If You’re Going to Jamaica

Jamaica is one of the most beautiful places I have been.  From the beach sunsets to the lush forests to the bright culture, color is everywhere you look.  Add some reggae music and spicy jerk food and it’s sure to be one of the best vacations you’ll ever take.

I went to the northwest coast last May with two of my girlfriends.  It’s only an hour and twenty minute plane ride from Miami, and even the flight is beautiful.  Our plane flew low enough the entire time that we were able to look down and see the beaches of Cuba and the reefs below the crystal clear water.

When we got there, we took a 45-minute shuttle ride to our resort in Lucea, which is located between Montego Bay and Negril.  Our resort was the biggest in the area- it was literally the size of a small town.  We could’ve went the entire trip without even leaving, but after exploring for about an hour I knew I needed to get out of that Americanized resort and experience real Jamaica.  We went to the lobby where the cab drivers hang out and met Locke, a local who seemed to know where all the spots to be were.  He told us that for a total of $75 a day he would drive us around in his cab and show us the island.

It was possibly the best $25 a day I have ever spent.  Locke picked us up each morning around 9 a.m. and would bring us back after we had watched the sun set somewhere.  He took us everywhere we wanted to go, plus some of the best little spots to eat, drink and shop that only the locals know about.  I highly recommend finding a legit local chauffer if you want to do those things.  We loved Locke!

Here are my other thoughts and recommendations on what to do and see in Jamaica.

-Eat at the little hole-in-the-wall restaurants.  They will most likely have the best food.

-I drank tap water the whole time I was there and did not get sick.

-Eat jerk everything

-Eat curried everything

-Eat the rum cake

-If you are driving, be careful.  The roads are narrow, steep and scary.

-As with most second and third world countries, there is a chicken and stray dog problem.  They are everywhere and often end up as road-kill.  Once again, drive carefully.

-Stop and check out some of the little shacks along the roads.  Some are not much bigger than a port-a-potty, but it’s a great way to buy unique souvenirs and meet some locals.  Most also sell coconuts and will crack them open for you.  Fresh coconut water!

-Check out the Rasta shacks.


-Go to Rick’s.  Jump off the cliffs!

-For a little cash the locals will climb really high and do some pretty awesome jumps/dives.

-Next to Rick’s is also a little underwater cave that you can explore.  It’s not too big and only takes about 15 minutes.  Ask a local.

-Negril is where some of the best nightlife is.  But it’s a little sketchy at night so be careful.

Montego Bay

-Drive about 35 minutes up into the mountains to Jamaica Zipline Adventure Tours.  They have the longest zipline in the Caribbean there.

-If you’re going to go zip lining there, I recommend doing it with a small group (don’t go through the hotel).  We were the only appointment that afternoon, so had the staff’s undivided attention.  They took us on an outside hike to show us some goats and a weed farm and made a pit-stop to pick, cut and eat some fresh mango and pineapple.

-If you want to do the touristy thing, Margaritaville is here and it’s on a street full of souvenir shops.

-At the end of the street is a beautiful place to watch the sunset (see below).

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

8 thoughts on “If You’re Going to Jamaica

  1. Whenever we go there (about once every year and a half) we always run out of time before we can do everything we want to do. I’m so glad you had a great time. It makes me feel good when people enjoy my country! Also, big thanks for stopping by my blog. That makes me happy too 🙂

  2. I definitely enjoyed it and I can’t wait to go back. I want to check out the Kingston area next time!

  3. Were you on a resort? and took side trips? Thanks for the invite btw – I enjoyed your post. Lesley

    • Yes, we stayed at the Grand Palladium resort in Lucea, Jamaica. It was pretty and had multiple huge pools, but we chose to do side trips every day to explore the island. I’m from South Florida, so I didn’t really need to lay by the pool 😉

  4. Annie Paul says:

    Thanks for stopping by my blog Casey, enjoyed reading this, believe it or not i don’t even know what ziplining is…what IS it? you did the right thing to leave the hotel and find some friendly locals to show you around. and at $75/day you got a real bargain!

  5. Hi Casey thanks for stopping by my blog… Jamaica is indeed beautiful. It looks like you really had a great time. That sunset picture is amazing!

  6. read.robin says:

    Rave reviews like this make me feel extra proud of my country. Thanks for stopping by my blog, and I’m glad you enjoyed your trip. 🙂

  7. Sheryl Stark says:

    Hi Casey thanks for stopping by my blog. I am so happy you had a great time in my country. Great article! Also check out my blog strictly about Jamaica. http://wondersofjamaica.com/
    One Love…thanks


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: