Happily for me, St Elizabeth (a.k.a. St Bess, Senty) is one of the easiest places to promote as a Jamaica vacation getaway. I'll admit that there may be a little hometown bias, but I'll try not to overdo it in case you think it's too good to be true!
There's a lot to do in the parish known as the "Breadbasket" of Jamaica. A nice mix of both structured and unstructured activities for the visitor and the local to enjoy side by side. And it's all in a down-to-earth setting, not too touristy or unreal.
I think these pictures say it better than I can...
Nestled in the interior of St Elizabeth you'll find YS Falls , set against a background of lush tropical plants and rolling farmland. Exhilarating, yet relaxing. One of my favourite places.
The Black River, 44 miles long, winds its way from the north and empties into the sea at the town of Black River, the capital of St Elizabeth. Tours of the river showcase it as a habitat for birds, crocodiles, and interesting plantlife. The town itself is a treasure for lovers of history and architecture.
Click here to see pictures of a trip up the Black River.
In the northern hills, the village of Accompong waits to tell you the story of the Jamaican Maroons. This place takes you back in time and gives a living lesson in Jamaican culture, history, spirit and psyche.
Treasure Beach, at southern edge of the vast Pedro Plains, defies explanation. Something about this cohesive, friendly, laid back little community makes you want to make it your own. Four scenic bays for swimming, boating, enjoying seafood, having a drink or three. Villas, guesthouses, places to eat.
Little known is that St. Elizabeth is home to the largest freshwater body in Jamaica - Wallywash Pond (Great Pond) in the district of Pondside, six miles southeast of Black River. Or that the longest river cave in the island,Wallingford, is hidden inland near the town of Balaclava.
Then there's other stuff like relaxing on the beach, birdwatching, stargazing, fishing, watching the sunset, and the sunrise too. We may not have a bustling nightlife, but we do have our moments. And depending on what time of year you visit, there are many seasonal events to enjoy.
Situated on Jamaica's south western coast, we are the second largest parish. St Elizabeth is thought to have been named after Lady Elizabeth Modyford, who was the wife of Sir Thomas Modyford, Governor of Jamaica in the mid 17th century.
The vegetation and geography are perhaps the most varied of all the parishes. From the arid plains in the south, to the thick green wetlands of the Black River Upper and Lower Morass, to woodland mountainsides as high as 2500 ft.
Our people are diverse in appearance as well. Particularly in southern St. Elizabeth, there is a large proportion of light-skinned people, affectionally called "red", or especially for the females, "browning".
So much to experience. Impossible to do it properly on a day trip. So why not spend some time with us in this beautiful parish?
Here's a map to help you get started.