The island nation of Jamaica is perhaps the most well-known and most popular destination in the Caribbean. And when you experience Jamaica’s beauty for yourself – from the lush green mountain topography and untouched rainforests to the paradisiacal beaches and lively local people – it’s easy to see why it’s such as well-known heaven on earth. You may have heard about the palm fringed beach resorts of Montego Bay or the rum-soaked reggae clubs of Kingston where it’s impossible not to let your hair down, or even the fabulous Dolphin Cove where guests can come and swim with dolphins. You may have heard of these incredible places already. But there’s much more to Bob Marley’s nation than what scratches the surface. In fact, this popular Caribbean island is also home to a whole series of travel secrets including incredible hiking trails in the Blue Mountains, hiring a bike and hitting the Rio Cobre riverbank on two wheels, or the 21 gasps as you unearth 21 cascades along the Mayfield Falls walk. Jamaica can be as clichéd and convenient as you want it to be, or as adventuresome and off the beaten track as you desire – and that’s what makes Jamaica the ultimate dream Caribbean island for all. There’s something for every type of traveller and you will never struggle to find a place to fit in. For families, groups or couples, there’s nothing that the beach resorts and ocean front hotels can’t offer. And from the British colonial architecture of Kingston and Montego to the 100ft dive spots of unblemished Negril, there’s nothing that the island can’t give when it comes to comes to cultural or exciting outdoor activities. And not forgetting, Jamaica is the birthplace of Bob Marley so music is embedded into Jamaican culture, so don’t be surprised when bars and clubs come to life with the sound of glasses clinking, drums thrashing, beats blaring and melodies echoing after the sun goes down. For all inclusive luxury, family friendly resorts and unbelievable beaches, Jamaica is the island that has it all.
Jamaica is one of the best islands in the Caribbean for family travel because there is simply so much to do. The beaches are beautiful, well managed and many of them have shallow waters for swimming in. Most resorts and hotels are also very child-friendly, so they will be well facilitated and hotel restaurants will have children’s menus available. Some must-visit sights and attractions in Jamaica include the famous Green Grotto Caves, Dolphin Cove, National Heroes Park, Putt N Play Amusement Park and the Enchanted Gardens. Getting around on public transport is also safe and easy, and you can hop on a local bus or jump in a taxi at very reasonable prices.
Just like the island itself, Jamaican cuisine is probably the most well-known of all the Caribbean cuisines and can be defined by its use of curry spices, the use of chicken and goat as well as corned beef, fish and seafood, and the common side / accompaniment of rice and peas. Some of the most popular dishes from Jamaica include Ackee and Saltfish which is often referred to as the country’s national dish), Brown Stew Chicken, Curry Goat, Curry Chicken, Escoveitch Fish, Jamaican Patties and the fabulous Jerk Chicken. When it comes to alcohol drinks, rum punch is the most popular tipple of choice and there’s a wide variety of Jamaican white rum, Jamaican black rum and light rum available.
Jamaica was under Spanish rule from the 1400s to the mid-1600s and later became a British possession, and the island has undergone several big waves of immigration over the centuries. Today, Jamaican culture takes on international influences from its rich colonial past, and modern Jamaican principles can be defined by its reggae music, its flavoursome food, its colourful communities and its unique arts and crafts scene. Jamaicans are very religious people and they are known for having close family relationships, showing loyalty to others and having a positive outlook on life.