Jamaica is considered to be the heart of the Caribbean and the “Home of All Right”. You could happily argue that if you want to truly experience a taste of the Caribbean, then this could be the holiday destination for you. Featuring breath-taking scenery, beautiful beaches and an excellent choice of all-inclusive hotels, Jamaica is also home to Rastafarian culture, a unique historical and artistic identity, and, of course, is the birthplace of reggae music.
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The weather in Jamaica is pretty consistent all year round, but generally, the best months to visit are between December and April. The popular tourist areas along the north coast are much dryer than elsewhere on the island, and the sea breeze helps to keep the humidity down. The only months that you might want to avoid are September and October due to the increased risk of hurricanes, and November because of the rainy season.
Please note that these temperatures are average highs for Montego Bay, Jamaica and were correct at the time of writing.
Check out the following deals from Loveholidays:
Hilton Rose Hall Resort & Spa
Hyatt Ziva Rosehall
Rooms on the Beach Negril
Moon Palace Jamaica
With such as wide variety of all-inclusive hotels throughout Jamaica, you’ll be pleased to know that there’s a cuisine to suit practically everyone’s pallet, so even the pickiest of eaters in your holiday party should find something to enjoy. Expect to find plenty of hotels offering up the traditional Caribbean and Jamaican cuisine, as well as more international menus that take on American, Mexican, Asian and European influences.
Keep in mind that while the national dish of Jamaica, which consists of a lychee called ackee and a type of cod called saltfish, is considered to be a delicacy, because ackee requires specialised preparation before it’s considered safe to consume, you’re not guaranteed that your all-inclusive hotel restaurant will offer it, and you might have to venture farther afield to track some down. Other popular traditional dishes include curried goat, fried dumplings, jerk, fried plantain, steamed cabbage and ‘rice and peas’, as well as patties, bread, fruit beverages and, of course, rum.
With such immaculate beaches, it’s unsurprising that many hotels also offer seafood and grills by the sea, allowing you to lap up some sunshine without having to go back inside to grab a bite to eat.
Many all-inclusive hotels cater exclusively, or more favourably towards adults, so if you’re thinking of taking younger holidaymakers with you, make sure that you check with your tour operator to see if they offer a child-friendly menu before you book.
With such great weather for the majority of the year, many all-inclusive hotels in Jamaica have equipment for outdoor sporting activities, including tennis, beach volleyball and more. You’ll also find that many hotels take advantage of their beachfront location, and either has their own equipment or can provide you with access to what you need to engage in a selection of motorised and non-motorised water sports and activities.
When the nights start to draw in and people start to make their way from the beach, you’ll be pleased to know that in addition to bars stocked with the finest rum, many all-inclusive hotels throughout this Caribbean island also have a great evening entertainment programme. Acts can include live music, some notably featuring authentic reggae music and DJ sets, as well as other live shows and activities.
As a holiday destination with a big focus on adults and couples, on the whole, there are fewer hotels that cater to children than there are at other popular holiday destinations, but there are a few that have children’s and teen’s clubs, that include their very own dedicated entertainment programs.
Jamaica is home to some of the most famous and celebrated beaches in the world, including the idyllic Cornwall beach in Montego Bay, the beautifully turquoise waters of Seven Mile beach in Negril, and the Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios. As the beach is such a big part of what makes a great holiday in Jamaica, many of the all-inclusive hotels are located either directly on or next to golden sands and turquoise seas.
Who Goes There?
Jamaica attracts visitors from around the world and is very popular with British and European holidaymakers, notably Scandinavians, but you’re also likely to run into a few Americans looking to make the most of the good weather and awe-inspiring scenery.
With couples focused tour operators such as Sandals making Jamaica one of their primary focuses, you’ll find that there are a large number of adults with a little bit of disposable income on the island, as well as the occasional family.
While there are plenty of taxis available throughout Jamaica, if you want to save some money and see the island from a new perspective, consider taking the bus. Buses tend to operate more on an A to B type of route rather than as part of a network that you might be used to at home, so speak to your holiday representative before going it alone, but if you’re up to it, you could find that the buses make your holiday extra special.
If you choose to take a taxi, it’s important to know that there are two different types of taxi in Jamaica; local or route taxis and tourist taxis. Tourist taxis are pretty self-explanatory and used by tourists, whereas local taxis are generally used by the locals, and subsequently they tend to be a lot cheaper, working out to be around 100 Jamaican dollars, which is less than £1 to travel 20 miles, just keep in mind that you could end up sharing a taxi with a few of the locals.
Make sure to look out for the colour of the license plate before hailing a taxi; red plates are for public transport, white plates are privately owned vehicles and yellow plates are for government vehicles.
If you choose to venture away from your hotel, you’re likely to encounter a bevvy of lively bars playing reggae music and serving spiced rum, but if you want to really ingratiate yourself into the local culture and experience more of what the island has to offer, these excursions might be for you:
Great for families and big kids
Sugar Mill Falls Water Park – Whether you want to enjoy this luxurious water park in peace and quiet or you’re looking for somewhere for the kids to let off some steam, the Sugar Mill Falls Water Park located at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort and Spa features a variety of waterslides, as well as swim-up bars, fine dining and even a golf course.
Get up close with nature at Grande Montagne Nature Reserve – Grande Montagne Nature Reserve in Rodrigues is one of the last remaining forests in the area, and with the support of The Mauritian Wildlife Foundation more native plants have been encouraged to grow and the local eco-system has thrived. Trails make exploring the reserve a lot easier, but it’s worth taking a map or following a guide if you don’t want to get lost.
Visit Doctor’s Cave Beach Club – If you want to indulge in a few aquatic activities, be sure to check out the infamous Doctor’s Cave Beach Club in Montego bay, where alongside white sand and turquoise waters, you’ll be able to go snorkelling and kayaking, ride water scooters and take part in a wide range of aquatic activities..
Celebrate Bob Marley’s Birthday Bash – Visit Jamaica in early February and you’ll be in for a treat, as locations throughout the island celebrate the birthday of the musical legend and cultural icon that is Bob Marley. Expect to experience a festival atmosphere during Bob Marley’s Birthday Bash, as events and shows take place in Negril and elsewhere.
Experience the Luminous Lagoon – When the sun sets over the Luminous Lagoon in Trelawny, microscopic organisms produce an eerie glow that in the evenings makes the water sparkle and glisten, making for an exceptionally memorable experience, especially if you choose to go for a swim.
Check out the Bob Marley Museum – As the home of reggae and the birthplace of Bob Marley, a visit to the Bob Marley Museum is just common sense. Inhabiting Bob Marley’s former Kingston home, the museum features a theatre, photographic gallery and other exhibits that allow visitors to pay homage to the musical legend.
Visit Dunn’s River Falls and Park – There are some steep steps to climb to reach what is considered to one the island’s best-known waterfalls, but with a beautiful waterfall cascading into the sea, it’s understandable why Dunn’s River Falls and Park is such a popular attraction.
Be mystified by Mystic Mountain – If you’re a fan of Cool Running’s and outdoor adventure course, then this is the place for you. The rainforest adventure tour at Mystic Mountain in Ocho Rios is home to the rainforest bobsled, where you can zoom through the forest on a Jamaican bobsled, zip lines or just go on a trek and take in the rich ecosystem at this environmentally friendly attraction.
Great for adults and teenagers
Play one of the many golf courses – Jamaica has more to offer than rum, reggae and the beach, and is home to a selection of exceptional golf courses, ensuring that no matter your level of skill, you’re sure to find the right course for you.
Indulge yourself on the Appleton Estate Rum tour – The Appleton Rum Estate tour takes place on the titular Appleton Estate, which is considered to be the location where the island’s most famous export is produced. On this tour, you can learn more about the rum-making process, and of course, enjoy some rum.
Hike the Blue Mountain Peak and John Crow Mountains – If you’re feeling truly adventurous, then exploring the UNESCO World Heritage Site’s of the Blue Mountain Peak Trek or John Crow Mountain in the early hours of the morning to see the sunrise is a must, but for everyone else, hiking Blue Mountain Peak provides stunning views of the island, access to an exceptionally stunning National Park, and on a clear day you can even make out the coast of Cuba from the peak.
Take a boat ride to Floyd’s Pelican Bar – This isn’t just any bar. Taking a trip to Floyd’s Pelican Bar in St. Elizabeth is more of an experience than anything else. Made out of driftwood and only accessible by boat (unless you fancy a swim), this sandbar allows visitors to enjoy and ice-cold beer, play a game of dominoes and enjoy a dip in the water.
Go on a river rafting and plantation -Considered by many to provide a truly breath-taking and memorable experience, this downstream ride exposes you to the natural beauty of a Jamaican valley and gorge, and for good measure, is followed up with a tour of Montego Bay, where there are excellent shopping opportunities. Alternatively, there’s rafting at Martha Brae where you can learn about the Legend of Martha Brae from 32 long bamboo rafts that travel a 3-mile strip of the Martha Brae River.
*Details correct as of April 2017, however, errors can occur, deals can expire and facilities can change. Please treat this information as a rough guideline. If you notice an obvious error or a better price, let us know and we’ll update this page.