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by Sheree-Anita Shearer | Associate Writer
The entrepreneurial spirit of Jamaicans is something that has always been talked about. Our ability to create a business out of every and anything is truly unmatched. Chukka Jamaica, formally Chukka Caribbean Adventures is proof of that.
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The business that started so many years ago from the hobby of its founder Danny Melville has now flourished into something grander than I believe even he had anticipated. Chukka Jamaica, formally Chukka Caribbean Adventures provides fulfilled and unique tours of Jamaica and all the countries it is apart of to their adventurers
I’m sorry, I’m going on and on about this company and you are probably clueless as to what I am talking about.
Chukka Jamaica is a Nature Adventure Park, the first (and only) of its kind in the Caribbean. They provide unique adventures and opportunities to see the island of Jamaica for the entire family.
While they started in Jamaica, they now provide adventurous excursions in four other Caribbean countries namely; Belize, Dominican Republic, Barbados and Turks and Caicos, which is why they now have the name Chukka Caribbean Adventures.
But why the name Chukka? What does that have to do with adventures?
Those of us who play Polo might recognize the word chukka from the sport as the period of play in a polo match. That is exactly where the name comes from. Danny Melville was an avid Polo player and would play every Saturday at a field in St. Ann, what is now Chukka Cove. On Sundays, he would bring the horses for a relaxing day by the water at Mammee Bay in the parish.
Both the players and Danny’s children loved and looked forward to the Sunday ritual of riding the horses through the water on Sunday mornings. As such, he added it as a part of the package when he opened the equestrian centre for locals in 1983.
The thought of including tourists came later and as such, the Horseback Ride N Swim adventure was born. To this day is the company’s most popular excursion. The scenic ride along the beach on top of a horse was the birth of an entirely new business.
Chukka showcases the sides of Jamaica and all the other countries it operates from in a new light. Usually, visiting a country means staying at the hotel for a couple of days, where the food and drinks are constantly flowing. You might visit one or two popular attractions but that is about it.
And there is nothing wrong with those vacations, we all need them sometimes, just a little Rest and Relaxation. But sometimes, seeing the country as the locals do, gives an even greater appreciation and admiration for it.
Chukka Jamaica seeks to highlight that by taking its adventurers on guided tours through the rugged mountains and cascading waterfalls all while giving the best of Jamaican hospitality, something, you can always look forward to on the island.
Chukka Jamaica offers:
They have different regions which will include a combination of any of the overall offerings. It just depends on what adventures you would like to include in your trip.
Chukka Cove and Cliffs and Llandovery
Dunn’s River Falls
White River Valley
Chukka Jungle Expedition Outpost at Montpelier
Chukka Jamaica Ocean Outpost at Sandy Bay, Hanover
They have three types of passes for this location, Eco Adventures, Cultural Experiences and EcoSpaces.
Eco Adventures Gives you access to:
Cultural Experiences gives you access to:
The Eco Spaces Pass Gives you Access to the:
There are different access passes you can get with a single or a combination of experiences. However, the VIP pass gives you all access to the entire property as well as your very own, private riverside Cabana.
Named after the only female Master Blender, Joy Spence, this rum tour takes you to the Appleton Estate in St. Elizabeth. The adventure includes a tour of the grounds, a demonstration of how the rum is made from the sugar cane and of course tasting the sugar cane. Depending on the experience you would like to have, a trip to the Black River Safari and Ys Falls are included. At the Ys Falls, you can zipline over the falls too!
Chukka also facilitates sea passengers through its partnership with all major cruise lines. You can experience a little of the island before heading off to your next destination.
Through the branch of Chukka Jamaica, you can book everything at once, from accommodation to chukka adventures. They have even partnered with other attractions on the island to ensure their guests get the best Jamaican experience ever.
The cost to visit Chukka Jamaica changes depending on what you would like to do and how many people are accompanying you. There are some excursions for as little as US$49 for one person.
There are also passes you can purchase which will be a single payment for a combination of activities. It is best to reach out to Chukka via telephone or their very informative website for more information.
Now that is a good question, yes you do. It is advised that you book your spot at least a day in advance.
Chukka Jamaica does facilitate pick-ups and drop-offs from some hotels. You can speak with Chukka or check with your hotel’s front desk to find out if Chukka comes to that location.
Remember, you are going on an adventure, comfortable attire, especially shoes are a must. It is recommended that closed-toe shoes be worn. If you would like to operate motorized vehicles, like ATVs, a driver’s licence is required. You will also need a clean suit to change into after the trip and a swimsuit depending on the location you are heading. A camera can be brought along as well to document your trip. Lastly, money. Whether cash or card, it doesn’t matter.
Some experiences are wheelchair accessible, for example, the Joy Spence Rum Tour except for the distillery room and viewing tower.
They absolutely can! Chukka Jamaica provides adventures for the entire family. However, some experiences have a minimum age requirement for example the ATV rides and of course the Rum Tours. They are allowed on the tours but will not be allowed to drink. The drinking age in Jamaican is 18 years old.
Chukka Jamaica offers the best the island has to offer to its adventurers, there is something for everyone to enjoy!
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