Visit a Maroon Village
You won’t regret arranging a visit to Accompong Town, an authentic Maroon village nestled in the hills of “Cockpit Country”—one of the most lush and picturesque areas in Jamaica. Jamaica’s Maroons are descendants of enslaved West Africans first brought to Jamaica by the Spanish, and who later successfully fought the British slave masters—from these hard-to-penetrate hills—and obtained their independence. Since 1738, they’ve run their own communities, largely autonomous and separate from other Jamaicans. The best time to visit would be the first week of January, for the annual Maroon Day Festival, when hundreds of Maroons from around Jamaica and abroad, as well as a handful of tourists, descend on Accompong Town for a day of drumming ceremonies, food and celebration. But as long as you make driver arrangements—I recommend Clive’s Transport—you can visit the village by appointment. Find the Museum, at the entrance, displaying artifacts, photos and memorabilia from the days of Captain Cudjoe, the Maroon leader and hero who signed the Peace Treaty with the British. Walk around and take in the gorgeous, serene mountainous views. There’s no place quite like Accompong in Jamaica.
By Lebawit Lily Girma, AFAR Local Expert
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