Jamaica is known around the world for its sunny beaches, festive reggae music & laid-back tropical style, but this Caribbean island is also packed with fascinating history. Many of the world's most notorious pirates, including Captain Henry Morgan & Blackbeard, made frequent stops in Jamaica, making the island a treasure chest for adventure, mystery & tales straight out of a storybook.
On your next family vacation in the Caribbean, be sure to make a pit-stop at these locations to see the island as the real pirates once did:
Port Royal Today, Port Royal, Jamaica, is a quiet fishing town, but back in the days when the pirates roamed the Caribbean Sea, it was known as the "wickedest city on Earth." However, Port Royal's rich, piratical history came to a dramatic end when it was struck by an earthquake in 1692, which left most of the city underwater.
Today, you can still see some hints of the village's glittering past, including a Red Stripe sign that welcomes visitors by claiming the city is "Where the Buccaneers Drank Their Beer." The village is also home to St. Peter's Church, which, according to legend, is where Captain Morgan used to go to repent his seaside sins. Today, the church – which functions largely as a museum of the city's past – even contains a silver communion service that was supposedly donated by the infamous Captain Morgan.
Spanish Town The former Jamaican capital of Spanish Town is also shrouded in legend & mystery. On the west side of the town's main square, for example, is the site of an old courthouse where John "Calico Jack" Rackham & his two swashbuckling female crew members were tried & convicted of piracy in 1720.
Ocho Rios If you're staying at a family friendly resort like the Beaches Ocho Rios, you may have already planned a trip to British playwright Noel Coward's estate. While this is a great place to learn more about the "Private Lives" author, it is also another fantastic location to get in touch with your inner pirate. From Coward's composing room, you can see a "pirate cabin" that once concealed Captain Morgan. Additionally, near Coward's gravesite is a large hole that locals say led to a tunnel that gave Morgan quick access to the sea.