Great Huts, Jamaica – make a clean break

by Emily DUNBAR on August 11, 2009

The clean break is a departure from the “fly and flop” holiday: it’s an experience that you won’t forget; a journey into the heart of a destination and its culture, where you do something different, stay in family-run hotels, visit local festivals and hire local guides.

These breaks are also clean in another sense: far from mass tourism, such holidays are about travelling in a way that has less of an impact on the environment and benefits the local community — without having to sacrifice comfort. Indeed, many of the most progressive places to stay are as stylish and innovative as they are green.

Stumbling through the thick vegetation that hides Great Huts’ thatched cabins and tree houses —built of bamboo or mud — you might imagine that this was Africa rather than the Caribbean. The huts are painted with African geometric designs and decorated with sculptures and paintings by local artists.

The whole place is linked with its community, with 20 per cent of all profits funding local projects such as supporting the homeless and elderly of nearby Port Antonio.

The family-friendly huts occupy an idyllic cliff top overlooking one of Jamaica’s most unspoilt shores, Boston Beach. It’s also the birthplace of jerk chicken, which sizzles enticingly on the grill at beach stalls.

If you’ve had one drumstick too many, there’s plenty of ways to work it off such as surfing and scuba diving, or you can horse-ride or hike to nearby waterfalls in the surrounding hills. Or let a local guide paddle you slowly on a bamboo raft down the Rio Grande River.

More suggestions for a clean break at or visit the great huts website

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