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Why Go

Rastafarians, hippies, reggae and ganja, oh my! Generalizations about Jamaica aren’t hard to come by, but a week in the Caribbean hotspot will have you singing a different tune. With one of the most African-influenced of Caribbean islands with a distinct culture, Jamaica marches to a beat all its own. Popular for honeymooners and couples looking for a romantic getaway, Jamaica’s famous white sand beaches and beach bars at Negril surely won’t disappoint. However, reggae fanatics can’t miss Nine Mile, Bob Marley’s birth and burial place. For a taste of ackee and saltfish, Jamaica’s national dish, spend a day in Montego Bay’s delicious restaurants, then party the night away in the town’s famous bars and clubs. Water sports enthusiasts will ... Read more
have plenty to do; adrenaline junkies can even practice their cliff diving. Explore the Blue Mountains’ thick vegetation to reach the summit, or spelunk through the Green Grotto Caves and marvel at the magnificent stalactite and stalagmite formations. While Jamaica offers untold beauty, travelers need to be mindful at all times; crime and murder rates some of the highest in the world and LGBT travelers should avoid open displays of affection at all times.
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Jamaica

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  • 9.8
    Outdoor Enthusiasts
  • 9.1
    Adventure Travellers
  • 8.1
    Foodies
  • 7.9
    Family Travellers
  • 7.7
    Luxury Travellers

Member Reviews(142)

London

Jamaica had some simple recommendations: "don't make yourself a target in a relatively poor country." Dress doesn't need to be conservative, but is suggested unless you're on a tourist resort to avoid/minimize male attention. Some suggested to "bring a smaller purse which can be kept across the body."

Recommended for:Solo Female Travelers
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Local from Kingston

Out of many one people.

I have travelled many countries but Jamaica is a very special place for me.
The energy of this island is magnetic and if you visit once, I am sure you will keep coming back

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Flagstaff

Two words to sum up Jamaica: Yeah Mon! I am a fan of reggae. I dig that island vibe, laid back and chill out groove. I'd say it's a great vacation spot for couples, not really for solo travelers. The street vendors are the pushiest and insistent that we came across. The food was average. The beaches in Negril were nicer than Montego Bay. A week stay is good enough. Wish we had more time in a different city for other water activities. Rick's Cafe in Negril and Bioluminescent Bay in Falmouth were the highlights of the trip. Definitely go to Jamaica if you plan a trip to the Caribbean, dance to reggae, and smoke some La La!

Recommended for:Adventure Travellers
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Pro 2018
Los Angeles
Ambassador

I loved the views the beaches, even the humid weather, but the locals are extremely pushy trying to get you to buy their stuff, they won't take no for an answer it's really uncomfortable after I went out to the City the first day I was done and had had enough local culture I just wanted to hang out at the resort.
Jamaican Money DO NOT bother exchanging your money. The locals only want U.S. Dollars and things are NOT cheap.
If you're from the U.S. or anywhere really I wouldn't recommend you rent a car out there. The roads are really confusing being that they drive on the other side and the Downtown area can be kind of a free for all road Hire a Taxi Driver for the day and have them drive you around the Island They are Excellent Tour Guides. They know so much about the history of Island. We did this on our last day in Jamaica and after our tour he drove us straight to the airport. I wish I had done that from the beginning instead of taking the tours from the hotel.

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Linkoping

This is a wonderful place were you can relax and have a good time! I visited Jamaica with a friend and stayed at a all inclusive hotel, really good food and service. We went swimming with dolphins and climbing a waterfall!

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Philadelphia

Honestly, if you're looking for an island vacation, this is it. Look no further. Jamaica has it all: amazing beaches, great food and great people. No other Caribbean island compares.

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Austin

Jamaica is a really fun country to visit, complete with picturesque beaches, friendly locals, and lots of great food and water activities.

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Menomonee Falls

FREE REPORT: IMMEDIATELY MAKE YOUR TRIP MORE UNIQUE, ENJOYABLE, AND MEMORABLE GUARANTEED

Follow this process to ensure the best experience possible.

I’ve traveled to Jamaica dozens of times over a 21 year period and because I’m so passionate about you having the best possible experience this free report is yours! If you’re considering a trip to Jamaica, especially to Westmoreland including Negril IMMEDIATELY Read this article to learn things you absolutely need to know before travelling to Jamaica. Whether you’re new to the island or have been travelling here for years, this free report is guaranteed to contain valuable information sure to make your trip more exciting, more unique, and more memorable. .

Table of Contents:
1. Planning Your Trip
2. Travel Options on the Island
3. Communication with Jamaicans
4. Local Cuisine & Specialties
5. Connectivity and Communication Solutions

Planning Your Trip to Jamaica
There are obviously many personal factors to consider when planning any trip. The purpose of this section is to organize the major decision.

Factors to consider are:
- Length of Your Stay
- Goals or Reasons for Travel: What Type of Experience are You Looking For?
- Developing an Itinerary
- Purchasing Airfare
- Arranging Accommodations
- Creating a Pack list

Length of Stay:
My primary residence is in Milwaukee Wisconsin, my trips to Jamaica have been as short as 4 days and up to 2 months. Depending on where you live; it’s not only possible to travel to Jamaica for an extended weekend but it can be practical as well. A longer stay is generally better because you have more days to amortize the cost of your airfare (a large expense of your vacation). For shorter stays, it is generally better to have a single destination in mind with the goal of relaxing and soaking up some sun. Relaxing can take the form of active rest or just a reprieve from your daily routine. Longer stays are great and truly ideal for soaking up the vibes, long afternoon conversations with locals or wandering around your environment and taking day trips to attractions or other areas of the island.

Goals for your vacation / Type of Experience:
Whether you’re looking to kick back and relax, seeking adventure, or experience rich and diverse culture, Jamaica is a great choice. Of course you can do a bit of everything on a trip as short as 7 – 10 days, but your motivation for traveling is worthy of some deliberate consideration after some quick research will help you get the most out of your time. Is this a couples getaway that you want to be pampered? Do you simply want the most economical option to sit on the beach and soak up the rays? Are you willing to sacrifice some personal comforts so you travel more and see more once you’re on the island? Is cultural immersion and being in nature appeal to you? Whether it’s simply to avoid winter, be in Jamaica for an event or festival, timing itself could be a motivation for your travel.

Authors Note: Jamaica shares an ideal climate along with the rest of the island in the West Indies, but its rich biodiversity, dramatic topography, and abundance of fresh water separate Jamaica from the vast majority of Caribbean islands. Jamaica is home to the tallest (Blue Mountains) and oldest mountains (The Dolphinhead Mts) in the Caribbean. Jamaica is the most biodiverse country in the Caribbean and the Dolphin head Mountains have the highest percentage of flora and fauna endemic to the region of anywhere in the world. If there is one thing you must EXPLORE during your stay it’s Jamaica ‘s gorgeous inland countryside and mountains. Almost all resorts and hotels have multiple day trips, our pick for the absolute best day trip out of either Negril or Montego Bay is Mayfield Falls. This two mile stretch of unadulterated natural waterfalls is an absolutely incredible experience.

Developing an Itinerary
After you’ve determined the approximate length of your stay and reasons for travel, your itinerary will start to take shape. Will you be staying in multiple locations once on the island or staying in one place and exploring from there? Do you have a list of “must see” attractions? Is it practical to see all of them with day trips from a single location? Or are you content just wandering around and exploring without any destination in mind? If you’re traveling to Westmoreland or Negril consider reviewing this list of popular day trips from Negril

Purchasing Airfare to Jamaica
Travel aggregators like Expedia, Travelocity and Kayak have homogenized flight price information for major airlines. Many independent charters offer direct flights to Jamaica during high travel season (November – April). FunJet is one such example that serves the Midwest United States. If you have flexible travel dates ITA Flight Matrix is the most efficient tool. It accommodates a simultaneous variable for the duration of your stay AND up to a 30 day range of departure dates.

Arranging Accommodations
After you determine how much time is realistic given your personal circumstances, you can begin to decide what sort of experience you’d like to have and it’s time to consider making reservations. Jamaica has a wide range of hotels, inns and villas to accommodate almost any budget and taste:
- Backpacking / Hostels
-www.couchsurfing.org a free P2P room share option in private residences
-WWOOF.org volunteer on an organic farm
-AirBnB generally a lower cost P2P room sharing option
- Renting a Private Home or Villa – Many Private Homes and Villa are available for rent along with staff to take care of shopping, cooking and house cleaning.
-Vacation Rental By Owner is a very popular place to find private villas and homes

Independent Resort or Hotel
– Most Resorts in Jamaica are independently owned and operated enterprises. Locations from rural to urban, ocean front to mountain, and accommodations themselves are equally diverse from opulent to dormitory style. Independent hotels may offer meal plans but also give visitors the option to roam around and explore the area they are staying in, patronizing area eateries, cafes, and bars. Customers at these area establishments vary from locals to tourists and prices tend to be fairly reasonable, albeit lower priced in rural areas when compared to resort towns.
– All-Inclusive resorts offer a consistent, homogenized and generally stress free stay. What these large corporate operations lack in authenticity they make up for with service, planning activities and unlimited food. All inclusive resorts charge extra for premium liquors and off site tours.

Eco Lodge and Resort
Eco Lodges are an increasingly popular choice for travelers seeking an ideal blend between authenticity and sustainable comfort and luxury. Travelers at eco lodges are typically more interested in experiencing local culture, traditions, customs and the way of life. Eco lodges are as concerned with the well being of the environment, employees, and community as they are their guests. Eco Lodges make their best effort to use renewable building materials, energy sources, water conservation and typically source food locally through community supported agriculture.

Where ever you choose to stay DO get off the grounds and connect to the locals and local culture. If you’re staying at a mega resort, ask the lady cleaning your room, where her favorite local restaurant is . . . if you’re staying at an independent inn or lodge, wander to the local shop for a cold Red Stripe or a bottle of spring water, then stay for a while and chat it up with the locals.The Jamaican national motto, is “Out of Many, One People” it’s one thing to know the motto, but actually experiencing it is to know and understand Jamaican culture. Lastly even if you’re relying on a personal referral, before you book a stay consider checking TripAdvisor or other popular review sites for additional tips and suggestions. Here is a link my Eco Lodge in Jamaica on TripAdvisor. Of course I’d like you to consider a stay at Camp Cabarita, many of our guests believe that it is the ultimate combination of value comfort and uniqueness.

What to pack?
Obviously the length of stay, type of trip and your accommodations while on the island will largely determine items you should pack. I do have a minimum suggested pack list that applies to almost any traveler to Jamaica whether backpacking or staying in a mega resort. More can be added as space permits:

Passport, pen
Hat
Sunglasses
1 pair of light pants
Shorts and T shirts
2 swimsuits
Water shoes (crocs or teva type waterproof sandals get the job done)
Trail shoes/ or Tennis (if you plan on going anywhere other strolling the beach)
Water Bottle (Nalgene or SIG Type)
Personal Toiletries
Solarcane – Aloe with Lidocane
Hydrocortisone Cream
Microfleece Long Sleeve
Small dry sack
2-3 Zip Lock Bags

It’s impossible to develop a pack list to fit all persons and travel styles, but the above list should cover the majority of needs for most travelers. If you forget to pack anything rest assured most necessities are readily attainable almost anywhere in Jamaica.

Traveling on the Island

Travel options on island:
-Renting a Vehicle
-Chartered Vehicle
-Tour Companies
-Route Taxi

Renting a vehicle has appeal for travelers that want the freedom and flexibility travel at their own pace and explore with no particular destination in mind. Renting a vehicle is less expensive than chartering a car and driver, however there are some factors to consider. Many Jamaican roads are narrow or in poor condition, Jamaican divers are aggressive AND you’ll be driving on the left hand side of the road instead of the right. If you do rent a car make liberal use of your horn and be ready for traffic circles in and around town centers.

Chartered vehicles has many advantages over renting a car. Sitting back to take in the scenery and listen to your guide is often the right choice fo

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Local from Kingston

The Dolphin Cove is only a five minute drive of the villa. This is the ideal family fun thing to do. To swim with the Dolphins is a memorable experience that will stay with you for a lifetime. Just great for everyone and being in the water keeps you cool too.

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Puerto Vallarta

I know I got the sanitized version only spending my short time there in Ocho Rios but I really loved the Jamaican vibe! The Caribbean is so beautiful, it's unfortunate that there is so much corruption! Regardless, my time in Jamaica was the beginning of my love affair with island, specifically topical island travel and living.

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