Last updated: 11:00 PM ET, Fri May 06 2016

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  • Rosalind Cummings-Yeates | May 6, 2016 11:00 PM ET

    Buzzing Around Jamaica’s Hummingbird Garden

    Buzzing Around Jamaica’s Hummingbird Garden

    PHOTO: Hummingbird. (photo courtesy of Thinkstock)

    In Ocho Rios, Jamaica, there are lots of dramatic tourist attractions, including Dunn’s River Falls caving and the 19th century architecture of Harmony Hall. But if you prefer a low-key excursion, the Hummingbird Garden on Mystic Mountain is a great option.

    You can’t visit a tropical paradise without diving into the natural landscape and the garden gives you a hands-on perspective. Its mountainous location features a lush, flower covered garden in a rain forest.

    READ MORE: Top 5 Things to Do in Kingston, Jamaica

    You can stroll down a path that features signs explaining the species and history of the hummingbirds in Jamaica. I learned that there are 328 hummingbird species and they are found only in the Western Hemisphere. Tropical locations are a popular habitat but they also live as far north as Alaska and Canada.

    Walking through the gardens, I loved glimpsing the delicate beauty of these winged creatures, but I discovered that they are really hard to capture on camera. There were literally dozens of birds flitting around but I only managed to snap one. The green feathers and red beaks blend in with the scenery so well and they fly so fast that I had to strain to see them.

    I learned that Ecuador claims the most species of hummingbirds and that the world's smallest bird does not migrate from the Western Hemisphere. It was fun being surrounded by these tiny birds in the Jamaican rain forest, but they did make me dizzy.

    Next to the Hummingbird Garden, the Butterfly Attraction Garden features a maze of pretty foliage and flowers with butterflies flitting around. They're much easier to spot than the hummingbirds and since you can find butterflies almost anywhere, they’re not quite as exotic. Strolling through these gardens is great way to cool off from the intense Jamaican sun, but be warned, it’s a rainforest and it does downpour frequently.

    READ MORE: Four Jamaica Tourism Developments to Watch

    Nearby, there’s also a lookout tower that supplies panoramic views of the Jamaican rainforest but I prefer hopping on the Sky Explorer which is a chairlift that glides 700 feet over the rainforest canopy. You can actually reach out and touch the trees.

    End your laidback excursion with a dip in the infinity pool and waterslide that’s perched on the edge of the mountain.

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Rosalind Cummings-Yeates Far-Sighted Field Notes

Rosalind Cummings-Yeates Rosalind Cummings-Yeates is a journalist, author and blogger who specializes in travel and culture topics. She loves guiding readers through the richness of various cultures and discovering the essence of a destination. Her travel and culture blog, Farsighted Fly Girl, offers travel insights through the music, food, art and history of various countries and cultures. Join her on the journey at www.Rosalindcummingsyeates.
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