Jamaica made our list of the world’s most romantic destinations for a good reason: this small island nation is stunningly beautiful and offers many opportunities for both fun and relaxation. There’s so much to do, see, and eat in this exciting country.
If you love resorts, the accommodations in Jamaica are outstanding. Stay at an all-inclusive resort like Sandals or Beaches or an intimate resort like Jamaica Inn, which is located on a private beach. But before you start booking rooms, take a look at what this tropical destination has to offer.
Jamaica is the home of reggae, so there’s no better place in the world to listen to this music live. If you’re a fan of the festival experience, look for tickets to the Reggae Sumfest or the Jamaica Jazz and Blues festival.
Are small shows more your scene? There are pop-up reggae bars all around the island, and you may be able to catch a reggae set at a sports bar or music lounge. Check out the Ribbiz Ocean Lounge in Kingston or Montego Bay on the west side of the island for reggae tunes.
Ready to spice up your life? We’re not talking about the Spice Girls’ song – we’re talking Jamaican cuisine. Jamaican food is a popular option around the world because of its mouth-watering and flavorful combinations.
Jerk chicken, jerk pork, and jerk fish are three notable staples of Jamaican cuisine. “Jerk” was originally a method of spicing and cooking meat underground so that the smoke could not be seen. The protein was cooked on fragrant pimento wood with a combination of both sweet and savory spices.
Jamaicans historically used spices and peppers to preserve both meat and fish. They developed the famous Pickapeppa sauce. You’ll also find out that cassava flatbread (bammies) and fried sweet dough (festivals) are very popular – give them a try! Or try the Jamaican patty, a variation of the Cornish pasty, a popular food item that’s usually eaten at lunchtime.
When you visit Jamaica, you’ll have plenty of dining options – but what if you need a break from Jamaican cuisine? Indian and Chinese food have become popular in the island nation. If you’re a vegetarian, you’ll still be able to find items on the menu for you. According to Visit Jamaica, “Ital food is Jamaica’s take on vegetarian cuisine.” There’s plenty of tropical fruit to choose from, too!
Jamaica isn’t only famous for its spicy dishes, tropical fruits, and specialty rums. Are you a coffee lover? Don’t leave the country without trying Jamaica’s Blue Mountain coffee.
The flavorful beans are handpicked in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica, which are over 7,000 feet above sea level. Every barrel of coffee beans receives a Certificate of Authenticity. If you’re interested in trying it for yourself or giving Blue Mountain coffee to a friend, order a sample pack with beans from the Small Farmer Collection, Arthur McGowan Peaberry by Trumpet Tree, and Flamstead Estate.
Jamaica is known as “The Land of Wood and Water.” Hikers will find so much to explore on this island nation. There are beautiful waterfalls and natural pools – and of course, there are all the beaches.
Animal lovers will be delighted at the opportunity to see crocodiles up close. Visit the Black River Safari in the south of the island to see these snappers in person. You’ll also be able to see snakes, lizards, iguanas, the coney, and many species of birds.
For fans of gardens, take time to visit the Royal Botanical Gardens and the Cinchona Botanical Gardens in St. Andrew or the Castleton Gardens in St. Mary. There’s also the Ahhh Ras Natango Gallery and Garden in Montego Bay.
When you visit Jamaica, you can’t miss the Luminous Lagoon. Located near Montego Bay, this lagoon is a glowing cove that harbors bioluminescent water. Essentially, at dusk, anyone who is swimming in the water will glow.
Ride on a bobsled or take a sky lift. Sail through the water on a raft made of bamboo. Zipline over the jungle if you’re feeling adventurous or tube down the Great River. Golf fans will find a great opportunity for a round of golf at the Cinnamon Hill Golf Club. There’s a lot to do!
There are many resort options on the island of Jamaica. As we mentioned above, you can stay at Sandals or Beaches, as well as Excellence Oyster Bay, Negril, Riu, and others. You’ll find that most are located in either Kingston, South Coast, Port Antonio, or Ocho Rios.
The Jamaica Inn in Ocho Rios only offers rooms with ocean views, so you’ll be in sight of the beach no matter what you choose. There are bungalows, cottages, and verandah suites to choose from. Isle Blue is a luxury villa company that also offers beachfront properties to rent.
If you’d rather stay in a hotel in the city than a resort, you can find familiar brands like Marriott and Hampton Inn in Kingston, as well as boutique hotels.
No matter where you stay, when you visit Jamaica, you’ll enjoy great music, delicious food, beautiful beaches, and you’ll have so much to do!