Jamaica is one of the most exciting and desired island destinations in the Caribbean. It is a country with a storied history and diverse culture, and people that it has contributed to the world for centuries. For instance, today, Jamaica is the home to Reggae, one of the most popular forms of music in the world, Reggae; the country of Usain Bolt and Shelly Ann Fraser, fastest man and woman in the world, and their local food is regarded in many circles as some of the tastiest in the world.
This island country with a population of 2.8 million people, has a stable democratically elected government, is low in crime and prides itself on inviting visitors from all over the world. Jamaica is the third most populated English speaking country in the Americas, after the US and Canada and it remains to this day, a British Commonwealth.
Jamaica has a very interesting population. There is considerable mixing creating a very homogeneous society. This has caused very interesting culture, music and food in the country that is unique to the Caribbean.
Jamaica has tropical temperatures meaning humid and hot weather at its lower altitudes and a more temperate climate at higher altitudes. The weather is hot year round, humidity is high with respite from the heat only after sun down or when the winds blow off the Caribbean Sea. There is a rainy season and the chance of hurricanes in the late summer and fall. The average temperatures are 75c Fahrenheit (24°C) in January and 82°F or (27°C) in August. Any time is a great time to come but the months of June through August are definitely the most crowded so if you intend to visit during these months book early.
Best Places to Visit in Jamaica
Jamaica has several high quality tourist areas and all are located right on the water. Each area has a wide range of accommodations for the very low end, to great resorts and at the top end in terms of quality are the villa rentals available on the island. A villa rental in Jamaica is surprisingly affordable and can likely accommodate your whole group.
Of the top vacation spots on the island each is set up to accommodate tourists with all-inclusive resorts, a great nightlife and lots of activities including water and adventure sports.
On the northwestern coast of the island is Montego Bay, which is the country’s largest area of beach resorts. This is also one of Jamaica’s two largest ports for cruise ships. Although many who come to Jamaica will select their resort and think about its location on the island later, many aim specifically for Montego Bay because of its vibrancy, abundant activities and non-stop nightlife. The city is filled with all levels of accommodations with of course the most beautiful being the private villas that can be rented for small or large groups.
There is great shopping in town and the town has the best food on the island along with non-stop music played everywhere. There is access to the best golf courses in the entire Caribbean, and horseback riding in addition to every watersport imaginable. There are also tours which includes Montego Bay’s most famous attraction, the Rose Hall Plantation which is supposedly haunted. Montego Bay has its own airport and most visitors will land here before they are off to their final destination city, but as mentioned that final destination is most often Montego Bay.
On the western tip of Jamaica the land is uncharacteristically dry. However, in this area is situated one of Jamaica’s most popular resort areas Negril. This area has become famous for its wild and free reputation. The area has several nudist beaches and attracts many young singles looking for lots of fun and sun. In terms of sun, Negril’s Seven Mile Beach is one of the longest beaches to be found anywhere in the Caribbean. Partying is the order of the day or night. The local food is excellent but not gourmet, and you will definitely leave the area with wild memories and one of a kind fun experiences.
The second most popular destination is Ocho Rios which sits on a beautiful deep water harbor and also offers a teeming set of beaches and other tourist area. The North Coast where Ocho Rios is located has sharply sloping topography, the perfect scenery for panoramic public gardens and breathtaking waterfalls that pop up throughout the area. Ocho Rios certainly is a welcoming area but is smaller than Montego Bay and can get a bit crowded depending on the season. The area also has great Reggae concerts throughout the year. Many choose to say in nearby Runaway Bay because of it offers great beaches and is much less crowded.
Ocho Rios is also a scenic drive from the country’s capital Kingston and the center of government, and commerce here. It is also the home of the legendary Reggae artist Bob Marely. Kingston is also the cultural capital of Jamaica and has many museums and galleries featuring the world of many famous Jamaican artists and writers. The nightlife in Kingston is also the best in Jamaica with several jazz and reggae clubs, upscale supper clubs and even English theater in town. You can visit Spanish Town to see older Jamaican architecture and experience the sleepier side of the island.
The Blue Mountains
If you are up for a beautiful scenic drive, just North of Kingston are the famous Blue Mountains. You can take winding roads that go up high in the hills and down in the valleys and are covered by lush and beautiful vegetation. This is where Jamaica’s famous coffee is grown. The best way to see them is to book a tour because the roads are in bad shape and getting turned around is easy.
Wherever you choose to stay on the island or even if you choose to travel around to several cities, you will enjoy the great hospitality and one of a kind atmosphere this unique island nation has to offer. Bring the entire family and have a great time in Jamaica.