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Jamaica

Jamaica

Great Destination:

3.5

Value for Money:

3.5

Total Stars:

7.0

Personality Types that Like it Best

Best liked by all Authentic types

Did You Know…?

  • The ortanique, a cross between a tangerine and orange, is unique to Jamaica.
  • Back to Africa’s Marcus Garvey and pirate Blackbeard (Edward Teach) were natives.
  • Jamaica opened the first railway (1845) outside Europe and North America’s mainland.
  • More than 252 bird species are found on the island; 27 are found nowhere else.
  • Jamaica claims more churches per square mile than any other country.

Of reggae and rum

Jamaica is one of numerous Caribbean islands, but it is large enough to have a varied landscape and plenty of places to visit for new scenery and diversions. It also has a colorful colonial past that reveals itself in tourist attractions that appeal to history buffs — and to those who want to understand the places they visit.

Part of the specifically Jamaican scene includes reggae, which is essentially the local take on rhythm ’n’ blues, as well as Rastafarianism, which is based on an African religion. Reggae and Rastafarianism establish the background for an island destination that, generally speaking, has more to offer than vacationers find at the usual sun ‘n’ fun spot.

Port Royal, for example, started as home to the Arawak Indians and was later known as the wickedest city in the world thanks to its resident pirates and buccaneers. It had more cash per capita than London.

Now surrounded by luxury resorts, Port Royal, Kingston and Montego Bay have plenty of reminders of Jamaica’s colorful past. However, some travelers prefer the vast shores away from the main cities and resorts, where life is lived at a slower, down-to-earth pace.

The least venturesome show more interest in Jamaica for its resorts than do other personality types. In addition, Jamaica is found on many Caribbean cruise itineraries that appeal to this group.

Winter up north sends travelers south for warm weather and into the warm and clear Caribbean waters. Summer temperatures are hot, but for those who can stay cool enough in the water or the mountains, off-season prices are better.

Golfers find fine courses here. Horseback riding is popular, mountain climbing is available and active people across personality types can pursue all the sports common to this island area: diving, fishing, hiking, sailing, tennis and more.

Jamaica makes rum, and visitors love their rum drinks after an active day. Nevertheless, Jamaica is better known for its coffee.

Finally, it’s no secret that racial tension and poverty sometimes trouble visitors to the island. If tourists take sensible precautions to avoid hustlers, they should enjoy a problem-free vacation.

Things to do for Venturers

  • Take an ATV safari (no ATV experience required — you will get a safety briefing and riding lesson) as a unique way to see many of the island’s attractions. Follow the drive through forests, across riverbeds and hillocks with a relaxing swim.
  • Take a kayak journey down the White River, a trip that combines sublime passages across clear pools and the rush of paddling your way through river rapids.
  • Opt for guided sightseeing on a mountain bike; en route get a look at the world-famous Blue Mountain coffee plantations.
  • Take a canopy tour in the Cranbrook Flower Forest. You will fly through the trees using a system of harnesses, pulleys and carabiners on horizontal traverses. As you swing through the Laughlands River gorge, the traverses range up to 660 feet long.
  • If you are a fan of reggae, sign on to Chukka Caribbean Adventure’s Bob Marley Jeep Tour and see, among other things, Bob Marley’s birthplace and burial site in a village called Nine Mile. Arrange to hear some of the music, too.
  • Go whitewater rafting on the Canyon River, a trip down waterfalls, around boulders and through rapids. Everything for a good rush. Also, consider scuba diving, or deep-sea fishing, or parasailing.

Things to do for Centrics

  • Snorkel in Chukka Cove. Or, swim with the dolphins in Dolphin Cove.
  • Attend the annual Air Jamaica Jazz and Blues Festival, which draws an eclectic collection of name performers.
  • Take a Jeep safari/sightseeing trip that includes scenic views and visits to a working cattle station and to a small coffee plantation.
  • Go tubing on the Jungle River or down the White River.
  • For a good walk, the Jamaica Tourist Board offers suggested itineraries in Black River (the town), Montego Bay and Spanish Town. In Black River, several boat companies offer tours along the river where crocodiles can be seen. It is recommended you have a guide for the Spanish Town walk to deal with its maze of streets and lanes.
  • Do some fishing or bird-watching (or both) at the Royal Palm Reserve near Negril. The reserve is home to 300 animal species, including crocodiles.

Things to do for Authentics

  • Jamaica is noted for the quality of its coffee. Sample some on site; buy coffee to take home.
  • Several hotels include spa facilities. Take advantage of them.
  • Organize a family picnic at the Nature Village Farms. You can try your hand at fishing on site, too.
  • One of the more popular activities on Jamaica is the river rafting trip on the Martha Brae. Give it a try. For another idea, take a catamaran cruise at sunset.
  • Here is an underwater adventure for nonswimmers: Chukka’s Sea Trek Adventure. For this, you wear a space-age helmet supplied with oxygen as you take your guided walk on the sea bottom for a good look at the area’s marine life and living coral.
  • Tour the Appleton Estates rum distillery and sample some of the goods.

Additional Resources

For more information, consult the Jamaica Tourist Board at www.visitjamaica.com and, to find a Jamaica Specialist, at www.visitjamaica.com, click on Your Travel Guide, then on Travel Agents. Or, go directly to www.visitjamaica.com/your-travel-guide/travel-agents