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Ultimate Guide to Jamaica



Jamaica is one of the many islands located in the Caribbean and is the perfect tropical getaway to relax and lay out by the beach. We love it because this was one of the first travel destinations where we truly took a vacation. We baked under the sun, savored the spices from Jamaican food, and embraced all of the natural landscapes of the island.





Where to stay: While there are smaller hotels on the island, we recommend traveling with a guide when going to different regions of the island.

  • Montego Bay is great for beach hopping and perfect to go snorkeling and diving

  • Negril if you want to see beautiful beaches and known as the honeymoon destination

  • Port Antonio and Kingston is you are looking for the hustle and bustle of Jamaica cities

  • Ochos Rios if you are looking for the adventurous side of Jamaica. This is also home to the cruise port


There are smaller hotels on the island however, we recommend staying at an all inclusive hotel to get the honeymoon experience that Jamaica is known for. We stayed at Couples Swept Away. This resort was not only all-inclusive but it also included scuba diving twice a day! This is such an amazing deal given scuba is typically an expensive hobby.


Airport: Pending where you stay, you have the option of flying to 3 international airports

  • Sangster International Airport - Montego Bay and Negril

  • Norman Manley International Airport - Kingston

  • Ian Fleming International Airport - Ocho Rios


Travel Tip: make sure to book your accommodation near the airport, Ocho Rios is 3+hour drive from Negril. We recommend you double check your hotel/resort's location on the map prior to booking your flight, because we overheard multiple people flew in on the wrong side of the island and then had to book a 4-6 hour ride after landing.


Transportation: We recommend getting a driver while in Jamaica to visit excursions. Jamaica still does suffer from poverty in some areas so to ensure your safety, book these activities with your accommodation to get around. People are very friendly in Jamaica and willing to help!


Currency: Jamaican Dollar or the USD is accepted. However, paying is USD will likely have you overpaying for products, experiences, etc.


Language: English, Jamaican Patois




Top Things To Do:


We had so much fun in Jamaica! When we were not laying out at the beach we went scuba diving and snorkeling. During our dives, we saw beautiful coral, dolphin, turtles, sting rays and other beautiful marine life! Water-sports are available at almost every location on the beach. Whether you want to jetski, paddle board, banana boat, there is something for you to do. Some other experiences to do during your trip are:

  • Rick’s Cafe: great for cliff jumping, tourist spot for drinks, food and music and sunset views

  • Dunn’s River Falls: famous for climbing these waterfalls, this is iconic if you visit Jamaica

  • ATVs: go through the main forests, you will get muddy!

  • Watersports

  • Ocho Richos Blue Hole: waterfall with natural swimming pools

  • YS Falls: tall waterfall

  • Catamaran: sunset, dancing, snorkeling



Food: We loved Jamaican food! There are a lot of spices and similarities to latin food as well! Some of the foods you HAVE to try while you are here are:

  • Jerk chicken, rice and plantains

  • Oxtail

  • Curry goat

  • Jamaican beef/chicken patties

  • Codfish

  • Akee and Saltfish

  • Coconut drops

  • Pudding!

  • Beer - local Red Stripe beer


Religion: Protestant


Culture


Not only is it the birthplace of reggae and Bob Marley, but Jamaica is a vibey tropical destination to let loose and relax. Everyone is very laid back and welcomes you to learn about their beautiful country. We loved getting to know the locals and having them share about their life in Jamaica, they were all so happy to learn about other cultures too. Jamaica locals stay true to their grassroots by embracing their tropical home by dancing and listening to music.


LGBTQ+ Safety


It is still illegal to be in a same-sex relationship or identify as LGBTQ+ in Jamaica. While the locals are very friendly, they still lack the exposure of seeing queer couples. Outside of the resorts, it can be more dangerous for queer travelers and couples, therefore we recommend enjoying your time at your resort, or having your resort book your driver for you to outside activities. With that said, you should feel safe in your resorts and hotels (always do your research before booking accommodations to make sure they are LGBTQ+ friendly). We stayed at Couples Swept Away and they went above and beyond to make us feel safe and included. There were a few employees who would assume we were friends or sisters first, but were respectful and kind when we would correct them about our relationship.


We were asked by many if we recommend Jamaica for queer travelers, and we think that depends on the trip you are looking to have! If you are looking for a honeymoon destination where you can hold hands with your partner and feel out and proud, there are other destinations that would provide a better experience. On the other hand, if you and your partner are looking to have an adventurous trip and experiencing nature then we definitely recommend Jamaica for you!


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