Travel & Tourism

This category contains content that will help you plan your travels to Jamaica. Discover popular tourist destinations, cultural experiences, food and drink, accommodations, and the best ways to get around. Get ready to explore the beauty and diversity of Jamaica.

10 months ago

I want to move to Jamaica. But I am also kind of lost, any sort of advice/support/criticisms would be appreciated, once you have heard a bit of my story.

This is likely going to be a long post, so I appreciate anytime you give to it, thank you. This is a big decision for me and my whole way of life, as I am sure you can imagine. With that, I really want to take the time to get into a few details about who I am and why I am doing this. To give context but also help convey how serious I am. I'm 29, and I do not have a lot of family. I have some decent friends but no sort of support system. I have been doing good on my own since I was 19. But just over this past year things have taken a turn. Being alone for so long, (actually... not even alone. More so just Lonely, If that makes sense.) It has turned me inward, I have done a lot of soul searching. Trying to do my best to be my own family. I have a lot of belief in myself but it is getting harder and harder to keep that up now-a-days. This introspection has gotten me to change, personality wise, in some areas and not in others. I have gotten rid of parts of myself I learned were hateful, angry, and just many other negative emotions. While locking on to things about myself I grew to appreciate, Take pride in, and things I want to keep around despite maybe what other say. I have come to terms with a lot about who I am, and I like myself. The reason I bring all that up is because I want to help convey where I am at in life a bit more. I am learning the people around me are not the best people to help somebody like me blossom. Which sucks, because the friends I have are some of the only "family" I have. But they do not help me to grow. Plus, I can ultimately always send them a post card. If anything they unwarily, but actively restrict me. A bigger example of this is just who I am and what I want to do in my life. I am confident I can run a business, I am confident I can be a good employee at other places of business, I am confident I could come up with many ideas to make a life for myself. Some sort of career. And not just settle on some generic 9 to 5 job. I'd like to make it clear that I am not blaming the people around me or anything. I Just realize it is side-effect from me being who I am in this environment. But this space that I am in... I can't evolve. I am never "seen", if that makes sense. I do not have people around me with the ambition I have, and I don't know where to find that in a place near me that I trust. Which brings me to another side of this, I am an America. If that wasn't obvious already. I don't really like my country. Not in a very negative personal way, It just doesn't fit what I want to be. I can't get a 9 to 5 job for 40 years and just be happy. I can't be in a society that is so one-track minded on what it means to be a functioning member of society. I want to go against the grain and find my own way. And of course, Doing things this way anywhere is bound to make things harder, I understand that. But in America you actively get mocked for being anything different. The political system is so extreme and uncommunicative. It just isn't the country I want to call home, and it isn't a country I have any sort of motivation to do anything like; Be a employee for a company that only see's you as a number, Or to start my own business, Or to do anything motivating on top of everything else I have been talking about. It is just a heavy mix of a ton of things that feel wrong to me. And I know I don't need to feel this way. I just want to find some people who are like minded in some aspects. Which is where you all come into play. Your country and what I hear about it sounds amazing. The people, the people sound PERFECT. Of course, this is a very subjective way to look at a whole country. But based of the way I see people who actually live there, the way they talk and react, I am confident I would be happy there. I am a very equal opportunity type of person, I am on Team Humanity at the end of the day. Your equal view on gender, is so refreshing and makes me happy because I am kind of shy, haha. So honestly, I would think an environment like that would make things more comfortable for somebody shy like me. I have also heard, you all tell people how it is. You don't sugar coat things for the sake of keeping a smile and avoiding conflict. For me, that is EVERYTHING. Meeting people who are petty, hide, and avoid everything are pretty much all the people I meet. (I'd like to make that very clear, to show how much that is lacking here in America. Even if I had no money, no skills or anything. This fact alone, about not sugar coating things, would be enough for me to move their and risk homelessness) Along with many other aspects about your country and culture I am starting to really like. Anymore insight into the type of culture and philosophies you all have, would be VERY appreciated. So in a bit of a summary, From age 19 onward I have been going super fast. (With no family, and some friends far off in the distance, as from age 19 - 27 I traveled a lot. Just trying to figure out life on my own. With a few small pit stops and bumps along the way.) I figured it out enough to get stable and finally take time to REALLY think about everything, about mainly who I am and what I want in life. With that, over this past year, things really started to get weird for me. I got depressed and secluded, but I also grew. I realized a lot about myself. I grew to appreciate myself, that I want a better life, and I don't want to be lonely anymore. But then I came to the realization that I can not stay where I am at and continue to grow the way I need/want to grow. I need a healthy more supportive environment. So... I took stock of places in my country and realized I basically hate my country now, too. To which my search continued outside of the country and I have finally landed on Jamaica. After tons of consideration about culture, the people, the climate, and the economics of all the places I looked into, I have landed on you all. None of the other places I looked into spoke to me the way your country is. So I would really like to be apart of it. And now for some of the more practical and/or tangible things about my situation that should effect all this. I'll start with the more bad, and go into the more positive aspects. First, I do not like to drive. But I have already talked about so many things I am not going to get into why. Just know it is serious for me and I have figured it out in every other place I have been without having a car, it does not bother me. (Being a bit more healthy and getting a bicycle and traveling a few miles to work is normal and I like it) Secondly, I do have money saved up to likely be able to stay in Jamaica comfortably for 6-12 months but not much more outside of that. I would like to start/create something within that time frame. Whether it be finding a job for a respectable company or creating my own company with something I can bring to the table, or working with a group of people with the same ambitions as me to come up with a career/business. Thirdly, I have a dog but looking into it, that is going to just be a lot of paperwork, ultimately. So not sure how much that is a problem or not. As for some of the more positive aspects; If I find a company I respect, I am super loyal and ambitious. I just need to know my work is going towards something positive and I will get whatever needs to be done, done. I worked in mobile tech support for over 4 years. I had other, more manual labor type jobs, sprinkled around when I was younger. I am very familiar with computers. So manual labor or a desk job doesn't bother me either way. As I said, Ultimately I want to work for a good company. With that idea still in mind, the best way I would want to solve this would be just making my own sort of income/job/business. So I am very ambitious toward that. If I happen to get lucky, working for some sort of ambitious start-up company would be ideal. I have good leadership skills, and a good leader also knows how to follow/work with a team. I know how to grow weed, and shrooms (if that is important or not?). I am passionate and waiting for a chance to break into something more creative and idea orientated. (I am also a night owl) ((Oh I am also A guy and white. If that matters in anyway)) (((Oh-Oh and I lost my job to Covid, so I am not currently working right now))) All of that was more so a "just in case" kind of thing. Ultimately what I am looking for is more-so just like minded people, rather than some job. I am confident if I just found a good environment with good people, I would be able to figure out the money side of things easily for myself. Too wrap things up, I liked to just express the main purpose of this post. I am looking for any sort of help to help me reach this goal of moving to Jamaica, In any sort of form. Even criticism, as I am sure many people would just consider me crazy. So as long as you can give me a reason or something, I am happy to hear it. Other, more positive things I was considering/hoping for was; Ways I can find people I can vibe with and ultimately lay down some quality roots to have a quality support system. As well as, People for connections. People I could contact and talk to for a possible job, living arrangement, and other quality of life things I would need to learn. Advice on any part of this process, advice on any part of Jamaica specifically, advice on the culture. Reassurance that maybe I am not crazy, and that you all are pretty cool people. Advice on types of jobs I could look into? Jobs I would be qualified for and maybe just jobs in general. I would love if any of you reached out for me to able to contact you more openly. For me to ask questions, for you to ask questions, and whatever else. I will literally be flying blind here in so many ways. I do understand the risks, which is a bit part of this, honestly. I do good under pressure and I want to experience the culture shock. I want to shock my comfort system to force myself to doing things I know I will be proud of. So if you could try to take all this into consideration and come up with anything to help me out, I would appreciate it. Thank you for your time.

1 year ago

1st time in Montego Bay w/ Family

What’s up everyone. Really hoping some locals/residents can provide some insight for me. After looking through many of the Caribbean/Central America destinations, I decided that Jamaica made most sense for my family to visit for one of our final vacations before we begin to start our own careers/families. The mixture of the energetic/lively culture and breathtaking views make it seem like the perfect destination. I’m a male in my early 20’s who’s very social and active, and has a general knowledge of Jamaican culture as my great friend of the past 10 years is Jamaican and has introduced me to a lot. I listen to the classics like Vybez Kartel, Popcaan, Buju Banton, etc, have had home made beef patties, jerk chicken, and oxtail, and jokingly speak Patois with my bro. Even the scenes of TopBoy shot in Jamaica had me hyped. I lay that out just as some context, and to differentiate myself from the majority of honey-moon or suburban family oriented groups who come to Jamaica to enjoy commercialized food on the beach from the comfort of their resort (which is completely justified in certain circumstances). I have the following **questions**: * What area do you recommend? It seems Montego Bay, Kingston, and Negril are most frequented by foreigners. I’ve chosen Montego Bay based on the following – let me know if it is accurate * *Montego Bay* – great balance of resorts/vacation and culture (if you decide to pursue the culture, and venture outside of your resort). Unlike Negril where the beaches are isolated, instead you have access to a large city as well as many tourist activities such as Bamboo rafting, horse riding, and even local food spots * *Kingston* – although the history runs deep and rich, and it is a major city – the lack of beaches, views, and rumours of crime are something that have eliminated the option * *Negril* – amazing beaches, but seems far too isolated to be able to experience even a taste of true Jamaican culture. The “hotspots” just seem to be Rick’s café – how much culture can you truly experience from an established venue frequented mainly by tourists? * What will the weather be like in late August? Also what tourist “season” is late August generally referred to as - Is it a rush, empty, moderate? And lastly, is there anything special or unique going on in Montego Bay during late August? * What would you recommend we do? We plan on staying at an all-inclusive resort in Montego Bay, but my family has huge a interest in other cultures. We are well travelled, and have also lived in grimy third-world countries riddled with poverty and crime for multiple years in the past. I provide all that information to say; we can handle ourselves in high-pressure situations, and are not immediately scared off at the claims of crime in Jamaica – although a better, more authentic explanation on what to expect would be highly appreciated. Also, I would love to immerse ourselves with the locals and party/dine with them at their functions * What genuine experiences would you recommend for a family with a high tolerance and able to navigate certain situations (we’ll also have a Jamaican driver/companion to help us) – I’m personally tryna go out at night to the block parties/functions and catch a gyal wine on me n teach me summ LOL. Any thoughts? * Where would you recommend to eat? Honestly, I kinda want to avoid an all-inclusive resort just so we have an excuse to eat in the city every day and have some real, authentic Jamaican food. Whether its hidden gems, or classic street vendors. We love it all (Side note: 1 family member is vegetarian, will their be options for them? Everyone raves about the fruits and veggies in Jamaica) * What are some “classic tourist” activities that would be recommended, but actually are fulfilling/enjoyable? I definitely want to visit the Bamboo rafting, possibly the Usain Bolt museum, and horse riding on the beach. Anything else you’d recommend? * What is the best way to meet up with locals? Again, we love immersing ourselves in the culture, and we generally find trips turn out much better when a local takes a liking to you, and would like you to join them in their activities. I would genuinely appreciate any information to any of these questions. I understand I’ve asked a lot, but this is how I show respect to the country and area as I want to experience everything it has to offer in its entirety. I’d really appreciate those individuals who’ve lived there for a while, have grown up there, or have had vacations in a similar structure. If your vacation to Montego Bay consisted solely of getting drunk and eating hamburgers on the beach then I’m afraid your advice/suggestions would most likely not align with what I’m seeking.

1 year ago
1 year ago

What should I know before my trip to Jamaica?

We're taking a delayed honeymoon since it wasn't in our budget when we got married last year. So, after widdling it down from 7,000 islands to just a few, we decided on Jamaica. It has everything we want to do, including swimming with dolphins, scuba/snorkeling, hiking, off-road jeep tours, etc. So we're looking at RIU Palace Tropical Bay in Negril. It's within our budget, right on the beach, and has everything we would need. Is there any reason we wouldn't want to stay there? Sometimes reviews online can't be trusted. It looks great for the price, but before we commit, I just wanted to double check through you all in case there's something we should know. Also, and more importantly, is Negril a good place to stay to begin with to see the actual culture of Jamaica? From what Inread, it's better than Montego Bay for what we're looking for. Yes, in Negril we'll still be at a resort on the beach. It's obviously a tourist destination, and we do want to relax and be tourists because we're going on our honeymoon. But we also want more than just the beach experience -- we can do that in the U.S. We're interested in the awesome parts of Jamaica you don't see in vacation/honeymoon advertisements. We'd also like to know of any common tourist mistakes or annoyances. We don't want to be assholes when visiting, but we don't know much about hit country. So please, I'm all ears. Also, if you all just don't want any American tourists at all, and if you hate us all before we even arrive, I'd like to know that, too. I get it and understand. Americans suck sometimes. Anyway, I'm at work and typed this quickly, so I didn't get all of my thoughts out. But please, tell me anything that comes to your mind that you think a visitor should know. Planning a trip to a country you've never been to is realky difficult without the help from those who have. So we greatly appreciate any info you're willing to provide. Thank you all im advance!

1 year ago

Sandals South Coast

Hubby (teacher) and I (self employed) have booked a trip to Sandals South Coast in early April of 2023 (his spring break). We are spending a pretty good chunk of change because we haven't ever been on a "luxury" vacation and haven't traveled at all during COVID so we're ready for a splurge. We are staying in a beachfront walk-out one bedroom butler suite in the Italian Village. Because hubs is a history teacher he would love to visit at least one, possibly more, historical sites or museums that aren't a 3-hour drive from Whitehouse/Sandals South Coast. I'm also not super thrilled with the number of tours/offsite activities that are being promoted on the Sandals website, so I'm now wondering if there's good suggestions for any private tours/drivers that we might be able to contract on our own. It's our first time in Jamaica and I love nature, he loves history, and we're both in love with food. I mean, I kind of daydream about eating "real" jerk from a small stand, we've never had ackee, I'd love to taste some real pepper pot. I have it in my brain that the "jerk shack" at the Sandals resort is going to be softened for tourists. Is there such a thing as a Jamaican food tour? Are there any historic sites within an hour of Whitehouse/Sandals SC that are worth seeing? Are there any private tour guides/providers that also do the standard trips that are marketed through Sandals like visits to (any) falls, etc.? Anything that's a must-see or must-do in that area? I'm a person who has traveled a lot in Mexico, I speak Spanish, and so when we do visit Mexico we end up spending a lot of our time eating with/hanging out with locals, but I understand that my expectations should probably be a little different in this case. Thank you very much in advance for any ideas/thoughts/experiences with Sandals SC, recommendations of favorite things at that Sandals, or favorite staff, any particular butler we should request, anything like that. We have already booked our flights and our MoBay as I've been told that will shave time and stress off of arrival and departure.