Jamaica Holidays

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Holiday To Jamaica

As soon as you arrive, you realise that – Jamaica isn’t like other islands. It moves to a rhythm all its own. World class resorts lining the beaches of Negril, Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Port Antonio are only part of the story, but holidays in Jamaica offer far more. The island’s complex capital, Kingston, is a real, working town, full of character. Elsewhere, the island’s lush interior is a patchwork of sugar plantations, forests, misty highlands and pretty, rural towns, far removed from the glitz and heat of the coast.

Best Jamaica Beaches

The beaches in Jamaica are as diverse and inviting as the island itself: James Bond Beach is spectacular, and is so named because nearby residence, Golden Eye, is where Ian Fleming wrote the James Bond novels (it’s now owned by the band UB40!), Negril’s Bloody Bay is far more inviting than it sounds. It’s actually one of the island’s most scenic stretches, although, a couple of hundred years ago, it was a hiding place for pirates’ ill-gotten gains. Doctor’s Cave Beach is another good spot, in Montego Bay near most of the hotels. In general, private beaches are more relaxed (and vendor free), so look out for these. Favourites include Waterpark Beach – a lovely horseshoe, tree-fringed cove, and Long Bay, where the sunsets are sensational. The best on the island? Our money’s on the northern coast, around Port Antonio. Swimming is good, and surf is usually gentle.

Eating Out

If you like your Reggae Reggae chicken, you’ll love Jamaica’s gift to world cuisine The jerk spices and sauces smothering everything from pork to chicken, fish to lobster. Ackee – a meaty fruit – is served with rice and salt fish (usually cod), while the Jamaican version of fast food on the go is the ubiquitous Rice and peas, often with salt pork, sometimes spiced with fiery Scotch bonnet peppers. Restaurants around Montego Bay, and the other major resorts, serve Rundown – a delicious reduced creamy coconut milk stew with chicken, meat, fish or vegetables. Fish, as you’d expect, is a fresh as you like, and Jamaica’s Apppleton rum and Red Stripe beer make the perfect accompaniment.

Shopping

Holidays in Jamaica are perfect for shopping lovers. Every resort features shopping malls and arcades crammed with colourful local produce, such as hand-loomed linens and fabrics, raffia and straw hats, sandals and furniture, and at the Highgate Village Mall, in the mountains, the Quaker run workshop specialises in authentic Jamaican wicker furniture. They’ll even have it shipped home for you (not as expensive as it sounds). Of course, rum is everywhere (in bottles, chocolates, creams and fudges), while the Coronations Market, in noisy capital, Kingston, is a full-on sensory experience. Look out for ‘in-bond’ shopping, allowing you to buy international goods free of tax or duty in Jamaican Dollars.

Jamaica Nightlife

Chilled out by day, fired up by night. That’s a pretty good description of the island’s character. Basically, Jamaicans love a party. And, better still, they’ll make sure you’re invited. Rick’s, at Negril, is a popular spot for a sundowner or two, while Montego Bay’s Glistening Waters Marina is a lively spot for dining and disco overlooking the shimmering river. The Jackpot Jungle casino is strictly for those who feel lucky, while Ocho Rios’ Jamaica’n Me Crazy is well named: great for wild, all night dancing. The safest, and most tourist friendly after-dark area of Kingston is centred around Knutsford Boulevard.

Activities and Entertainment

Jamaica is a tropical island of tumbling waterfalls and dazzling beaches, colonial villages and exotic gardens. Kingston, Jamaica’s frenetic capital, is a bustle of Georgian architecture, diverting museums and elegant parks. Spanish Town, the former capital, is one of the finest examples of Georgian architecture outside of Bath while, high in the hills, the plantation town of Mandeville is a cool retreat. at the south coast, Milk River Spa is a warm, bubbling pool with waters constantly frothing away at a toasty 33 degrees centigrade. To the west, Rocklands Feeding Station is home to some of the most exotic birds in the world while Ocho Rios’ northern excursions include the stunning Dunn’s River Falls, a watery (slippery) ascent to a botanical gardens.