I love the Caribbean! Every year Anush and I try and visit a couple of different islands in the Caribbean and this year we were happy to check Jamaica off that list. We stayed in two different locations over our trip and loved every second of our vacay. Jamaica unlike the other Caribbean islands we have been to is a huge island. We have always been able to see the whole island with our previous Caribbean trips, but had to re- strategize our itinerary for Jamaica. The island has two major airports – Montego Bay and Kingston and both places are well connected to most destinations in the US. The two cities are about 4 hours apart by road. So unless you have a ton of time to explore the whole island you are going to choose a few places to visit in your itinerary. The island has so much to offer right from stunning beaches, cliffs, lush jungles, never ending waterfalls, mountain ranges (the Blue mountain ranges where the famous coffee is from!), and much more!
Since we had about 6 days in our trip we chose to stay at 2 different locations in and around Montego Bay and also explored Ocho Rios on one of the days. So I will cover only these sections in my itinerary. Montego Bay is a great midway point between Ocho Rios and Negril (which is popular for the 7 mile beach!) so thats something to consider when you are planning your trip out to the island.
Where to Stay :
There are tons of beautiful resorts to choose from in Montego Bay. We wanted to experience two differnt styles of resorts and hence chose to split our time between Half Moon and Round Hill Resort. Both were fantastic and unique in their own way.
Read more about our stay at Half Moon here.
Read more about our stay at Round Hill here.
If you are looking at properties in Ocho Rios – I highly recommend Jamaica Inn! We visited this charming little luxury boutique hotel while we were in Ocho Rios for the day and absolutely loved it!
This intimate escape is tucked right in one of the best private beaches in Ocho Rios. We had lunch here at Shanti and it was superb! We tried some authentic Jamaican cuisine – jamaican patties, goat curry and bread pudding ; everything was lip smacking delicious! Looking back, I wish we had extended our itinerary by two more days so that we could stay here.
How to get around :
We stayed in the resorts for the most part but on the days we wanted to explore around we organized for private transport with the tour operators. From my research reading online, I think the best and safest way to explore around is with a taxi/ private car + driver or with an organized tour company.
Things to do in Jamaica :
1 ) Beachtime yeah mon!
Obviously listing this out as the no 1 thing to do. Your hotel will most likely have a private beach, which is where we spent most of our beach time. But if you are looking for a good public beach – check out Dr Cave’s Beach Club on the Hip Strip in Montego Bay.
2 ) Martha Brae River Rafting :
A must do when you visit the island! Cruising down the emerald river on a bamboo raft is an experience you will never forget ; read more in my blog post here.
3 ) Blue Hole and Secret Falls :
One of my absolute fave waterfalls in Jamaica, the azure blue waters of these falls are SO dazzling! Read more in my blog post here.
4 ) Dunn’s River Falls :
One of the most popular activities in Jamaica! Hiking the Dunn’s river falls from teh beach to the top was both super thrilling and memorable at the same time. Read more in my blog post here.
5 ) Swim with the horses in the ocean :
Jamaica is one of the only places in the world where you can get to cross this off your bucketlist – to actually swim with the horses in the deep ocean! We did this at the Half Moon Equestrian center which is open to both hotel guests and outsiders. Read more in my blog post here ; scroll all the way to the bottom of the post.
6 ) Feast on some delicious Jamaican food :
Top : c/o Popella shop
Don’t forget to try out some yummy Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee while you are on the island! Also if you are looking for a fine dining restaurant, definitely check out Sugar Mill at Half Moon resort, awarded as one of the best restaurants on the island. This fine dining restaurant is one of the best in all of Jamaica and is known for its unique twist on Jamaican cuisine, and its historical location – the former Running Gut Estate on the Rose Hall Sugar Plantation.
Heres a quick video to recap our amazing trip to Jamaica!
Thanks for stopping by! xoxo