- Location: Caribbean.
- Capital: Kingston.
- Currency: Jamaican dollar (JMD).
- Language: English, Jamaican Creole.
- Best time to Visit: December through April.
- Time Zone: UTC – 5.
- Calling Code: +1-876
- Major Airports: Norman Manley International Airport (KIN), Donald Sangster International Airport (MBJ).
When you’re looking for an island getaway, once you see all the places to visit in Jamaica, your search will abruptly end. Long known as an ideal spot for a Caribbean vacation, you have so many options it is almost impossible to keep track of them all. Among the most developed of all the nations in the West Indies, massive resorts and quaint beachfront hotels spring from the soft sands all over the country’s 180-mile-long landmass. The list of cities – Montego Bay, Negril, Ocho Rios, Kingston – reads like a countdown of the most sought-after destinations for visitors from all over the world, but what about those out-of-the-way spots? What are a few places you might be able to escape the throng of tourists to enjoy the tropical paradise in relative peace?
Blue Hole Mineral Spring
Just 25 miles southeast of Negril on the western end of the island, this is among Jamaica’s least-known natural wonders. Part of a small resort with a swimming pool and thatched-roof bar, you’ll have a hard time getting away from the magnificent subterranean spring. Take the ladder down to the water level 25 feet below ground (or jump from the surface, if you’re feeling adventurous) and then swim to the sides as the local daredevils leap from the treetops high above.
Situated on a massive estate 50 miles southwest of Montego Bay, you’ll love the seven gentle cascades and crystal clear natural pools. The setting is amazing, the water drops over each ledge amongst lush rainforest – it’s a paradise tucked away in the Jamaican countryside. Tour the property and ride a zip line along with the jungle canopy, then use a rope swing to splashdown in the exhilarating warm water. No matter what you do, it will be well worth the drive.
Though not exactly strange to tourists (they were in the James Bond movie Thunderball), the scenery here is a favorite for natives and visitors alike. The jagged rock face drops steeply into emerald waters below. Resorts and restaurants offer several jumping-off points for thrillseekers, meaning you can dive into the lagoon below from as low as four feet to heights well above six stories. Spend your afternoon in the water, then grab dinner and stroll along the cliffs as the sunsets.
Bath Botanical Gardens
A favorite among locals, soak in these hot springs near St. Thomas before wandering through the second-oldest botanical garden in the Western Hemisphere. The warm water is filled with sulfates, creating an ideal environment for alleviating skin conditions and soothing achy joints, but it also supports the bright blossoms displayed above. Established in the 18th century by Captain William Bligh of the infamous HMS Bounty, some offspring of the original species still grow here today.
If you’re the type that wants to experience a local culture outside of the carefully-protected resort properties, then you will love the nightlife in this town a short drive southeast of Kingston. You can find plenty of uniquely Jamaican wares and experiences during the day, but it’s nothing compared to the explosion of color and reggae rhythms in the dance clubs come sundown.
Jamaica has a tropical maritime climate with hot and humid weather. The average coastal temperatures remain between 26°C to 30°C throughout the year. However, the higher inland areas have a more temperate climate with an average temperature of 18°C. One can find a good amount of rain in this island nation. However, the rainy season starts from May/June and continues till November/December. However, September and October see the heaviest rain. Jamaica often experiences substantial storm damage as it lies in the hurricane belt of the Atlantic Ocean.
Air: Norman Manley International Airport (KIN) at Kingston and Donald Sangster International Airport (MBJ) at Montego Bay are two of the major airports in Jamaica. Flights from a number of destinations in the United States, Canada, and European countries are available.
Train: You can travel between the places on the island by train. Clarendon Express is pretty popular among the tourists.
Other Tourist Attractions
There are many places to visit in Jamaica. Nassau Valley, Black River, Blue Mountains, Cave Valley, Negril Beaches, Little Ochie, Appleton Rum Estate, etc. are some of the biggest attractions in Jamaica. You should also visit popular cities like Kingston, Montego Bay, Port Antonio, Morant Bay, and Ocho Rios.