Chukka Caribbean AdventuresUnit 2 Montego Bay Freeport Shopping Centre Montego Bay, St James Jamaica
The inspiration for Chukka sprang from its founder’s passion for polo. In the early 1980’s, Danny Melville hosted polo matches on Saturdays at his polo field in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. On Sundays, to help the horses relax, the polo players took the horses swimming in the clear saltwater of Mammee Bay. International polo players loved the tradition, as did Danny’s children.
When Danny opened a polo and an equestrian centre for locals in 1983, he decided to complement it with an opportunity for tourists to encounter horses. The Horseback Ride ‘N’ Swim was born-the first adventure tour of its kind in Jamaica, and thirty years later, still our signature tour. Danny named the company Chukka, which describes a period of play in a polo match. Chukka captures the spirit of adventure and excitement inherent in the game of polo and the childlike wonder inspired by a swimming horse.
A HomeGrown Company Danny remains Chairman of the Board of Chukka, but the management has transitioned to his sons, Marc, Alexander, and Daniel Melville, along with their childhood friend, John Byles. These four partners have labored together to keep Chukka joyful and responsible.
A Steep (and Deep) Learning Curve John and Marc still laugh when they recall Chukka’s first jeep tour, a carefully planned, exciting off-road ride into the jungle, over rivers, and into the wildlife. As the jeep ventured across one river, John and Marc realized just a moment too late-that the recent rains had left the water level a bit too high The jeep stalled mid-river, and with water reaching the doors, John and Marc were forced to climb out the jeep windows to push the jeep and its passengers to the far shore. When the guests returned to their cruise ship, they reported to their excursion desk that their tour guides had provided a truly exhilarating 4×4 tour-complete with a perfectly orchestrated jeep breakdown mid-river! Conquering Fears at a trade show, Marc discovered canopy zip line tours, which w ere previously unknown in Jamaica.
Marc, Alexander and John ventured to Costa Rica to learn more about this new phenomenon. Banking on the extensive adventure tourism experience, the three bravely signed up for an extreme canopy tour involving numerous ziplines at dizzying heights. The first zip line left a platform at a height of 14 feet and, hundreds of yards later, arrived on a platform 100 feet high in a tree.
Marc soared along the line, arriving exhilarated and ready for more. But after John parted from the first platform and flew over a vast expanse of rainforest suspended from a 1-inch cable by nothing but a harness, he wrapped his arms around the tree on the second platform, began to hyperventilate, and refused to budge. Alexander was left dangling in midair, unable to land on the second platform until John released the tree. By the end of the canopy tour, though, all three agreed that Jamaica needed a Zipline tour, and Chukka would provide it. John imposed the ca veat, though, that each canopy tour would start with a zip of modest length and height, in an effort to quell the fears of any anxious guests.
Chukka’s commitment to its community is reflected in its offerings to our guests as well. Because Chukka tours are designed to give its guests a taste of the real Caribbean, 30% of tour guides are hired from the immediately surrounding areas. Also, ATV, dune buggy, and 4×4 tours explore not only the lush rainforest and stunning trails, but also the beloved communities in the area.
The Chukka Spirit The Chukka logo’s colours capture the multifaceted spirit of the Chukka experience: green for lush vegetation and foliage
yellow for the brilliant sun
turquoise for the Caribbean Sea and sky
and red for the heart of the Chukka team. Read more......Read less