Travel tips to Jamaica written by Shirly from Israel, who travelled there as an independent single woman:
Without a doubt, one of the most beautiful places I’ve been to. I came there for the love of the local habit..and I stayed there because of jamaicas good vibrations and sea..
As a girl who travelled there for 5 weeks, having an amazing good time, I can tell that Jamaica is a great vacation destination, its cool, beautiful and special. Anyone that tells you that Jamaica is dangerous, just didn’t know how to handle himself with the locals, who speak in there special “english”, the local “ Patwa “.
To be honest, before I came to Jamaica, I didn’t do any search about the place, and I knew very little. All i did is get on a cheap filght to Jamaica from Miami. I didn’t even know, that the locals are from African origin with a vivid charactor, but I found out as soon as I landed..
The Jamaicans are a people that been through a lot, and it shows on their short temper, but their celebration of life, happiness and “good vibrations” has kept them as a festive people.
Jamaica is a popular tourist site for Americans, coming on their spring break, on cruise ships and in some area even for sex tourism, both men and women.
If you know how to bargain, it can even be a cheap vacation destination.
- How to get there?
Getting to Jamaica is pretty easy from all over the world, and You don’t need to have a visa to enter the country
The cheapest flight to Jamaica I could find, was from Miami to Jamaic Capital Kingston. In 2007, a round trip cost me around 100$.
My first stop was Montego bay (I was on the plain to there with the famous singer Sean Paul!), a much more welcoming feeling then arriving at the rugged capital of Jamaica, Kingston.
For my taste of vacation, there is not much to do in Montego Bay besides a few touristic stuff like taking a cruise. So what I did there was going to the local market, eating at KFC, and took a special taxi to dreamy Negril..
So my first travel tip would be that MB is nice and all…but better plan ahead to move on to much more cool places.
The Dream – Negril
This beautiful small beach town is where it all happens, with beautiful blue water beaches, streches 10km long, great people and Jamaican vibes, this is a paradise travel spot.
- How to get there?
As I mentioned, I got there from Montego Bay by taxi (3 hours drive), which is not very expensive (about 60$), but you can also use the public bus, which is about 15$.
- Where to stay?
I recommend highly staying at ALFRED’S OCEAN PALACE, which has been for the last 20 years one of Negril most well known spots, offering cheap accommodation, bar and restaurant. ALFRED is a family owned & operated seaside restaurant & bar/beachfront guest house, with regular REGGAE SHOWS and much things to do..
I stayed there for 40$ a night in a big 2 floors beach apt, so if you come with a few friends, I turns pretty worthwhile.
Ganja tour”, to go see the plantaions fields, what happened was, that in the middle of the field, they started to wave machetes at us, asking us to give them 200$ each!! All we had in total was 36$ so we gave it to them, and they let us go..so you can say we were elegantly rubbed..
So one travel tip would be be aware to where you’r going and with who…
Black River –
This is a nice small town, sitting in front of the longest river in Jamaica with the same name.
One of the biggest tourist attraction is doing a cruise on the river. According to the travel guides, you are sopussed to see there dozens of birds spiecies and crocodiles. In Reality, all I saw was 2 crocodiles and one bird..
Besides the river, you can also make a half hour drive to Ys falls, where you can zip line and go tubing. Nice, nothing more.
Another tourist attraction is taking a Rum tour to appelton rum factory, which is an hour away from Black River.
Other cool spots in the area:
Pelicon Bar – a bar right on the sea. You get there by a fishing boat, just go to the local fishermen. I’f you’r with a car, better take the boat from Parotee which is the closest village, a 5 min boat drive (about 10$ a person.
Aligeator pond –
A small village in southwestern Jamaica, located in a valley between to mountains, with a beautiful deep blue water bay and behind it, . This Village is pretty far attached from the rest of Jamaica, and it’s a great travel destination where you can go deep diving, snorkliing and to nude tanning..
There is a great Fish Resturant there called “Little Ochi”, you choose the fish and see how its been made for you to eat. YUM YUM. I recommend taking the KING fish. Its worth the drive.
- Ocho Rios
Ocho Rios is a tourist town situated in the northen coast of Jamaica, in “Garden Parish” (Jamaica is divided to Parishes), which is considerd Jamaica’s most beautiful area of all.
Around Ocho Rios you will find many beaches, waterfalls, lagunes and many tourist traps and attractions. Many Cruise ships dock there for a few hours.
Ocho Rios is a very well known family vacation destination, so get ready to join the mass tourism of Jamaica. If want to try to avoid the crowds, try to find a little more remote beach to stay in just outside of town.
- What to do?
You cant miss going to One of Jamaica’s most famous attraction which is Dunn’s River Falls just 3km far the center of town. Join the rest of the tourists climbing up to the waterfalls, where the movie “Cocktail” was filmed. You can get there by taxi (about 50$), it’s worth it. You can also get on a boat trip on White River.
If you want to go shopping, head to town center, go so turtle park, which is a very nice park with a pond with turtles in it. Around the park area there are a few shopping malls and markets like ocean village shopping center.
For more information, Check out Jamaica observer.