Jamaica is loved by visitors for its almost ethereal beauty. There are hundreds of miles of coast with some of the best Caribbean beaches. Some beaches are located in famous communities such as Montego Bay and its Doctor’s Cave Beach; then there are some hidden gems such as Treasure Beach. Whatever season visitors come to explore this Jamaican magic, the weather, which holds steady at around 80 degrees throughout the year, is as inviting as its people.
And Jamaica has its Jerk. Almost every visitor falls in love with the island’s best-known dish – the jerk chicken. It’s worth visiting Jamaica just to savor that unique taste. Follow it up with a cup of their incredible Blue Mountain coffee, which is one of the world’s rarest and most expensive.
Jamaica is an island in the West Indies and the third-largest Caribbean island within the Greater Antilles located approximately 100 miles west of Haiti. It is 146 miles long and up to 51 miles wide. The city of Kingston is the island’s capital. Christopher Columbus, who landed in Jamaica in 1494, called it “the fairest isle that eyes have beheld.” More than 500 years later, swarms of visitors agree with him. It is an independent country but is still a member of the British Commonwealth.
Much of Jamaica is mountainous terrain, and it is especially known for its Blue Mountains and the wonderful coffee that it produces.
Spain’s discovery and settlement of Jamaica allowed slavery to be imported and thrive on the island. One hundred and fifty years later, the British conquered the Spaniards, and in 1740, the slaves were freed and allowed to own property. The slave trade was officially outlawed in 1807.
The slave-owning settlers created a prosperous economy by trading sugar, cocoa, and coffee. Following the abolition of slavery, migrants came to work the plantations. This created a diverse group of settlers – Europeans, Jews, and Middle Easterners. The island’s motto became, “Out of Many, One People.”
In addition to its azure waters, Jamaica is known for its healing waters. Natural mineral baths outside of Kingston are believed to stimulate circulation. Visitors simply enjoy reveling in the whirlpools or one of the almost dozen open-air baths. More mineral baths can be found by the John Crow Mountains; these are said to help with various skin conditions, gout, and rheumatism. Many Jamaican resorts offer their guests herb-infused therapeutic baths for improved skin. It might just be a coincidence that Jamaica is one of the top five countries to have the most Miss World contest winners. Jamaican women are beautiful and definite pageant material.
Two languages are spoken in Jamaica – Jamaican English and Jamaican Patois. Jamaica English, with its heavy British influence, is the island’s official language for trade, education, and government functions. More Jamaicans speak Jamaican Patois, a language that was brought to Jamaica during the time of slavery and is a significant part of its culture.
The Jamaican Dollar, valued at somewhat higher than the American dollar, is Jamaica’s official currency. The US dollar is also accepted everywhere.
What Is Jamaica Most Known For?
Jamaica is known for its incredible beaches with white sand, coral reefs, and palm trees. It makes for the ideal Jamaican vacation. Visitors can relax and simply take in the island’s famed reggae music while sipping some of its excellent rum.
Ocho Rios Bay Beach is a stunning beach with a vista of several waterfalls. The sand is silky, and the water is shallow enough for children. The nearby Mystic Mountain is a rainforest that awaits exploration.
Boston Beach is ideal for surfing, with strong waves and waters that can be rough. This beach is more suitable for adults than children. The Boston Jerk Center by the beach specializes in mouthwatering jerk dishes.
Seven Mile Beach has the island’s most spectacular sunsets. It is located in Negril and is surrounded by resorts and eateries.
Blue Waters Beach Club in the parish of Trelawny is a bit of beachfront Eden. An assortment of drinks is available at the tiki bar, as well as an unlimited buffet. Move through the sand to the beat of reggae or get an on-the-beach massage. All watersports are available here. Or rent a cabana with your personal server and just laze.
Cornwall Beach is within walking distance of Montego Bay, providing isolated tranquility while still enjoying Montego Bay’s vibrant lifestyle. There are plenty of beachfront restaurants and hotels. The water here is mild and perfectly safe for children.
Puerto Seco Beach in Discovery Bay, St. Ann, offers family-friendly beach packages that include wi-fi, food and drink on the beach, and an aqua park. The beach is perfect for all types of watersports; there are also snorkeling and glass-bottom boat tours.
Kingston is the place for Jamaican urban adventures, and visitors will find accommodations and restaurants for every taste. And the nightlife frequently continues well into the morning.
Dub Club is located on top of Kingston’s Jack’s Hill and overlooks the sparkling lights of the city. Here is where visitors will find the best reggae. The action begins at 10:00 p.m., when the drums start vibrating and after guests have had time to finish their dinner.
Club Privilege is Kingston’s most exclusive nightclub. They stock high-end brand alcohol and a Champagne Bar. There are two VIP lounges, the Red Velvet Lounge and the Blue Velvet Lounge with comfortable seating. Guests at the club dress up in style. No sloppy casual wear. The action starts to liven after 11:00 p.m. Most people wander in at midnight.
Friday nights the club features reggae and hip hop music; Sundays are Oldie’s night, and the first Saturday of the month brings in DJs from around the world. Beer is a reasonable $5.00; the Champagne Bar offers a bottle of Ace of Spades for $785.00. Goes great with a tux.
Best Regions to Visit In Jamaica
In addition to Jamaica’s hottest nightlife, Kingston offers plenty of cultures.
The Bob Marley Museum, formerly the residence of the king of Reggae, is a museum dedicated to special Marley memorabilia that can be viewed on a tour. See his recording studio and favorite guitar. The museum’s Love Café serves Marley’s favorite meals.
Devon House in Kingston is a stunning mansion built by Jamaica’s first black billionaire. The garden is abloom with palm trees, flowers, and a water fountain. ExplorerJamaica offers tours to this national monument, which includes Devon House’s I Scream, its famous rum and raisin ice cream. This tour can be combined with tours to the Bob Marley Museum and Emancipation Park.
Emancipation Park is a tribute to Jamaica’s slaves’ hard-won fight for freedom. Cross the entrance with its majestic sculptures and enjoy the colorful flowers that are strewn throughout. Visitors to the park will find chess and ping pong tables, and there are frequent aerobics classes in this natural haven. Everything here is about relaxation. Enjoy some delicious jerk across the street at the Sweetwood Jerk Center.
Negril is a resort town overlooking the Caribbean and is filled with beauty, enchantment, and wonderful things to do. It is famed for its blazing sunsets. The town has all types of accommodations, from boutique hotels to luxurious romantic getaways. The pace here is easy, but there are a lot of activities. Take a diving tour and explore the coral reefs and their marvelous sea creatures.
Negril is known for the cottages on top of a cliff with an incredible view of the ocean. Below the cottages are natural caves to explore or even in which to have a private candlelight meal. Everything here is romantic and secluded.
While in Negril, Jamaica visitors can enjoy private or group horseback riding tours by the waters. The tour guide will take unlimited pictures of these Instagram moments.
Montego Bay may be Jamaica’s third-largest city, but it is the island’s number one tourist hub. For family fun, Jamaica Paintball is located just outside of Montego Bay, and it’s suitable for all skill levels. Kids can enjoy an easy version of the game called Splatmaster. Fun for all. For a more relaxing Montego Bay adventure, visitors can take a bamboo raft ride down the Martha Brae River and take in the exquisite scenery.
Golf enthusiasts will want to visit the Cinnamon Hill Golf Club overlooking the blue waters of the Caribbean. The club has been designated one of the best in the world.
While in Montego Bay, visitors need to try the jerk at Scotchies. For elegant cuisine, visit the Sugar Mill Restaurant at the Half Moon Hotel. Great food and 150 different types of wine.
For an all-inclusive, adult-only Montego Bay beachfront resort, Sandals Montego Bay offers luxury and privacy with butler service suites and great dining. Guests can enjoy diving and diving lessons as well as nightly partying at moonlit beach parties with live entertainment. Relax at the over-the-water bar and make it official in the Over-the-Water Chapel for a once-in-a-lifetime wedding.
Best All-Inclusive Resort or Hotel in Jamaica
Sandals South Coast in Whitehouse offers extraordinary accommodations, including over-the-water luxury Butler suites, private patios, and outdoor showers. Guest can savor fine international dining at nine restaurants – or simply chill with a pizza. For romantic moments, your butler will serve a candlelit dinner at the beach.
The clear waters invite guests to participate in water sports such as surfing, swimming, kayaking, or touring in a glass-bottomed boat. During the evenings, enjoy the resort’s live entertainment, carnival night, or strut your stuff during talent night. Applause guaranteed.
Best Resort or Hotel for Couples in Jamaica
Sandals Royal Plantation is an all-butler, all-ocean view resort in Ocho Rios that caters to romance. From having your butler anticipate every wish, including serving drinks by the water. guests can spend time mingling with the colorful peacocks on the grounds or enjoy a delightful afternoon tea. Sandals Royal Plantation specializes in romance.
You can indulge in a couples massage over the water or in one of the secluded gardens. Unlimited dining and drinking at any of the resort’s five restaurants are included. For an added romantic touch, the exclusive French restaurant Papillon will serve its signature drink, the L’Aphrodisiaque.
Best Resort or Hotel for Families in Jamaica
Beaches Ocho Rios provides the perfect Caribbean getaway for the entire family. It has been voted Top Ten Best Beach Resorts by Parents Magazine for a reason. The kids will love the Pirates Island Waterpark, as well as the only Jamaican golf program for children, as well as the X-Box play lounge.
Parents will revel in accommodations that can include 24-hour butler service, 7 gourmet restaurants, unlimited outdoor activities, and watersports such as scuba diving and unlimited golf at the resort’s premier golf course. Josephine’s Creperie will delight the entire family with its savory and sweet crepes, including the mouthwatering crêpe au chocolate.
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