Jamaica Travel Guide
Known the world over as the home country of the late reggae superstar Bob Marley, Jamaica has been blessed with a culture that is unique in the Caribbean, a mountainous interior covered in lush vegetation, and some of the finest beaches in the region.
Even if you’re just here for the rum, all of these elements will seduce you without fail, so don’t be surprised when you find yourself planning a return trip soon after your return home.
Currency: Jamaican Dollars
Languages: English, Creole
What To Do
It may seem like a stereotypical thing to do, but when you arrive in Jamaica, make your first stop at the Bob Marley Museum.
Set up in the former wooden colonial house that Bob Marley called home until his death in 1981, this large mansion has exhibits containing artifacts from Bob Marley’s life as one of the world’s most famous reggae stars, including the many gold and platinum albums that he had produced over his career.
There is even a studio contained within that Bob Marley’s sons use from time to time to produce their own reggae recordings.
When you make your way to Montego Bay, pay tribute to one of England’s greatest poets by visiting the Greenwood Great House.
Serving as the tropical base of operations for the family of Elizabeth Barrett-Browning, this 200 year old estate is well known in the area for it’s gorgeous gardens and its authentic English Colonial interior, complete with period furniture.
Looking to admire the best flora that can be found in Jamaica? Heading up into the mountains above Montego Bay will have you eventually coming across the Ras Natango Gallery & Garden.
On the walls of this gallery hang some of the finer pieces of art that can be found in Jamaica, while the garden outside contains a variety of flowers and other endemic plants in Jamaica.
There is also a restaurant on site where you can sample some of the best local cuisine that you will probably be able to find during your Jamaican vacation.
Looking to enjoy a refreshing day in some of the most beautiful water that you can find on the island?
Book a tour to go to the Blue Hole, a popular local swimming hole located in a limestone depression in the Ocho Rios area.
With the water a delightful shade of powder blue due to the concentration of minerals. Combining natural beauty with a refreshing temperature that will take the edge off of any humid day in Jamaica, this is a must for anybody staying at a resort in Ocho Rios.
Finally, many people that head to Jamaica on vacation are coming for the many amazing beaches that they can lounge upon while sipping on some of its famous rum.
Seven Mile Beach is among its most famous strips of sand, as it is the place where one of Jamaica’s most famous resort areas (Negril) rose.
Here, one of the liveliest nightlife scenes in Jamaica rages on until the wee hours of the morning, so if you are a partier, this is where you want to be.
Doctor’s Cove Beach is a great place to be if you are looking to be free of the usual annoyances that come with beaches in tropical locales.
They have banned vendors, soccer balls, and loud radios, and together with the calm waters that this beach is famous for, this place is a great part of Jamaica to take your family.
What to Eat
There are a variety of foods that one can enjoy while in Jamaica, but the one that is typically associated with this island nation is none other than the humble Jamaican patty.
Distinguishable by its trademark yellow pastry ( colored and seasoned with turmeric), it is typically stuffed with spiced ground beef, though it can also come with seafood, chicken, pork, lamb, vegetables, or cheese.
It can be found it in stores, restaurants and roadside stands, so grab one when you’re feeling famished and wash it down with a Red Stripe Beer.
When it comes the main dishes on the island, Ackee and Saltfish is widely considered to be Jamaica’s national dish.
While it has had a less-than-pleasant association with the slave trade, locals have reclaimed the dish as a national icon.
Prepared by sauteeing cod with the ackee fruit and served on the side with peas and/or rice, it is a wholesome dish that will fill you up after a long day spent enjoying the best that this island has to offer.
When the time comes for dessert, be sure to ask for some Gizzada. Found frequently in bakeries on Jamaica, this pastry shell is filled with a spiced coconut filling that you won’t be able to get enough of … you’re on holiday; live it up!