Reviews

What other travellers say about Rappa Rasta Tours

A long-awaited dream came true: 3 friends enjoyed Jamaican food, music and jokes

When Roy, Mark and Martin want to visit Jamaica, they ask Rappa Rasta Tours for an authentic, adventurous 10 day round trip. Read about Roy’s experience throughout the trip.

Roy, January 2019
‘I’ve got the impression that you, Sandra, were listening precisely to our needs and you brought out our underlying wishes. We discussed all kind of options and no question remained unanswered.

As we told you earlier we did check out other travel agencies, but they didn’t smoothen our concerns: questions were ignored and a standard so called hot spot tour came out.
We just mentioned some places we love to see and you did make a mixed schedule with an “off the beaten path” possibility, where we could meet Jamaicans. The days we could not decide on beforehand you were flexible and told us: “go with the flow.” The real Rasta vibes! We said to each other: “This is exactly the travel we are dreaming of.” Yes, you deliver customized offerings.

Right place – right time

Already in the first two days we did get many impressions: scents, tastes, views… you know. We were “full joying” from the beginning even when it started to rain at Roaring River, where we needed to find a shelter. First at the bar and later we took a run to the veranda somewhere near the river. Here we met people from the village and the young DJ, where we shared a peaceful moment with, while the rain poured down.
Mark and I exchanged a look of mutual understanding: “We are here, and exactly at the right place on the right time!”

Fairy tale

We are looking back on an awesome, real Jamaican experience and we’ll never regret our stay with the Rastafari couple at the far south coast. I felt a little ashamed arriving late at night at the homestay with too much rum, but it melted away by the warm welcome we got of Sister Audrey and Rasta Trevor. She told us about fruit trees, nature and how to connect with your environment, and we’ve got Rastafari teachings from Ras T. In the evening before going to bed, Audrey walked with incense sticks through the house, which created a mystical atmosphere. Like we find ourselves in a fairy tale. We slept like a baby in the old bed: it was fantastic.

We got plenty great experiences, too much to tell them all but to mention shortly: the meeting with the Rasta en the chief in Moor town, the hidden bar in farmland up the hills in Port Antonio and that tiny, hidden beach in St. Mary were we drove another extra mile for, not to forget the awesome hours in the Jeep where we were filled with information. All magnificent adventures.

Friends for real

One story needs to be told though!
We found Casey, Rappa’s sister, in a bar in a small village tucked away in the bush close to Milk River Spa. This is Rappa’s birth area, therefor plenty people do know him and so he met some old friends.
We had such an (J)amazing time making jokes, drinking rum. The funniest thing was my lighter with the bottle opener at the bottom. The friends kept on saying, with unprecedented enthusiasm and great humour, they never saw a lighter like this before.

We drank some more rum and left the lighter as a gift. They react surprised and happy. Every time the guy came back to thank us and to let us know he wanted to give something back… “but what to give now?” He didn’t know yet.
The next day we were even more astonished when Rappa stopped the Jeep, he chatted a little and waited. We didn’t know what was going on, but then one person came and handed Rappa a plastic bag with three stones in it. We looked carefully into the bag with the white stones. They came from deep down out of the earth and sparkled in the early but bright sunlight. We greceived our gift: magnificent, glistening Jamaican crystals!

This is the Real Jamaica with her optimistic, happy and positive people! It filled us with gratitude.

Love

“Rappa is unique, nuh true!?” There is only one Rappa and in fact it is hard to explain the impression he left on us.

It is about the conversations and teachings we’ve got, the people he met on our trip and how they deal with each other. On the road with a real Rasta, we laughed, sang and drank… Rappa is just the way he is and that is precious.

We said to each other we never met a person with so much love. Maybe that sounds strange mentioning this as a man, but when you speak about One Love, having that same attitude, than this is how to spread the word.
Rappa is steady, cheerful and he has a great sense of humour, can be very serious too and spiritual in any way. It’s about the vibe, the positive vibration and that’s what we have experienced.

You and Rappa are Rappa Rasta Tours!
Your underlying explanation, from your Dutch background, made matters even clearer to us. This cultural translation was helpful to understand the way of thinking and the movements of Jamaicans. Yeah, Rappa and you did make our travel. It is a unique combination!

Who needs to go on tour with Rappa Rasta Tours?

Adventurous travellers who love to explore and are willing to look ín Jamaica are the ones who need to tour with you.
In fact, you might get a phone call of some friends of us as we inspired them and recommended you.

Recommendation

I don’t think anybody could have done this better than Rappa Rasta Tours. You both gave unique colour to this trip. It is a huge 5 star rating!

Click here for Dutch version

Chilling, smoking and meetings –
a magic backpackers trip

Arno and Joyce booked four days in 2017 to tour around Negril, Jamaica. One year later they returned with two friends for a 10-day round trip with Rappa Rasta Tours.
Arno, Joyce, Jolan and Joris have busy, creative jobs in Belgium: graphic design, fashion design, photography and landscape architecture. They share their interest to getting to know the real Jamaica and meeting her beautiful people.
Read about an awesome backpacker experience.

Joyce, October 2018
‘Our itinerary went from Roaring River, far South Coast with hidden gems, Cane river falls, Manchioneal – Reach Falls and Moore town – Nanni Falls to  the stunning Blue Mountains and Bob Marley Mausoleum.
During our adventurous journey we camped next to the river, stayed at home-stays and local hotels. It was a perfect mixture of beaches, rivers, people and villages. We discovered a lot on a relaxed, natural, Rasta way, exactly how we like it.

Magic like a local

Roaring River is great to experience meeting Jamaicans and so we spent a night in a tent under a giant cotton tree. Fireflies brought us a magic evening, people from the village gave us security and we slept like babies.

The best of our tour is Moore Town, with Rasta Bucha, who cooked a delicious meal on a wood fire. He is such a special man sharing stories about warrior Nanni and showing us the secrets of the river.

We were able to meet family of Rappa: his sister and his uncle. They gave us a very welcome feeling.

Rappa’s Vibes

A typical characteristic of Rappa is his flexibility and that fits us pretty well. Some travellers may need more structure, but giving us time to chill was what we loved. He shows possibilities and lets us decide what to do. One day we spent two hours in a bar, looking for shelter for the rain, and finally we said, “Rappa, it’s time to go.” And that’s how it works for Rappa, he waits till we are ready, which is totally fine for us.

Rappa is one of us, as a friend. He is our tour guide of course, but you do not notice that he is 20 years older. He is young at heart and he likes to have fun. Great for Jolan, because they were able to go out, while we were tired and went to bed early.

When I left my glasses at the Bob Marley Mausoleum, Rappa drove back the next day to pick it up, and that’s a 3 hours drive! Yes, I have to say, Rappa is very sweet.
I also hurt my foot during the trip and Rappa offered help all the time, he is such a wonderful caretaker.

A journey like this requires travellers like us: adventurous, reliable, relaxed and flexible. This journey was made for us, when you need more comfort, Rappa Rasta Tours will organize the tour a little different.

I really had a superb time, I love travelling with Rappa and he deserves it – he loves it as well! It is an “irie” feeling, because Rappa is always happy, we laughed a lot and I am grateful for his positive vibrations.’

Next reviews will be translated soon

5 day tours with the Family

Gertjan en zijn vrouw Suzan waren Rappa Rasta Tours tegen gekomen op het internet. Zij boekten samen met hun volwassen kinderen Stan en Roos 5 losse dagen bij Rappa Rasta Tours. Gertjan en Suzan zijn eigenaars van een goedlopend technisch installatiebureau. Hun wens is, in een rustig tempo, het ware Jamaica verkennen. Hun liefde voor muziek en natuur staan hierbij voorop. Dit is wat Gertjan over de tours zegt.

Gertjan Nordmann, juli 2018
‘Ik heb alleen maar positieve ervaringen, ja, van het begin tot het einde. Alles wat we onderweg gezien hebben, waar we geweest zijn…
Ik vond het ook een hele mooie volgorde: de eerste dag Dunn’s River Falls, wat vreselijk toeristisch is en waar we eigenlijk het gevoel hadden ‘daar word je doorheen geloosd’.
De tweede dag Ys Falls. Nou, dat vond ik al honderd keer mooier en de derde dag, lekker rustig, naar Roaring River. En dat was nóg weer een mooiere ervaring, om het zo maar even te zeggen.

Op weg naar Ys Falls viel me de openheid van mensen meteen op. Aan het strand bij Blue Fields, bijvoorbeeld, waar wij bij de arts & craft Rasta nog wat spullen hebben gekocht, kon je gewoon rustig met elkaar op straat zitten praten. Zo bijzonder! Dat vond ik heel prettig.

Het ware Jamaica hebben we echt kunnen beleven. We hebben door het dorp Roaring River gelopen, het fruit geproefd rechtstreeks van de bomen vandaan, de natuur daar, het eten…dat vind ik prachtig om mee te maken
En het rijden ook he, dat is toch anders, want je hebt die ramen open, dus je ervaart al die geluiden van de straat. En dat er dan, als we door zo’n dorp heen rijden, er opeens 20 van die speakers op elkaar gestapeld zijn met keiharde muziek eruit… dat soort dingen, dat is gewoon mooi. Dat beleef je veel meer dan wanneer je er met zo’n toeristische bus doorheen knalt. Dat sprak ons zeer aan.

Voor we naar Glistening waters gingen, hebben we ergens in een restaurantje wat gegeten, midden in Falmouth. Dat is ook weer een heel andere beleving, dat je eigenlijk nergens, in de wijde omgeving, een toerist ziet. Ik heb me ook, op wat voor een manier of waar dan ook, geen seconde onveilig gevoeld, absoluut niet. Al moest mijn dochter wel wennen aan de starende blikken.

Ook onderweg zo mooi, in de Jeep met Rappa, die een jaar jonger is dan ik ben, draaide we mijn muziek. Ik draai m’n hele leven al reggae, hij ook, en dan zit je met z’n tweeën al die liedjes mee te zingen, terwijl je toch negen duizend kilometer van mekaar bent geboren. Dat je door die muziek verbondenheid hebt, dat vond ik heel speciaal.

De dingen die met muziek te maken hadden, vond ik persoonlijk natuurlijk mooi om te zien. Van de Tuff Gong Studio tot Peter Tosch Mausoleum en Nine Miles. Dat soort dingen, ja, dat vond ik echt indrukwekkend, ja. En dat ik samen met m’n zoon op de steen bij Bob Marley ganja heb zitten roken, dat hoort erbij. Vind ik leuk, ja.
Nine Mile vond ik sowieso het meest indrukwekkend. Dat komt omdat ik al, nou zeg 35 jaar, groot fan ben van Marley. Bij 30 graden liep ik, met kippenvel over m’n hele lijf, om zijn graf heen.

En natuurlijk was het leuk alle enthousiaste opmerkingen op Face Book van over die ene foto die ik gemaakt heb van Rappa voorop die vissersboot. Ja, ongelofelijk. Soms moet je wel eens geluk hebben met dat soort dingen: Rappa staand in de boot… ‘locks’ in de wind…turend over de oceaan. Dat heeft veel losgemaakt bij anderen. Leuk ook dat die foto is gedeeld.

Ik zou het zeker aanbevelen, in principe voor iedereen als je tenminste op een relaxte manier al die dingen wilt zien: wat ik in het hotel zag, best een druk gedoe met die bussen en taxi’s.

We hebben het echt waanzinnig naar ons zin gehad en ik ben blij dat we met jullie allemaal (deze tours) hebben kunnen doen.
Van te voren perfect geregeld door jou (Sandra), mooie volgorde, mooie verdeling en heel erg prettig.
Ik zeg 5 sterren, 100%, ja! En het is ook zeker niet de laatste keer dat wij naar Jamaica zijn geweest.

Unique trip to Kingston

Edwin Staps, juni 2018

Edwin is eigenaar van een full service communicatie bureau en wil zijn leven lang al naar Jamaica. Op zoek naar een authentieke tour met dito local tour guide, kwam Edwin al snel bij Rappa Rasta Tours uit. ‘De belofte die jij doet – die al in je naam zit: “Explore the Real Jamaica in the Natural Rasta Way” – trok me meteen aan… en zo is het ook gegaan!’
Lees over Edwins ervaring wanneer hij een dag met Rappa Rasta naar Kingston gaat.

‘kijk, wat ik heb gedaan, ik heb gezocht naar een Jamaicaanse tour guide, dat vind ik het gaafste. De foto’s op de website van Rappa Rasta Tours zijn te gek en de reviews op Face Book positief. Dat is belangrijk: dat je het avontuur kunt opzoeken en het helemaal kunt vertrouwen. Je maakt wel zo het echte Jamaica mee.

Onderweg van Montego Bay naar Kingston, zijn we bij een paar plaatsten gestopt. Zo ook bij een tankstation, weet je wel, ik vroeg of hij koffie wilde. Dus ja, dat wilde hij eigenlijk wel. En dan zo’n gebaar van “ga dat maar halen, ga maar even zelf koffie bestellen.”
Je gaat je dan iets vrijer bewegen, in de omgeving waar je in bent, en dat je niet afgesloten bent achter glas van een bus, vol toeristen of iets dergelijks. Dat vind ik gewoon tof.
Ik hecht veel waarde aan die kleine dingen.

Wat bijvoorbeeld zo mooi is: dat we, aangekomen bij Tuff Gong, even moesten zoeken, want alle wegen waren op dat moment opgebroken, dat Rappa dan de auto parkeert zo vlak voor een wegafzetting en dat dan een Jamaicaan meteen komt en zegt: “Je kunt daar niet in, je moet omrijden, die en die kant op.” Maar uiteindelijk gooien ze dan toch die wegversperring open en konden we er zo doorheen rijden, weet je, dat soort dingen.

Wat ik ook mooi vind, wat Rappa deed, en wat ik prettig vond en mooi om te zien; bij al die stoplichten in Kingston heb je al die gasten die de ramen komen wassen en dingen willen verkopen. Rappa legt uit hoe daar mee om te gaan, maar in ieder geval… dan kun je ook dingen kopen, en hij koopt zelf eigenlijk ook best wel veel. Mooi om te zien, hij is daar ook echt voor de mensen, hij is daar ook om wat hij verdient meteen met de mensen te delen, dat vond ik ook al meteen een mooi gebaar. Want de mensen hebben weinig en hebben ook niet de capaciteit om hun leven op te bouwen. We deelden dezelfde visie hierin.

Weet je wat het is? Ik zou het aanbevelen aan mensen… alle mensen… want Rappa is voor iedereen toegankelijk. Ik zou het iedereen adviseren. Het is gewoon echter.
Als beoordeling zou ik echt de maximale 5 sterren geven!
Dat is ook wat ik al meteen tegen Rappa zei: “ik wil eigenlijk volgend jaar weer terug!” ­­
Ik vind Rappa een positief figuur, hij speelt het niet, dat kon ik merken en dat vind ik, ja, dat is echt geweldig! Dat je met een tour guide op stap bent maar het voelt meer alsof je met een vriend op pad bent.’

Some Face Book reviews:

Ale Blanco Armada, September 2017

We highly recommend Rappa Rasta tours!!!
Rappa organized for us a day away from the touristic areas spending the time with local people in authentic places. He is a kind and positive guy, and the worst thing was not having more time to spend with him.
Many thanks to Sandra and Rappa for your help, and for opening to us the doors of your beautiful country!

Blesses from Spain! Hope to go back!

David Sundén, May 2017

Very friendly, reliable and Jamaican true Rasta tour guide Rappa Rasta is very knowledgeable about Jamaica and Jamaican history. All that Rappa does, is done with love: teaching the religion of love. Thank you Rappa!
Me and my friend had a drive with Rappa from treasure beach to Kingston and all along the way he stopped at hidden gems along the south coast. The drive itself is very nice and you get to talk to Rappa and ask a lot of questions, and there is always a good answer.

Charlotte Verholle, August 2017

We just got back from Jamaica, we stayed in the hotel Legends in Negril, where we had a great two weeks with Rappa. We did many trips, such as Nine Miles, Dunn’s River, Swamp Safari, Martha Brae, Blue Hole, Roaring River, Glistening Waters and the special tour of two days at the South Coast.
The fun about travelling with Rappa is you’ll see all kind of things you won’t see while travelling on a tour bus full of tourists.  We stopped at local shops and bars and so many beautiful places, for example Guts River. We got to know many people outside the touristic areas thanks to Rappa and they’ll stay forever in our mind, therefore we’ll sure come back and will do a revisit and see some people back again.

At the tourist areas, people sometimes bother you to sell things but Rappa always got our back and looked out for us so good, he showed us that not all people are the same. The idea of ‘party and protect’ is very nice, because we went a lot of times at the bar Bourbon Beach, which was next to our hotel and Rappa came to our beach to walk with us to the bar.

We also want to say thanks to Sandra for all the good information and scheduling things up. She’s Dutch so it was easy to communicate about the tours and details.
Keep up the good work you guys, I hope a lot of people choose Rappa Rasta tours in the future it’s a thousand times better than the excursions with a big company
We’ll definitely come back because there’s so much more to explore, greetings, the ‘no problem couple’

April van de Veerdonk, Februari 2017

We had a great time with Rappa and Sandra. On our first tour we went to Kingston. It was a very long drive from Negril, but we saw a lot of Jamaica and had some great stops. On our way we stopped at a little beach and we’ve got to see the Peter Tosh Mausoleum. We also had some lunch at a little local restaurant. In Kingston we visited the Bob Marley Museum and went to Devon House, where we had some very nice ice cream. The second tour we did with Rappa, we went to Rocklands Bird Sanctuary and Bamboo Rafting on the Martha Brae River. This was a very relaxed day full with the beautiful nature of Jamaica. Rappa and Sandra are such nice people and they have a lot to tell about the country and the Jamaican people. If you travel with them you can stop whenever you like and everything is possible. Touring with them is full joy!

Paula vd Poel, March 2017

Smile Jamaica! A beautiful island you don’t want to miss. We asked Rappa to be our tour guide during our time in Jamaica, one of our best decisions! Rappa knows Jamaica by heart and can take you to places no tour bus comes. We did the blue mountain tour for instance where you stay overnight in a guesthouse without electricity up in the mountains where only a four-wheel drive can come. Once in a lifetime experience! Don’t forget your flashlight and rain clothes 😉

Where the tour busses are rushing the tours, Rappa takes his time. If you want to stop anywhere it’s no problem. And if you are interested he will give you information about whatever you want to know. He doesn’t do this in a guide kind off way but more in a friend kind off way. Ask away!
What you also do not experience when you travel by group is properly meeting the locals. Trough Rappa you easily can get in contact with the locals whom are very friendly. Everybody loves the rasta’s & so do we.

Also convenient is Rappa’s flexibility, we could change our schedule easily. Probably best is when you contact Rappa and his Dutch girlfriend Sandra (they run this together) before you book your hotel(s) so you make sure you have the most optimal schedule.

So look no further, Rappa Rasta Tours is truly recommendable.
Thanks again Rappa & Sandra! We enjoyed Jamaica to the fullest and hopefully we can come again someday! Greets, Paula & Linton

Deborah Peach, January 2016

Rappa and Sandra were so helpful. I hurt my back and couldn’t tour with them, but they drove to our hotel to bring me herbs from the backyard to make tea and brought me to a chiropractor on the beach who helped me immensely. They did everything out of the goodness of their hearts and I am so grateful. Will definitely link up next time we are down there when I’m feeling better. Thanks again!

Ursula Nas, Oktober 2016

We’ve booked our vacation to Jamaica, and we didn’t like it to go on tour with a bus full of other tourists, so we looked on internet and found the page of Rappa Rasta Tours. THAT’S what we were looking for! Touring with a local tour-guide! After some mails with Sandra (she is Dutch so that was nice and easy to talk) we had booked 2 days with Rappa.
Rappa picked us up at our resort in Ocho Rios, NO PROBLEM 🙂and we’ve went to Nine Miles. He took the long but beautiful route up to the mountains. It was great and with some reggae music in the car we felt like real Jamaicans haha. We saw Bob Marley’s Mausoleum, very special to be there.

After that Rappa brought us to a good friend, Alvin. He showed us his property and his house and told us about his life on nine mile. He also play drums in the Bob Marley Mausoleum. It was very great to meet him.

On the road Rappa stopped by a little store, and bought some bananas , and then downhill to the Dunn’s River Falls. That was very spectacular, from the beach we climbed with a guide and more people, all the way up over rocks and waterfalls NICE!!

While driving, Rappa told us a lot about his life in Jamaica, he’s such a great man, real RASTA, he shares everything he has and make a lot of people very happy. He has a heart of gold!

The second day: Ursula Nas, Oktober 2016

The second day, he brought us to Kingston, the Bob Marley Museum, also a great place to be, inside the house, where Bob has lived his last years, you see his albums, original kitchen, bedroom and studio.
Before we went to Pinnacle, we took an “5-minute” break at the Devon house, eat some ice cream.

The road trip must go on, so Rappa took us to Pinnacle. This is the place where the first Rastafari settled down, is sad to see that what is become of the dream of the Rastafari…….

The Blue hole Rappa has showed us on the 3th day, we’ve had the whole morning and is was great. Two guides brought us to the hole, it wasn’t that blue that day, because of the rain and mud from the night before, but we’ve had a great time with Rappa and the other boy’s.

We would recommend Rappa Rasta Tour to anyone who will go to Jamaica and will see it on an different but awesome way.
Thanks Rappa for the great and unforgettable time. Love, Peace and Respect!!! Greets also to Sandra.
Joop & Ursula

Many thanks, for real. Blessings and respect.