Plan Your Jamaica Vacation
Jamaicans define enthusiasm. Whether the topic is dominoes or politics, the spirit of this island comes out in every interaction. Although the country is well known for its tropical beauty, reggae music, and cuisine, you may find that your interactions with local residents are what you truly remember.
Top Reasons to Go
All-Inclusive Resorts: Come to where they were invented.
Great Golf: Golfers will be delighted by the many wonderful courses.
Fun for the Kids: Every conceivable activity, great beaches, and many child-friendly resorts appeal to families.
Negril Beach: It's simply one of the Caribbean's best.
Unique Culture: Jamaica has rich cultural traditions—particularly local music, art, and cuisine.
As home of the north-shore airport, Montego Bay is the first taste most visitors have of the island. It's the second-largest city in Jamaica and has a busy cruise pier west of town. Travelers from around the world come and go in this bustling community year-round. Home to a number of all-inclusive resorts and some of the island’s best beaches, Montego Bay is often top-of-the-mind when vacationers think of Jamaica. It’s relative proximity to nearby resort towns like Ocho Rios and Negril also make this town a popular choice. Throughout the surrounding areas, adventures and one-of-a-kind experiences await, not to mention some interesting colonial sights.
On the winding coast road 55 miles (89 km) southwest of Mo'Bay, Negril was once Jamaica's best-kept secret, but it has shed some of its bohemian, ramshackle atmosphere for the attractions and activities traditionally associated with Mo'Bay. One thing that hasn't changed about this west-coast center (whose only true claim to fame is a 7-mile [11-km] beach) is a casual approach to life. As you wander from lunch in the sun to shopping in the sun to sports in the sun, you'll find that swimsuits and cover-ups are common attire.
Negril stretches along the coast south from horseshoe-shape Bloody Bay (named when it was a whale-processing center) along the calm waters of Long Bay to the lighthouse. Nearby, divers spiral downward off 50-foot-high cliffs into the deep green depths as the sun turns into a ball of fire and sets the clouds ablaze with color. Sunset is also the time when Norman Manley Boulevard and West End Road, which intersect, come to life with busy waterside restaurants and reggae stage shows.
Although Ocho Rios isn't near eight rivers as its name would seem to indicate, it does have a seemingly endless series of cascades that sparkle from limestone rocks along the coast. (The name Ocho Rios came about because the English misunderstood the Spanish las chorreras—"the waterfalls.") The town itself isn't very attractive and can be traffic-clogged, but the area has several worthwhile attractions, including the very popular Dunn's River Falls. A few steps from the main road in Ocho Rios are some of the most charming inns and oceanfront restaurants in the Caribbean. Lying on the sand of what seems to be your very own cove or swinging gently in a hammock while sipping a tropical drink, you'll soon forget the traffic that's just a stroll away.
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