Quick Guide to Jamaica
Jamaica is a beautiful island in the Caribbean with friendly people, stunning beaches and a rich heritage. It's become even more popular since the prominence (and amazing speed) of the Jamaican sprint athletes at the London Olympics, and we think that in 2018 there will be more and more great deals to Jamaica, whether you're after an all inclusive holiday or a late deal to Jamaica for some much-needed sunshine.
Cheap holidays to Jamaica offer plenty of time to relax and take a break from the stresses of everyday life. There are so many reasons why holidays in Jamaica attract such a diverse range of visitors, from the ever-present sunshine to the delicious food and the beautiful clear sea. Recent years have made package holidays and all-inclusive Jamaica holidays the only way to go if you want to visit this stunning island, but expect to see a resurgence of 'back to basics' holidays here too, celebrating the local food, culture and the spirit of the locals - catch the Independence Float Parade and Gala for something to remember.
The official language in Jamaica is English, but you'll find Jamaican Creole, also known as Patois, spoken most often. You'll definitely be able to communicate well in the tourist areas though, just consider learning a few words if you're anticipating a bit of exploring off the beaten track during your Jamaica holiday.
Fab holidays for:
Winter sunseekers, Stunning beaches, Friendly locals
Sangster and Norman Manley International Airport
Did you know?
Jamaica was the first tropical country to enter the Winter Olympics. Anyone remember Cool Runnings?
Other Destinations in Jamaica
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Top 5 Attractions in Jamaica
With white sandy beaches, clear blue skies ahead, and a rum in your hand, take your pick from the fantastic array of things to do on the island.
- Doctor's Cave Beach
- Doctor's Cave beach in Montego Bay is thought by many to be the best beach on the island. It has pure white sands and crystal clear waters, as well as great facilities. But then so does Seven Mile Beach in Negril, which is protected by an offshore reef - making for amazingly calm and clear waters that just ask to be swum in. Ok, we can't decide this one - can you?
- Dunn's River Falls
- Dunn's River Falls isn't like most large waterfalls - this isn't just a sheer drop. There's 300 metres of cascades over rocks, which gives off a beautiful effect as well as some natural pools. To fully experience the falls, you need to climb them with the help of a guide. Don't worry about the hot weather as the water and the surrounding tropical vegetation make for a cooler trip than most here in Jamaica. If you don't think you can brave climbing through the water then you can follow the river bank path.
- Luminous Lagoon
- An intriguing name, Luminous Lagoon is inhabited by tiny organisms who glow when they are agitated - taking a boat trip through them, or even swimming in the lagoon, increases the activity as well as the impressiveness of the display. The best time to visit is for dusk when the local fish join in too, and you can watch the sun set as the underwater glow increases.
- Port Royal
- Once the unofficial capital of Jamaica, Port Royal was devastated in 1692 by an earthquake and tsunami. It's now a UNESCO World Heritage Site as recent archaeological digs have unearthed its intriguing past. It's also been used as a set for Pirates of the Caribbean!
- Dolphin Cove
- You'll want to head to Dolphin Cove if swimming with dolphins is the number one priority on your holiday in Jamaica. Set in a tropical rainforest, the lagoon is home to dolphins, sharks and stingray, all of whom you can interact with - be warned, this doesn't come cheap! Save the pennies by going for a ride on a glass bottomed boat.
Beach Holidays in Jamaica
This tiny island packs a big (rum) punch. Don't overlook Jamaica beaches as you scan the sugar-white shores of the Caribbean - those crystalline waters and soft sandy beaches are paint-worthy.
Travel to Jamaica and see for yourself. Take Doctor's Cave Beach in Montego Bay, for instance, one of the best Jamaica resorts. Easily one of Jamaica's most popular spots, the beach's sheltered location means you only have tranquil waves to contend with. Things remain calm out of the water too, thanks to the ban on radios, footballs and vendors. Year-round temperatures of 23 to 30 degrees Celsius bring in the crowds, however, especially come winter.
Treasure Beach is quieter still. Head off the beaten track to Jamaica's southern shoes and you'll find these dark sand beaches blissfully devoid of any tourists. Head towards the area's two favourites - Frenchman's Bay and Calabah Bay - and you'll find a handful of beachfront accommodation. It is a two hour drive from the airport over rocky backroads but it's so peaceful - swings and roundabouts.
If you're looking for something a little less quiet, Seven Mile Beach in Negril is one of the more popular Jamaica resorts. It's a beautiful seven-mile stretch of beach populated by vendors offering you spicy jerk chicken while jet skiiers and watersport fanatics zip past each other on the waves. The thumping beat of live reggae will sail out of Alfred's Ocean Palace, easing you into the party hours that last until dawn.
Reggae Beach is a place to go for regular jam sessions while Boston Bay Beach is a surfer's paradise - anywhere you choose, the island's charm will make you forget about the hustle and bustle of real life.
How to get to Jamaica
There are direct flights to Jamaica from the UK, which take about 10 hours. Most of the flights land into Montego Bay, as the majority of the resorts are on this side of the island. There is also an international airport in Kingston so there is a chance that your flight may land here.
There is no public transport serving either of these airports, so check if your holiday to Jamaica comes with a transfer included. Most deals for flights Jamaica hotels come with a transfer already included. And if you're booking the parts of your holiday separately, check with the hotel for their own transfer services. You could book cheap Montego Bay car hire straight from the airport if you prefer to go at your own pace, or jump in a taxi on arrival - make sure you arrange the price before embarking!
In fact, there are two types of taxi in Jamaica. Tourist taxis are easily identifiable as taxis, you'll have them all to yourself, but you'll pay a premium for this service. If you want to save the pennies and you don't mind a couple of detours along the way for additional passengers, then look out for the local taxis, also known as route taxis. These are the locals' preferred way to travel and you can spot them by their red licence plates or spray-painted signs!
What to do on holiday in Jamaica
If you like snorkelling or scuba diving then a holiday to Jamaica will provide plenty of chances to indulge yourself. The coastal waters of Jamaica are teeming with life thanks to some wonderful coral reefs. You can also enjoy the once-in-a-lifetime experience of swimming with dolphins whilst on holiday in Jamaica. If you find yourself on the north side of the island, make sure you take a moment to enjoy one of the most naturally beautiful spots, Runaway Bay.
If dry land is more important to you, then the beaches of Negril, Ocho Rios and Montego Bay are all idyllic places to to spend your days. You'll be able to enjoy the delicious food and relax into the easy-going Jamaican way of life! White sands fringed with palm trees and seemingly endless sunshine are an attractive combination for any sun worshipper - just thinking about it is enough to make us check for any late deals to Jamaica!
Away from the coast there are still plenty of attractions to fill up your Jamaica holiday, with some fantastic day trips into the lush green hills where you can visit the charming colonial mansions, the coffee and pineapple plantations and even Jamaican nature reserves. Bob Marley fans will also want to take a trip to Nine Mile, the tiny village where this iconic musician grew up.