7 BEST Places to Visit in Jamaica

No matter the time of year, Jamaica is the ideal tropical getaway. Located in the Caribbean, Jamaica is rich with culture as it produces the most music per capita and has the most churches per square mile. As Jamaica also has the most rum bars per square mile, it is a great place for those who want to have a good time as well.

Jamaica is a small territory that is located in the Caribbean Sea and very close to Cuba and Haiti. The land of the legendary Bob Marley, the reggae music and the sportsman Usain Bolt are some of the things that are known about this small Caribbean country. Here, you will be lucky to see some of the most beautiful beaches in the world and enjoy a tropical climate that you will surely love.

Jamaica is known as a hub spot for great food, beaches, and views, which are all the ingredients for a perfect vacation. The best beaches of the Caribbean Sea are waiting for you in Jamaica. Enjoy a dream vacation surrounded by the most incredible coasts you've seen. White and fine sands and crystal clear waters are the main characteristics of the beaches of Jamaica. Jamaica is also art.

With the influence of European, American and African culture, the island located in the Caribbean Sea enjoys a unique multiculturalism in the world and yet to be discovered. If you are going to travel to Jamaica you may be interested in knowing these tips.

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For those lucky enough to visit this beautiful island nation, here are the best sites and activities in Jamaica:

1. Montego Bay

Montego Bay is one of the most popular areas to stay in Jamaica because it’s where all the action is. The area has an incredible fun-loving energy and offers a multitude of ways to both explore and relax. Avid traveler Ryan Gibbs is a big fan of the Montego Bay area: "The region within Jamaica known as Montego Bay is abundant with recreational and relaxation opportunities for couples and families alike.

Tryall Club is a historical British colonial retreat with both water and mountain homes to consider for rental. The twice-weekly festival dinner parties are true, authentic island fun for families, and the tennis program is world-class. A short jaunt further down the road takes you to Negril, a great adventure and party destination for diving and cliff jumping."

Other activities include golfing, ziplining, and tubing down rapids. The area is really a tourist's paradise! In the city of Montego Bay, known to locals as Mobay is the Doctor's Cave beach. The name, little reassuring all is said, is that of Dead End Beach.

2. Negril

Negril is the modern Jamaican destination, with its varied and varied accommodations and reggae nightclubs. Spend the night to the music that Bob Marley made internationally famous.

The Seven Mile Beach is one of the most popular beaches in the Caribbean. Also known as Negril Beach, this beach is located just outside of the popular resort area of Montego Bay. Part of the reason Negril Beach is so popular, aside from its stunning views, is due to the fact it is sheltered by a reef, calming the water and making it ideal for water activities.

Because this beach is frequented by tourists, there are a plethora of activities available on site such as kayaking, boat rides, scuba diving, and even horseback riding. Many of these activities such as kayaking are available upon arrival but for activities such as horseback riding, it is best to book in advance.

For those who are more interested in relaxing and admiring Jamaica’s stunningly clear blue/green water, there are plenty of bars and restaurants that offer great cocktails and finger food to enjoy on the beach.

3. Port Antonio

Port Antonio is located on the northeastern coast of Jamaica. This scenic fishing village, contrary to its name, consists of two ports and was once nicknamed the ‘Banana Capital of the World.’ However, today Port Antonio is a more relaxed village that has become a charming spot adored by tourists.

Part of Port Antonio’s charm is its colorful markets, which is an architectural mix of Georgian and Victorian styles. Although it is popular with tourists, Port Antonio is a great insight into local life as its markets and city center are always busy with the hustle and bustle of any fishing village. Port Antonio is also home to adorable cafes that offer delicious authentic Jamaican dishes.

Another perk of Port Antonio is its surreal landscape and views. It is rich with thick jungles, lagoons, waterfalls, and beautiful beaches, making it some of the best hiking conditions in the world. A tourist favorite activity is bamboo rafting down the Rio Grande. And lastly, Port Antonio is home to the Blue Lagoon, the freshwater spring where the movie was filmed, so you can stop by there as well.

4. Falmouth

Dunn’s River Fall is one of the most unique sights in all of the Caribbean. Jamaica is full of breathtaking waterfalls so to say Dunn’s River Fall is considered the most iconic, should give you a sense of its incredible beauty. At 180 feet high and 600 feet long, the Dunn’s River pours over an incredible combination of rocks and boulders (that people often climb) and runs into a sea at the Dunn’s River Beach.

In fact, it is considered one of the only waterfalls where it is safe to “climb into” on the rocks and swim in the pools below. The waterfall itself is so grand that it is a panoramic view upon arrival. However, to get to this incredible site is a bit of a trek. The hike is about 90 minutes but there are guided tours offered from many of the popular tourist areas such as Montego Bay and Ochos Rios.

However, the hike is very manageable if you choose to go on your own, just make sure to go early in the morning or the late afternoon to avoid crowds.

5. Ocho Rios

From this list, it is evident that Jamaica is home to some of the most surreal bodies of water on the planet. Truly every waterfall, beach, river, brings with it the feeling of luxury but the Luminous Lagoon might top them all. This lagoon’s glowing waters are incredibly rare and look like they are out of a movie.

About 30 minutes by road from Montego Bay, you will find one of the most exciting places to visit: the Glistening Waters Luminous Lagoon. It is a lagoon whose microorganisms light up blue, when there is movement in the water.

The lagoon’s glow is due to microorganisms called “dinoflagellates,” which is a type of algae. Moreover, the constant glow of the water is hypothesized to be due to the area’s consistent climate so the glow never fades. The Luminous Lagoon is located where the Martha Brae River connects with the ocean and is one of only four other locations in the world where you can witness the phenomenon of water literally glowing.

A visit to the Luminous Lagoon could not be more rewarding or extraordinary and is a necessary addition to anyone’s travel itinerary when visiting Jamaica.

6. Hellshire

After a short tour of the country you will need some time to relax, and the best place to do it is at one of the beaches in the region, such as Bloody Beach, the most famous, Hellshire Beach or Cornwall Beach. In addition, in all of them you can carry out numerous activities, such as horseback riding in the water or swimming among dolphins.

7. Nine Mile

A mandatory stop is the Bob Marley Mausoleum which is located in the small town of Nine Mile very close to the city of Ocho Rios. Drop by the waterfall of Puerto de Antonio or the magnificent Blanco River. You cannot miss the opportunity to walk the beautiful trails of the Blue Mountains, very close to the capital, through which you will discover a completely unique natural environment.

Do you love tasting exotic flavors? The restaurants in Jamaica is characterized by a unique cuisine in the world and that will surely surprise you. Cities such as Kingston, the capital, Ocho Rios or Montego Bay are some of the best places to stop to rest and relax with a drink. In any of the Jamaican restaurants you will have the pleasure of tasting traditional Jamaican dishes such as Patty or Ackee and Salfish. Here are some stranger delicacies:

Canabutter - As the name suggests, this is a baked product made from infusing marijuana (cannabis sativa) and butter.

Mannish water - Despite what the name might suggest, it’s not actually water. Instead it is a soup that is cooked with scotch bonnet pepper and various boiled parts of the goat, which namely includes the head, the liver, testicles, tripe and the intestines. It gets its name from the fact that goat testicles are one of the most common ingredients used to make it.

Chicken foot soup - This soup is made with pumpkins, carrots, yellow yam and chayote. The recipe also uses okra (ladies fingers) and scotch bonnet pepper.

Peanut Porridge - This porridge is exactly what the tin says. It’s mainly made through blending flour, boiled water, cornmeal, boiled peanut, oatmeal in a container and then adding vanilla extract, nutmeg, condensed milk and evaporated milk.

Grater cake - This is a traditional Jamaican sweet treat that is made using the white parts of coconuts, sugar and peppermint essence.

Fish tea - This is a spicy and thick Jamaican tea that is used as a common appetizer with fish as the principal ingredient. Although it’s called fish tea, it commonly also includes ground yam, carrots, pumpkin and potatoes and green bananas. It’s also flavoured with milk.

Blue Drawers - This is a starchy and boiled pudding mainly made up of cornmeal, green banana, coconut, brown sugar and and spices which is tied up in a banana leaf. We also call it tie-leaf.

Stew Peas - Commonly eaten at lunch or dinner time, this dish is made with coconut milk, hot pepper, pig’s tail, stew peas and red kidney beans.

Conch - In Jamaica, people love to extract the meat of conch and then fry, jerk, stew or curry it and use them in soup and fritters. It’s also quite popular in the wider Caribbean particularly in Turks and Caicos, Puerto Rico, the Bahamas, Dominican Republic, Grenada and Haiti.

Gizzada - The is a coconut tart made from a mixture of grated coconut and sugar that is placed within a pastry shell.

Jamaica is the perfect picturesque spot for a Caribbean getaway. Its incredible food, vibrant culture, and scenic locations make it the ideal destination for a romantic holiday, family trip, or even a vacation with friends. Jamaica has something to offer everyone and everyone who visits only wishes they could stay a little longer.

Kalyan Panja