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The Best Places to Visit in Jamaica

Nov/09/2021 / by Abhijit Masih
jamaica
Image credits: Pixabay

Jamaica conjures up images of Bob Marley, the home of Reggae, pristine beaches, majestic waterfalls, Blue Mountain coffee, Jamaican Rum and runners.

Jamaica is a land that has inspired many people with its distinct personality. Famous among them being Ian Flemming. The creator of James Bond wrote all his spy novels while living in Jamaica. It is also the land of reggae and dance hall music. Music is a constant presence on the island and follows you everywhere.

No place provides the range of attractions and cultural diversity as does Jamaica. The home of rhythm and sway, of glorious sunrises, a kaleidoscope of colors and sounds make the island one of the most precious jewels of the Caribbean.

Pristine Beaches

Jamaica has some of the most gorgeous beaches. You are spoiled for choice due to the large number and variety of them, these including the famous Seven Mile Beach in Negril, and Doctor’s Cave Beach in Montego Bay. On the top of the heap is most definitely the spectacular Seven Mile Beach, one you should definitely visit.

Incredible All-Inclusive Resorts in Jamaica

A resort is the most relaxing and fun ways to experience Jamaica and its beauty. There are three major areas featuring the most luxurious of them. These are Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Negril. Montego Bay offers some nightlife in the city, while most parties in Negril happen within the resort itself. Even though the best beaches can be found in Montego Bay and Negril, Ocho Rios is near some of Jamaica’s most popular tourist attractions.

Pirate town — Port Royal

Fans of “Pirates of the Caribbean” will have this on top of their list of the tourist attractions to visit in Jamaica. Port Royal in Jamaica has an interesting and true pirate history. Back in the 16th century, it was one of the most dangerous cities in the world. For much of that century, Port Royal was a nefarious colony of pirates, controlled by the legendary Henry Morgan. Owing to its proximity to the maritime trade routes, it was a convenient base of operations for pirates of the time. Port Royal, at the mouth of Kingston Harbor in southeastern Jamaica, was founded in 1494 by the Spanish. At one time, it was the biggest city in the Caribbean,

Jamaica
Jamaican waterfalls (image courtesy Andreas Volz/Pixabay)

Wild and Wonderful Waterfalls

There are several waterfalls that will tempt you into a carefree dive. These include the world-famous Dunn’s River Falls, Ocho Rios Blue Hole, Mayfield Falls, Reach Falls, Konoko Falls and Y.S. falls. Your trip to Jamaica will not be complete without taking a dip into one of them.

The best place to go to in Jamaica is the Y.S. Falls, a popular natural attraction with seven waterfalls cascading into pools amid lush green gardens. Y.S. Falls is about 50 miles from Montego Bay in St. Elizabeth parish.

The Bob Marley Museum

The Bob Marley Museum situated in Kingston is one of the best places to visit in Jamaica. The former home of the king of Reggae, which is now a museum, hosts a photographic gallery, an 80-seat theater, a record shop, and a gift shop where you will find a wide range of Marley-related memorabilia. It is filled with great memories and mementos of the Jamaican musical genius. The museum is one of the most popular tourist attractions on the island.

Eat in Jamaica Like a Jamaican

You might want to sample the sumptuous Jamaican staple of ackee and saltfish. Ackee is a somewhat savory-tasting fruit related to the lychee; the fish is cod, flaked and deboned. This island dish can be eaten at any time of the day, but is a breakfast staple. The salty, tangy and buttery taste of ackee and saltfish could be certainly be the real taste of Jamaica. For the best tasting ackee and saltfish drop in at Ziggy’s Manor Centre in the Manor Park area of Kingston.

Jamaica is the birthplace of jerk — a style of cooking that involves slathering cuts of meat in an allspice and scotch bonnet marinade, and smoking them over hot coals. While on the food trail, do not forget to add sampling jerk to your list of things to do in Jamaica. Located in Montego Bay on the road to Rose Hall Great House is Scotchies, which has a huge pimento wood grill that allows the meat to cook slowly in jerk sauce so the sauce itself tastes smoky. The flavor is fabulous and will make you salivate — whether you started out hungry or not.

Devon House Mansion

One of the most celebrated historic landmarks is the Devon House Mansion, with its beautiful blend of Caribbean and Georgian architecture. It was the mansion of Jamaica’s first black millionaire, George Stiebel and preserves elements of history. Today the Devon House is a center for family entertainment and recreation in Kingston, where guests can tour, shop, dine and relax.

Other popular sites worth visiting in Jamaica are the Rose Hall Great House, Croydon Plantation, and Sandals Royal Plantation, where the Tom Cruise movie “Cocktail” was filmed.

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Bamboo river rafting (image courtesy Piqsels)

A True Jamaica Bamboo River Rafting Adventure

You must try Bamboo River Rafting while in Jamaica. The best places in Jamaica to try this are on the Marta Brae River, Black River, or the Rio Grande River. The only requirement is a sense of adventure. Rafting itself is quite safe as it is conducted by a tour guide. You can go in groups or opt for a more private affair. The handmade bamboo raft is usually 30 feet long, and very stable. It navigates the river, working its way through some breathtaking greenery and exotic flowers. The Martha Brae River is in Falmouth, around 30 minutes away from Montego Bay.

The Famous Jamaican Tipple

That rum! A visit to Jamaica would be incomplete without sampling the signature drink that is almost synonymous with this island country. Witness the process involved in making this world-renowned drink, the Appleton Estate Rum Tour. You also get to sample some of Appleton Estate’s product.

Appleton Estate is in Nassau Valley and surrounded by the Santa Cruz Mountains. It is a popular day trip from both Montego Bay and Negril.

The Luminous Lagoon

Just where the Martha Brae River meets the Caribbean Sea is the famous Luminous Lagoon, home to millions of dinoflagellates that light up the lagoon. When disturbed, these microscopic organisms produce an eerie glow, reflecting the outlines of fish and other objects in the water. The Luminous Lagoon is said to be the largest and most brilliant of four similar ones in the world. This is a unique, natural nighttime adventure for the whole family. It lies about 1.6 km east of Falmouth.

The Souvenirs That Work

Some of the most popular items to bring back from your Jamaican jaunt are Blue Mountain Coffee, Jamaican jerk seasoning, Jamaican rum, wood carvings, Calabash wooden bowls, Jamaican Island dolls and oil paintings.

Jamaica is not only a land of unique culture but also one of the best places for engaging activities, breathtaking landscapes, and warm people.

FAQs

What is the nicest part of Jamaica to visit?

Montego Bay, Negril and Ochos Rios are the best places to visit in Jamaica. Runaway Bay has become much more popular in the last few years.

What is the nicest part of Jamaica to visit?

The best island hotspots are Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Negril. They are spread out, and visitors might not always get time to visit them all. All three hotspots are incredibly scenic and full of character, with plenty to do.

What places to avoid in Jamaica?

It would be a good idea to be vigilant in these areas: West Kingston Grant’s Pen, August Town, Harbor View, Spanish Town in Kingston. You also need to take care in areas like Flankers, Barrett Town, Norwood, Glendevon, Rose Heights, Mount Salem in Montego Bay.

What is the safest part of Jamaica to visit?

Jamaica is safer than people think it is. Just use good judgement and use the same caution you would anywhere new.

Which is better — the Bahamas or Jamaica?

Both Jamaica and the Bahamas offer a good variety of water sports activities, beaches, and nightlife, but if you are more interested in culture and history, Jamaica is the solid winner. The Bahamas feel more like resort island paradises built for tourists.

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