With its unique culture, diverse landscape and vibrant cities, Jamaica holidays are in a class of their own. As one of the world’s most sought after exotic destinations, Jamaica’s wealth of white sandy beaches and clear blue waters are sure to fulfil your fantasies of paradise. Coupled with a fantastic choice of luxury hotels, all inclusive Jamaica holidays, a laid-back lifestyle and lively spirit, it won’t be too long before you fall in love with this Caribbean delight. One thing’s for sure, whether you’re soaking up sunshine at the beach, delving into its glimmering blue waters or taking advantage of the numerous things to do on the island; holidays to Jamaica will linger in your memory long after your tan has faded.
At a glance
- Language: English
- Time Zone: GMT +-5
- Average flight time: 10h 5m
When to go
(°C) Avg. High Temp
Dig a little deeper on your holidays in Jamaica and you’ll uncover a fascinating past and culture heritage that sets it apart from other destinations. With its own unique rhythm, Kingston has been described as the beating heart of the country, brimming with attractions, including the famed Liberty Hall and Emancipation Square. Getting to know the city is important on your island getaway – from wandering its charming streets and sampling the local dishes to browsing the fascinating Bob Marley Museum.
If it’s a laid-back beach vibe you’re looking for, there is nowhere more suited to your tastes than Montego Bay. A hub of reggae-infused culture and rum in the sunshine, the lazy lagoons and blissed-out beaches of this region are suitably enticing, giving sun-seekers the opportunity to laze on sugar-white sands.
An island getaway isn’t just an opportunity to take part in action-packed activities – holidays to Jamaica also offer the chance to catch a glimpse of some of the most stunning natural beauty spots in the world. Home to glorious valleys, the breath-taking Blue Mountains and the impressive Dunn’s River falls, this island is a photographer’s dream, landing you in your very own paradise.
Wine and Dine
The unique cuisine is among the most relished of Jamaica’s attractions, and is one of the most distinctive in the world. The most famous dish is, of course, jerk chicken, which is marinated in a hot sauce and smoked over an outdoor fire. You can find it everywhere, but for the very best you must head to Kingston, the hub of the island’s food scene. Here you can sample such local delights as ackee and saltfish, curry goat, stew fish, breadfruit and sweet potatoes, along with countless other dishes. You’ll never go thirsty in Jamaica – try a glass of ice-cold fruit cocktail, a cup of world-famous Blue Mountain coffee, or a drop of the best rum in the Caribbean.
Jamaica’s attractions provide a perfect escape for families and couples alike. The all-year-round sunshine continues to draw families in high and low season, and there are always plenty of activities to keep you occupied. The beach resorts of Negril and Port Antonio are well-developed and packed with great hotels, bars and restaurants – not to mention miles of golden sands. Visitors can snorkel with dolphins and dive for exotic fish, or simply while away the hours in a deckchair. Kids will love the tales of swashbuckling pirates that landed in Jamaica centuries ago, with names such as Bloody Bay and Treasure Beach sure to set their imaginations racing.
Action and Adventure
Indulge your sense of adventure in the surroundings of Ocho Rios, while elsewhere, you’ll find plenty of adrenaline-fuelled activities – from horse-riding in the sea to zip-lining through forests. If your idea of an escape is to lay back with a good book as you dip your toes into the sand, there’s plenty of that to be found too. Runaway Bay exudes luxury, with even its name suggesting something exclusive. A tiny resort on the north coast, the beaches are some of the quietest on the island, while those that have packed their golf clubs can practice their swing on one of the island’s best golf courses.
If you love the outdoors, then you’ll find plenty of things to do in Jamaica. Try snorkelling or scuba-diving in one of the island’s gorgeous blue bays, exploring coral reefs and coming face-to-face with exotic sea creatures. If you’re into hiking, there’s a wide range of trails which criss-cross the island, with the epic trail to the Blue Mountain Peak being the most revered in the country. You can take a raft down the Great River in the north-west of Jamaica, where Errol Flynn used to sail along on his bamboo craft. If this still doesn’t satisfy your urge for the adventurous outdoors, try a spot of caving in one of the island’s many limestone caverns.
Life's a Beach
Is there a better destination in the world for a beach holiday than Jamaica? The Beaches Negril Resort and Spa on the island’s western tip provides a fantastic resort as your basecamp for diving, swimming, riding, and general beach fun. If you’re on an adults-only holiday, the Spa Retreat Boutique Hotel could be the place for you, with its spectacular coastal walks, historic Negril Lighthouse, and Kool Runnings Waterpark situated nearby. Swinging round to the northern shores of Jamaica, there’s beaches and resorts to suit all tastes and fancies – swoon over to the James Bond Beach on a perfect peninsula setting and follow in the footsteps of the beach’s namesake with some water skiing, jet skis or diving. Moxons Beach Club is an altogether more tranquil experience with cliff views over the ocean, beautiful ambience and stunning beaches within easy reach. Further towards Jamaica’s eastern side, your holiday can also include the natural beauty of Boston Beach and its quintessentially Caribbean coves. You’ll love Jamaica’s beaches, and your holiday will be truly amazing.
Jamaican holidays and nightlife are wedded together like Bob Marley to reggae. Kingston is the beating heart of the island’s nightlife scene, and is a unique chance to sample reggae in its spiritual home. Be sure that your holiday takes in the all-night vibes of the Fiction Lounge, the Palais Royale Nightclub, and The Deck for a fantastic taste of cocktails and local treats. The Ribbiz UltraLounge is a great spot to socialise as a group, enjoy the beats, and feast on local dishes such as curried goat pasta. If you’re in the mood for sport, head over to the Triple Century Sports Bar & Grill for live screenings, racks of ribs, local beers and a pulsating atmosphere. If you’ve enjoyed those fantastic venues until late into the night, you can unwind a little at The Liguanea Club for rest, relaxation and tranquil surroundings. Outside of Kingston, Jamaica also boasts the natural beauty of Montego Bay and its plentiful social spots including the Natural Mystic or Alfred’s Ocean Palace bars right on the beach, and the stunning sunsets and views from Rick’s Bar. This is just a small sample of nightlife attractions a Jamaican holiday conjures up for you – and this is just the tip of the iceberg (or ice cube).
A holiday in Jamaica is a very simply a delight for couples. The “land of wood and water” in its idyllic Caribbean setting combines stunning natural beauty, vast history and culture, and ample supplies of adventure and adrenaline if that is your tonic. Jamaica is a holiday that can include the rare treats of rainforests, reefs, beaches and mountains, and the scores of different species of wildlife that call them home. Plentiful historical treasures, museums and sights are to be found in and around the spectacular Montego Bay and its British colonial architectural styles, while the western coastal town of Negril offers up walks along Seven Mile Beach, lagoons and reefs that seemingly only exist in the movies. For an even closer look you can snorkel or even scuba dive the reefs, before retreating to a beach bar for a long drink or local rum. Back in Kingston, Jamaica’s capital, your holiday will be completed with a stop at the Bob Marley Museum, a fitting and unique tribute to the famed reggae musician. Couples will be inspired by a Jamaican holiday.
There’s plenty of cultural things to do in Jamaica. In Kingston, pay your respects to Jamaica’s most famous son by visiting the Bob Marley Museum, set in the singer’s old house and studio. Painted in the Rastafarian colours of green, red and gold, the museum is the city’s most visited and talked-about site. Another famous ex-resident of the island, Noel Coward, owned a colonial-era estate overlooking Maria Bay, and you can visit his opulent villa where he entertained a number of famous guests. Many visitors to Kingston spend a few hours in the National Gallery of Jamaica, which houses a huge collection of Jamaican art from across the ages.
As the home of Reggae, there’s no better place to let your dreads down and party than in Jamaica. Reggae Sumfest, a Reggae music festival, is the biggest of its kind in the world – it takes place in Montego Bay each July, and there’s no better time to soak up the throbbing bass sounds and African-inspired drums of Reggae. Jamaica’s attractions include quieter events such as the Calabash International Literary festival, which draws writers, poets and performers from across Jamaica and beyond each May. The biggest national party is on August 6, when Jamaica celebrates its independence with fireworks, music and speeches.