When you hear the name Jamaica, most people think of reggae, beaches, and Rastas. This is one of the most popular tropical getaways in the Caribbean and a common stop on a lot of cruises. Visitors fall in love with the white sand beaches and warm tropical weather and relaxing vibes this island gives off. There are lots of high-end resorts to choose from or you can stay in a luxurious Jamaica beach house overlooking the sea. This article describes everything you need to know about taking a vacation in Jamaica.
Why Visit Jamaica?
Most tourists visit Jamaica for the hundreds of kilometres of coastline, all year round warm tropical weather, and the abundance of water sports. This makes a perfect vacation at any time of the year. Some come and stay at a luxury resort for a few days whereas others are here to explore the island and culture.
One of the favourite activities is seeing the magnificent sunrises and sunsets over the beaches. This is one of the highlights for any visitor. Just imagine relaxing under a palm tree sipping on a cocktail with that special someone watching the sun dip below the horizon. There’s a reason why so many people propose in Jamaica.
And if this isn’t enough, if you go further inland, you can experience and enjoy the mountains and other beautiful landscapes. Or go to one of the world-class golf courses. This island really does have something to suit any visitor’s needs. And the best part is that you can find lots of all-inclusive and child-friendly resorts across Jamaica.
What are the Best Things to Do in Jamaica?
You can’t mention the best things to do in Jamaica without talking about the Seven Miles Beach. This, as the name suggests, is a long beach in Negril. The coastline is pristine and it’s one of the best places in the entire Caribbean to come and relax on the beach. You’ll find vendors selling local food and drinks so that you can really soak up the atmosphere and chill out. The Blue Lagoon is also one of the most beautiful places on the island to spend an afternoon.
Water sports and snorkelling are also some of the other most popular things to do here. You can rent jet skis and kayaks by the hour or at reasonable daily rates. Or, get some snorkelling gear and marvel at the underwater magic with thousands of fish swimming around beneath you. If diving is your thing, you can find plenty of opportunities in Jamaica too.
The Blue Mountains National Park on the eastern part of the island is a popular day trip. You can find tour operators in most resorts or independent agents in the touristy parts of the island. Some are more reasonably priced and better value for money than others and it’s worth shopping around to find the best deal for you.
And another popular activity for visitors who like playing golf is the number of world-class courses on the island. You can find lots of places to play a round or two on the island against the beautiful scenery in the background. There are three major golf courses in Montego Bay on the northern coast of the island.
If you’re a fan of reggae, you’ll know that Jamaica was the birthplace of musical legend Bob Marley. You can visit a museum dedicated to his life and work in Kingston or pay respect at his mausoleum in his hometown of Nine Mile.
Essential Tips for Jamaica:
The first tip is to make sure you bring a selection of smaller USD notes. You’re going to want a lot of smaller denominations such as $1 and $5 to give as tips. Larger ones such as $10 or $20 come in handy for buying other things. Most touristy places will accept both USD and Jamaican Dollars. You can also expect to see most prices given to tourists in USD. Avoid carrying or bringing larger notes but if it’s unavoidable, it’s best to leave them in the hotel safe.
Another tip is expect to be constantly and endlessly harassed by vendors. Some are wandering around the beach selling snacks or sunglasses and others have their stalls lining the streets. A Jamaican will probably try the hard sell and will be persistent. Just anticipate this as it catches a lot of people off guard when they first arrive. A polite, but firm no, usually deters them.
If you’re visiting on a tighter budget, an essential tip is to avoid Christmas and during Spring. This is peak season in Jamaica and you can expect the prices to almost double.
Staying Safe in Jamaica:
The island has a reputation for being one of the most dangerous countries in the world. Gangs, drugs, and politics are the root causes of this and sadly sometimes it can involve tourists. But, most of the time it’s directed at other Jamaicans. Tourists are generally safe and should exercise a normal level of caution and shouldn’t flash valuables or expensive accessories. The most common crime towards tourists is petty theft and you should take action to protect yourself. If you stay at the resorts, most are inside a gated community with guards to protect tourists.
The Takeaway Message:
Jamaica makes a perfect Caribbean vacation with its all year round tropical weather and wonderful beaches. You can find luxurious accommodation to suit any budget and will find something to do to keep the whole family busy whilst having fun during your entire stay.