An essential guide to Jamaica

2nd June 2018

The Caribbean paradise of Jamaica offers sandy white beaches, a load of history and the most incredible feel-good vibe. If you’re looking for the ultimate relaxing getaway complete with enticing views, incredible food and of course, Bob Marley beats, Jamaica is the place to be.

Photo: Visit Jamaica

The Basics

  • Flight time: A direct flight from London to Montego Bay takes around 9 hours 45 minutes
  • Prices: £650 average direct return (based on high-season July)
  • Currency: Jamaican Dollars (JMD)
  • Weather: Reaches highs of a scorching 35 degrees in high-season July and August
  • Capital: Kingston
  • Timezone: GMT -5

Where To Go

If you’re a newbie, Montego Bay is your best bet. Jamaica’s second City has it all, making it the perfect introduction to the island.

What To Do

There’s an array of pristine white beaches lined with perfect palms, with the real show-stopper being  Doctor’s Cave Beach. The picturesque beach is part of the protected Montego Bay Marine Park and has been one of the most famous beaches in Jamaica for almost a century. With crystal clear calm waters, near-white sands, Doctor’s Cave is the perfect place to make the most of Jamaica’s chilled vibes.

For a little bit of history, take a tour of Rose Hall. It might look idyllic, but dig a little deeper and you’ll realise that the Georgian mansion is famed for the legend of the White Witch of Rose Hall. It is said that Annie Palmer, the owner, killed off all her husbands and slaves until she was murdered herself and her spirt now haunts the home…

Hit up the local nightlife on Gloucester Avenue , home to Montego Bay’s biggest and best bars and clubs. There’s a massive Cuban influence, with many of the Latin music clubs offering free dance classes to get the night started. For a classic Jamaican party, head to one of the beach clubs and dance until dawn to reggae and calypso.

Glistening Waters, or Luminous Lagoon as it’s also known, is one for the bucket list. The waters here glow a magnificent bluey-green when disturbed. On a starry night, you’ll get a hallucinogenic  sensation, making the experience even more surreal-  it’s hard to tell where the water ends and the sky begins. Tours begin around 7pm and are around $25 USD for a 30 minute boat trip.

Where To Stay

Montego Bay is home to an array of resorts no matter your budget, so whether you’re wanting to save for all the activities the City has to offer, or splash out on the most luxurious accommodation for an extra special event, there’s something to suit everyone.

What to Eat

A visit to The Pork Pit on Gloucester Avenue is a must and it has even been listed in Patricia Schultz’s New York Times bestseller 1000 Things To See Before You Die. The locals say it’s a place that must not be overlooked and offers some of the best traditional jerk pork in Jamaica that’ll have you coming back for more.

Things To Remember

  • Keep an eye on foreign travel advice before travelling
  • Read up on local laws and practices
  • British Nationals do not require a visa to visit Jamaica and are granted a maximum of 90 days entry
  • It is customary for tourists to tip
  • In most of the developed areas of Jamaica, it’s safe to drink tap water


Comments (1)

  • Kim

    3rd June 2018 at 1:24 pm

    Would love to visit Jamaica one day. Great tips for when I do.

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