As the third largest Caribbean island (after Cuba and Hispaniola), Jamaica has hundreds of miles of beautiful coastline. The beaches of Jamaica are some of the finest in the Caribbean. Some Jamaica beaches are lively, fun-filled places, packed with young sunbathers listening to loud reggae music , other beaches in Jamaica are serene, secluded stretches of white sand perfect for relaxing and unwinding.
There are top Jamaica beaches in or near all the major resort towns. The long, crescent-shaped Turtle Beach in Ocho Rios is one of the most popular beaches in Jamaica . Like many other Jamaican beaches, it is now surrounded by hotels and resorts. For a more secluded beach in Ocho Rios, try the in-town Island Village Beach or nearby Reggae Beach, a few miles east of town.
The vibrant, sunny and exotic Jamaica is famed for its lush vegetation, stunning white sand beaches and majestic mountains. Holidays to Jamaica encompass a broad variety of activities and things to see, thus making it a great all round destination brimming with the Caribbean spirit. Choosing where to stay however is another thing as it mostly depends on what you want to see and do, especially if you are there on a tight timeline and/or budget.
Known as the “birthplace of reggae”, Jamaica boasts a treasure trove of natural jewels and a colorful African vibe. Golden beaches, emerald mountains, turquoise seas, cascades, coral reefs, rainforests, rivers, and mineral springs are just some of the island’s enviable assets. Not surprisingly nature lovers will find plenty of things to see and do, from hiking and birding in the jungle to horseback riding along the beach and diving colorful coral reefs. Jamaica is also renowned for its many historic plantations where visitors can sample tropical fruits and tour the grand great houses.
Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, Negril, and Port Antonio are the main tourist hubs. Visitors will find a variety of lodgings here ranging from large resorts, luxury villas, and boutique hotels to rustic guesthouses. Lively Montego Bay is one of the most popular resort towns with golf courses, restaurants, shops, galleries, and of course, hotels and resorts lining the beaches. Ocho Rios is the island’s major port of call for cruise ships, while Negril is famous for its long and lazy beach lined with clear waters and coconut palms. Ecotourists love peaceful Port Antonio thanks to its proximity to the spectacular Blue Mountains. In Kingston, Jamaica’s edgy capital, visitors can tour reggae legend Bob Marley’s former home and explore the city’s museums and historic sites. Jam-packed with diverse attractions, no wonder Jamaica enjoys a reputation as a Caribbeanhotspot.
Also known as Seven Mile Beach, Negril Beach is one of Jamaica’s most beautiful stretches of white sand and aqua sea. The beach extends from Bloody Bay to Long Bay and the Negril Cliffs south of town. Tucked within groves of coconut palms, many resorts and restaurants fringe the shore here. Water sports abound, and snorkelers will find schools of fish swimming in the clear waters. Be prepared for persistent hawkers prowling the beach.
Address: Norman Manley Blvd, Negril
Accommodation: Where to Stay in Negril – TripAdvisor.com
With its slow pace of life, long sandy beaches, and great music scene, Jamaica is exactly what the doctor ordered. This Caribbean island has plenty to offer travelers of all kinds. Whether it be the baking sunshine, crystal waters, or the spectacular views, you’re sure to find something to tempt you here. Although it would be very easy to spend most of your time on beaches, try to experience the local music scene and Rastafarian culture. Avoid going during spring break when college students swarm the island and prices skyrocket.
It is true – traveling off the beaten track takes a bit more time and effort in preparation, but we all know that it is totally worth it. Here are some tips that will help you to make the most of your time in Jamaica.
We know that the Jamaican cuisine cannot be sufficiently described or even surfacely explored in a single article so in the second installment of our culinary guide to your holidays in Jamaica we propose another 4 traditional dishes and sweets that you definitely have to try if you want to get a true taste of Jamaica!
A tasty turnover treat between savoury and sweet, the Jamaican patty can be enjoyed at all times of the day as a snack or breakfast along with a glass of the local favourite Red Stripe beer. This yellow pastry is usually filled with seasoned ground beef but fillings might vary between fish, lobster, lamb, pork or vegetables and the crust owes its golden colour to a mixture including egg yolks and turmeric. A usual serving suggestion of the Jamaican patty is with Coco bread which as the name suggests is slightly sweet and flavoured with the addition of coconut water.
Stamp and Go
The traditional Jamaican fast food has its roots on the 18th century as ‘Stamp and Go’ was the phrase used by officers in order for something to be done in a hurry. Those traditional bite sized delights mainly comprise of fried fish and can also be accompanied by callaloo (local vegetable similar to lettuce) and plantain (local unripe bananas) fritters as breakfast or with the accompaniment of tangy dips as a side offered in parties and social gatherings. So if you happen to be around an open air carnival or a market during your holidays in Jamaica, try the traditional fast food and enjoy its savoury goodness!
The traditional run down is a tasty touchdown! This typically Jamaican stew dish is made with fish, reduced coconut milk, yam tomato, onion and the island’s beloved seasonings such as Scotch bonnet peppers. The main fish used are mackerel or cod but other oily fish such as red snapper and swordfish are used according to each occasion. Run down is a fulfilling meal when served with dumplings and boiled green bananas so definitely keep a day off of pizza and other food that you might have anywhere else and try it! You will be blown away!
A sweet treat originating from the Portuguese colonisation of Jamaica, Gizzada can be enjoyed widely on the island and in a variety of occasions. This tasty tart is made of a sweet coconut filling spiced up with nutmeg and contained in a small and crunchy pastry shell pinched around the sides to form its characteristic shape.
As most of us know Jamaica is famed for its laid back lifestyle, great tropical nature and magnificent sights and beaches. Being an island of the Caribbean it certainly has a lot of things going for it and one of the strongest aspects of having your holidays in Jamaica is magnificent and spicy cuisine. Forget what you know about the all-time favourite reggae reggae sauce and relative products as those Jamaican delicacies are guaranteed to blow you away. If you are a fan of spicy cuisine and exotic flavours you have certainly found an article for you so prepare your sunglasses and sunscreen and delve into the 4 most zingy and characteristic flavours that Jamaica has to offer!
Beef and Chicken Jerk
Welcome to the national dish of Jamaica! This spicy and succulent meat dish comprises of beef or chicken spiced up with the addition of Scotch bonnet peppers and slowly roasted to a succulent and juicy result over a charcoal fire. As the most famous local dish it is a definite must try during your holidays in Jamaica and as such it has to be eaten locally in order to be experienced at its fullest! Step outside your comfort zone and go for it and you certainly won’t be disappointed.
Another Jamaican staple, Escovitch fish is widely enjoyed throughout the island and is also a go to dish for many other places around the Caribbean. This dish is usually made with red snapper seasoned in a peppery mix of spices, fried and then dressed with a vinegar and pepper based sauce with julienned bell peppers, carrots and onions amongst other ingredients. The best time of year to enjoy it is around Easter as it is traditionally served on Good Friday and as legend has it, it tastes as delicious the next day!
Ackee and saltfish
The third and also traditional Ackee and saltfish dish is a breakfast standard that you certainly have to go for during your holidays in Jamaica. The Ackee fruit which was imported from Africa during the 18th century plays a major role in a large variety of Jamaican dishes and this one is certainly one to pay homage to its name as the traditional fruit of Jamaica! Having a similar taste to scrambled eggs, the slightly sweet and egg-like taste of boiled Ackee complements the addition of salted cod along with the typically Jamaican addition of spices and peppers. However if you are brave enough to cook it yourself beware that you have to take cooking precautions such as picking a fully ripe fruit, boiling it for 5 minutes and discarding the water. This is due to the fruit containing very powerful toxins that may cause death from poisoning if not picked ripe and prepared correctly.
So you have eaten your main dish and you are about to go for a dessert to fill up whatever space is left in your stomach while savouring the local cuisine even further. Look no further because the traditional Coconut drop pays homage to the spiciness and zing the Jamaican cuisine is famed for. This traditional refreshing dessert is made from coconut meat spiced up with the addition of ginger and sweetened with the addition of brown sugar. A definite sweet taste that you have to try during your holidays in Jamaica and a recipe to take back home if you would like to surprise your guests with an unusual but tasty and easy to make dessert!