When people think about the Caribbean, the image of the tranquil and relaxed island of Jamaica often comes to mind. One of the oldest and most well developed tourist industries in the entire world, Jamaica is waiting for you to discover. With its unique combination of cultures, relaxing assortment of beaches and landscapes, and truly memorable cuisine, Jamaica is a one of a kind destination that will awe every visitor. Visit this gem of the Caribbean and experience the place where the ideal tropical destination began over a century ago.
Jamaica is an island, surrounded by the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. The coastal regions are relatively low lying with white beaches bordering the endless sea. Although most people imagine Jamaica in terms of its coastal environments, significant parts of the island are mountainous, including the Blue Mountains to the east. This diverse range of landscapes results in a unique array of flora and fauna, many species being unique to the island itself.
Most of the tourist regions in Jamaica are tropical in climate. Throughout the year, these areas are hot and humid with periods of rain, particularly in the summer months. Inland you will find a more temperate climate with less heat but more rain. Depending on where you are visiting and what you plan to do, prepare for your trip by bringing clothing suitable for a humid climate. Don’t forget a light jacket or sweater for the cooler nights, particularly if you are venturing away from the coastal areas. Also, if you are planning a trip during the wet season, be prepared with rain gear and an umbrella.
The culture of Jamaica is reflective of its diverse population that has been developing over the last few centuries. One of the major ports during the colonial period in the Caribbean, Kingston in particular is one of the most diverse cities in the world. With so many cultures coming together and historically fusing into one island nation, you will discover that Jamaica is a colourful and diverse place filled with surprises at every bend. It is no surprise that many people travel to this island paradise for its unique culture, characterized by its laid back attitude and relaxing atmosphere. A truly amazing experience, the people of Jamaica will have you buzzing for months after your visit.
Jamaica is perhaps best known in the music world as the birth place of reggae. A relaxing, calm and easy going beat, reggae is tied to this island and all of its flavors. Do not miss the chance to see a live reggae performance, whether at a local club, on the beach, or in a concert hall. It is no surprise that reggae is the music of Jamaica, as its sounds fit the culture of the island perfectly. Aside from reggae the island offers a number of other beats known throughout the world. Music is integral to the Jamaican way of life and listening to these rhythms are bound to get you immersed in the culture.
Along with the birth of reggae, Jamaica is known for its hopping dance parties. From the shady courtyards of major cities, to the sunny beaches, you won’t have to look very hard to find a good time. At least one of your evenings on this island needs to be spent dancing the night away. Whatever your pace of beat and rhythm, Jamaica will satisfy that inner urge to kick up your heels and just have a good time.
Jamaica is one of the places were ‘fusion’ cuisine really began. With such a diverse combination of cultures blending together on the island over the past few centuries, the culinary result is truly unique. With flavors from Spain, Britain, India, Africa, and Jamaica natives, your taste palate is in for the treat of your life. Best known for its unique jerk spice, Jamaican food is one of the reasons tourists keep coming back for more. Whether you choose to dine in a fine establishment and experience all the fixings, or prefer a local café on the beach, your Jamaican vacation is never complete until you sample the local fare.
Transportation and Accommodation
Almost every visitor to Jamaica arrives by airplane at one of the three international airports located on the island, although some tourists may arrive by ship. Once in the country, transportation between major cities is quite simple. The coastal tourist regions especially are covered with paved highways that make going between sites a breeze. Bus transportation is available between major sites and many excursion options are presented at resorts and major hotels. With such a developed infrastructure, seeing almost every region of Jamaica is possible for the tourist. With unique landscapes and cultures around every corner, taking advantage of this transportation network will open you up to Jamaica’s diversity.
Like most Caribbean destinations, Jamaica has a diverse range of accommodation options for every traveller’s budget. There are a high number of luxury resorts and high end hotels that cater to the higher clientele, but there are also a number of accommodations made for the every day traveller. Major cities in Jamaica offer low budget options and smaller scale establishments. It is best to start with a general budget range and research your options from there.