Jamaica is one of the most popular tourism destinations in the Caribbean, and is especially known for its all-inclusive resorts
. The island is full of storied tourist destinations -- Montego Bay
, Ocho Rios
, to name a few -- and all have distinct personalities. It's a big country, geographically diverse, and well worth exploring beyond the confines of your resort.
Jamaica Basic Travel Information
- Location: In the Caribbean Sea 90 miles south of Cuba.
- Size: About 4,243 square miles/10,990 square kilometers (146 miles long, 51 miles wide). See Map
- Language: English, local patois
- Religions: Mostly Protestant, with some Roman Catholics and spiritual sects, including Rastafarians.
- Currency: Jamaican dollar; U.S. dollar widely accepted.
- Telephone/Area Code: 876
- Tipping: 10-15%
- Weather: Hot, tropical and humid along shore; cooler inland, especially in the Blue Mountains
- Jamaica Travel Safety
- Jamaica Flag
- Airports: Norman Manley International Airport, Kingston (Check Flights), Sangster International Airport, Montego Bay (Check Flights), Ian Fleming International Airport, Ocho Rios (Check Flights)
Many people come to Jamaica just to sit on the beach, but many also make time to explore popular sights like Dunn's River Falls (come early, before the cruise ships arrive) and rafting on the Martha Brae River. Jamaica also has 400 years of history to explore, notably in towns like Port Royal. To escape from the heat, take a drive up into the cool Blue Mountains and meet some real Jamaicans. Montego Bay
is known for its nightlife; Negril
is a bit more laid back, and Port Antonio
Jamaica Hotels and Resorts
Jamaica has a vast attay of lodging options, from small family inns to upscale resorts like the romantic Ritz-Carlton Rose Hall
. The Beaches and Sandals resorts are some of the most famous all-inclusive resorts
in the world; the Hedonism properties are among the most freewheeling. For a different yet authentically Jamaican experience, check out the Island Outpost chain of small luxury resorts, including Goldeneye, 007 author Ian Fleming's famous mountaintop perch.
Jerk chicken, anyone? In Jamaica, you'll find this spicy local favorite
cooking over open fires in steel drums as well as on the menu of upscale restaurants. Sonia's in Negril
is known for its authentic Jamaican dishes; the Ruins in Ocho Rios
has a beautiful outdoor courtyard.
Jamaica Culture and History
A rich cultural and historic legacy awaits visitors to Jamaica, from ancient forts guarding old pirate towns to the unique story of Rastafarianism and the mysterious culture of the Maroons. And of course this is the birthplace of reggae music
, celebrated everywhere, every day, on this fun-loving island.
Jamaica Events and Festivals
The birthplace of reggae celebrates its musical heritage and much more during year-round events and festivals
Jamaica NightlifeNew Kingston
is the home of Jamaica's hottest nightclubs, but you'll find plenty of late-night partying throughout the island, from Negril
to Mo Bay
, home of the famous Hip Strip