An island nation situation in the Caribbean Sea, Jamaica is both the largest English-speaking language, but also the third largest island in the Caribbean. The weather is almost always perfect, but the friendly welcome you receive from the locals make visiting this island destination paradisiacal. Here are 5 must see destinations, if planning a Caribbean honeymoon or a family vacation.
The longest mountain range and the highest point to span Jamaica, the Blue Mountains are named for the azure haze that covers these mountain peaks. Stretching east of St. Andrew to the edge of Kingston in the northeast, this lush countryside provides the perfect arena for the outdoor enthusiast. From walking to hiking, visitors can take a guided tour at the Cinchona Gardens to see the high tree fern, eucalyptus, and azaleas. Stop for a picnic and enjoy both scenery and bird watching, especially the humming birds, Jamaica’s national bird. Other points of interest within the Blue Mountains include Holywell Recreation Area, Flamstead, and Old Tavern Coffee Estate.
Reach (Reich) Falls, East of Port Antonio
One of the largest natural and undeveloped waterfalls in Jamaica, Reach Falls is surrounded by unspoiled tropical rainforest. Cascading into the large pool below, Reach visitors can enjoy the cool and refreshing waters by a relaxing wade or swim in the pool. Guided tours are also available to learn about the local vegetation, wildlife, and culture. The source of Reach Falls originates a mile upwards at the Blue and John Crow Mountains. What makes this one of the many places to visit are the secluded location, the underground caverns that forms, and the hidden caves visitors can explore.
If you’re searching for an off the beaten path location, Treasure Beach is the picture-perfect spot for a romantic getaway. Located two hours from the airport, this location is far from the typical tourist trap. To get to Treasure Beach, visitors traverse winding roads to find this laid back and welcoming community. Swimming, snorkeling, sun bathing, relaxing in a hammock are typical activities visitors can expect. Some places to visit while staying nearby in one of the villas are Bob Marley’s birthplace, the Milk River Bath, the Appleton Rum Factory, and the Black River Tour boats. Each location provides not only a scenic tour of the area, but endears the local culture to any visitor.
A popular tourist destination, this location is full of life and nightly entertainment. Known as the capital of St. James Parish and the second largest city in Jamaica, Montego Bay is a coastland which also occupies some sugar cane plantation. Some nearby activities and attractions include Martha Brae River, Canopy Tour, Jungle River Tubing Safari, and Croydon Plantation with Jamaican Lunch. For a luxurious stay, book a room at the Tryall Club on Sandy Beach ($350 and up) or for any budget conscious traveler lay your head at Polkerris ($100 and up), a bed and breakfast with a relaxing and scenic location.
Located in Ocho Rios and Negril, this family friend activity has the largest natural dolphin lagoon in the world. Named as the number one marine attraction, Dolphin Cove is located on a 20 acre property and surrounded by 5 acres of tropical rainforest. Here visitors have the opportunity to interact with the local marine life including the chance to swim with the dolphins, interact with the sharks in a special made program (swim, feed, and hold the sharks), a chance to ride on a glass bottom kayak to explore the underwater marine life, or the opportunity to go snorkeling with stingrays. After a day of fun, relax at the Star Buccaneers coffee shop with one of the famous cups of coffee from this area or take a tour to the local plantation, Prospect Plantation.
With winter fast approaching, Jamaica is an unmatched destination that will chase any winter blues away. From the white sandy beaches to the unfiltered beautiful energy exuded from the locals, Jamaica should be on your short list of places to travel. Remember, before traveling find out the technical details of what to do or what to bring before traveling to one of the Caribbean’s best islands.