In the capital of Kingston, visitors will find theaters, clubs, shops and historic sites like Spanish Town and Port Royal. The seven-mile beach is world famous in Negril, while Ochos Rios, San Antonio and the South Coast boast attractions like stunning waterfalls and hidden caves. In MoBay, there are stretches of soft sand, nature hikes, coffee farms and the Luminous Lagoon. Fishing, snorkeling, and diving can be found throughout the island of Jamaica.
Hot Tips: Rent a moped and get out and explore!
With lodging options ranging from all-inclusive resorts in Montego Bay and Port Antonio, luxury hotels in Kingston, cliff-side bungalows in Negril, and under-the-radar inns of the South Coast, Jamaica has all the ingredients for a perfect getaway. Eco-lodges -- including boutique tree house hotels and bed and breakfasts – are scattered among throughout, as well as budget digs and hostels for those stretching their wallet.
Hot Tips: Even some of the high-priced hotels may have a separate section for those on a budget: ask.
Jamaica is famous for jerk, a blend of spices that is placed on chicken and pork and slow-cooked in a grill oven. The result is a tantalizing taste with a kick that partners well with plantains and island fruits. It is widely available at restaurants all over the country, but the best place to get a true sample is from street vendors. Relax in a hammock chair at an open-air tiki bar on the beach with an ice cold Red Stripe in hand and let worries melt away.
Be Sure to Sample: Ackee and saltfish and dumplings.
Jamaica is the dance hall capital, famous for thumping sound systems and reggaeton music, so you can get your groove on! Clubs can get rowdy at times, so if you're looking for a more relaxed vibe, there are plenty of beach bars that will serve up some rum punch until late into the night. Special events and beach parties are common parts of the nightlife, and in the summer months expect most of the town to be there.
Avoid: Margaritaville. There are so many better options.
Take It or Leave It: Rock that new outfit in the clubs!
Kingston and MoBay are the two best bets in Jamaica for those who like to shop. There are plenty of galleries, craft shops and markets to pick up souvenirs and clothing. Take the time to see local artisans' jewelry and handiwork in the smaller beach towns as well. Hammocks, reggae CDs, and carved pipes always make a good reminder of the laid-back vibe you encountered on your trip.
Avoid: Buying things from resort gift shops. The locals rely on tourism to make a living.
Best Local Souvenir: Wood carvings and local artwork. Or, if you like to cook, bring some seasoning and sauces back with you.