Despite its location almost smack in the center of the Caribbean Sea, the island of Jamaica doesn’t blend in easily with the rest of the Caribbean archipelago. To be sure, it boasts the same addictive sun rays, sugary sands and pampered resort-life as most of the other islands, but it is also set apart historically and culturally.
Today’s visitors will appreciate their trip to Jamaica all the more if they embrace the island’s unique character and the inherent ‘African-ness’ of its population. Aside from its people, Jamaica has much to offer, the curious, thirsty or weary traveller. The Blue Mountains boasts the world’s best coffee, try a cup in the century-old factory at Mavis Bank. There are world-class reefs for diving including those at Runaway Bay and Ocho Rios and great stretches of palm-fringed sand at Treasure Beach or Frenchman’s Cove near Port Antonio. There are offbeat bush-medicine hiking tours, congenial fishing villages, pristine waterfalls, cosmopolitan cities, wetlands harboring endangered crocodiles and manatees, unforgettable sunsets – in short, enough variety to comprise many utterly distinct vacations.
Nowhere else in the Caribbean is the connection to Africa as keenly felt as it is in Jamaica. Kingston was the major nexus in the New World for the barbaric triangular trade that brought slaves from Africa and carried sugar and rum to Europe, and the Maroons (runaways who took to the hills of Cockpit Country and the Blue Mountains) safeguarded many of the African traditions – and introduced jerk seasoning to Jamaica’s singular cuisine. St Ann’s Bay’s Marcus Garvey founded the back-to-Africa movement of the 1910s and ’20s; Rastafarianism took up the call a decade later, and reggae furnished the beat in the 1960s and ’70s. Little wonder many Jamaicans claim a stronger affinity for Africa than for neighboring Caribbean islands.
This is a country infused with pride in its unique history, stunning landscape and influential culture. Welcome to Jamaica.
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Best places to stay in Jamaica
Caribbean Islands travel guide
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Jamaica's best outdoor adventures
Jamaica's most unique resorts and hotels
Jamaica travel guide
Captivating to the eyes and soul, Jamaica is a powerfully beautiful country and as such, the subject of many poems, songs and deep wells of nostalgia. It’s a complicated national soundtrack and it’s impossible not to dance to it.
Ocho Rios, Port Antonio & the North Coast
Top 10 Jamaica travel experiences
Jamaica’s lovely landscape, with its crystalline waters flowing over gardens of coral, lapping onto sand as soft as yellow butter, as dark as ash and white as rice, then rising past red soil and lush banana groves into sheer mountains; mixed with its confident, yet cool reggae demeanor, makes Jamaica the stuff of day dreams...
Jamaica's best live music and nightlife
Jamaica - Planning (Chapter)
Your journey to Jamaica starts here. You’ll find the tools to plan your adventure: where to go and when, how much to budget, plus indepth info on spelunking in limestone caves and relaxing on Jamaica’s many beaches.
Swing through the trees with the greatest of ease on this adrenaline-charged Jamaica zipline tour! Ride a zipline in Jamaica - soar from one platform to the next amongst the tree-tops 45 feet (14 meters) above the ground! You'll feel like Tarzan or George of the Jungle as you ride through the canopy of a tropical paradise! Your Jamaican nature adventure takes you over a series.
Dunns River Falls and Ocho Rios Shopping Tour
A shopper's paradise and home to the world famous Dunns River Falls, Ocho Rios has become one of the most energetic cities in Jamaica. Leisurely browse through the town's many craft markets before venturing to Dunns River Falls cascading down 600 feet (180 meters) into the sea.
Sports in unlikely places
Watching or playing your favourite sport while on holiday can be a great conversation starter. If the sport is truly unexpected in the region, you’ll experience a commonality with a group of people – even though you are, geographically, and perhaps linguistically, worlds apart...
Jamaica - Blue Mountains & Southeast Coast (Chapter)
Looming over Kingston, the majestic, forest-covered Blue Mountains throw the rest of the island into sharp relief. Their slopes, crags and fern forests seem light years from the capital’s gritty streetscape, allowing you to simply perch on a...