The island of Jamaica may be the third largest in the Caribbean but it’s so much more than just beaches.
It is ideally located to the west of the island of Hispanolia, to the south of Cuba and southeast of Grand Cayman. The trade winds help to maintain a near constant temperature between 77 and 82 degrees and which bless the mountainous island’s northeast coast with abundant rain.
The popular image of Jamaica is emerald rain forests, waterfalls that tumble into cool, clear streams and glorious beaches that rival any in the Caribbean. The legendary “cool” of Jamaican culture is heard in its reggae music and by the dry wit of the young Jamaican men who pilot visitors down the Great River on bamboo rafts. You won’t easily forget the throngs of competing taxi drivers who swarm outside the Crafts Market in Montego Bay.
Jamaica is one of the most beautiful and culturally rich islands in the Caribbean with an economy that depends largely on tourism. Explore the countryside and mingle with the locals, as they are friendly and truly delighted to meet and greet tourists who visit their island. The physical beauty and vibrant culture ofJamaicaare still its greatest assets, and the good cheer among its people makes for a memorable vacation.
Must See or Do
1. Climb Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios,
2. Visit a rum distillery or take a coffee plantation tour
3. Check out the Y.S. Falls near Appleton
4. Bird-watching in the Blue Mountains;
5. Spelunking in one of the island’s many caves.
6. Sitting in Rick’s Cafe in Negril and watching the cliff divers jump at sunset.
Especially for Kids—
1. Snorkel near the Negril Lighthouse
2. Exploring the water park in Negril
3. Look for turtles along TreasureBeach
Jamaica isn’t all about beautiful beaches, but it is certainly a major reason that so many visitors flock to the resorts of Jamaica year round and so many return time and time again. Most tourists stay in the northern part of Jamaica- Montego Bay, Negril, Runaway Bay or Ocho Rios, the south west coast is quickly becoming popular.
Some of the most popular all inclusive resort chains have already built resorts in Jamaica and more are in the pipeline. Some resort names you will likely recognize are Sandals, Couples, Secrets, Beaches, Riu and Iberostar resorts. Sandals has 7 adult only all inclusive resorts in Jamaica. There are 4 Couples resorts and 2 Secrets resorts in Jamaica. With the Iberostar Rose Hall Grand, Jamaica has the most adult only all inclusive resorts of any other Caribbean destination. Beaches, Riu, Iberostar, Sunset, the Ritz Carlton, Hilton and Holiday Inn are some other resort names that you might recognize.
According to Brides.com, Jamaica is:
- A country more than an island, Jamaica has it all: mountains, rain forest, caves, amazing beaches, and a taste of the old Caribbean.
- A nice smattering of long-standing upscale resorts
- Vibrant culture: reggae music, jerk pits, cricket, the world’s highest concentration of churches
- Vastly varied enclaves: Negril, Montego Bay (MoBay), and Ocho Rios are crammed with clubs, bars, and restaurants; along the South Coast, towns such as Mandeville, White House, and Black River offer peace and quiet.
- Good buys: Blue Mountain coffee, jerk paste and pepper jelly, hemp clothing, hand-painted coffeepots from Wassi
But Jamaica isn’t just for honeymooners. Families love Jamaica too. Resorts like Beaches, Sunset Resorts and the Hilton Rose Hall have water parks to keep the kids occupied (although sometimes it seems like there are more adults at the water park than kids).
Looking for more than just a beach vacation?
Some of these excursions might be just the thing to mix up the beach with some activities and action:
1. ATV Safari Tours
2. River Tubing or Rafting down the river on a bamboo raft
3. Zip lining
5. Horseback riding
6. Dog sledding (yes, you can mush your dogs without snow in Jamaica!)
7. Deep sea fishing
8. Biking in the Blue Mountains
9. Climbing Dunn’s River Falls
10. Snorkeling or Scuba Diving
Think beautiful beaches, lush tropical landscape, action and activities, rum and great jerk chicken. Jamaica has it all and may be the perfect vacation or honeymoon destination for you.