Jamaica Xplored
Jamaica Xplored
5
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Monday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Tuesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Wednesday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Thursday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Friday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Saturday
12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
Sunday
9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
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About
If you are looking for a Private Transportation and Tour operator specializing in Jamaica's rich culture, history and natural attractions. I operate from the Ocho Rios/Runaway Bay area and do customized tours throughout my island. If you are not sure of what you would like to see, I will create something suitable for you. Come experience the "real" Jamaica. I also do pickups and drop offs (Airport Transfers) to both international airports on the island.
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B Hills
Cambridge, UK8 contributions
May 2014 • Couples
I really didn't know how best to word/write this review as my holiday experience differed massively to my usual holidays. I apologise for the length of the review but if you persevere with me you may understand while I felt compelled to explain my story.....
This was my 3rd visit to Jamaica in the last 4 years and the previous 2 holidays were fantastic, especially last years visit. We first met Glen through our hotel rep in 2011 and subsequently have used him for everything tour and driving related since. I wrote a lengthy review about Jamaica Xplored last year so will not go over that again suffice to say that Glen is worth his weight in gold......and then some.

My partner and I were due to go out on a tour with Glen on 21st May 2014, and were very much looking forward to it (we had been on 10 or possibly 11 outings with him over the previous holidays...he really is that good!) when problems began to surface. Please bear with me if it seems I'm straying from the review as it only makes sense when you know the circumstances which lead to my experience.
My partner became quite unwell during the very early hours of the morning of the 21st May and it soon became very apparent that this was not going to pass anytime soon but actually get a great deal worse. The nurse on the resort was not available at the time and We had to make a very quick decision on how to deal with this and where to go to get medical assistance. I phoned Glen at a rather early and unreasonable hour to ask him if he knew of a doctor and where we could go that was shortest travel wise as my partner was in serious amounts of pain. Glen said he would make some calls and get back to us. He returned our call within minutes and said he would be waiting outside to take us to see a doctor in Ocho Rios. Glen duly arrived and immediately took us to the doctors surgery. Upon arrival my partner was assessed and advised to go straight to the hospital for urgent medical treatment as her condition was getting worse.
We didn't have the luxury of time to wait for an ambulance to come and fetch us and take us onwards to the hospital, so Glen took us in his bus again, rearranging all the seats to give my partner the best comfort possible for the journey. Glen drove us right up to the doors of the relevant hospital building and my partner was taken off to be treated by the hospital staff.
This might sound a bit silly but in the midst of all the rushing around delivering my partner to the hospital, I was busy and my mind was occupied.....but once my partner was in hospital and I had nothing to do but wait for news on her condition....the gravity of the situation sunk in and I don't mind admitting it now..I kind of 'lost my head' a bit.
You have to bear in mind that no one goes on holiday expecting to end up in hospital in a foreign country....no matter what country it is. So here I was stood in St. Ann's Bay Hospital in Jamaica, in shock, massively worried and a doing an excellent impression of a rabbit caught in the headlights.
I'm just about wise enough to know that different countries have different health systems with varying degrees of funding and equipment and different processes but still it can be a bit of a culture shock when you are so used to the good old NHS system in The UK and then encounter different ways of doing things elsewhere. I had to do the obligatory admission papers and get my partner registered which involved going from one department to another to write exhaustive amounts of registration notes. All this time I wanted to be at my partners side but had to get the paperwork done in order for the doctors to be able to treat her and obtain medical records from the UK. This became hard to do as the staff struggled with my accent and things were getting very hard to understand. Then Glen stepped in. It turns out that he had been politely told off for driving his bus all the way up to accident and emergency dept. when dropping us off and had to park his bus up in the car park at the bottom end of the hospital campus. He had come back in to look for me and when he saw I was, well, quite frankly not dealing with the situation too well he stepped in and ironed out translation issues, spoke to the staff on my behalf, explained things to me I a way that I understood. He had also let my holiday rep at the hotel know what was going on as I hadn't even thought of that. It just wasn't on my list of important things to be doing. After what seemed an eternity in filling out forms and paying hospital fees I was finally able to go and be with my partner. I said a very quick thank you to Glen and rushed off. The details of my partners condition are obviously private and not something I would discuss on here but it would turn out that she would require a few nights stay in the hospital to receive more treatment. The next problem came when a nurse approached me and basically gave me a list of things my partner would need that the hospital simply did not provide. This threw me big time as I was in a hospital in Jamaica, in a town I wasn't familiar with and now running dangerously low on funds due to medical fees paid. I basically was faced with the proposition of having to walk to the nearest town to get the supplies needed (didn't know where to go or how to get there) couldn't get a taxi (pretty much down to my last few dollars) and not even sure what sort of shop I was supposed to be looking for. As I trudged out of the hospital building into the blazing heat I was completely lost and feeling pretty bloody helpless and pathetic. I was supposed to be staying strong for my partner yet wasn't even able to stay strong for myself.
Now I had said goodbye to Glen some 4 or 5 hours ago after he had helped me with paperwork and slight language issues. I just assumed he had gone off to do whatever Glen would do as it was now quite obvious we would not be going on our planned tour for the day. I walked past the waiting area outside the building and was shocked to see Glen sat there. He hadn't gone off to try and salvage what was left of his day, he had sat there......for hours....waiting . I don't admitting it but this overwhelmed me somewhat as it didn't even occur to me that he would have stuck around. There really wasn't anything that he could do for us that he hadn't done already so he really had nothing to achieve in sitting for hours in a real hot area waiting on news on my partner......but he did. This was to be one of many little things that Glen would do that at the time often went unnoticed by me or my partner as were a little preoccupied with ourselves. Glen immediately got into his bus and drove me to the nearest town and went to the relevant shops to acquire the items the nurse said were needed. He took me back to the hospital and waited again as I got updated on my partners condition. When I returned back to where Glen was waiting he had been and got me a loan phone so that I could contact my family and my partners family whenever I was away from the hotel, he had also provided water and food as I had not had anything in god knows how long and he had also provided food for my partner to eat.
I will not go into too much more detail but over the next few days Glen was there whenever we needed him, he literally must have spent in excess of 8 hours sat with me and making sure I was ok while my partner went in for operation and examinations. That's just the waiting part, let alone the trips.He made so many trips to the hospital and hotel to get me that I've lost count of them, the visiting hours were not great and I was having to go twice a day to the hospital and then to the hotel to pick up some items for my partner.
It's only know that I am back in the UK that I have had time to let everything sink in and re-analyse it that I have discovered just how much Glen was actually there for us. He bailed me out and looked after the pair of us. When I lost my head, Glen kept his, he was cool, calm, composed, he knew what to do, he knew what to say, he was just....I don't know....he was amazing through everything. I have probably missed out lots of little things that even now I can't remember but so much happened in such a short space of time that I just can't recall all the little things.
It can't be often that he has to deal with situations like this and the way he conducted himself was beyond reproach. His amazing kindness and empathy will never be forgotten by us and we will never truly be able to thank him for everything he done. I am very sure that Glen must have cancelled on a couple of clients at the last minute as he seemed to be with me the whole time over the next 3 days and for that I am both extremely sorry if he did lose money and extremely grateful that he put us first in our time of great need. I am forever in Glen's debt as things really could have been so much worse but for his quick thinking and fast reactions and I know my partner is so grateful to him that she can't find the words. If you have persevered and read all of this review then thank you, I realise it's a little different to what you would expect but the way he was with us made me feel I had to let people know the lengths this man went to. He is a private tour operator and a business, not a charity but not once did I feel that with him, he was my friend and he was there for us when we needed him. He didn't turn and run and say 'not my problem man' which he was more than entitled to do and he didn't just leave us alone once the British High Commission were involved. He was still the person I turned to when I needed someone or something and he was quite comfortably the most useful person to us in Jamaica. He was there from the very beginning to the very end and bearing in mind some of the stuff we went through, I was amazed. I said at the end of my last review that I couldn't see how he could top our experience of him in Jamaica......well in a perverse way.....he did, BIG time.
Glen Garwood showed so much love and compassion that I had to write to let people know. Yes Glen Garwood and Jamaica Xplored is something we have used and rated before and we have given him the highest mark possible on merit alone,but I think we got to see the other side of Glen, not just the beautiful tours and steep history and his usual happy and lovely self. I got to see Glen deal with a not very nice situation with two Brits that had completely lost their heads and by god I'm thankful he was there.
What I hope you can take away from this is that Glen Garwood who is 'Jamaica Xplored' is an unbelievable human being.....he is Jamaica's number one tour guide and with what I and my partner went through....we will never believe otherwise. When he says 'I got your back man' it isn't a sound bite aimed to please and sound good, he literally had our backs and so many times he proved it. Obviously these situations are rare and hopefully never happen to others but when things do go horribly wrong....we have proof beyond doubt that Glen Garwood goes the extra mile for his people. My partner is now recovering back in the UK and after discussing our ordeal thought it only fair Glen gets the recognition he so richly deserves. Glen Garwood, you are a credit to Jamaica, a credit to mankind and we will always love you for what you have done for us. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We hope to visit you soon and thank you in person.
Bjorn and Susan
Written June 8, 2014
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Robin H
Newcastle upon Tyne, UK134 contributions
Jul 2017 • Couples
We asked our TUI rep to source a tour company for a trip to port royal and Kingston and she knew Glen and so we booked the historic Kingston tour through her and received a confirmation card about the time of our hotel pick up .

We were not dissapointed Glen Garwood is a very knowledgeable,friendly and a charismatic tour guide.
Glen arrived exactly on time at 8,00am and his vehicle had brilliant air conditioning something we very much needed as it was 38 degrees in Kingston that day.
We drove along a scenic route through Fern gully ,moneague and ewartstown with breathtaking mountain views stopping to try coconut water and jelly at a roadside stall.
we followed the river towards Spanish town receiving interesting information on everything we passed.(especially sites of James bond interest)
Glen provided a cool box filled with cold water and red stripe beers and banana chips(crisps) which was also very welcome on such a hot day.
We drove round all the interesting sites in Spanish town (Emancipation square etc.)
and then headed via Kingston to port royal where we visited fort Charles and received a guided tour by an official fort guide who was born and brought up locally which included picking and eating fresh almonds from the tree and a tour to the giddy house.

we then returned to Kingston and drove round the sites of downtown and uptown (new Kingston) glen lived in Kingston and knew all the interesting points to go with regard to music,and local interest such as Tivoli gardens.
We had an informed and interesting view whilst remaining safe in the car with a first class narrator.
we visited the park of national heroes and viewed the changing of the guard which happens hourly (red tunic soldiers within their sentry boxes).
Glen then took us for lunch i had brown fish stew and my partner jerk chicken .
Glen chooses what he feels would be a taste of Jamaica at a local eating place which we both enjoyed.
We also enjoyed the sorrel petal drink with ginger that glen had supplied.
toward the later afternoon the traffic became congested so glens knowledge of getting out of town was invaluable and we were soon on our way along the elevated new A1 road heading north again toward ocho Rios .
We arrived back the hotel again at around 6.00pm and paid glen for his service
All in all an excellent day ,we would most definitely use Jamaica xplored again ,the freedom and one to one service is priceless and worth every penny.
Written July 31, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Tess_Doug
Stevens Point, WI10 contributions
Jan 2018 • Friends
If you are in the Ocho Rios/Runaway Bay area of Jamaica's north coast and are wondering who to book a tour through, look no further than Glen at Jamaica Xplored. Friends of ours made arrangements with him for a private tour to Sun Valley Plantation, Firefly and rafting. We have traveled to Jamaica several times but never have we come away with the wealth of knowledge about the people, history and culture of this beautiful island than we did spending a day with Glen. It made for a fun, relaxing, educational, humorous and safe traveling experience. Highly, highly recommend you try Glen at Jamaica Xplored. One Love.
Written January 24, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Michele W
17 contributions
May 2017 • Couples
I am a business owner of a Canadian owned Travel Agency in Ontario Canada that specializes in Destination Weddings/Honeymoons and Leisure Travel.

I had booked a wedding with close to 50 Guests travelling to Jamaica for the big celebration.

My clients were getting married off site and I needed transportation for everyone to get to the church, and then back again to the resort.

I was lucky enough to find Jamaica Xplored while searching the internet!

Glen Garwood from Jamaica Xplored was AWESOME!!! I can't even begin to say how fantastic he was!

He got everyone to the church comfortably, and provided refreshments for all! He even had a limo as an extra special bonus for the new Mr. & Mrs.

He was very easy to work with. I knew that when my clients departed from Toronto and arrived in Jamaica....they were going to be in good hands!

I will not go with anyone else but Glen when I am sending my clients to Jamaica and they need transportation/tour services.

I have another wedding group travelling to Jamaica and I will be requesting Glen's services again. It is a large group of 80+ guests and they want to do tours of the island and I know that Glen will be there for me to take care of my clients!

I can't wait to get back to Jamaica soon and get the royal VIP treatment myself from Glen at Jamaica Xplored!

100% RECCOMMEND THIS GENTLEMAN AT JAMAICA XPLORED!!!

Thank you again Glen!!! YOU ARE THE BEST!!!!
Written May 22, 2017
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

TinaA312
Cochrane, Canada3 contributions
Dec 2016 • Couples
This was our first trip to Jamaica and I am extremely pleased we included this day trip with Glen Garwood. From the moment we met him, we felt completely at ease. He picked us up promptly at our hotel and our adventure began. I worked with Glen via email to set up a surprise excursion for my boyfriend and Glen suggested a fun itinerary to include James Bond related information because my boyfriend is a big fan! We started off visiting the Jamaica Swamp Safari where the crocodile scenes in the 007 film Live & Let Die were shot. Our guide Danielle was energetic and taught us about local plants and wildlife. We jetted off to lunch at Scotchies for an authentic Jamaican cuisine lunch which was incredible. Next came our favourite part of the trip, as we travelled to Dunns River where we River Tubed down light rapids while enjoying a cold Red Stripe. We laughed our heads off - highly recommended! Everyone Glen introduced us to was so friendly and quick to make sure we were having a great time. We learned a lot about the island and history/music and Glen takes pride in his work and really makes you feel like a friend. Close to our departure date, we were surprised with a gift at our hotel. Glen had left us local jam/ hot sauce and CD's that we promptly listened to when we arrived back in Canada as we reminisced about our time with Glen. If you do any excursions, save yourself the standard group tours and hire Glen to make your experience 100% better, 100% more authentic and a 100% more fun.
Written December 29, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Jonathan N
Redditch, England, United Kingdom5 contributions
Apr 2016 • Couples
The guy to show you Jamaica.

Glen was someone my wife and I found by searching the Internet a few years ago when we knew we were first visiting Jamaica and we wanted to see a bit of the island, without booking one of the packaged tours operated by the resorts. That was then and this was our third trip out with Glen. As soon as we book our holiday now, we book a day out with Glen.

On the previous two trips, we have been guided by Glen as to where we went and he has taken us along the north of the island to Firefly (Noel Coward's house in Jamaica), Sun Valley Plantation, Scotchies, the Blue Lagoon, Frenchman's Cove, Port Antonio, Boston (home of Jerk Chicken which is to die for - even better than Scotchies!) and rafting down the river. All recommended if you are thinking of doing them.

This time, we gave him a brief - that we wanted to see St Elizabeth as it is twinned with our home town in the UK. Bear in mind this is over the opposite side of the island and a fair distance from where we stay in Ochos Rios. However, this man seriously came up trumps for us!

Our trip began with a drive over the mountains, taking in some stunning scenery and landscapes. Along the was, Glen pointed out some of the history relating to the various towns and villages we passed through. We then went to YS falls to see the stunning waterfalls. Here you can walk up the falls, swing from rope swings into the lagoons, swim in the pools, or zip line through the forest over the falls. It's a beautiful and serene setting, a lot less crowded than Dunns River.

From YS, we went on to do the Black River safari, where we took a boat up the Black River, stopping to see Crocodiles in their natural surroundings and see the other wildlife and Mangrove swamps.

Finally, to round off the trip, we took a boat and went a mile out to sea where we visited the Pelican bar. This is a bar built on a sandbank out at sea and the perfect place to have a Red Stripe and just chill and watch the sunset. Alternatively, as you are in only 3feet of water, you can swim in the sea. We were also fortunate enough to see a Ray swimming past us whilst we were there.

The places we visited were amazing, but what makes them so special is Glen. His knowledge of the island is brilliant and he is so enthusiastic about sharing it with you. He's also happy to talk about the music and its cultural roots, politics and anything else you can think of.

Glen had planned the day perfectly, visiting an area of the island which I don't think are his normal areas to take people. This trip started at 8am from Ochos Rios and we got back to our resort at about 11.30pm and in all that time he was the perfect guide, also driving meticulously (which you appreciate when you experience Jamaican mountain roads) even though it must have been a very tiring day for him. Glen sorts out everything during the day including food, entry fees and has Red Stripe, Waters and Sodas stocked up in the minibus to keep you refreshed travelling between attractions.

I quite simply cannot speak highly enough of Glen - he makes our visits to Jamaica and is quite simply fantastic. Thanks again for another great trip again Glen - hopefully will see you again soon.
Written May 2, 2016
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Audra M.
Atlanta, GA39 contributions
Sep 2015
If you book any trips/excursions with Glen you are in for a once in a lifetime experience. This was our second time coming back to Jamaica. Glen is such an awesome, knowledgeable person you feel the most comfortable leaving property with him, you are in good hands. The van is so comfortable & Glen is a master at navigating the "obstacle course" known as Jamaican roads. We went for 2 full day tours and each day was well worth the money. While going to the tourist attractions, Glen always tell you tips that will help you navigate your way through "tourist traps" while keeping a watchful eye to make sure you are okay. While journeying to your destination, you are submerged into Jamaican music, atmosphere & culture. With many other companies you are herded around like cattle, this is NOT the experience you get. With Jamaica Xplored you receive a personal driver, in a comfortable vehicle and drinks while you go to your destinations. If you travel with children like my family does, then your children are in for a treat! They will surely be included in your travel plans & will remember your experience for life.

There is no other way to see Jamaica than going through Jamaica Xplored. If you choose any other route, you are cheating yourself!
Written October 11, 2015
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

Experience_Travel01
London, UK25 contributions
Mar 2013 • Family
Thank you Glen for safely transporting myself and my family to Runaway Bay Mr Garwood goes above and beyond to help with all your needs his knowledge of the island is phenomal, he is also very reliable.
I urge you to contact Jamaca Xplored if you are visiting Jamaica and would like to take a tour anywhere on the island or if you need transporting to any destination.
Written March 24, 2013
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

vincent m
1 contribution
Feb 2019 • Couples
- Glen was an exceptional guide. If you are doubting, don't. I doubt you'll find many like him.
- Glen will customize his trips to suit your needs and does so exceptionally well.
- Glen keeps you safe. We weren't scared at any point during our travel which helped us to see the beauty of the island and its people.
- Even though it may seem relatively expensive. It is not at all. Glen takes you on a real tour, with plenty of activities and an eye for detail. Given the amount of activities it is actually quite competitive and I even dare say that what he delivers is priceless.
- If you like music, you'll like Glen. He gave us a short history of Jamaican music and connected it to Jamaican history in many ways.

Long version
We wrote an email to Glen before we left. We were not sure what to ask for so he provided us with a proposal. We finally went with his proposal for a half a day tour.

After our arrival to our hotel, we took various tours through different providers. Although those experiences were great, we felt we were fed a touristy version of Jamaica with everything in a rush. Even before we did our first tour with Glen, we wrote him for another tour because he just gave a very different vibe.

Day 1
The first day Glen picked us up at our hotel and we went to Bob Marley's home town. All along the way, Glen told us lots of interesting things. On our road, way high into the mountains, we crossed small mountain villages and a variety of amazing landscapes. Glen provided drinks and stories for our travel.

After a tour of Bob Marley's house we went down to a small settlement to experience fire water. This was water with sulphur that would burn if lighted on fire. We took a little bath and experienced the fire from up close. Even as interesting was the area it was in. The small humble settlement provided an impressive contrast to the touristy areas and cities.

At the end of the tour, Glen took us out for a lunch where he let us taste various Jamaican foods.

Day 2
The second day we went to Port Antonio. Glen went all out and crafted an unforgettable experience. He provided us with several different local snacks that he seemed to time perfectly to the environment (i.e. some banana snacks next to a banana plantation). We stopped for some fresh coconut water and jelly at a small road vendor along the way (which was absolutetaly delicious by the way). All the way he showed us interesting sites, explained where some famous movies were shot and told some great stories.

On our way, we stopped at a waterfall and took a dive in crystal clear water. There was some heavy rain, which actually made the blue water and foresty area even more beautiful.

Once we arrived to Port Antonio, Glen got us some local ice cream. We took a walk through the idyllic town. It was beautiful and peaceful.

Our next stop was the blue lagoon. We took a boat ride through the clear blue lagoon, went past monkey island and spotted a sea turtle and some rays. The rain had come back by now, but we didn't care at all. Soaking wet, we jumped back in the car and drove to our lunch destination.

Glen picked a wonderful local restaurant overseeing the sea. He ordered us another local dish with rice and beans with chicken.

On the way to our final destination we stopped at a small bar next to the road. Glen ordered us some drinks. A rum with juice for me and him and a ginger wine for my girlfriend. He'd remembered she didn't like most types of alcohol and thought of this sweet drink for her, which she absolutely loved. it was very interesting to have a little peek into local life.

Our final destination was the Rio Grande. We took a scenic trip down the river on a bamboo raft. It was beautiful and extremely tranquil.

After this we head back to our hotel. Glen took us back safely and even helped me pick a nice rum for my father's birthday. We had a great time and we're still not completely sure whether it was all just our imagination.

Respec Glen!
Written February 10, 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

caes
Aquileia, Italy1 contribution
Jun 2018 • Couples
Jamaica is Glen's island. He is personable and informative and all of the normal things. If you're looking for that, I think you will be very happy. It goes deeper, though. If you read a bit about rastafari first you may see something special in this guy. What is the difference between "we" and "me"? Glen is Jamaica. Check out the James Bond movies filmed in Jamaica, too: Glen loves to show where the scenes were filmed. He was in a few of the movies, of course. Tell him what type of picture you want and he will know where to go, too.

I feel like I know someone who I can trust and who wants to share his island with me. I learned only as much as a few hours in a van can get you. Definitely let him show you the ways the island can appeal to your senses: tastes; smells; sights; sounds; everything. We didn't make it through everything he tried to show us -- not enough time! Big Respect to Glen Garwood!
Written July 4, 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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Jamaica Xplored (Ocho Rios) - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go

Frequently Asked Questions about Jamaica Xplored

Jamaica Xplored is open:
  • Sun - Sun 9:00 AM - 5:00 PM
  • Mon - Sat 12:00 AM - 11:59 PM