Jamaica is famous for beaches, beautiful Caribbean waters, reggae music and laid-back vibes.
But there’s much more to this legendary ‘land of wood and water’ than meets the eye and (provided you plan ahead) it’s safe to venture beyond the walls of all-inclusive resorts to experience the real Jamdown and enjoy a really enriching experience.
If you’re planning a real blowout trip once travel restrictions ease, there probably isn’t a better place in the world to get together and feel alright.
With that in mind, here are some top tips for a Jamaica trip!
Many Jamaican visitors miss out capital Kingston and head right to the tourist resorts. Don’t follow the crowd ̶ most of Kingston is safe to explore and attractions like the Bob Marley Museum, Emancipation Park, Coronation Market and uptown bars, clubs and eateries make it the cultural and commercial heart of the nation.
Further, on the road out to Harbour View you can bathe in the revitalising waters of the Mineral Baths and if you want to sample delicious jerk chicken cooked over authentic steel pans, the roundabout at this east Kingston location is the city’s best kept street food secret.
See Port Royal
You’ll find Port Royal on the same Palisadoes tombolo where Kingston’s Norman Manley International Airport is located and this pretty, serene fishing village serves some of the freshest fish on the island at the legendary Gloria’s restaurant.
But it was also once the pirate capital of the world, where notorious privateers like Captain Morgan ruled the roost and suffered a massive earthquake in 1692, depositing extensive ruins in the sea which scuba divers can explore. Finally, if you’re a 007 fan, stay at the Grand Port Royal Hotel ̶ the ultimate James Bond Sir Sean Connery filmed several scenes here for the very first film in the franchise, Dr No.
Take a road trip
Jamaica’s road infrastructure is much improved in recent years, so it’s much easier to drive from Kingston to hotspots like Ocho Rios, Montego Bay and even Negril over in the far west of the island than ever before (if you like spectacular sunsets and a hippie vibe, blissful Negril will float your boat).
But you can also drive up into the Blue Mountains to stunning spots like Strawberry Hill, or down to St Elizabeth to explore Treasure Beach, where the red-haired locals are said to be descendants of shipwrecked Scottish sailors.
Another terrific trip is to Accompong in the cockpit country, the semi-autonomous home of the Jamaican Maroons, who fought successful guerrilla campaigns against the British in the 18th Century.
Compare care hire with Enjoy Travel, pick a rugged SUV that can handle varied terrain, drive defensively and hit the road in Jamaica for the time of your life.
Follow these tips for an authentic taste of Jamaica ̶ you’ll definitely want to return again and again!