When you think about Caribbean paradise, which island springs to mind? For many it is the reggae, reggae fun-filled vibe of Jamaica. With a party and a smile on every corner, stunning beaches, nature to take your breath away, and plentiful activities to enjoy, your Jamaica vacation will be packed and memorable for all the right reasons.
From beach resorts to the capital city, Jamaica’s charm never gets old, and there is a very good reason why so many honeymooners and those who are getting married flock here – the scenery! Of course, families love the island too, as well as couples, singles, groups, and everything in-between! This is truly an island which fits every taste, and that means that boredom is very unlikely to be an issue!
When to visit Jamaica really depends on your own circumstances, because there is never a bad time. Do bear in mind that the island is located within the hurricane belt of the Atlantic Ocean, so that does mean that from time to time there are storms which can cause damage, and this is usually between the hurricane season of June to November. Despite that warning, don’t let this put you off, because these storms are very well forecasted, the island is very well prepared, and the chances of a direct hit are quite low. Overall, Jamaica has a wonderfully tropical climate, and that means sun, sun, sun!
The main tourist areas include the capital city of Kingston, Montego Bay, Negril, Ocho Rios, and Falmouth, to name the most famous ones. The capital is located on the south-eastern coast and has a truly happening and lively feel to it. Fans of Bob Marley should definitely head here and to the museum dedicated to the man himself. Here you can learn about his music and life. The National Gallery of Jamaica is another interesting place to head, as well as Port Royal. This was a true pirate’s paradise back in the 17th century, and the accompanying museum will help you learn more about it. There are some parts of the port which are still standing and have been preserved, including the walls of Fort Charles, Saint Peter’s Church, and Fort Rocky. Of course, shopping fans will love the capital for its big named stores, however check out Kingston Crafts Market for a true Jamaican shopping experience!
The capital is also a fantastic place to try some traditional Jamaican cuisine, so be sure to check out the famous jerk chicken dishes, as well as the national food, ackee and saltfish. This being a Caribbean island, you can expect plentiful tropical fruits to try, deliciously fresh and mouth-watering, including mangoes and papaya, to name just a few.
Jamaica is famous for rum, so be sure to try a glass or two. You can visit a rum factory and learn how the famous drink is made, before sampling a few different types, and buying a bottle to take back home.
Montego Bay and Ocho Rios are two of the most famous and busiest tourist parts of the island, because they are located close to the airport, and they both have cruise ports within them. Montego Bay is the second biggest city on the island, and is a fantastic place for duty free shopping! Check out the famous and stunningly beautiful Doctor’s Cave Beach, with its crystal clear waters. On the other hand, Ocho Rios is a couple of hours away from Montego Bay, and has plentiful activities for all the family, including Dunn’s River Falls. This is a must visit, and here you can check out nature at its best, climb waterfalls, and enjoy the seclusion of the private beach. Be aware that this is a very popular spot, so get there early to avoid crowds and disappointment.
There really is no downside to visiting the colourful island of Jamaica. Whether you want to party, kick back and relax, explore nature, or shop ‘til you drop, this Caribbean island has it all. If you are a reggae fan then you should definitely head to one of the countless reggae clubs around the capital and the main resorts, and here you can enjoy a night of traditional music and fun, with a huge smile on your face at the end of the night (and a few glasses of rum!).
The main tourist resorts are understandably where most of the visitors flock to, and that means that beaches can get busy during the peak times of the year. The best advice is to arrive at the beach early to find your perfect spot, or to do a little research into the more secluded beaches, of which there are many. The biggest beaches in each resort are typically busier, but the smaller coves, where the locals venture to, offer a quieter experience, and a true Caribbean castaway vibe.
Don’t forget to explore the culture of the island too, because Jamaica is probably one of the most culturally different of all the Caribbean choices. The island has its own feel, its own culture, its own vibe, and is basically one of the happiest places on earth, with music, dancing, and smiling everywhere you look! Of course, all that sun-drenched weather doesn’t hurt, and with very little chance of rain coming your way, you can look forward to a break which is totally Caribbean, totally tropical, and certainly very Jamaican too!