Why You Should Visit Jamaica On Your Next Trip
Jamaica to me is the heart of the Caribbean and of course the birthplace of reggae music and the Rastafari movement. It is one of those special places that everyone should see for many reasons, such as the nature and mountains, as well as the relaxed atmosphere that is unlike anywhere else on entire planet. I wrote this guide because I think that everyone should take a Jamaica vacation at least once in their lives, hopefully you find the guide useful and hopefully you actually get the chance to use it on your next trip there.
One thing to note is the difference between Caribbean culture and Jamaican culture but the thing is that these are not exactly the same. They share certain elements with one another but I would not say that they are totally the same especially in the way they speak their language. Jamaicans are much more connected to their African heritage in comparison to other nations in the area, especially in the music that they make. Many of these cultures and customs come directly from the Rastafarian religion on the island and this is quite unique to Jamaica. I really don’t believe that there is a country that is more relaxed than Jamaica, which is saying a lot. this can be very difficult to understand until you are actually on the street in Jamaica yourself and you see the way and the speed that people move in. They loap slowly around and probably do not feel a huge rush like we do in other countries
Haggling is a way of life in Jamaica, so don’t let a high price put you off. All you really need to is to make a counter offer and it is all part of the fun of mingling with the locals and you should never accept the first price quoted to you. This applies mainly to people selling souvenirs and cab drivers. My advice in this sense is to be tough, but also be fair, because there is nothing more that locals hate than tourists that aren’t willing to give a little extra for a great experience. Eat the street food if you want to get some really tasty food. Generally speaking the food is more traditional and less catered to tourists and it is also much cheaper. This is the real food that the locals would eat, not the expensive food that you find in all the touristic restaurants.
One of the highlights of Jamaica is definitely the food and living in the Caribbean definitely has its perks in this regard. Seafood is definitely a staple of the Jamaican diet and is something that you should embrace whilst you are visiting. One thing you can’t beat is how fresh it all is and it is perhaps some of the best seafood that I have ever tried in my life on my last few trips there. I also really like the spiciness of the food, particularly with the jerk seasoning that is made up of many different herbs and spices. You definitely need to try saltfish, fried plantain, jerk chicken or mutton curry. The food in Jamaica is absolutely out of this world and it really is some of the best food that you will ever try and the best way to describe it would be soul food.
Generally speaking, the best way to get around in Jamaica is by taxis, they are always convenient and relatively cheap (don’t forget what I said before about bargaining). The other possibility is to rent a car, but you need to be wary that they drive on the left in Jamaica and the steering wheel of the car is also on the other side! For some this may be a little confusing, particularly in a place like Jamaica. Don’t worry though if this is what you want to do, because it is possible and a lot of fun too (it just takes some getting used to)!
Things To See
This could potentially be an endless list, but I want to keep it to the good stuff, so here are some amazing things that you can do in Jamaica:
- Visit the Blue Mountains – The Blue Mountains are a stunning national park and are actually the longest mountain range in all of Jamaica. They feature incredible nature and stunning views of the island. This is a must visit place in Jamaica and is also world famous for the Blue Mountain Coffee that is said to be some of the best in the world.
- Surf at Boston Bay Beach – This is definitely the most popular and recognized place to surf in all of Jamaica. The beach has the class white sand, mesmerizing turquoise waters and a nice mix of locals, expats and tourists. The surf is relatively calm and a great place for beginners to get out on a surfboard for the first time. There are also a number of places offering surfing lessons and board hire, so don’t worry if you don’t know how or you don’t have the right gear. There are also plenty of street food stalls here selling Jerk chicken and pork, so this is the perfect snack after some hard surfing.
- Explore Montego Bay – Montego Bay is the second largest city in Jamaica (after Kingston, the capital) and has plenty to offer such as Doctor’s Cave Beach Club and Rose Hall. Montego Bay definitely has some interesting and more subdued things to do, but is a place that I definitely love.
Tell me about your Jamaican travels below!