Moon Author's Review
The Bob Marley Mausoleum (9am- 5pm daily, US$25 adults, US$13 ages 5-11) is one of Jamaica’s most popular tourist sites, drawing scores of fans to pay their respects to the late, great King of Reggae. Arriving in Nine Mile, the Cedella Marley basic school looms in red, gold, and green splendor just before the Marley family home. Outside the official gated parking area, countless hustlers offer ganja and parking, in hopes of luring visitors to spend a few bucks outside the sanctioned attraction. There is no cost to park inside the gate at the mausoleum, however, and visitors should resist calls to park outside. The massive Bob Marley Mausoleum complex engulfs the humble one-bedroom country house where the world’s foremost reggae superstar was born. Marley’s mother, Cedella, was laid to rest in a similar mausoleum next door, and a small chapel was constructed across the path. Tours of the mausoleum start at the gift shop, where visitors pay the entry fee before heading upstairs to another gift shop and bar, where more encouragement is offered to spend some cash. From there, a guide is assigned to take visitors up another flight of steps to the mausoleum and Bob’s small house. In and around the house are countless details the guides claim to be the literal inspiration for a multitude of songs from Marley’s discography, including the single bed referred to in “Is This Love” and the rock pillow from “Talkin’ Blues.” Below the mausoleum, a clubhouse-style building with contemporary Rasta styling has a restaurant and lounge on the second floor and great views from the balcony over the quiet hills of the St. Ann interior.
The shortest route from the North Coast to Nine Mile is via the B3, which heads inland from the stoplight by the police station in Runaway Bay and leads along 11 kilometers (7 miles) of winding country road to Brown’s Town. From Brown’s Town, continue along the B3 out of town for 12 kilometers (8 miles) south toward Alexandria. In Alexandria, turn east for 8 kilometers (5 miles) to Nine Mile. Brown’s Town is the closest town of any size to the Bob Marley Mausoleum and is famous for its bustling market (Wed., Fri., and Sat.). If you’re heading to Nine Mile via route taxi, Brown’s Town is the connection point from Runaway Bay or Priory via Bamboo.