Are you heading to Jamaica during your holiday break? Lucky you. While everyone else keeps a close eye on the weather report for snowstorms, you’ll be enjoying the hot sun, beautiful beaches, and delicious food in the Caribbean. Right now, your plans probably don’t include much more than sunbathing, eating and drinking, and sleeping. But there’s a day trip you should add to your itinerary.
Lime Cay is the largest islet of the Port Royal Cays off the southern coast of Jamaica. You can actually see the cay as your airplane begins its descent into Kingston. Half of the two-hectare island is filled with trees. The rest of the low-lying island is just sand and coral, which many consider to be some of the most beautiful beaches in the entire country. A single, thatched-roof building, Lime Cay Catering, sells food on the weekends; Sunday is the popular day for locals to visit. Warm blue-green water surrounds the cay as far as the eye can see.
You need a boat, or at least someone with a boat, to reach the cay. The Y-Knot Bar, in Morgan’s Harbour, will drop you off—and later pick you up—for a small fee. The 25-minute ride is quite bumpy; you’re glad you didn’t eat an early lunch. But the uncomfortable trip is worth it. Lime Cay is absolutely gorgeous. The water is warm and the beach is sparkling, as promised.
After you spread your towel out in the sand and slather yourself with sunscreen, grab your snorkel gear and return to the water. Sea urchins stick to rocks just below the surface. Underwater caves provide spots for brightly colored fish to hide. Plus sharks patrol the deeper water farther out in Lime Cay Shoal. The sun quickly dries you off when you return to your spot on the sand. You’re just starting to think about lunch when the well-known oyster man approaches you. He offers you oysters with spicy “backshot” sauce. You happily slurp them out of their shells and wash them down with a cold Red Stripe. Lucky, lucky you.