Nestled discreetly among the lush greens along the Northeastern coast of of Portland, Jamaica, the internationally acclaimed Blue Lagoon is not just an attraction, but more so an experience.
The experience of the lagoon begins en route, minutes after leaving the Parish capital, Port Antonio. En route, the view of a serene stretch of beach accompanies you, though occasionally replaced by forestry. The picturesque journey to the Blue Lagoon entails a perfect seaside view of the white-washed Trident Castle Hotel, conveniently located along the shoreline, creating an enviable view for onlookers and passers-by. A few turns onwards, the grandeur Jamaica Palace Hotel greets you; the closest you will ever come to a modern day palace in that end of, if not the entire island. A subtle metal sign indicating the location of the Blue Lagoon marks an abrupt ending to the journey. You are there, actually there, but not quite yet. Another few minutes of walking awaits as you are curiously on edge craving the first peep of the lagoon.
On your way down a steep hill, you get small peeks of blue waters, which bear no similarity of the image of the Lagoon you’re accustomed to seeing in pictures. As the wait ends, you’re officially on a tourist site as the Jamaican crafts are on display, along with clothing and apparel bearing the colors of the national flag. A distracted mind then comes back to reality as you have approached the Lagoon, according to another piece of signage encountered.
The experience now awaits. Firstly, a 20 minute optional, but highly recommended boat ride to Monkey Island, a ride which gives you the opportunity to view the villas and guest houses along the seaside. The choice is yours to stay near Monkey Island for a swim or to venture back to the Lagoon to swim in the 650 meters (approx. 2132 ft) deep and dark blue waters. Upon the first step into the lagoon, you are a bit confused as you’re feeling a strange combination of cold and warm water. A few, only a few steps further your confusion starts to make a little sense, whilst the school of young fishes greet you playfully- you come to the realization that water’s surface is quite cold, in comparison to the soothingly warmth temperature beneath.
The Blue waters grasps your attention next, leaving you quite enthralled by the varying shades of blue and even green, the water reflects. A breathtaking view of the full circumference of the lagoon is accentuated by the lush trees and forestry by which it is engulfed. For non swimmers, a life jacket is highly recommended, while swimmers are free to plunge in the depths of the blue and green water. The Tropical Lagoon Hotel, another establishment which encloses the Blue Lagoon provides a Bar and Grill on the shores of the Lagoon, for moments when you feel the need to eat or have a drink.
The Blue Lagoon is an experience which can’t be enjoyed in any other way than visiting. From the view en route to the lagoon, to the fascinating blue, green and quiet waters of the lagoon, a worthwhile experience awaits.
– UYC Contributor Nicholas Martin