Jamaica Vacations

 Beautiful Caribbean Island In the Sun

Welcome to tropical Jamaica

Jamaica Vacations - Jamaica is the best island in the Caribbean....but then, hey, I am biased. After all, I was born in Jamaica and have recently traced my roots back to my great-great grandparents.  Although I was brought up abroad, I am happy to claim my roots!

There is much more to this beautiful island than sun, sea and sand. Jamaica's history is rich and there are many historical sites and unique places, plants and animals to be found in Jamaica.  Jamaicans developed from a mix of nations which gave rise to the motto “out of many one people”.

Location

Jamaica is a Caribbean Island 10,911 sq km (4,213 sq mi) in size and is the largest island in the Commonwealth Caribbean (wiki). The Island is located in the western Caribbean Sea south of Cuba with Miami Florida being less than 2 hours flight away.   

The island is divided in three counties and fourteen parishes. Kingston is the capital city and Montego Bay the second city and is the largest English speaking Caribbean islands.  


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I hope you will be encouraged to get out and about and explore the undiscovered gems of this Caribbean island in the sun and broaden your knowledge and deepen your appreciation. 

People

Jamaicans are some of the friendliest people on the planet; they have strength of character, very competitive and are determined to succeed in whatever they do.  Jamaicans love to talk (“reason” as they call it in the rural areas) and among their favourite topics are politics and sports... cricket, athletics and football mainly.  

With the many successes at the top performing end, it is good to see that Jamaican sports have been extended to other areas of sports such as swimming and long-jump to name a couple, and no doubt will be setting records on the world stage in the not too distant future.  

Planning a Vacation?

Jamaica vacations - So if you are planning to visit the Caribbean whether it’s for your vacation, special event or just to kick back for a few days, make Jamaica your first choice...you will want to return.

People from all corners of the globe come to Jamaica for the Jamaica experience...reggae music, rum punch and the cool red strip beer and the great people.   Recently, I met some Danish people who came for the annual Jamaica Jazz Festival held in Montego in January and they turned out to be regular return visitors

Apart from the regular tourist attractions, Jamaica has great tasting drinking water (award winning), clean air, great food and great atmosphere.

Find information on this site on:

  • How to get to Jamaica
  • When is the best time to come
  • Where to stay 
  • How to get around
  • What to do in Jamaica
  • What are the best attractions   

and much more... 

Explore a little!

On your Jamaica vacation, I would encourage you to leave your AI for a day or two to take a tour or two and see more of the Island...visit the sites;

Take a drive into the mountains of Trelawny, St Ann, or a hike into the Blue Mountains of Portland/St Thomas; visit a local primary school and watch those cute little faces of the children light up as they welcome you - priceless!

Of course if all you want to do is to relax in your all inclusive, then Jamaica has some of the best AIs in the region... mainly on the north coast.  


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Montego Bay, Negril and Ocho Rios are Jamaica's main tourist destinations but do not miss out on Kingston because of hype. Kingston is the heart of Jamaica.

South Coast Jamaica

Jamaica-St Elizabeth-Coastline



If you are looking for a quieter vacation away from the very touristy north coast,Treasure Beach  St Elizabeth on Jamaica's south west coast and Port Antonio Portland on the north east coast are ideal choices. 

See House for Sale in Flagaman St Elizabeth

Flights To Jamaica

Jamaica Vacations - Flights from the USA and North America to Jamaica come in at Montego Bay Airport. Fly direct from several USA cities into Montego Bay’s Sangster Intl Airport, the largest international airport in the Caribbean, or get a connecting flight at your nearest USA city.

Fly direct from Toronto and other Canadian cities.  Fly direct from the UK via Virgin Atlantic into Montego Bay or British Airways into Kingston.

Jamaica - Negril Hills Golf Club



Flights to Jamaica from Asia, Australia and Africa come in via Europe and USA and have their hub at Norman Manley Intl. Kingston.

Package deal flights generally come into Jamaica's Montego Bay airport. 

 Jamaica  Airports

Kingston-Norman Manley International Airport 

Norman Manley Intl Airport Kingston Jamaica

Jamaica has two main International airports:

  1. Norman Manley International Kingston 
  2. Donald Sangster International in Montego Bay
Sangster Intl. Montego Bay Jamaica

 Internal Jamaica flights are operated from and to. 

  • Tinsen Pen, Kingston
  • Negril Aerodrome
  • Boscobel Aerodrome, Ocho Rios

Airport Transfers

Most Jamaican AI resorts have courtesy buses in the airport lounges with visible signs indicating the relevant desks in the airport lounges.  Staff are also on spot to receive and direct guests.

If your hotel does not offer this service, you will need to arrange pick-up beforehand or take an official carrier at the airport – there are many – just ensure they are authorised public passenger vehicles, but if possible its better to plan ahead.

Main Jamaica Tourist Destinations 


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The main Jamaica tourist destination is Jamaica’s North Coast which incorporates Montego Bay, Negril and Ocho Rios, with Montego Bay being the largest.

Other Jamaica destinations include Port Antonio on the north east coast, Treasure Beach on the south west coast and Kingston, the capital city.    

Ocho Rios incorporates other areas such as, Discovery Bay, Runaway Bay, Boscobel and Oracabessa.  

Jamaica Vacation Deals

Find the best deal, compare prices, and read what other travelers have to say about hotels in Jamaica

Jamaica Vacations - Great deals are readily available in the low season (mid April to mid Dec) - summer time in Jamaica.  Most hotels feel the pinch in low season and  compete to fill their rooms by offering package deals to attract more summer visitors.  

Jamaica Hotel Accommodation

Looking for Jamaica hotel accommodation?  Well, that should not be too difficult.  Jamaica has variety of rooms to suit your budget.  

From high end all inclusive resorts to a nice intimate small hotel, to a large or small villa rental. Below are a few categories of Jamaica Hotels which will be expanded on in later pages.   

  •  Romantic Hotels
  •  Family Hotels
  •  Luxury Hotels
  •  Best Value Hotels
  • Adults only hotels
  • Kids friendly hotels 
  • Cheap Jamaica Hotels

Sunset Jamaica Grande Ocho Rios 

Sunset Jamaica Grande - SJG

Jamaica All Inclusive Resorts

Jamaica has some of its best all inclusive resorts in its second city of Montego Bay.

Ocho Rios and Port Antonio has large and small resorts complimented by a high number of Villa rental accommodation. 

Negril is known for its laid back image with more smaller family run properties.  If you want a laid back vacation on some of Jamaica's best beaches then Negril and its 7 miles beach shore is the place for you.  

Jamaica-FDR Runaway Bay Kids Friendly Resort

FDR Resort Runaway Bay Jamaica

Jamaica Villa Rentals

Jamaica VacationsWhether you are looking for a high end, a good value small hotel or a nice villa rental, Jamaica has a variety of accommodation to suit your needs.

Prices vary, from the high end all inclusive such as Half Moon Hotel Montego or a luxury villa like Bay Rock Villa Suites to good value all inclusive such as Iberostar, Hilton Rose Hall and others.

If you prefer the more laid back no fuss vacation, Negril Jamaica has many small family run hotels, beach cottages along its 7 miles stretch of white sand beach. 

Getting Around Jamaica

Jamaica VacationsDirect drive time from Montego Bay Airport to Ocho Rios is about 90 mins or less direct, but if stops on the way are included, it will take longer.   Montego Bay to Negril varies between 60 and 80 mins depending on where in Negril your hotel is. 

Travelling distance between Montego Bay Airport, Ocho Rios and Negril has been greatly reduced with improved road infrastructure and highway 2000.  Jamaica tour operators will also have facilities for airport pick up if required.

Arriving Kingston for Ocho Rios

Jamaica Vacations - If your flight comes into Kingston for Ocho Rios…road travel time is approx 2 hours depending on traffic and time of day…not a lot of fun, especially after a long haul flight.

If your flight arrives late evening in Kingston for Ocho Rios, give some thought to staying overnight in Kingston (Morgan's Harbour Hotel is the nearest hotel to  Kingston airport or chose from the New Kingston hotels) and travel to Ocho Rios in daylight time.  

For me, this drive is so much more pleasant during daylight.  Check out the Knutsford Express from New Kingston for the transfer, price is reasonable and its a very comfortable and ride.  Start your vacation on the road to your hotel.

Jamaica Highway 2000

Jamaica VacationsThe main roads are generally good and highway 2000 has significantly improved the long distance driving, for example from Ocho Rios through to Negril on the north coast and Kingston to Negril on the south coast.  

Jamaica- Highway 2000-May Pen Clarendon

The highway 2000 project is a work in progress being done in phases. The plan is that at the end of this project, this road will connect Kingston to Ocho Rios to Montego Bay to Negril to Mandeville and back to Kingston.  

The May Pen leg of Highway 2000 was completed in August 2012. 

Jamaican Cuisine

Jamaicans love to cook and Jamaica foods are delicious and some people come just for the food!  There are numerous restaurants and eateries in Jamaica, from the regular roadside quick eats to a la carte dining. You will quickly find some favourites.

Green Gungo Rice and Peas

So don't miss out on trying some of the delicious local dishes of your choice.   Some dishes can get pretty spicy so if you prefer a milder version, just ask the chef.

Jerk meats, particularly chicken and pork are highly favoured Jamaican dishes. 

Jamaican meat dishes are more often than not served with rice and peas.  The picture shows green gungo rice and peas.

If meat is not for you, try the national dish of ackee and salt fish which can be eaten at breakfast, lunch or at dinner. Find out what other vegetarian dishes are on the menu that are equally delicious...just speak to the chef. 

Other cuisines such as continental, Italian, Indian, Chinese to name a few are also available be it at a high street restaurant or at your resort or hotel.  Wherever you are in Jamaica great affordable foods are within your reach. 

Jamaican Breakfasts

Jamaicans  love to eat…no surprise here…the food is excellent and many ingredients are fresh from the land.

Try some ackee and salt fish, the national dish for breakfast and give your tastebuds a treat.

Boiled Banana and steamed vegetable in coconut milk 

Jamaican Breakfast

At your all inclusive you will find a variety of restaurants and cuisines… a la carte, buffet style, and local style.   

If your resort does not have local dishes on their menu, ask for it or venture out and you will find several eateries…. restaurants… and general food stops serving various local dishes.   You will discover delicious food at great prices.

Fried dumplings and steamed vegetable and salt fish Jamaican  breakfast

Jamaican Breakfast

Things to Do in Jamaica

Jamaica Vacations - Numerous activities are available to entertain you on your Jamaica vacation, if you are at a resort, a standard package of water sports and other activities is included.   If you would like to do more such as getting out and about, the list is endless.  Here are a few ideas: 

  • ziplining
  • Horse-back riding on land and sea
  • Site Seeing tours
  • Golf
  • Rafting down the Martha Brae or Rio Grande rivers
  • Enjoying some local cuisine
  • Hiking up Jamaica's Blue Mountains
  • A quiet, relaxed no hassle vacation
  • Adventure activity tours and more....

Negril"s 7 mile Beach

Negril Beach Jamaica

Whether its sun, sea and sand or you want or to explore and discover some Jamaican culture, come to Jamaica and experience this beautiful tropical island in the Caribbean.  

See Jamaica Tour Operators for some more ideas.

Negril"s 7 mile Beach

Negril Beach Jamaica2

Sign up for some off property (away from resort) tours and see some real Jamaica.  Hire a car with driver for a day or two, then you can relax and enjoy to scenery.  See Jamaica Attractions for more ideas.

 Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) Meet the People Programme

The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) operates  “Meet the people Programme”. The Programme focuses on getting visitors and local Jamaicans of similar profession or lifestyles together for a day's interaction. 

Potsdam St Elizabeth sunset

Jamaica sunset seen from Munro Hills St Elizabeth



If you visit as a family, the Jamaica Tourist Board’s ambassadors will ensure that your kids will have fun too by arranging for your family to meet a Jamaican family with children of similar age so they can also have a fun day. 

Treasure Beach Sunset

Jamaica Sunset Frenchman's Bay

You will be hosted and entertained by locals who have signed up for the programme who will ensure that your meet-the-people day is fun filled with great Jamaican hospitality.

Take the opportunity to discuss and gain new insights about Jamaica and its people. 

Jamaica Vacations - This programme is organised by the Jamaica Tourist Board at no cost to you, all you have to do is to contact the JTB on line and  sign up. 

If you decide to take part while you are already in Jamaica, no problem, ask for information at the reception desk of your hotel or contact the  local Jamaica Tourist Board office.

Jamaica in pictures

View of south coast from Potsdam District St Elizabeth

South West Jamaica view

Jamaica is a very picturesque island and the beautiful view starts on your landing approach where your first view of Jamaica is captured by the beautiful aqua marine Caribbean Sea shores that surround this land of wood and water.  

Ensure you pack your camera as when you are on the Jamaican soil, you will be captivated but the beauty of the island.  

Entertainment

Jamaica Vacations - Entertainment in the high volume tourist areas vary…whether it’s in-house…at your hotel or on the beach…the night life pulsates with Jamaica’s reggae music and dance. It might be the theme night in your hotel, the local club or on the beach parties.

If your hotel’s entertainment nights are not quite what you expected, just ask – the hotel staff…the taxi drivers…your butler etc…they all know the best places to go…so don’t miss out. 

Make friends and find out where the best gigs are or the best sites to see.  

Jamaica Beaches

Jamaica beaches are very inviting – play in the beautiful crystal clear aqua marine waters, snorkel jet-ski or whatever water sport tickles your fancy…or simply walk the beach and top up on your tan.

I prefer the quieter out of the way beaches such as Half Moon Bay Negril to name just one, where I can swim, have lunch and socialise.


Jamaica-Half Moon Bay Beach Negril

Half Moon Beach Negril


Relax at one of those quaint Jamaica beach bar and sample a fruit cocktail, a red stripe or a Jamaica rum punch or two!  After all, you are on vacation! 

View from Xtabi Restaurant Negril 

Negril Cliffs seen from Xtabi Restaurant

Do you plan to visit Little Ochi Seafood Restaurant on Jamaica's South Coast?  

If your travels take you to St Elizabeth Little Ochi is a must visit...delicious foods, friendly staff and great atmosphere on this beach front. Meals are prepared to order.  Bon appetite! 

Jamaica -Little Ochi Restaurant Huts on the Beach

Little Ochi Manchester Jamaica

Jamaica VacationsIf you have a specific query, please complete the "Contact Me" form below and submit and I will respond in short order.

Thanks for stopping by, see you again soon at Jamaica vacations.

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