Legend & Lore


Bloody Bay
Located just north of a slice of land jutting out towards Booby Cay is Bloody Bay – one of Negril’s most picturesque beaches. There is some debate about how the beach claimed its name. Some argue it was the site of a vicious pirate battle, but most believe hunters used to slaughter whales there, turning the sea blood-red. Shrouded by this seemingly dark past, Bloody Bay still mystifies and intrigues beach-goers with its beauty.

Once a secret, this secluded stretch is lined today with a string of all-inclusive properties, including two Riu Hotels, Breezes Grand Lido, Couples Negril and a private beach at Sunset at the Palms. However, these sugary white sands and azure waters are not just accessible to resort guests. Many patches are still open to the public.

Cousin’s Cove
Cousin’s Cove, a small inlet along the Hanover coastline, is unknown to most tourists, but is as important to Jamaican heritage as it is beautiful. In the mid-17th century, as part of the Cromwellian system of land grants for military service, John Samuels acquired a parcel that included the pristine, secluded cove. Samuels, who arrived in the West Indies after fleeing the law in England, named the cove in honour of his cousin, Frances, whom he married.

Recent investigations by the University of the West Indies Archaeology Department revealed a burial ground and some cave paintings by the Tainos, the pre-Colombian indigenous people of Jamaica. Pack a lunch, wear sensible shoes and go hiking in the small wooded hills behind the cove. If you make a day of it, the whole experience of getting there will be a delightful addition to a true Jamaican adventure.

In the heart of the sugar-producing regions of central Westmoreland is the community of Petersfield, a no-frills one-street rural town that is home to many of the workers of the Frome Sugar Estate. Petersfield is one of the older townships on the island; in fact, it was incorporated as early as the late 17th century as a dormitory community for estate workers on the nearby Roaring River Estate.

One Peter Beckford, for whom the town is named, owned the Roaring River Estate at the time. The Beckford family arrived in Jamaica shortly after the restoration of King Charles in England, and over time, they built one of the largest fortunes in the West Indies. Some will argue that not much has changed in Petersfield since the 17th century, probably because the pace of life here is much slower than most places in Jamaica.

Local Flavour
During the day the street is virtually empty, and only on weekends does the town display any bustle at all! The people of Petersfield, however, maintain a sense of pride in the fact that theirs is a quiet, respectful community, probably because, as one young man replied when asked what the most outstanding thing about his town was, “Decent people live here.”

The Roaring River is a marvellous wonder hidden deep in the Westmoreland cane country. The river is a subterranean channel that runs for miles underground before appearing, almost miraculously, at a spot near Petersfield. Lush green vegetation abounds, and water lilies glide gently along the water’s surface, destined for nowhere in particular. Just beyond the emergence point of the river, almost carved into the cliff, is the mouth of the Roaring River Cave, a series of subterranean limestone caverns with a small mineral spring inside. Visitors cannot enter the caves without the guidance of a member of the Roaring River Citizens Association, a local community group that maintains the attraction through the contributions for organized tours. Just outside the Roaring River cave is a deep freshwater sinkhole, which residents of the area will tell you is bottomless. Swimming is permitted here, and the water is crisply refreshing and remarkably pure. There is another blue hole further up the road, set within a calming landscaped private garden, where visitors are welcome for a small contribution.

Duppy Fly Trap
Duppy Fly Trap is the local name of a plant (Aristolochia Grandiaflora) which is an insect-trapping flower. The plant does not eat the insect but use it as a means of propagation. The plant gives off an unpleasant odor which attracts flies and small insects. After being trapped inside the flower and fully covered with pollen grains, they are allowed to escape, so that when attracted into another “Duppy Fly Trap”, the powder is rubbed off and fertilization takes place