Meanwhile, a group Rastas were playing reggae music. What else could we wish for a perfect stay in Jamaica!
- Food, food, food and food. Try here lots of local food!
- Eat a pizza at Jack Sprat
- Drink a Red Stripe and order some food at Eggy’s bar which is located on Frenchman’s Beach and enjoy the atmosphere
- Have a breakfast at Smurf’s cafe
- Ask for a veggie burger at Kim’s place
- Enjoy a rum cocktail at Jake’s Hotel
- Buy fresh fruit on the street
- To save money you can buy some bread and guave jam and fruits on the street for breakfast and lunch
- Buy some Red Stripes and a bottle of rum in a small supermarket.
- Drews Escape, beautiful eco cottage build by the owner himself
- Jakes hotel if you can afford it
Things to do in Treasure Beach:
- Pelican bar, we didn’t go there. We think for us it’s quite touristy
- The coastline in Treasure Beah is perfect for a hike!
- Go shopping, there are some cute boutiques in Treasure Beach
- Hire a bicycle or go hiking to explore the area. You always meet lovely people
- Black river
- YS falls