GMT -5 hours
Discover an island of white-sand beaches, rum and reggae
Jamaica has captivated travellers for centuries. Christopher Columbus, the first European to set foot on the island, dubbed it 'the fairest land that eyes have beheld', and it subsequently became a scenic jewel in colonial crowns. Visitors love Jamaica for its natural beauty - the cool peaks of the Blue Mountains; mile after mile of lush cane fields; picturesque rum estates; rivers and waterfalls; caves, beaches and lagoons.
Beautiful beaches, amazing sunsets and a wealth of activities make this the perfect place to visit. I experienced horse riding on the beach, starting in the grounds of a Sugar plantation, working our way through tiny villages before galloping through the sea. You must try a trip by local bus to Bob Marley’s home, far up in the hills the views are fabulous, and a local cooked dinner of Jerk chicken with rice is a lovely way to finish the day out. Swimming with Dolphins was an absolute highlight but by far the most enjoyable experience was Dunn’s River Falls. Jamaica is the perfect place to sip a cocktail while eating some local Jerk Chicken, or relax with a cup of Blue Mountain tea. As the Jamaicans would say ‘Yeah Mon’…"
Amy Clark, Personal Travel Expert, Canterbury
With an influential culture with a long-held connection to its African roots that spans continents Jamaica is a small island that punches above its weight; with world renowned cuisine, music and sport stars it is hard to ignore this extraordinary Caribbean nation. When you add this captivating culture to the island’s natural wonders which include white-sand beaches, verdant mountain slopes and tumbling waterfalls you get an unforgettable holiday destination.
Jamaica’s second city, after the capital Kingston, is the island’s tourism capital Montego Bay which is affectionately called MoBay by its welcoming and hospitable residents. Once a port where ships bound for Britain were loaded with supplies of sugar, Montego Bay is now a bustling city fringed by bays boasting talcum white sands and the shimmering waters of the Montego Bay Marine Park. From the lively main strip of Gloucester Avenue, lined with bars, restaurants, food stands and shops to the magnificent plantation houses that take transport you back to the colonial times of old, there are myriad attractions and activities on offer in the city and its surroundings.
Located in the ‘garden parish’ of St Ann on Jamaica’s north coast is the resort town of Ochos Rios. The name was derived from a corruption of the Spanish ‘Las Chorreras’ which translates to ‘the waterfalls’, no doubt referring to the nearby Dunns River Falls. This beautiful landmark, and the jewel in Jamaica’s crown, is a popular spot, attracting visitors who come to climb up the terraced stone steps as the water descends and swim in the refreshing pools that sit in dappled shade. The town itself boasts a sweeping white-sand bay lapped by crystal clear waters which play host to an array of vibrant marine life. Further paradisiacal bays are located to the east of Ochos Rios and are backed by a few of our favourite resorts such as the all-encompassing Sandals Grand Riviera and the romantic Couples Tower Isle.
The delightful Negril Beach has often found itself on prestigious lists that declare it to be one of the world’s finest beaches. The resort town boasts a laid-back vibe, striking cliffs from which daring souls leap, azure blue seas and a steady pace of life that lends itself perfectly to a Caribbean beach escape. The sunsets that can be witnessed from Negril’s beach and cliffs are legendary and once darkness prevails the town and beach come alive with the nation’s reggae rhythms.
Jamaica features a whole host of all inclusive resorts, from idyllic couples’ only hotels to family friendly properties with waterparks, kids clubs and myriad sports both on water and on land. Enjoy all the island has to offer with the peace of mind that an all inclusive holiday offers.
Sampling Jamaica’s celebrated cuisine is a must for those that enjoy spicy and exotic dishes. Meats, traditionally pork and chicken, are coated or marinated in a hot spice mixture made up of Jamaican pepper, Scotch Bonnet peppers and an array of other herbs and spices to create a sizzling feast with as much flavour as the island itself.