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KNOW BEFORE YOU GO - STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD (foreign office travel advice)



Jamaica Holidays

With its balmy climate, stunning scenery and laid-back vibe, Jamaica is an enticing holiday destination. Add to this Jamaica's deliciously spicy cuisine and colourful musical tradition, and you'll soon catch the Jamaican holiday bug. Have lively times in Montego Bay or Ocho Rios, or a slowed-down pace in Runaway Bay.

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Jamaica, the happiness island

From the restrained elegance of Falmouth to the party atmosphere in Montego Bay, Jamaica is an island of contrasts. It can be compared with the exhilarating pace of Usain Bolt to the laid back rhythmic vibe of Bob Marley's reggae. Both of these stars' skills highlight the very different parts of this idyllic island.

Whether you're visiting Jamaica to lie on the beach, savour jerk chicken or simply wander around and explore the more isolated parts of the island, you're certain to have plenty of fun. If you'd like to chill out or dance hard in some of the island's best nightclubs or feed your watersports passion, there are enough activities on Jamaica to satisfy all ages and tastes.

Where to stay in Jamaica

FalmouthView on Map

Caribbean cruise liners sailing through the islands always make sure to dock in the historic town of Falmouth.

This resort has maintained its traditional vibe which has been maintained across its streets for centuries creating an environment that can't be matched anywhere else in Jamaica.

With golden beaches on the coast and swamp or river cruises inland, Falmouth offers excitement of the laidback variety, allowing you to enjoy your getaway in the sun at your own pace.

Montego Bay
Montego BayView on Map

Affectionately known at MoBay by locals, this is Jamaica's second largest city and is one of the most accommodating resorts on the island thanks to the sheer number of tourist facilities available.

You'll find hundreds of locations for shopping, dining and drinking in a city which also enjoys a long 15 mile coastline. There are several beaches to choose from, most with white sands and shallow waters which are great for kids to paddle in.

The area has a strong history too which stretches back over 500 years and there are many tour companies ready to take you on a journey of enlightenment into Jamaica's past.

Ocho Rios
Ocho RiosView on Map

A built up tourism town on the north coast of Jamaica, Ocho Rios has it all: beautiful beaches, exciting wilderness, and a community packed with shops, bars and restaurants.

Turtle Beach, Reggae Beach and Laughing Waters, just some of the glorious places you can lay down your towel and relax in the sand.

'Ocho' also has the added benefit of having one of Jamaica's most popular tourist attractions right next door, Dunn's River Falls as well as plenty more tours and sites to see in the surrounding wildlife.

Runaway Bay
Runaway BayView on Map

One of the most peaceful resorts to be found in Jamaica, Runaway Bay isn't your typical tourist resort, letting you enjoy a more authentic experience of island life.

With a mix of public and private locations, you can melt your troubles away underneath the hot Caribbean sun from some of the best beaches Jamaica has to offer.

For the days where the sun is too much, take cover in the shade of the Green Grotto Caves and enjoy a fascinating tour where you can learn about the hundreds of years worth of history the caves hold.


Quick Tips

  • Christianity
  • Jamaican Dollar
  • English
  • 2.8 million
  • GMT +5

A naturally beautiful landscape

Explore Jamaica's natural beauty and you'll no doubt recognise some of the scenery you travel through. For decades Hollywood directors have been visiting the island and using it as a backdrop for some of their best films. Among others, 'Pirates of the Caribbean' and the absurdly funny 'Cool Runnings' were both shot here.

You can experience the exuberant thrills of the waterfalls at the Reggae Style Mayfield Falls, just a four-minute drive away from Negril. Combine nature with adventure and the end result is the Mystic Mountain, a five-minute drive from Ocho Rios. Taking a chairlift that ascends some 700 feet over the rainforest, you'll get a stunning view of this part of Jamaica. The destination will definitely set your pulse racing.

Retail therapy

If your idea of holiday heaven is to open your wallet and spend, then you'll have ample opportunity to do so on Jamaica. Forget about large scale shopping mall experiences, retail therapy in Jamaica is all about sourcing the unique and the special. There are crafts stalls and markets all over the island where you'll be able to find unique wooden carvings, and take home a little bit of Jamaica's special style to remind you of your holiday.

Island Village shopping complex in Ocho Rios offers you a beautiful environment as well as a wide range of shops. You'll be able to browse to your heart's content and admire the lagoon and flowering trees that make up this intriguing centre.

Boogie nights

Jamaica knows how to host a party, and it would be almost criminal not to visit one of the island's lively nightspots. Whether you take part in an open air beach party, or head to a nightclub in bustling Montego Bay, you're definitely going to enjoy the sweet beats of reggae and other Caribbean sounds.

Jamaican nightlife also encompasses some really extraordinary venues. There's an ice bar in Montego Bay called Chillin', where even the shot glasses are made from ice. Or you can just spend time in Falmouth drinking cocktails by a luminous lagoon. Rum is usually the drink of choice, but Red Stripe beer comes a close second if you don't enjoy spirits or cocktails.

Beach life

Jamaica is renowned for its stunning long stretches of sand. With over 50 public beaches to choose from, it's easy to find your special spot and lie back and soak up the rays.

Montego Bay's Cornwall Beach is one of the longest stretches of sand on the island, where you can chill out on a lounger, snorkel to explore what's beneath the waves or enjoy a game of beach volleyball. While Waves Beach, in the southeast of the island, is the place to head if you want entertainment and family fun days.

Let there be jerk

Jamaicans love spicy food, and you'll encounter jerk seasoning on most meats and fish. Scotch bonnet peppers are a key ingredient of this seasoning, so you may find that these dishes are slightly on the fiery side. Rice and peas are also very popular here, as are yam, plantain and beef patties.

Seafood is a wise choice at Jamaican restaurants as it's invariably fresh from the sea that day. If you're prepared to be adventurous with menu items you've not encountered before, your holiday in Jamaica is the perfect time to experiment and have fun.