Road Trip to Treasure Beach, Jamaica: Alligator Hole

Alligator HoleAfter about 1.5 years, my husband and I are in the middle of wrapping up our tour of Jamaica. Naturally, we’re trying to check more “things to see” off our list. This weekend, we chose to do a road trip to Treasure Beach, on the south coast. We made several stops, which I’ll detail in other posts. The one I’ll concentrate on here is Alligator Hole.

We started our trip driving out of Kingston. Once off the highway, the roads led deeper into the countryside until there was nothing but scrub brush and forest to see. We had to drive slower on what Jamaicans call “bush” roads as we got nearer to our first stop, Alligator Hole, about two hours away from the big city.

The site wasn’t hard to find (which is not typically the case in Jamaica). There’s only one road leading to it, we were driving about 20 mph to suit the terrain,  and the sign marking the spot was clear. We parked out front and stepped into the tropical humidity, alleviated by a gentle breeze.

The pond’s entrance is hidden from the roadway by the roots of an enormous mangrove tree. We walked down a short flight of steps and were amazed at what we saw: a beautiful body of water surrounding an island of reeds, with water so clear you could see to the bottom. We’re used to the polluted waterways of Kingston, so this was a treat. Underwater was a carpet of seagrass and rocks, obscured slightly when the breeze rippled the water’s surface, but made clear once again when the pond returned to stillness. Below the lookout point built for the site, there was a canoe moored to the right for those who want to hire a boatman to take them out.

The pond was deserted when we were there, which made it feel like our secret. The sun was out and the colors of nature were popping: the green leaves of the mangroves, the neon pink bougainvillea sprouting from the cliffside, the dark blue green of the water, the black feathers of ducks alighting, the whiteness of a crab hiding underwater.

We would have loved to explore the pond with our inflatable kayak, but we wanted to get to Treasure Beach by the afternoon, so we savored the moment, got back in our Jeep, and drove once again into the bush.