Jamaica holiday highlights

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 many attractions and activities 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 seen 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 key facts

Time difference

GMT -5 hours

Currency

The Jamaican dollar. American currency is also widely accepted.

Flying time to destination

10 hours

Language

English and Patois

Jamaica good to know

Etiquette

Religion
Christianity

Dialling code
+1 876

Tipping

If a service charge isn’t included in the bill, tip 15-20%.

Religion

Christianity

Sports

Watersports
Try watersports such as sailing, snorkelling, windsurfing and scuba diving.

Land sports
Your resort may offer tennis, squash, volleyball, golf and basketball.

Spa and wellness

Many of our Jamaica resorts boast pampering spas.

Food & drink

Food
• The local cuisine is quite spicy and involves a lot of fish – the national dish is salt fish and ackee.
• Tourist resorts are riddled with international restaurants for the less adventurous.
• Jerk pork, beef and chicken are also popular – the meat is peppered and smoked over pimento wood.

Drink
• Stick to bottled water.