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Blissful beaches and reggae rhythms, wild waterfalls and mighty mountains, tongue-tingling jerk cooking and powerful rum punch… holidays in Jamaica always leave you with positive vibrations.
Jamaica has beach holidays down to a fine art. Whether you’re looking for all-inclusive resorts in Montego Bay, laidback local vibes on Winnifred Beach, or waves and watersports at a Boston Bay surf spot, this Carribean beauty has the lot.
Most head straight to the beach towns of Negril, Ocho Rios or MoBay (Montego Bay), where the beaches are breathtaking, the bars are busy, and the sun is almost always shining. It’s here you’ll find the best package holiday deals and a ready-made Jamaican escape.
Step away from the beach, though, and the island comes into its own. You can give your getaway an adrenaline boost by rafting on the Rio Grande, diving the reefs near Runaway Bay, and hiking in the spectacular Blue Mountains. For a bit of an adventure, climb the waterfalls in Ocho Rios or tour the cool Green Grotto Caves.
See more of Jamaica’s tropical beauty with a boat trip. Hop aboard a night cruise in Montego Bay to see the Luminous Lagoon and take a magical bioluminescent swim. For snorkelling and a fresh lobster lunch on the beach, take a catamaran to Booby Cay island from Negril.
When it comes to food and drink, Jamaican cuisine is a tempting mix of African, European, and Asian cooking. Feast on jerk pork from street vendors in Kingston, try ackee and saltfish (the national dish) in Montego Bay, and taste spicy curry goat just about everywhere. Whatever you’re having, wash it down with the island’s fiery rum.
Music is a huge part of life in Jamaica, with a soundtrack of reggae beats and dancehall classics never too far away. Head to Montego Bay in July for Reggae Sumfest – a huge week-long music festival with beach parties and concerts featuring international artists.
Montego Bay – or MoBay – is a top choice for all-inclusive hotels, with a mix of adults-only and family-friendly resorts. It’s also really close to Montego Bay Marine Park, great golf courses, raft rides down the Martha Brae and culture, such as Rose Hall, a former plantation house turned museum.
Ocho Rios and Negril are the other main beach resorts for all-inclusive holidays in Jamaica. For somewhere quieter, try Trelawny Bay, which has some great hotels for a romantic getaway.
Negril is a classic beach holiday spot. This west coast town has plenty of hotels for romantic adults-only getaways or family fun. It’s a big resort, but there are pockets of peace, and it has arguably the best sunsets on the island.
With lively nightlife and plenty of activities, Montego Bay is another popular resort for beach breaks. For something a little quieter, Ocho Rios has a more authentic Jamaican vibe and a good range of accommodation options.
Jamaica has been doing child-friendly beach resorts for a while, and it’s pretty good at it. Compare facilities before you book a hotel, as many have kids' clubs, splash pools and snorkelling.
Negril is a great choice for family beach holidays with plenty of all-inclusive options. You’ll be close to Booby Cay island for snorkelling and Seven Mile Beach for watersports.
Montego Bay is close to the airport, and the Marine Park has opportunities for snorkelling and kayaking. More natural Ocho Rios places you close to adventurous forest activities, such as Dunn’s River Falls.
With a good variety of accommodation to choose from, you can easily travel to Jamaica on a budget.
Start by searching for deals at the big three northern beach resorts – Montego Bay, Negril and Ocho Rios. Try comparing prices throughout the year as you’re more likely to find bargains outside peak season. Treasure Beach on the island’s south also has some cheap hotels.
For nightlife, Kingston is tough to beat. The uptown nightclubs – Taboo, Fiction and Kingston Dub Club – are world famous for dancing and atmosphere. You may even come across an all-night reggae festival.
Beach resort Montego Bay also heaves with bars and nightclubs along the Hip Strip (Gloucester Avenue), each one promising music and dancing until the wee hours. Here, you also have the choice of some quieter nights at laidback beach bars.
Jamaica has some seriously luxurious hotels, many in the west and north of the island. The Caves Hotel is a highlight in Negril. It's a four-star all-inclusive resort, with just 12 cabins built around the cliff.
The Trident Hotel near scenic Port Antonio is another stylish hotel with just 13 villas and a boutique spa. Glamorous and sophisticated, it takes its cues from the 50s and 60s and is close to remarkable beaches such as Frenchman’s Cove and Blue Lagoon.
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