LuceaLucea's appeal goes beyond its stunning white-sand beaches, secluded coves, and picture-perfect sunsets. It also extends to the quaint colonial town that plays host to a bustling weekly market on Saturdays. Nestled between Montego Bay and Negril, Lucea is a tranquil and pristine destination that has yet to be overrun by tourists, unlike many other popular Jamaican getaways.
The CityRumored to have been named after Christopher Columbus' son Luis, Lucea has been historically heavily involved in the sugar trade, and remained a busy export hub well into the 20th century until the local port was eventually closed down. Today, Lucea holds a few attractive sights - the compact Hanover Museum, historic Courthouse and well-preserved Fort Charlotte to name only a few. What most attracts visitors, however, are Lucea's splendid beaches - stretches of white sand that dominate the coastal bay area with plenty of active water pursuits to offer holidaymakers. Apart from those, Lucea is known for its several natural waterfalls. A short drive outside of Lucea lie the larger towns of Negril (with it's not-to-be missed venue called Rick's Café) and Montego Bay (known, among others, for its famous Doctor's Cave Beach). Jamaica is a rather compact island, so exploring much of what it has to offer is very doable with Lucea as a point of departure.
Do & See
The tiny scenic town of Lucea is primarily a beach resort destination, with beach activities and water sports topping the list of things on most visitors' to-do lists. Try windsurfing, snorkeling or kite-surfing, or opt for a rather unique excursion where one gets to dash directly through the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean while on horseback (multiple local agencies offer guided tours). Elsewhere on the island stunning beaches, cascade waterfalls and multiple active pursuits await.
Savor the island’s rich cultural history through its food. Lucea itself is scarce for dining venues, but venturing to nearby Negril and Montego Bay will provide a wealth of dining options, with the traditional Jamaican "jerk chicken" (as well as other meats and seafood prepared on grill) available at every corner at street food vendors' stalls and finer, sit-in establishments. Do not skip on the Jamaican patties - a variety of local fast food (coco bread stuffed with various fillings) and make sure to sample the local ackee fruit and saltfish.
Cafes are rather scarce in Lucea itself, although local hotels do have a number of light dining establishments on-premises. When in Jamaica, do not skip on sampling the locally grown Blue Mountain Coffee that ranks amongst the finest in the world and it is known for its lack of bitterness and a fine, mild taste.
Bars & Nightlife
Most nightlife in Lucea revolves in and around the two major resort hotels - the Grand Palladium Lady Hamilton and Grand Palladium Jamaica. Each houses a number of bars and lounges, as well as in-house casinos, that cater to a potpourri audience of holiday-makers. If you don't mind venturing out to nearby Negril or Montego Bay, you will be duly rewarded with a wider selection of establishments and a somewhat livelier nightlife scene.
Shopping in Lucea itself revolves around the Saturday market, when vendors set up stalls all through the town's streets. Items on sale include a variety of fruit and vegetables, local arts, crafts, and souvenirs. For a wider selection of goods head to the neighbouring settlements of Negril and Montego Bay, where crafts markets side with a few shopping malls. Local specialty items include hand-made jewellery, wood carvings, original artwork, Blue Mountain Coffee, rum, Bob Marley memorabilia and cooking spices.