Santa Cruz St Elizabeth (also known as "Santa") is a busy market town with the island’s main “A” road running directly through it. Santa Cruz is a valley-set community surrounded by mountains resulting in little breeze and higher temperatures. Central Santa Cruz is also prone to flooding with heavy rainfall.
Santa Cruz Jamaica is a busy shopping area with many shopping plaza offering a variety of products and services such as financial institutions, medical facilities, haberdasheries, hardware, appliance outlets, an outdoor market and more.
The main road seems to have been out-grown by development and is reduced in width by vehicles parking on both sides and vendors peddling their wares on the sidewalks. As a result pedestrians are forced to walk in the road.
Central Santa Cruz is a traffic bottleneck and is assisted by a bypass road which aids traffic flow during the build ups.
Driving through Santa Cruz
Driving through Main Street Santa Cruz can be an absolute nightmare at times. Once you hit the main between the traffic lights on Main Street, you will need eyes everywhere as, if it’s not the unsuspecting parked (or should I say stopped!) vehicles, it’s pedestrians literally walking in the road.
This congested area is within a bottleneck of about 500 yds which at times can seem a lot longer. Once you are through this bottleneck, and cleared the traffic lights at Retirement Road, you are back on the open road out of town.
Things to do there
Things to do near Santa Cruz include, visiting YS Falls; Bubbling Spring and Maggotty Falls. The Black River Safari and Appleton Estate Rum Tour, not forgetting Lovers Leap in Southfield are also accessible from Santa Cruz.
What to see there
Santa Cruz is a developing town with a high volume of expats who have built many new homes in the area thus further assisting development of the area. The development of the area include a number of attractive and relatively new housing schemes in Santa Cruz.
Historical places of interest near Santa Cruz are YS Falls and Holland Bamboo.
Things to do there
Things to do near Santa Cruz include, visiting YS Falls; Bubbling Spring and Maggotty Falls. The Black River Safari and Appleton Estate Tour not forgetting Lovers Leap in Southfield are also accessible from Santa Cruz.
Places to stay there
The nearest hotel to Santa Cruz is Chariot’s Hotel which is off the beaten track at Leeds District about five miles from Santa on a higher terrain towards Malvern.
Where to eat there
Santa Cruz Jamaica has several small restaurants in the town including fast food outlets. I particularly like the seafood restaurant on the main nearby the gas station as you leave the town going towards Gutters St Elizabeth.
How to get there
Nearest airport to Santa Cruz St Elizabeth is Montego Bay. A bus service runs from Santa Cruz to Montego Bay Airport on a regular basis. The distance from Santa to Montego Bay is approx 77km.
Main Street Santa Cruz St Elizabeth is a busy shopping area with many plazas with businesses offering their wares. The open market is also on Main Street but the vendors often spill over on to the pavements which forces pedestrians onto the roadway.
Santa Cruz is home for St Elizabeth Technical High School, (STETHS) one of Jamaica’s more prestigious high schools. This school has many produced many prominent Jamaicans from outstanding athletes to professors.
Black River Hospital is nearest to Santa Cruz although hospitals in Mandeville Manchester are also accessible.
Santa Cruz is an inland area so no Beaches here. The alternative for water seekers would be the River and falls YS Falls near Middle Quarters.
Internet and cell phone access is available.