Mandeville On a BudgetMandeville is a small, quiet town in the mountains of Jamaica with a population of about 50,000. The town is situated on a plateau west of Kingston. It is the largest town in the parish of Manchester and the fifth largest urban center in the country.
SightsA great historical site in Mandeville is called Marshall's Pen Great House. It was a house that was inhabited by Taino people and was built around 1795. At that time, the house belonged to the first British Provost General of Jamaica. Since then it has served as a coffee plantation as well as a cattle-breeding property. Not only is the house a beautiful sight, you can also visit the property for superb bird watching experiences, where at least 100 species have been spotted.
In the town center is the Mandeville Square, which resembles an English style courtyard. On one side of the square is the courthouse, which was built by the slaves in 1817. There is also a market in the square that is great to visit if you are looking to buy gifts or fresh produce. The Gothic-style St. Mark's Anglican Church, established in 1820, is in the square as well and still serves as the main church in the parish of Manchester.
The Huntington Summit mansion is about three kilometers from the center of the town. It is an octagonal home and is absolutely extravagant, especially compared to most of the other homes you will see in the area. It is owned by the millionaire, Cecil Charlton who was the mayor of the town during the 1970's and 1980's.
NeighborhoodsThere are many suburbs surrounding Mandeville like Clover, Walktham, Brumalia, Newport, Ingleside, and many more. These areas are essentially local areas which don't attract many tourists. Northern Caribbean University is located in Mandeville and is a private liberal arts institution.
ActivitiesGolfing is always a great, leisurely activity while vacationing in the Caribbean. The Manchester Country Club has the oldest course in the whole Caribbean and is located in the hills of Mandeville. There are many breathtaking views all throughout the course, and you can also play tennis or squash at the club.
Explore the southern coast of Jamaica, which is near Mandeville. The Black River Safari is a 10-mile journey along the river with complimentary drinks, wild life, exotic flowers and birds, and stories that can only be told by the locals who drive the boat. After the boat ride, you can sample some Jamaican Rum and have a Jamaican style lunch.
Visit Apple Valley Park, where there are acres of grass, rivers, and forests that surround a historic plantation house. This area is perfect for fishing, camping, hiking, and horseback riding. Visit Treasure Bay for a day at the beach, which is located just outside of Mandeville. This beach is not usually crowded and is known for it's excellent swimming and snorkeling. You can also climb a nearby cliff for breathtaking views. The cliff is actually the site of a tragic death where two lovers plummeted themselves off the cliff to escape being captured as slaves.
Food and DiningMandeville has many 'hole in the wall' places that serve great national and international food. Going out for a high-end meal is probably not something that is easy to do in Mandeville, but that doesn't mean there isn't great food there! The New Den is a restaurant that is in the old home of a colonial family that specializes in fish and chips and barbecue chicken. You can also order a platter type meal where you can try several different types of meat, but make sure you are especially hungry if you order this, as it's extremely large! Little Ochie is another seafood joint in Mandeville that serves traditionally prepared Jamaican seafood. For coffee lovers, make sure to take a trip out to Williamsfield (just east of Mandeville) to the High Mountain Coffee Factory and see the farms and plantations that produce the legendary coffee.
TransportationYou can easily find airport transfers from both the airport in Montego Bay and in Kingston. Jamaica Customized Vacation and Tours is a great company that can take you from the airport to Mandeville. The bus costs about $40 and the services run 24 hours every day. Taxis are another way to get around Mandeville, just make sure that you take a PPV red plated car. Buses run between the cities as well, and they operate out of the transportation centers.
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