Sunshine. A beach. A beach chair or a blanket. A cold drink and maybe a book. Sometimes that’s all you want out of a vacation.
Sometimes, though, you want to do a bit more, see a bit more – and have “more” be the sort of thing that you won’t find anywhere else. With a little planning and a little imagination, your Jamaica vacation can be filled with experiences and sensations that reaffirm your choice of destination.
Find your new favourite restaurant
Atmosphere can make a great meal an unforgettable experience. In Jamaica the setting of tropical splendour makes every moment one you can savour. The Houseboat Grill in Montego Bay is a perennial favourite, serving local seafood and French-influenced main courses, on board – you guessed it – a houseboat. Negril’s Ciao Jamaica offers a charming Italian and Jamaican menu, all of it delicious, with the unlikely additional offerings of a children’s menu and a hookah lounge. The Almond Tree in Ocho Rios serves up sumptuous fare in a gorgeous clifftop setting. Last, but definitely not least on our list, every Jamaica vacation deserves a visit to Scotchie’s for the authentic Jamaica jerk experience. Scotchie’s has locations in Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and New Kingston.
Find your new favourite beach
A Caribbean vacation isn’t complete without some serious beach time. Boston Bay is home to a glorious stretch of golden sand, and is also the birthplace of jerk cuisine. With the Boston Bay Jerk Center adjacent to the beach, you can find your new favourite beach and restaurant in one outing. While those in the know will tell you that Negril’s Seven Mile Beach is actually five and a half miles, it’s still five and a half pretty amazing miles, with golden sands, turquoise waters and a lively beach scene. The multi-coloured umbrellas of Doctor’s Cave Beach help to define the festive atmosphere of this popular destination on Montego Bay’s Hip Strip, where sunning, sipping, shopping and people watching are just a few of the possibilities.
Enjoy the culture
Jamaica has a vibrant arts and culture scene. Hypnotic reggae rhythms are everywhere in Jamaica, but reggae isn’t the only music you’ll hear. Jazz, R&B, rock and pop are all influenced by the island vibe here. Still, reggae is king, and the life and music of Jamaica’s most famous son is celebrated at the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston, which is open Monday to Saturday. If you’d like to gain an intriguing insight into the local culture that goes “beyond the brochure”, the Jamaica Tourist Board offers the Meet their People program. Free of charge since 1968, it’s a great way to turn your vacation into a truly enriching experience.
Get off the beaten path (even just a little bit)
Quite simply, Jamaica is a natural paradise. And with tourism as the number one industry, a lot of that natural beauty is readily accessible in the comfort of the many all-inclusive resorts. Go a bit farther afield, and you’ll discover that many truly unique experiences await. Great Huts promises a “return to Nature and the roots of Jamaica”. With accommodations ranging from “Cozy Camping” to “African Royale” this Boston Bay ecovillage delivers. For coffee lovers, a variety of Blue Mountain coffee tours await; take a leisurely day trip and you’ll see how Jamaica’s world famous Blue Mountain coffee makes the journey from the bean to your cup.
Go when the spirit moves you
A truly inspired vacation is a combination of planning and timing. Yes, there is the tourist season – from December to April – and yes, a Jamaica vacation has an understandable allure when the weather at home is chilly. At the end of the day (or the end of this week, for that matter), it’s your vacation. Go when you want to go, and find the Jamaica you want to find. It’s waiting for you, and it’s amazing.
WestJet flies to Kington and Montego Bay. WestJet Vacations will help you plan the Jamaican vacation of your dreams in Kingston, Negril, Montego Bay and Ocho Rios. Get started on amazing at westjetvacations.com.