1. The Beaches
So this probably goes without saying, but if you are in need of long stretches of powder white, footprint-free sand, and swaying coconut palms, and if you long to hear the lapping of soft Caribbean sea waves, Jamaica needs to be on your bucket list. Whether you are looking for a secluded cove to escape the world or every type of adventurous water activity, Jamaica has it all. From snorkeling to horseback riding, from glowing bioluminescent beaches to kayaking, and steel drum reggae beach parties, there is something for everyone.
Brooke and I had one and only one beach goal for this trip: relaxation! Having recently been on a cruise with loads of adventure, we needed this week in Jamaica to just find peace and quiet. The beaches at Riu Montego Bay and Sandals offered the respite we long desired. Within a week’s time, there were six weddings on the beach, but they were out of the way and actually were quite fun to watch from our balcony or on the beach. Every beach we visited, there were absolutely no crowds. It was pretty much like we had the beaches all to ourselves.
2. The Food
Jamaica has some of the freshest seafood and fruit we have ever had. Our newest find: jack fruit! All we can say is yummmmmm!!! A daily site of fishermen walking along the road, farmers bringing in fresh eggs in the mornings or a local man climbing a palm tree to pick coconuts for us…honestly, you can’t get any fresher than this! Furthermore, the spicy curry and jerk seasoning is something that I guarantee you will want to purchase in bulk and bring home.
3. The People
As soon as you land at the airport, you will be greeted by welcoming Jamaican people excited that you have arrived. They are not aggressively trying to sell you anything, as several other islands we’ve visited gave us that experience. Honestly, they are just happy, laid back people who love to laugh and enjoy life to its fullest. “No problem Mon” may sound cliche, but Jamaicans honestly say it…a lot, and they live by this philosophy! If you need examples of what stress free, living in the moment really looks like, head to Jamaica. As a host of one of our beach parties stated, “Life is not a rehearsal…live it to the fullest!”
4. The Music
Since Brooke and I are huge music lovers, we felt at home from the minute we arrived. With soul healing steel drums and reggae, Jamaicans are very much into dancing and music. Everywhere we went, people were singing and dancing. We literally danced every single day. If you’re not into singing and dancing, all of your inhibitions will melt away here. Trust us….people were dancing that had absolutely no rhythm whatsoever; No one cares. To again quote a local, “You need to dance and sing every single day of your life…Ya Mon!”
We were greeted at breakfast with the singing staff and our dinner waiter sang to us each night. He had the most beautiful voice we had to record him. Brooke and Andre even sang a duet together. Something about music heals your soul. I never anticipated this prior to the trip, but music was a major contributing factor to the peacefulness and joy we acquired from this vacation.
We decided to hire a guide for an entire day to take us around the island. We’d suggest, wherever you travel, if you choose not to do a full guided tour, then a private guide is a must. We got to see Usain Bolt’s high school track and where Bob Marley grew up. We walked the beach where Christopher Columbus landed (we will omit our ethical viewpoints on that one right now) and so much more. Meeting local people is what makes travel rich for us and having the experience or our guide taking us to local restaurants, shops and communities is what it’s all about. We felt completely safe the entire time.
Our guide took us to Dunns River Falls where we spent 2.5 hours hiking the falls. It would have been so much better if we chose to do this first thing in the morning, as the cruise ships had already docked and the Falls were packed. This massive crowd was definitely a negative aspect of this experience, but based on our schedule we could only fit this in after lunch. The climb is quite a workout. You will be in need of a nap afterwards, and the water is freezing! If you decided to book any excursions, we recommend you do them early and then head back to your resort to rest for the remainder of the afternoon.
Having visited several Caribbean islands, they can, over time, all seem a bit similar, but Jamaica has left a unique lasting impression on us; it stands out from the others. We’ve only skimmed the surface here. If you’re planning a trip to Jamaica we’d recommend ten-fourteen days unless you are planning to just stay put at a resort. But honestly, you will not get any sense of the beautiful culture of Jamaica unless you venture out, meet people, and truly explore. No matter where you end up staying–Montego Bay, Ochos Rios, Negral, or any other area of the island, you will definitely experience the “No Problem Mon” vibe that makes Jamaica absolutely amazing!
So as you can see, we had the most amazing week. We are in love with all things Jamaican, feel renewed and are hoping the relaxed vibe remains with us when we return to reality!
Have you ever been to Jamaica?
Brooke’s swimsuits by https://limetteshop.com/