Famous throughout the world for reggae music, great cuisine and exciting nightlife, Jamaica, the third-largest of the Caribbean islands has long been a popular destination for those looking for a break.
Not only is Jamaica renowned for its vibrant and exciting culture but with pristine beaches, tropical blooms and ever-present Blue Mountain backdrop, Jamaica is one of the Caribbean’s most beautiful islands.
When to Go to Jamaica
Jamaica’s high season runs from mid-December through to April. During these months room rates are at their highest and resorts can get quite busy. As a result, the best time to visit Jamaica is between May and early December. Indeed, room rates are around 30% cheaper during these months, allowing you get more for your money.
Jamaica’s two major airports are Norman Manley International Airport (KIN) in Kingston and Donald Sangster International Airport (MBJ) in Montego Bay. The former is the more convenient airport for those visiting the capital or Port Antonio. On the other hand, the latter is better for those visiting destinations like Negril, Ocho Rios and Mo’Bay.
If you are heading to Montego Bay or Kingston from New York, you can expect the journey to take just over 3 hours and 40 minutes.
When it comes to accommodation, Jamaica has plenty of choice. Guesthouses offer the cheapest accommodation on the island. While the rooms may be basic and rather spartan, they are functional and comfortable. Hotels on the island are available in a range styles from small, independent hotels through to luxury chains.
However, Jamaica is particularly well-known for its all-inclusive resorts. Indeed, many consider Jamaica the birthplace of this type of resort which includes on-site food and drinks in the cost of the holiday. Prices vary enormously, but if you time your visit outside of peak season, you can make some great savings.
Top Things to Do in Jamaica
Without a doubt the most famous museum on the island is the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston. The reggae legend’s home and recording studio on Hope Road has been transformed into a museum and shrine to Jamaica’s most famous son and is full of memorabilia. Highlights of the collection include platinum records, Rastafarian cloaks and the bullet holes in the room where Marley survived an assassination attempt.
If you are visiting Jamaica during March, be sure to stick around for Carnival, the island’s major event. Floats, dancers, and costumed musicians take to the streets throughout the event. Music is a major part of the event, expect to hear calypso, soca and reggae.
Jamaica’s Dolphin Cove in Ocho Rios is famous for dolphin-spotting. The cove is a large natural lagoon and lets visitors swim and play with bottlenose dolphins. In addition, the cove also has a large aquarium showcasing a range of interesting sea creatures including sharks and stingrays. In addition, visitors also have the opportunity to feed and pet some of the sharks.
Jamaica has plenty of natural attractions to visit some of the most-popular include the limestone caves in the north of Jamaica and the Blue Mountains. With a number of interesting geological formations, subterranean lakes and the famous Green Grotto, the limestone caves are great fun to explore. The Blue Mountains are Jamaica’s largest mountain range and have a number of tracks to explore. The Blue Mountains are home to a diverse range of flora and fauna including the world’s second-largest butterfly: the Homerus Swallowtail which has a wingspan of 5.9 inches.
Situated just west of downtown Kingston, Spanish Town, the former capital of Jamaica is a popular destination. The city was established by the Spanish back in the Seventeenth Century and has a number of notable historic attractions including the Old King’s House and the English Cathedral.