Jamaica Travel Guide

from Travel Insurance Direct
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Jamaica is one of the larger islands of the Caribbean. Located in the West Indies, south of Cuba and west of Haiti. The island is mainly coastal areas with plateaus, and in the east the volcanic Blue Mountains. English and Patois English are spoken.


Located on the south coast of the island, the capital, Kingston , is the first stop-off for many visitors. It offers first class hotels, good shopping and entertainment and dining options. However, the main tourist areas are located on the NW coast of Jamaica . Montego Bay is a well known beach destination. To the west is Negril, which also offers great beaches. For a change of pace, head for the hills and Ocho Rios and Port Antonio where there are great places for hiking. Or seek out Mandeville, which is approx. 2000’ above sea level.


Arawak Indians originally inhabited the islands and it came under Spanish rule until 1655 when the British colonized Jamaica . In 1962 it gained its independence and became a parliamentary democracy within the Commonwealth. Slaves were imported to work the sugar plantations following rapid demise of the Arawak’s due to disease. The British concentrated on banana production which surpassed sugar production.


There are five main resort coastal areas of Jamaica : Negril, Montego Bay , Port Antonio, Ocho Rios, and the South Coast .


Negril boasts a long white sandy beach where you can enjoy sunbathing, walking, dining and listening to music. It is a popular hang-out for locals and tourists alike, and a very relaxed and relaxing part of the island.


Montego Bay is probably the most popular resort on the island. The main airport is close by. It is a popular spot for shopping and dining and there are some wonderful resorts and hotels. You can spend the day at the beach, enjoy river rafting, or golfing to name a few.


Port Antonio has a more private location on the NE part of the island. You can enjoy the beach, go rafting on the Rio Grande , go hiking to beautiful waterfalls and caves or dine on delicious native dishes.


Ocho Rios is situated on the northern coast and is an important port for cruise ships. It has many lovely resorts and beaches. You can climb the famous 600’ waterfall or go hiking in the Blue Mountains . There is great shopping at local craft markets. Or you can try swimming with dolphins or strolling through the beautiful gardens.


The south coast is great for exploring the miles of beaches, fishing villages, monuments and waterfalls. You can visit a rum factory or take a safari boat tour.


Getting around the islands can be done by air with the intra-island flights, or helicopter. There is a bus system which is inexpensive but also not very reliable. The most popular ways to get around are by renting a car or bicycle.

There is plenty to do in Jamaica , if you wish to do anything other than relax and enjoy the splendid beaches. You can tour plantations and visit historical sites and houses. There are sailing trips and river rafting expeditions. The active can go horseback riding, sailing, SCUBA diving snorkeling.


Climate / Weather
Tropical. Hot and humid with temperate Interior. The lovely climate is one of Jamaic’s biggest draws. The rainy season can occur any time between May-Dec approx. However, the coastal areas maintain a fairly constant 85 degrees for most of the year.



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