Jamaican Beauty

Some places simply light up all of your senses and make every experience unforgettable. From the beautiful ocean blue and jungle green scenery to the smell of jerk on the barbecue and the taste of a cool rum drink, Jamaica will quickly become a favourite destination for slowing down.

Sights

There’s something for everyone in Jamaica. From the bustling capital city of Kingston, where

One of Jamaica’s most popular attractions, Dunn’s River Falls offers a fun excursion for adventuresome travellers, families, as well as anyone just wanting a little time to soak in the water. Have an experienced guide take you up the slippery stone steps to slide down the rocks or simply enjoy some people-watching with your feet in the cool, clear pools.

Pelican Bar is a rustic wooden structure erected on a sandbank and offers the perfect place to unplug and enjoy a cocktail (or a few). Wade in the shallow water and watch the day pass as slowly as you like!

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On the west end of the island, Rick’s Cafe in Negril is a popular place to enjoy a meal, a drink and to watch local divers soar from the cliffside (nearly 35 feet in the air!) into the warm water. You can take a jump too – be careful!

Aside from these attractions, you can, of course, visit any number of the soft sand beaches, sail a bamboo raft down a luscious jungle river, and hike to the top of a mountain to zipline down quickly to the bottom. Find something that sounds fun and go for it!

Tastes

The best part of travelling to a new place is experiencing the local flavours and the food that makes a culture come alive. Jamaica is of course known for jerk chicken. An amalgamation of flavours from British, Dutch, French, Spanish, East Indian, West African and Chinese cultures, Jerk is a sweet and spicy kind of food that has become a Jamaican speciality.

Don’t miss out on meat (chicken, pork or fish) that has been slow-smoked and rubbed with tons of spicy flavour! Jamaican food is so much more than jerk chicken. From fried beef patties to ackee and saltfish, this food is like eating around the world in one meal.

Sounds

Nothing evokes the cool vibe of Jamaica like reggae music. Born in the Trench Town neighbourhood of Kingston, many popular ska, rocksteady and reggae acts created the unique, laid-back sound that has become synonymous with island living. 

One of the most notorious reggae artists of all time, Bob Marley, was born in the mountainous community of Nine Miles before moving to Trench Town and starting the iconic band, The Wailers, with his friends. A successful and storied career ensued with hits such as “No Woman No Cry”, “One Love”, and “Three Little Birds”, and the Wailers are arguably still one of the most popular reggae bands ever. 

Great live music can be found all over the island. From a bumping music festival to nightclubs featuring music of all kinds, there’s always a great act to hear. Jamaica even has Reggae Beach, where music can be heard into the wee hours and a beach bonfire lights the night for hours.

Feelings

If a romantic getaway or honeymoon is in your future, Jamaica won’t disappoint. A number of popular all-inclusive resorts have wowed guests for years and offer a nice mix of Jamaican flavour with top resort amenities. If all-inclusive feels a little too commercial for your vacation experience, there are plenty of other hotels, inns and bed and breakfasts to suite your exact needs.

Immortalized in the 1988 movie “Cocktail”, Frenchman’s Cove in Port Antonio is a calm and quiet stretch of sand that will not disappoint your Instagram followers. No water sports or loud music means a more relaxed atmosphere, and the $10 entry fee is more than worth it for the lush gardens and ocean views.

A visit to Jamaica is nothing but wonderous. While you can see and do plenty in one trip, it’s definitely a destination that will continue to pull you back to its shores time after time.

Sara Sherman
Sara Sherman is a former St. Thomas resident and the editor of Virgin Islands Property & Yacht.
Sara Sherman

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