Updated: Jun 11
In 2013 when I lived in Colorado for three cold cold months, a man who had never been to Jamaica asked me if Kingston had a beach and I promptly told him no. Andrei, if you're reading this, I'd like to take back my answer.
Lime Cay is an uninhabitable islet off the cost of Port Royal with clear beautiful water and a panoramic view of the Downtown Kingston skyline. I spent a few necessary hours of relaxation there on the Saturday right after the end of my first term at the Norman Manley Law School.
As you know, to #travelthelocalpathway means to use the resources available and stop making excuses not to travel.
So not having a car or anyone willing to take me directly there didn't phase me in the least. I could have called a private taxi company and ended up in Port Royal for about $4,000.00 JMD directly from my doorstep. But why would I spend that amount of money on a one way trip when I could spend that same amount for the entire day?
What to pack
Aside from the beach day essentials like a change of clothes and a decent sized towel to lay on, I had to bear in mind that Lime Cay is uninhabited and therefore has no facilities or vendors. Luckily, everything is for sale Downtown so I was able to purchase fruit to snack on ($150.00 JMD) from a stall right next to the bus whose owner didn't want to be featured. Bottled water ($100.00 JMD) and wet wipes ($50.00 JMD) from the vendor you see in the picture above who insisted that he get featured.
My journey began in Liguanea where for $100.00 JMD, a route taxi took me directly Downtown and dropped me off a few feet from where the buses heading for Port Royal were parked. I paid another $100.00 JMD on board the JUTC 98EX bus that goes directly from Downtown Kingston to Port Royal. Be on time for this one because the JUTC operates on a schedule so if you miss it there's a long wait for the next one. I chose the 10:15am departure and by 11:10am I was requesting a stop at the Port Royal Primary School which is directly across the street from the departure point at the Y-Knot Restaurant and Bar.
I once heard a man say "the best boat to have is your friend's boat" and I completely agree because those things are expensive. Fortunately, if you plan to visit Lime Cay, the Captain of the Lime Cay passenger vessel docked at Y-Knot will be your friend for the humble fee of $1,500.00 JMD per person, round-trip (life jacket included).
Things to do
Swim obviously. The water is clear, calm and warm. After the stresses of school it felt great just to float and frolic around for a bit.
I ordered lunch from Y-Knot at the same time I paid for my boat ride. My garlic lobster with a side of festival and two beers were delivered at the requested time at a cost of $2,100.00 JMD (no delivery fee). Keep in mind that they have other menu items.
I watched planes landing at the Norman Manley International Airport while I ate and enjoyed the silence on a deserted part of the beach. I tried going into the shade but the lizards are the size of small snakes so I left them to their habitat and they left me on the beach.
After getting picked up for the return trip, I decided to hang around for a while so I skipped the 3:14 pm bus and opted for the one that leaves Port Royal at 3:54 pm instead. There is so much history in that little village and I'm a big fan of the Fort Charles Museum but instead of going in for the fifth time, I explored the church, went to see the restored Navy hospital and had a heated discussion with some local domino players about Pirates of the Caribbean.
Have you been tallying up my trip? Because I spent $4,300.00 JMD (or approximately $30 USD). This includes all land and water transportation, full lunch and snacks.
$100 from Liguanea to Downtown
+ $300 on fruit, water and wet wipes
+ $100 to Port Royal
+ $1500 round-trip boat ride
+ $2100 lunch
+ $100 to Downtown
+ $100 to Liguanea
*UPDATE: As of 2020, the round-trip boat ride cost increased by $500 to $2,000.00 JMD per person.
When you visit, have some decency and take your trash back to the mainland with you.