Destination Spotlight: Jamaica

Dreaming of pristine beaches, sparkling seas and breathtaking waterfalls? Then you’ll love Jamaica! This tropical hotspot offers travellers the perfect blend of relaxation and exploration, where you can spend the morning soaking up the sun by the beach before heading out on a hike through the jungle to a hidden waterfall in the afternoon.

With so many beautiful destinations across the island, it can be hard to narrow down which Jamaican vacation is best for you. To help you start planning your dream getaway, we put together a Jamaica travel guide with the best destinations, excursions and resorts for your travel style.

Woman standing in front of a Bob Marley mural
Embrace the island culture in Montego Bay

Known as the birthplace of reggae, Jamaica is home to a vibrant culture – and there’s no better place to soak in the island vibes than in Montego Bay. Listen to live reggae music, sample authentic Jamaican cuisine like famous jerk chicken and tour the Montego Bay Cultural Centre to learn all about the island’s history and culture.

What to do: Bob Marley is, without a doubt, one of Jamaica’s most famous figures. You can learn all about his life and legacy on a tour of Nine Mile, the village where he was born, raised and eventually laid to rest. You’ll learn all about his impact on Jamaican culture before enjoying an authentic lunch.

Where to stay: Royalton Blue Waters is a perfect resort for families, with an on-site water park and a gorgeous stretch of beach featuring a jerk chicken hut to satisfy your hunger as you relax in the sun! Looking for an adults only option? The popular Riu Montego Bay recently reopened as an adults only resort with a host of entertainment options and a beach party area with a DJ.

Aerial view of a golf course overlooking the ocean
Tee off on world-class golf courses in Runaway Bay

There are ten championship-worthy golf courses across the island of Jamaica, making it a popular destination for golf lovers. Runaway Bay is home to one of the island’s most famous courses, Runaway Bay Golf Club. The par-72 course features rolling greens and picturesque ocean views from most of its 18 holes.

What to do: Head out for the day and explore the island’s other popular courses like Cinnamon Hill Golf Club, Half Moon Golf Club, Negril Hills Golf Club and more.

Where to stay: The adults only Jewel Paradise Cove Beach Resort and Spa is the perfect place to unwind after a day of hitting the links. Unwind with a yoga class in the resort’s serene gardens or indulge in one of the treatment packages at the state-of-the-art spa.

Aerial view of a resort on a long stretch of beach
Plan the ultimate beach retreat in Negril

Does your dream vacation include soaking up the sun on a beautiful beach? Then you’ll love Negril! Located on the island’s west coast, Negril is famous for its pristine white-sand beaches and calm waters. Grab your favourite book, some sunscreen and a beach towel and spend sunny days lounging by one of Negril’s famous beaches like Seven Mile Beach, Booby Cay and Bloody Bay Beach.

What to do: Set sail along the Jamaican coast to admire the beautiful shoreline on the Cool Runnings Cruise! Admire some of the island’s most beautiful beaches from the deck of a luxury catamaran before stopping at the famous Dunn’s River Falls.

Where to stay: Plan the ultimate romantic beach getaway at Hideaway at Royalton Negril, where you can dine on fresh seafood overlooking the ocean at Dorado. Travelling with kids? The beach at the newly-renovated Riu Palace Tropical Bay is perfect for building sandcastles!

People sitting by a waterfall surrounded by trees
Discover Jamaica’s lush landscapes in Ocho Rios

From rushing waterfalls to lush jungles and winding rivers, Ocho Rios is home to some of Jamaica’s most picturesque landscapes. Hike along scenic jungle trails to the breathtaking hidden waterfall of Blue Hole, where you can swim in the falls’ serene pool. Or, ride a chairlift to the summit of Mystic Mountain to take in the best views of the island’s natural beauty!

What to do: No vacation to Jamaica is complete without a visit to the iconic Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios! Climb up the gently rushing cascades that form a natural staircase before cooling off in the pool at the base of the falls.

Where to stay: After exploring Jamaica’s picturesque landscapes, head back to the newly-renovated Riu Ocho Rios to test out the water slides at the on-site Splash Water World. Refuel at the new beachside Jerk Chicken Station before heading back to relax in your modern room.

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