Fresh fruit, lovely beaches, amazing plantation, reggae music, and ganja is what awaits in Jamaica if you didn’t already know. It’s an ideal country to relax in and enjoy the mellow atmosphere it provides. So… go book your tickets now!
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
The people are friendly but slow so be prepared and speak clearly.
Jamaica isn’t the most organized country and usually you’ll just have to go with the flow.
Don’t have too much cash on you, but it’s essential to get by (beware of theft).
Some roads aren’t in great condition and have a lot of holes so beware when driving across the country (contrary to their calm life, Jamaicans are reckless drivers, so be careful).
Don’t hesitate to buy fruits and vegetables from markets and street stands, but make sure they’re at a fair price.
There will be a few hustlers, so know how to bargain (and do it nicely).
Ask to take pictures! Or do so discreetly, Jamaicans sometimes don’t like having their picture taken.
Try ackee (the national fruit), smoothies, jerk chicken, goat, coconut rice, Blue Mountain coffee (one of the best in the world), and much more.
Marijuana has been legal since 2015, so be sure to take advantage of that, or don’t, your choice!
I-tal restaurants: for those of you who don’t know Rastafari is actually a secular belief and ‘rastas’ are usually vegan/vegetarian. The restaurants that they go to/own are therefore vegan/vegetarian friendly yet sometimes they do offer meat options. If you’re looking for a healthy place to eat, then go to one of these! Usually, you can’t go wrong with these places.
The capital is busy, chaotic, and always in traffic. There aren’t many essential sights to see and there isn’t much to do. Better places to go and stay would be around Kingston; the smaller towns that offer beaches and more peaceful surroundings.
Is second biggest city in Jamaica and compared to Kingston, it’s much more pleasant. It’s not very big, but there are a few pretty beaches and is this place is usually a resort destination so there will be a fair amount of tourists. It’s not incredibly pretty either, so don’t get expect much but there are some of activities around Montego Bay. Some of these include golf. Believe it or not, Jamaica has wonderful golf courses that rivals those in the US. Imagine clean-cut grass, immense space, abundant palm trees, and basically the ideal place to golf.
- Doctor’s Cave Beach
An unknown location to many tourists but is really worth the visit if you have the time. There isn’t much of a town, but the streets are clean, there are some very good restaurants and hotels, and a large beach with hardly any people. Perfect for relaxing, enjoying the water, admiring the magnificent sunsets, and eating at the fish shacks along the beach.
- Jake’s Resort & Spa – wonderful place that has artsy bungalows, great management and restaurant, with a killer view
- Hold a Vibz Cafe – fresh, delicious, and healthy food that will leave you wanting for more (amazing smoothies)
- Gee Wiz Vegetarian Restaurant – great local spot that shouldn’t be judged by its appearance but rather for its food, which is excellent
- Smurf’s Cafe – provides great authentic breakfast and brunch, also a local hangout that a lot of tourists go to
Another ‘big’ city in Jamaica. Also, close to port Antonio is the Blue Lagoon (no, not from the movie), which is beautiful and has a couple villas next to it.
- Geejam Hotel – pretty much the n.1 hotel in Port Antonio. It’s secluded exotic luxury hotel that sits amongst the trees (literally). Obviously it hosts amazing views and you pretty much rest in serenity and paradise (a must).
- Blue Lagoon Villas
- Trident Hotel – a luxurious, small boutique hotel that has a wonderful view and worth the stay! Provides great service, a succulent restaurant, modern rooms, and a large infinity pool!
- Frenchman’s Cove Beach
- San San Beach
- Trident Castle
If you want a place that resembles Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic, then this is the place to go. It’s mainly full of resorts and very touristy but it’s there for a reason. It’s what you imagine when you think of the Caribbean – blue water, white sand, palm trees… you get it.
- The Caves Hotel – if you’re looking for a place out of the ordinary, this is it. This small resort sits on the edges of cave cliffs on the border of the sea. Ideal for a romantic stay.
- Sandals Hotel Resort – the main resort chain around the Caribbean owns many hotels across Jamaica, and this one is one of it’s best. It’s just like any other typical all-inclusive resort with a friendly staff and great location.
- Seven Mile Beach
- Negril Cliffs
- Mayfield Falls
This is another town that is similar to Negril. It sits on a bay and offers a large beach with a lot of resort hotels. The clear blue waters and almost picture-perfect surroundings will leave you enchanted.
- Jamaica Inn – this cute hotel is the example of a quite and calm experience, offering high-end service and no mob of tourists as you might get with other resorts – essentially, it’s ideal for relaxation.
- Hermosa Cove, Villa Resort – picturesque, unique, and peaceful. A little paradisiacal boutique hotel.
- Sandals Royal Plantation – another Sandals sits on the Caribbean sea and is a couples-only resort which is ideal for those looking for a romantic escapade. Yet again, if you wish to have the all-inclusive common style resort, this is the place to go.
- Dunn’s River Falls
- Dolphin Cove
- James Bond Beach
- Reggae Beach
- Green Grotto Caves
Is an absolute must. This is the less crowded and less tourist-saturated option to see beautiful falls. To get to the falls one has to drive and then board a tractor that takes one to a center that resembles a fancy resort. In this center, there are two pools, a restaurant/bar, and a few open private huts that are available to sit in. Next to this center, one walks up wooden stairs across what seems like a jungle as you head deep into the falls. There are different levels to the falls, each one offering a nice swimming pond. There’s a rope that you can swing from (just saying). The YS Falls center also has activities like zip lining partnered with Chukka.
Holds the famous waterfalls close to Ocho Rios and is one of the main tourist attractions.
Martha Brae river rafting:
You board a little bamboo raft and sit behind while a local Jamaican rows around the Martha Brae river. It’s a beautiful and unique experience which must not be missed! You can get to here by booking tours through TripAdvisor, your hotel, or anywhere else really.
The Blue Lagoon:
Not the actual blue lagoon from the movie The Blue Lagoon, but still a nice little place that’s worth taking a peek at. It’s known for it’s clear blue waters and the gigantic villas that sits next to the lagoon (available for rent throughout the year).
Blue Mountain Hiking:
For you adventurous folks! Hike in the beautiful and tropical jungle of the Blue Mountains.
The rough guide to Jamaica – buy here on Amazon