This post is the ultimate guide on where to stay in Jamaica including the best all inclusive resorts in Jamaica, best hotels in Jamaica, best areas to stay and things to do, beaches and where to eat. This is the only guide you’ll need for picking where to stay and planning your trip to Jamaica!
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You probably recognise Jamaica as the birthplace of reggae icon and music legend Bob Marley, its rugged mountains, picturesque beaches and amazing waterfalls. Limestone, sugar cane, and coffee are also not in short supply in this country — and the colourful culture of the people can be felt across the island; Jamaica is not just a great travel destination, but a true paradise (I’m not just saying that cause I was born …. there it’s just the truth).
Jamaica is one of the larger Caribbean Islands with plenty of activities to keep you busy during your visit, with this in mind you’ll want to be based close to the activities that you plan to do.
I’ve written this guide to not only help you decide where to stay in Jamaica but to also help you plan a trip to Jamaica.
So whether you’re a beach bum, adventure junkie or an all-inclusive type a gal there is something for you in this guide!
This Jamaica travel guide is designed to cover everything you’ll ever need to plan your holiday to Jamaica.
From where to stay in Jamaica, what to do in Jamaica, the best time to visit Jamaica, the best hotels in Jamaica and some of the best Airbnbs in Jamaica.
I’ve also included the best beaches in Jamaica you should visit and the best places to eat. This travel guide has everything that is sure to make your trip to Jamaica worthwhile!
Best Places to Stay in Jamaica
In my opinion, the best places to stay in Jamaica are Ocho Rios, Montego Bay, Negril, and Port Antonio.
Below, I’ve broken down these destinations and the best accommodation options in each of them. I’ve also included things to do and see in these areas to help you make the most of your trip!
WHERE TO STAY IN OCHO RIOS
Ocho Rios is known for its beautiful tropical gardens and waterfalls. Exploring all the city’s mystifying caves, beautiful gardens, and water bodies will take a while, but you will discover it’s worth it. Whatever you do and wherever you visit, ensure you do not miss Dunn’s River Falls as it is the city’s main attraction.
Best All Inclusive Resorts In Ocho Rios Jamaica
Kick back without a worry in the world at these top-notch all inclusive resorts.
Moon Palace Jamaica – One Of The Best Family Resorts In Jamaica
The recent renovation of the family-friendly Moon Palace has added a touch of luxury into the already all-inclusive design of the resort. From the palatial gates at the entrance and sleek beach-house-inspired rooms to the 23-room world-class spa and kids’ waterpark, Moon Palace Jamaica is luxury at its breathtaking best!
Other features of the resorts include multiple bars, a huge conference centre, a world-class fitness centre, and four restaurants. Water sports include sailing, snorkelling, scuba diving, kayaking, and windsurfing. The Moon Palace is one of the top-rated places to stay in Jamaica.
Sandals Ochi Beach Resort – All Inclusive Couples Only
Spanning over a 110-acre all-inclusive space, Sandals Ochi Beach Resort is a popular location for weddings and honeymoons, with relatively affordable rates that cover unlimited food at 16 restaurants, room service, and drinks.
Water sports there include water skiing, sailing, paddle boarding, snorkelling, glass-bottom boat rides, and free, limitless scuba diving. On land, there are other great features like tennis courts, beach volleyball, swimming pools, billiards, and croquet.
Entertainment is also not relegated to the background as guests are treated to cocktail parties, impromptu beach parties, and talent shows. This is one of the best places to stay in Jamaica all inclusive.
Hotel Riu Ocho Rios – One Of The Best Hotels In Jamaica
If you are looking for an all-inclusive resort that gives you the city feel and offers little or no reason to venture beyond its gates, Hotel Riu Ocho Rios is what you have in mind.
Though it isn’t the most stylish resort, you’d find in the North Shore of Jamaica, its features: two large pools, a wide beach, and bars throughout the property make for a buzzing, party-centric feel. The all-inclusive rates of the resort include liquor dispensers and in-room minibars, and guests are treated to the excellent dining experience with the many restaurants that cater to the resort.
Hermosa Cove Villa Resort & Suites – Best All Inclusive Villas in Jamaica
Also known as Jamaica’s Villa Hotel, Hermosa Cove is a nine-room, four-pear resort with a homey and personal atmosphere.
From the artful wooden carvings that highlight the beauty of the property to the cooked meals made with locally sourced ingredients, guests there are sure to enjoy the feeling of home away from home.
Amenities in the resort include flat-screen TVs, private pools, and iPod docks. The environment is serene, perfect for travellers looking to relax and explore Jamaica.
Best Hotels in Ocho Rios Jamaica
Ocho Rios is home to some incredible hotels. Here are a few of my favourites.
Couples Tower Isle – One Of The Best Hotels In Jamaica For Couples
A former playground for A-list Hollywood acts and one of the first resorts on the island, the 19-acre property is a sophisticated luxury accommodation option. The public areas are contemporary styled, pools are great.
And other features such as a zen spa, diverse dining options, a yoga and spinning studio, upscale Caribbean venue, and an Asian-styled restaurant hovering over the waters, and an all-vegetarian café, makes for the mass appeal of Couples Tower Isle.
However, the most compelling part of the hotel’s offering is their all-inclusive rates which cover a wide range of services including airport transfers, catamaran cruises, golf green fees, glass-bottom boat rides, horseback riding, scuba diving, and even honeymoon packages. Couples Tower Isle is one of the best beach hotels in Jamaica as it has its own private beach.
Rooms On The Beaches Ocho Rios – Among Jamaica’s Best Hotels
Rooms Ocho Rios is ideal for families looking to enjoy a great vacation location rather than a luxurious room. Though its rooms are basic, they are clean and adorned with colourful décor.
There are also options for guests who are interested in eating exclusively on-site but are not required to book an all-inclusive meal package. Some of the highlight features of this accommodation option include the beachfront, a small swimming pool, a windowless fitness centre, and a small casino.
Click here for the latest rates | Hotels.com
These are just a few of the top hotels in Ocho Rios Jamaica.
Best Airbnb in Ocho Rios
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The Jewel of Ocho Rios Villa
This five-room villa is perfect for a family of up to 12 persons of a large group of friends looking to enjoy the ultimate getaway experience.
The villa highlights the beauty of Ocho Rios with its contemporary, intricate design that oozes an inviting aura. Some of its features include five first-rate bathrooms, a spacious master’s bedroom, and an en-suite bathroom with jet tub and shower for relaxation.
Moon Shadows at Fisherman’s Point
Moon Shadows offers guests a great view of the ocean and port from the balcony. Its features include a sofa bed, air conditioning system, queen-size bed, kids’ playground, and a convenient store.
If you are looking to go catch some fun at the beach, you can get your pass at the front desk. But if you need a relaxing time in the lodge, the poolside is always a great place.
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Studio19 At Mystic Ridge
Minimally designed yet contemporary-styled, this accommodation option in Mystic Ridge offers you an opportunity to relax and enjoy the little things in life like dipping in the pool and tanning your skin.
You get to enjoy features such as a flat screen TV, microwave, refrigerator, and receiving area. The rental also has recreational activities on offer including an outdoor swimming pool and a tennis court. My friend’s wife lived at Mystic Ridge for 4 months while living in Jamaica and really loved it.
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Top 5 Things To Do In Ocho Rios
As tempting as it may sound, lounging around the hotel pool all day isn’t the best use of your time in Ocho Rios. Here are some of my favourite attractions and activities.
Dunn’s River Falls
Three kilometres west of town, Dunn’s River Falls is Jamaica’s top tourist attraction — and one of the country’s treasures.
Depending on the time of your visit, you may find crowds at the waterfall as it is a trendy spot, but do not let this deter you.
With the help of a trained guide, you can climb up the waterfall and watch as the falls cascade 600-feet into the pool. If you are looking where to go in Jamaica, then Dunn’s River Falls should be at the top of your list. You are also read my guide on the
READ MORE | BEST THINGS TO DO IN JAMAICA
The Dolphin Cove
Perfect attraction spot for kids and adults alike, the Dolphin Cove offers tourists an excellent opportunity to swim with dolphins in their natural habitat, within a protected area. The area also has a Jungle Trail, beach, and you can enjoy the glass-bottom kayak ride.
The Blue Hole
In recent years, the Blue Hole has become the number one attraction spot in Jamaica. Though the drive to the Blue Hole is bumpy, it is worth the ride and is an incredible once in a lifetime experience.
The Blue Hole is home to many waterfalls, and with the help of a trained guide, you will know where the rocks are and where you can jump into the water.
Fern Gully spans across a three-mile stretch filled with an abundance of glorious hardwood trees and beautiful ferns. Before the 1907 earthquake, Fern Gully – a former riverbed, was one of the eight flowing rivers in the city. Following the earthquake, the river surprisingly vanished while the riverbed was remodelled into a road.
However, driving through the gully promises incredibly breathtaking views. The air is pure. The feel is amazing. Fern Gully is one of the best places to visit in Jamaica.
Konoko Falls is a natural retreat spot nestled in the hills of St. Ann where you can relax and enjoy the panoramic view of Ocho Rios. The historic area is home to a rainforest and feeding station.
WHERE TO STAY IN MONTEGO BAY
With Montego Bay being home to Jamaica’s largest airport and the islands most popular cruise ship port, Montego Bay will provide the first location many visitors will stop at when coming to Jamaica. It is also known as the tourist hub of Jamaica and where most first-time visitors to the island will stay.
In Montego Bay, you’ll find a wide range of resorts, excursions, bars, restaurants and duty-free shopping.
But, Montego Bay is more well known for having the best nightlife in Jamaica, compared to the other tourist areas in the country. So, if you’re looking for a place to dance until dawn on the beach or rave it up in the club along the ‘Hip Strip’ and then shop till you drop – Montego Bay is where you should stay in Jamaica.
Montego Bay is also a raucous spring-break party town for those looking to live it up during spring break.
The town also has both natural and man-made beaches along with some of the best golf courses in Jamaica.
Best Jamaica all inclusive resorts in Montego Bay
These all inclusive resorts will allow you to slip into stress-free comfort. Jamaican rum punch in hand.
Sandals Montego Bay – Among the Best All Inclusive Resorts in Jamaica for Couples
The Sandals resort is a great vacation option for couples looking to enjoy a luxurious, all-inclusive experience spiced with lots of on-site activities and dining options. The large and expansive property has a long private beach and lots of things to do to keep guests entertained throughout their stay.
Though the nearness of the resort to the airport can make the place noisy as planes go overhead, the restaurants, craft shows, shops, and many local attractions ensure there is a great deal in store for tourists. Sandals Montego Bay is one of Jamaica’s best all inclusive resorts.
Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall Adults Only – One of the top All Inclusive Hotels in Jamaica
Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall is a sophisticated and classy accommodation option for adults seeking solace from the hustle and bustle of the outside world.
Individuals, couples, and friends are welcome to enjoy the resort’s sprawling ground and partake in whatever they truly desire.
The hotel offers 234 spacious and stylish suites designed with a careful selection of modern materials to create a relaxing and elegant feel during your Caribbean getaway. Looking for that spot that lets you live without a care in the world? The Hyatt Zilara Rose Hall is right at the heart of Montego Bay.
Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay – Best All Inclusive Jamaican Resort for Adults Only
Secrets Wild Orchid is one of the luxurious adults-only all-inclusive resorts in Montego Bay Jamaica and is home to a wide range of inviting features, including five bars and eight restaurants.
Guests are also treated to a host of activities as there are water sports and a dive centre, a theatre, a spa, casino, and a shopping centre.
However, the resort shares literally all of these features with the neighbouring Secrets St. James, and some on-site freebies and the best amenities are only available to VIP guests who lodge in the resort’s “Premiere” area.
Royalton White Sands Resort – Great All Inclusive Resort in Jamaica for Couples
The 352-room Royalton White Sands Resort made its debut in 2013 is a modern all-inclusive relaxation spot in Trelawny, only 30 minutes away from Montego Bay. Each room comes with features such as comfortable pillow-top beds, private patios, and mini-fridges.
However, features such as restaurants, bars, two pools, and a water park make for an exciting time-out in this upscale resort.
These are just a few of Montego Bay all inclusive resorts.
READ MORE | BEST THINGS TO DO IN JAMAICA BY A JAMAICAN
Best Hotels in Montego Bay Jamaica
The following are some of the finest hotels in the city (if not the whole country).
Half Moon Jamaica – Arguably the Best Hotel In Jamaica
The concept behind the design of the Half Moon Country Club is one that gives hospitality a new and exciting meaning.
This is because the hotel allows you to plan a perfect day, whether you are looking for a day full of activities, family day, romance, or relaxation, there is something for everyone to enjoy. Other features here include rooms, villas, golfing, and assorted dining options.
Doctor’s Cave Beach Hotel – Among the Top Hotels in Jamaica for a Budget
You have probably heard about the Doctor’s Cave Beach and Bathing Club, but little is known about the hotel next to it.
The hotel offers the ultimate Jamaica experience as the country is almost nothing without its beaches. However, what is more compelling for tourists here is the impressive list of activities the hotel offers which includes water sports, yoga, massages, cultural/historical tours, mini-cruises, nature hikes, golfing, and horseback riding.
Best Airbnb In Montego Bay
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Nutmeg Villa is a classy accommodation option that offers guests incredible panoramic views of Montego Bay’s prestigious Spring Farm area.
The rental provides guests with 5 skilled staff which includes a housekeeper, chef, two pool maintenance men/gardeners, a laundress, and a butler.
Other amazing features on offer here include a private pool, 6 air-conditioned bedrooms with their bathroom, and full beach and golf membership for each guest. Vacationers in Nutmeg Villa can enjoy activities such as golfing, access to the gym and golfing.
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Penthouse By The Sea
The breezy and stylish penthouse complex offers guests incredible views of the Marine Park Lagoon balconies. Nestled in a secure gated community, the rental ensures the convenience of vacationers by providing a maid/cook.
The kitchen is well equipped, and the apartment is fully furnished with everything you need for comfort.
Features of the complex include a gym, tennis court, and multiple swimming pools. Besides these, you can still request for services like laundry, cooking, airport pickup, and supermarket run, and someone will attend to you for a fee.
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Rushbond Villa is in a gated and secure community in Montego Bay. Its central location and proximity to shopping centres, they have organised the newly opened park, the beaches, highway, airport, restaurants, jerk centre and locally prepared meals to give visitors a good treat upon their trip to Montego Bay.
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Top 5 Things To Do In Montego Bay
Looking to fill your days in Montego Bay? These sights and activities are sure to keep you busy and smiling.
Croydon Plantation Tour
Croydon is located around the base of the Catadupa Mountains and offers guests a chance to enjoy fantastic views of Jamaica’s homegrown produce.
As you enjoy the mountain and countryside views, they will invite you to taste coffee, sugar cane, and citrus fruits, and you can learn the secrets the farmers employed in cultivating these products
Martha Brae River Rafting
The Martha Brae River is a gem, and while it is located in Trelawny, 30 minutes away from Montego Bay, the journey is well worth it.
With the aid of handcrafted bamboo raft and guided by experienced raft captains, you will sail three miles across the river. Tourists are usually entertained with a complimentary fruit drink as they sail through and explore nature at its breathtaking best!
Rocklands Bird Sanctuary
Rocklands Bird Sanctuary redefines what bird watching means. You probably think bird watching is a test of patience where you get to wait for the birds, but this is quite the opposite, as the birds are waiting in anticipation of your arrival.
Once you receive the bottle of sugar water for the feeding of the birds, it is only a matter of time before they say help. Bird watching at Rocklands Bird Sanctuary promises a great experience for lovers of the serenity and beauty of nature.
Rose Hall Great House
Are you a fan of good ghost stories? Then Rose Hall is an absolute must-visit. The story of Annie Palmer, the White Witch of Rose Hall, is immortalised in the great house today and will make for an interesting experience.
Beyond the supernatural, Rose Hall also has two golf courses, the White Witch, and Cinnamon Hill. Depending on your preferences, you can enjoy the lush botanical feel at White Witch or the ocean view at the Cinnamon Hill.
Ras Natango Gallery And Garden
Ras Natango is an art gallery where local artists are privileged to create art from the natural environment.
Besides allowing Jamaica’s talented artists to display their creativity, Ras Natango also helps to cultivate and develop talents by offering art classes where students can learn different subjects that help to discover their inner creative self.
But the Ras Natango Gallery is especially appealing to tourists as there is a garden tour, offering visitors an opportunity to explore the sheer natural beauty in the environment.
READ MORE | BEST THINGS TO DO IN OCHO RIOS
WHERE TO STAY IN NEGRIL
If you’re visiting Jamaica for the first time, then staying in Negril should be high on your list of places to stay in Jamaica.
Negril has a much more relaxed beach vibe to it — if you are a beach bum or water baby you’ll be right at home exploring the white sands on the beachfront or partaking in activities like scuba diving and snorkelling in the turquoise waters of Negril.
Negril is home to Jamaica’s Seven Mile Beach, Bourbon Beach, Bloody Bay Beach (some of the best beaches in Jamaica), and if that’s not enough to peak your interest – Negril is also the home of the famous Rick’s Cafe where you can go cliff diving and then take in the best sunset in Jamaica.
Best All-Inclusive Resorts in Negril Jamaica
These all inclusive Jamaican resorts are the cream of the crop when it comes to accommodation in Negril.
Hideaway At Royalton Negril – Luxury All Inclusive Hotel In Jamaica
A great adults-only hideaway, this resort is a great place to cool off. The Hideaway is one of the best all inclusive in Jamaica.
You can pamper yourself in the afternoon at the full-service spa or relax in one of the two outdoor swimming pools.
Dining is also available in one of the nine restaurants in the property and guests can unwind with a drink at one of the nine on-site bars/lounges, the beach bar, or the poolside bar.
Wired and wireless internet access is also available as a complimentary service. What’s more, the resort is filled with activities and guests are welcome to enjoy amenities like an outdoor tennis court and a health club.
Grand Lido Negril Au Naturel Resort – Among Jamaica’s Best All Inclusive Resorts
Grand Lido Negril Au Naturel Resort is a Negril all-inclusive resort in an all-inclusive property. The room rates include beverages and meals at the on-site bars and restaurants. Guests may also have access to entertainment and recreational activities with these rates.
However, additional charges may apply for meals at some restaurants, certain beverages, unique dishes and dinners, and other services.
The resort is a great place to unwind and pamper yourself with the amenities and services on offer, with the spa, bars/lounges, garden and terrace, and wireless internet access, making up the complete relaxation package for tourists in Negril.
Fun Holiday Beach Resort – One of the Coolest Jamaica Resorts for Activities
Fun Holiday Beach Resort is a great place to relax and work on your tan with amenities like sun loungers and umbrellas. Summertime is fun here with activities like motorboating, kayaking, and snorkelling.
The resort offers all-inclusive rates for on-site beverages and meals, and these rates may also cover taxes and gratuities.
There is also an outdoor pool, terrace, and swim-up bar on-site where visitors can unwind with a drink. While all-inclusive rates apply for some services, however, additional charges may apply for certain meals, dishes, and special dinners.
READ MORE | IS JAMAICA SAFE TO TRAVEL
Best Hotels in Negril Jamaica
Looking for luxury? How about an authentic local hotel or a boutique gem? Here are my top hotel picks for Negril.
The Caves Hotel Jamaica – Boutique Hotel in Jamaica
With its spectacular cliff-side setting and upscale boutique vibe, The Caves are regarded as a statement accommodation option and one of the most romantic escapes in Jamaica. The 11 private suites and cottages unfold alongside the seaside cliffs and garden paths down into the incredibly looking grottos and a body of water.
The hotel has a grotto bar, cliff-top bar, and private candlelit cave dining for guests, and the cuisine here is prepared from local ingredients.
Also, the dining scene is laid-back and bohemian, suitable for tourists who appreciate artful décor and outdoor showers. Though this luxury doesn’t come cheap, it is worth every penny you spend. The Caves is one of the best places to stay in Jamaica.
Couples Negril – Gorgeous Luxury Hotel in Jamaica
Couples Negril is a 234-room large spaced, all-inclusive property sitting on a gorgeous beach stretch outside the main action of the city.
The hotel has a wide range of amenities and services on offer including room-delivered breakfasts, catamaran cruises, and top shelf liquor. The rooms are sophisticated with sleek bathrooms, coffeemakers, iPod docks, daily restocked minibars, and rainfall showers.
There are also five bars and restaurants which include a swim-up bar, a buffet eatery, and an Asian spot. However, food services here receive mixed feedback and reviews, but other facilities like daily low-key entertainment, spa, fitness centre, and wedding services, makes the investment worth it. Overall, Couples Negril is an excellent pick for those looking to relax and explore the best of the Island.
Firefly Beach Cottages – An Authentic Local Stay
Firefly Beach Cottages, a 22-unit beach hotel, is a symbol of Jamaica’s authenticity. With a friendly local staff, action-packed beachfront setting, and colourful, flower-filled grounds, the hotel is a great getaway spot for your vacation.
Though features like a spa, pool, modern fitness centre and other luxuries like TVs and air-conditioning systems are absent, Firefly Beach Cottages is good value for the money.
Best Airbnb In Negril
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Ever wondered how it would feel to live like a royal? Patoo Castle gives you a chance. Designed like an actual castle, they have renovated this accommodation to meet the modern standard and features a vast and luxurious interior, typical of a castle.
The rooms are clean white and crisp, with vivid flowers and teal cushions that add spice to each room, and all the rooms offer guests a fantastic view of the entire Seven Mile Beach. The proximity of Patoo Castle to the beach means guests can easily go scuba diving and snorkelling.
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Villa Sweet J
Villa Sweet J is a pastel yellow lodge located right on the beach. From here you can take part in different activities like water sports and visit the bars and beach restaurants with ease.
Only a short cab ride away from the centre of the town, the villa is a vast property that can take up to eight people per night. Its interior is bold and colourful as almost every room in the villa has a different dominant colour ranging from scarlet to teal and brick red.
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Studio Condo Negril 7 Mile Beach
I can describe studio Condo Negril 7, a lodge on the Seven Mile Beach as a well-kept secret. Sitting in a quiet, gated, and secure neighbourhood, it offers guests a great way to unwind and interact with nature.
There is a miniature jungle right behind the apartment that is home to a wide variety of fruit trees and lush plants.
If you are hungry or just craving for fresh avocado or mango as you relax on the deck, you can easily reach for one from the garden. With amenities and services like air-conditioning systems, on-site maid, exercise equipment, and wireless internet, you have literally all you need for comfort.
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Top 5 Things To Do In Negril
With a literal ocean-full of activities, you won’t find yourself bored in Negril.
Seven Mile Beach
One of Jamaica’s gorgeous beaches, Seven Mile Beach, a four-mile-long body of water, is a great attraction where you can relax and unwind.
You may stay in one of the many hotels or resorts built on the beach, but even if you don’t, ensure you make the most of your visit here by engaging in water sports like parasailing and windsurfing.
Deep Sea Fishing
Jamaica, an island in the Caribbean Sea, is a bounty of waters — and Stanley’s Deep Sea Fishing is one of the best charters in the city. With different packages to choose from, you can be sure you’d get something great on your trip.
As you explore the deep sea, you will probably find marine animals like sea turtles, dolphins, and sharks, and you can even test your luck by catching a blue marlin, tuna, wahoo, and mahi-mahi.
If you are looking to enjoy a more immersed feel in the sea, a snorkelling tour or scuba diving will be just perfect for you. Though you would find the basic snorkelling equipment, a complete dive charter should include Marine Life Divers, Sun-divers, and Dream Team Divers.
The serene, crystal clear waters in this part of Jamaica makes for excellent diversity in the ecosystem, and the knowledge of the guides and divers here will ensure you are safe throughout your experience.
Roaring River Park And Cave
Though this park which sits on the mountainous region of Petersfield is off the beaten path, the trek promises to be worth it.
Once an estate and sugar plantation in the 1770s, the park has a unique history. Colonel Peter Beckford, the governor of Jamaica, found and owned the park in 1702.
The highlight of your visit here will be to see the limestone cave through which the Roaring River flows. The eerie natural pools and incredible rock formations add to the appeal and mystery of this attraction.
Kool Runnings Adventure Park
Kool Runnings Adventure Park is a relatively new attraction in Negril and is home to a wide range of activities perfect for a family time-out.
The adventure zone features paintball, bungee trampoline, and go-kart racing while the water section has several swimming pools and water slides. The adventure park also has gift shops, cafes, and restaurants throughout where you can shop for Jamaican-themed souvenirs and relax after a long day.
WHERE TO STAY IN PORT ANTONIO, JAMAICA
Port Antonio in the northeastern coast of Jamaica and is one of the lesser-known tourist destinations by the masses, but not so for the rich and famous who visit the island’s hideaway town for its gorgeous Georgian architecture, secluded beaches and friendly locals.
Port Antonio is a great place to stay in Jamaica if you’re looking for an interesting, historical and stylish spot, then this is the town for you.
Port Antonio Jamaica Hotels
From jungle views and on-site spas to amazing restaurants and budget prices, the hotels of Port Antonio have a lot to offer.
Perched in the jungle’s thick foliage, Geejam is a great luxury option for holidaymakers looking to enjoy comfort and privacy.
Most tourists take advantage of the in-room dining options, taking all three daily meals on their private terrace rather than at the communal bush bar. Because of its private and quiet atmosphere, Geejam is a go-to retreat spot for couples.
However, children are also welcome as families can stay in the three-bedroom Sandwood villa or one of the private homes in the resort.
Rooms are equipped with free guest cellphones (to reach out to staff), Apple TVs, pre-loaded iPods. Amenities here include a small fitness centre, outdoor pools, and an on-site recording studio which can be used if it is privately booked.
Hotel Mocking Bird Hill
An elegant, eco-friendly hilltop hotel. Rooms feature muslin-draped four posters & bamboo furniture but no phones or TVs. Outdoor pool, spa treatments and rooftop canopy. The hotel also serves some of the best food on the island at its ocean-facing restaurant. Chilled and charming — perfect for a total escape.
Hotel Jamaican Colors
If a secluded, countryside relaxation spot is your ideal, Hotel Jamaican Colors should be at the top of your bucket list. Nestled in the rural eastern coast of Jamaica, the serene atmosphere of the property appeals to tourists looking to disconnect and relax, plus the cottages ooze charm that feels authentically Caribbean.
Amenities at Hotel Jamaican Colors include a small pool and hammock lounge area, free Wi-Fi in the restaurant, and a laid back bar.
Perfect accommodation option for budget travellers, Germaican Hostel, is a two-pearl property perched in the hills above Port Antonio. The private rooms and shared dormitories are spotlessly clean, and services here include free daily breakfast, Wi-Fi, and free rides up and down the hill a few times daily.
Most of the guests are German so non-German speakers may feel a little out of place. Also, if you do not smoke weed or you don’t like its smell, it would be wise to steer clear.
Top 5 Things To Do In Port Antonio
There are plenty of sights, attractions and adventures on offer in Port Antonio. All you have to do is choose. Here are my favourites.
Your visit to Port Antonio cannot be complete without rafting down the Rio. The river is not only calm and peaceful, but you’ll get to enjoy coconuts as you listen to the local rafter tales.
The serene atmosphere at Frenchman’s Cove is a major compelling factor for intending visitors. In fact, most tourists return a second and third time, and this is hardly surprising as they come to enjoy the exotic feel that oozes through as the beautiful turquoise lagoon meets the sea.
Boston Bay Beach
There are many reasons to love Boston Bay Beach. Your time here promises lots of fun as the locals will teach you how to surf. There are also lots of water sports activities here, more than many other Jamaican beaches.
The insanely blue waters of the Blue Lagoon is everything. The waters are so blue that they shot the Blue Lagoon movie at this location. But that’s not all. Not only is the water incredible to see, they feel even better when you jump in.
The top of the water is warm from the sun while underneath feels like spring water, giving you a blend of warm, refreshing, and incredible feeling.
Titchfield Peninsula Hotels
Also known as ‘the Hill’, the hilly Titchfield Peninsula is home to a wide range of Victorian-style gingerbread houses, most notably the DeMontevin Lodge, a lavish mansion which is now a hotel.
A trip further north at the tip of the peninsula, guests will be shown the ruins of Fort George, dating back to 1729.
Jamaica Travel Guide and Useful Tips
Now that I’ve explored the best places to stay in Jamaica, I want to offer some other useful tips and information. Hopefully the following travel guide will prove helpful for planning your stay.
Top 3 Adults only resorts in Jamaica
While children are great and all, sometimes we just want to escape to somewhere they can’t go. These adults-only resorts offer just that. Enjoy the tranquillity.
Hedonism II – Jamaica All Inclusive Resort – Adults Only
Designed to cater to the needs of adventurous couples looking to add spice to their vacation experience, Hedonism II is a nudist resort carefully located in a quiet, private section of the Seven Mile Beach in Negril.
Entertainment is not in short supply here, and guests are also treated to a wide range of activities, encouraging them to indulge themselves and explore their wild side.
The resort has a “nude” and “prude” section designed to accommodate different levels of comfort and amenities here including whirlpools, water slide, and the nude beach.
The Caves – All Inclusive Resort – Adults Only
Arguably the most romantic adults-only escape in Jamaica, The Caves comprises 12 unique suites, and private cottages tucked away in the dramatic seaside cliffs and lush garden paths of the property.
The goal here is to provide guests with high quality, locally prepared cuisines and intimate service to ensure their stay in Jamaica is all shades of amazing.
Sandals South Coast – Laid Back Atmosphere
In Westmoreland Parish, this laid-back all-inclusive resort is a secluded option for guests looking to enjoy their vacation in a less crowded area. The resort features European architecture and is spread over a two-mile stretch of the beach. Spacious and inviting, the 500-acre space is compelling as it is a quiet and private place.
Best Beaches In Jamaica
Jamaica is renowned the world over for its dazzling beaches. Here are the best of the bunch.
Doctor’s Cave Beach
The tranquil nature of this beach is a tranquil water body with a nearly perfect year-round climate of about 8o degrees. Since there is a ban on radios and vendors in the area, the atmosphere is always quiet, and visitors can enjoy the crashing waves of the waters instead of reggae music — this purist beach vibe appeals to many vacationers.
The facilities here are modern, and the beach is crystal clear. Doctor’s Cave Beach is a destination for everyone — whether you are looking to take part in activities like kayaking, snorkelling, or glass-bottom boat ride, or just take a nap in a chair, you can explore the rich marine life here to the fullest.
Seven Mile Beach
The seven-mile-long beach is a popular spot of attraction and relaxation in Negril. You explore the gorgeousness of the beach by getting sailboat and kayak rentals for the day.
Though the beach is often crowded with water sports enthusiasts, swimmers, and sunbathers, the trip to the Seven Mile Beach is well worth it.
Calabash Bay Beach
Calabash Bay Beach is in the Treasure Beach area of St. Elizabeth. Stretching over 1300 feet, the beach is home to several structures including hotels, restaurants, bars, private villas, equipment storage shed, and a fisheries office.
The beach has a gently sloping gradient, and its natural sediment is made up of medium dark brown sands. Activities here include walking, wading, swimming, and sunbathing.
The Frenchman’s Cove has made appearances in notable movies like Club Paradise for a reason: it is a tropical paradise. In Port Antonio, the lagoon-style beach used to be a go-to retreat spot for Hollywood’s elite. Its allure is the exotic feel it oozes as the quiet stream flows into the turquoise ocean.
The environment here is even more serene than what is obtainable in other beach locations in Jamaica, which is why it remains popular with those who know it.
Boston Bay Beach
Jamaica’s eastern shores experience large waves — a major reason the Boston Bay Beach is the number destination for surfers.
The beach is located near Port Antonio which is known as the place for the origin of the famous Jamaican jerk food. In addition to the perfect surf and blue waters, guests will find some of the best food stands for lunch upon their visit.
Mammee Bay Beach
Though Mammee Bay Beach is half-public and half-private, it is so stunning that your visit to Jamaica will not be complete without getting to this beach.
You can set up camp at the Bamboo Blu beachfront restaurant where you can relax on a daybed sipping Cool Runnings and feasting on some grilled lobster. The water conditions are perfect for windsurfing and any water sports that come to mind.
With gin-clear, turquoise waters and sands so fine, it is hardly surprising that Silver Sands makes the list. Activities are not in short supply here as there is a nearby eatery where guests can treat themselves to locally prepared Jamaican foods before or after they go swimming or snorkelling.
Cornwall Beach is a walking distance away from Doctor’s Cave, but the catch here is that it always has far less crowd and is a great place to go for a swim.
It’s surprising more tourists don’t visit this place since the USD 5 entrance fee is the same. Sunday afternoon parties at Cornwall Beach feature a “bottomless” Appleton Rum mug option you could consider.
For the best beaches in Ocho Rios read this post.
Best Places To Eat In Jamaica
Jamaica’s cuisine is colourful, spicy, multicultural, and full of flavour. Here’s where you can find it at it’s best.
Scotchies Jerk Centre
A trip to Jamaica will be incomplete if you’ve not had jerk chicken, and Scotchies Jerk Center is the best place to get authentic jerk.
Do not be discouraged if you meet a 20-feet long line waiting for the jerk food; the wait is worth it. Scotchies Jerk Center is one of the best places where you get a feel of history as you enjoy your spicy meal.
The preparation method which involves smoking meat on the logs of Jamaican allspice trees has its roots in the indigenous communities who were the original inhabitants of the island about 500 years ago. Over the years, the jerk has evolved to reflect the love the locals have for spicy, flavoured food.
Miss T’s Kitchen
Miss T’s Kitchen is a casual-style restaurant designed to give diners the sense of pride locals enjoy in the country.
The tropical setting provides the ideal background for guests to enjoy the grilled lobster, honey-fried chicken, or curried goat. The restaurant also caters to the needs of vegetarians and vegans with menu offerings that never substitute meat with flavour.
Ultimate Jerk Centre
If there is one thing Jamaica and its people are known for, it is the special jerk seasoning they offer — and the Ultimate Jerk Center offers vacationers an opportunity to enjoy quality jerk meat on the island.
The restaurant specialises in Boston style jerk and offers Jamaican classics such as curry goat and brown stew chicken besides the jerk chicken and pork. The rainbow fence surrounding the Ultimate Jerk Center sets the tone for welcoming and friendly eatery.
Ocho Rios Jerk Centre
The liveliest jerk joint in town, Ocho Rios Jerk Center is an excellent place for barbecue ribs, chicken and conch.
The restaurant offers daily specials, the highlight of this being the goat-head soup and curry goat. Grab a drink, Red Stripe maybe, and enjoy sports on the big screen TV as you wait for your food. If you stop by on a Friday night, the DJs will be available to keep you entertained.
Dave’s Lobster Shack
Dave’s Lobster Shack is the ideal relaxation joint for many tourists who have climbed to the top of Dunn’s River Falls.
Sitting carefully at the Fisherman’s Point in Ocho Rios, the restaurant offers a menu perfect for vacationers looking to unwind after a day of adventure. The menu here includes icy cold water, soft drinks, Red Stripe beer, and there is also lobster spiced with vegetable mélange cooked inside a foil.
The extensive menu list at this restaurant is made up of local dishes and a range of seafood offerings.
Some of the main courses at Sharkies include jerk chicken, shrimp pasta, pepper shrimp, shrimp in beer batter, grilled lobster, seafood platter, curry fish, and much more. They also entertain guests on Saturdays with live music performances from popular arts like Salem and Runaway.
Usain Bolt’s Tracks And Records
The Usain Bolt’s Tracks and Records is one of the best restaurants for flavoured food offerings. Each track and record at the restaurant takes guests through a journey where they get to enjoy a blend of the old-school reggae culture with a contemporary dining experience.
Fresh local ingredients are sourced for and used for the foods in the restaurant, giving guests the ultimate Jamaican cuisine experience.
Devon House Mansion Ice Cream
Devon House was the home of Jamaica’s first black millionaire and is now a protected heritage site where guests are welcome to learn about the history of the 17th-century mansion.
After the approximately 30-minute tour of the historic house, the next stop is a visit to the Devon House Mansion Ice Cream shop on the property. Your tour ticket allows you a single complimentary scoop of ice cream with any flavour of your choice.
Juici Patties – Jamaican Patty
The Jamaican patty is one of the most popular Jamaican foods in the country — and Juici patties are the crème de la crème of Jamaican patties. From beef patties to cheese patties and “healthier” food varieties, Juici Patties is your authentic Jamaican patties spot — the best in the city.
Best Time To Visit Jamaica
There is truly no wrong time of the year to visit the island as the temperatures hover around 15 to 22 °C in the Blue Mountains and 25 to 30 °C in the coastal areas.
However, you will want to know when the hurricane and rainy seasons are in Jamaica and try to plan your holiday around these times if you can avoid them to get the best possible experience on the island.
Weather In Jamaica
Jamaica has a tropical climate with constant warm to hot temperature all year round, especially during the summer months (June to September).
Because of the country’s varied topography, the weather patterns are relatively inconsistent, with some parishes enjoying cooler weather temperatures, diverse rainfall levels, or high humidity.
The weather mainly depends on the current season and how elevated the location in question is – Mandeville, for instance, is cool, and it rains more frequently there, while you’ll find that Kingston is hot and in most cases, dry. Because of climate change rainfall is increasing throughout Jamaica.
When Is The Rainy Season In Jamaica?
The rainy season in Jamaica runs from June through to November, peaking in October and November with most of the rain falls in northeastern parts of Jamaica.
If it rains in the part of the island you are visiting, it’ll be light showers lasting only about 30 minutes an hour in the afternoon. The rainy season isn’t that bad most of the time as the rain can be a welcome relief from the heat that can build up during the days.
When Is The Hurricane Season In Jamaica?
The Caribbean is well known for being hit by hurricanes with hurricane season in Jamaica starting from 01 June to 30 November, with August and September the peak months. It is always good to check during these months for any weather warming in the Caribbean and ensure you have your travel insurance up to date if you plan on travelling to Jamaica during this period.
The summer months of June and September can be sweltering in Jamaica with daytime temperatures are 32°C. The island usually gets eight to nine hours of sunshine per day, daytime temperatures are 32°C.
Peak vacation months in Jamaica are usually between December and April. However, the prices for flights and hotels come at a premium during this period.
So if you are looking to get the best out of your trip and still save a few pounds, November to mid-December is the best time to visit Jamaica. However, Jamaica is excellent for a beach holiday all year-round.
Cost Of Accommodation In Jamaica
The cost of accommodation in Jamaica largely depends on your preferences and budget as there is a place for every price range. Mid-range/luxury apartments could cost anywhere from £900 — £3,000 per night, while budget apartments could cost anywhere from a little less than £50 — £300 per night.
Cost Of Transportation In Jamaica
As a tourist, you will need transport or a vehicle to get yourself around the island. You can easily rent a car (but read my post on is Jamaica safe before you do this) or hire a driver (the easiest and most stress-free option). You can also take a route taxi like a local.
Route taxis are the primary mode of transportation for most Jamaicans whether they are travelling in large towns or moving around the country.
A route taxi is a car with a driver who is licensed to drive through specific areas or routes within towns. Though the prices are reasonable, the charge will depend on your destination.
Public transport is affordable as you can get route taxis within the country’s large towns for $100 (Jamaican Dollars).
Taxis and public distance buses are also available at fair prices as you can get an hour-long trip for $250 (Jamaican Dollars).
There are also reasonably priced coaster buses and minivans that connect larger towns, and they are often filled with as many people that can fit in. The Jamaican Urban Transit Company (JUTC) provides large buses that take people through major areas like Montego Bay, Kingston, and Spanish Town.
Make sure that any taxis you take are licensed taxis to be safe.
I hope this travel guide and breakdown of Jamaica’s best areas helps you plan your trip to this wonderful country.
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