JAMAICA RESORT AREAS 101
When thinking of a perfect vacation destination, Jamaica is the obvious choice for many. Birthplace to legends such as Bob Marley and Usain Bolt, originator of jerk cuisine, reggae music and home of beautiful white sandy beaches – Jamaica has a lot to offer. Surrounded by the lush Caribbean Sea and boasting some of the warmest climate year-round, Jamaica is a firm favourite for tropical holidays. The island boasts a wealth of cultural heritage and is home to positively infectious people who are remarkably and refreshingly laid back. Coupled with a “no problem” slogan, it’s no wonder Jamaica tops many travellers’ bucket list. As the Jamaica Tourist Board aptly says, “Once you go, you know.”
Jamaica’s 15 parishes are separated into 6 resort areas, each with their own unique vibe, attractions and diverse amenities. Let’s explore them all and find the perfect area for your next destination travel.
The Negril resort area comprises of the parishes of Hanover and Westmoreland and is known as the capital of casual. One of the most magnificent beaches on the island are on the west coast along Negril, often referred to as the Seven-Mile Beach. This uninterrupted stretch of white sand is met by the lush warm tranquil waters of the Caribbean Sea. Along this famous coast you can go diving or snorkelling around the protected reef areas for a spectacular marine-life experience.
Sunset watching is also ideal in Negril. From the cliffs of Rick’s Café, enjoy a cold Red Stripe beer as you watch the sun glistening off the pristine crystal waters as it sets, and the moon begins to rise. Venture off close by and experience the Zimbali Culinary Retreat in Caanan Mountains, Westmoreland. Learn about their organic farm on the property and watch up close from your seat right in her kitchen as Chef Alecia prepares wholesome culinary treats.
Nightlife in Negril is vibrant and where many locals and visitors converge for the love of our local Reggae music. It’s the perfect place to relax beachside by day and immerse yourself in reggae beats by night.
The Montego Bay resort area comprises of the parishes of St. James and Trelawny. Montego Bay is synonymous with white powdery beaches, crystal blue water, upbeat reggae vibes and is the duty-free shopping hub. This north coast city is the capital of the Tourism Industry.
Home to the largest selection of resort properties, Montego Bay boasts many excellent golf courses, historic attractions and top-notch restaurants. Active travellers will also find many activities ranging from canopy tours to ATV and horseback rides. Visit the famed Luminous Lagoon, one of very few places in the world where you can swim in bioluminescent waters.
You can also immerse yourself in an authentic cultural experience at the Ahh Ras Natango Gardens, enjoy a game of golf at up to three nearby golf courses including the Cinnamon Hill Golf Club, and step inside the supposedly haunted Rose Hall Great House.
The Ocho Rios resort area includes the parishes of St. Ann and St. Mary. You’ll find some of Jamaica’s most iconic attractions and beautiful gardens here in these parishes. For persons who are more upbeat, Ocho Rios consist of multiple activity parks such as Dolphin Cove, Mystic Mountain and our very own Chukka Island Village Outpost. Not to be missed is the world-famous Dunn’s River Falls. This grandiose waterfall is a national treasure, a refreshing 600-foot climbing pleasure visited by thousands every year. The recently commercialized Ian Fleming International Airport (OCJ) makes Ocho Rios and the surrounding areas and even more attractive choice to get to the heart of your next adventure.
The Kingston resort area is of the parishes of Kingston and St. Andrew, St. Catherine and St. Thomas. Kingston is dubbed as the cultural hub and is also the capital of Jamaica. This is the heart of the island’s cultural community and a must-see for those interested in music and other art forms as well as gastronomy. This area boasts the likes of the Bob Marley Museum, Tuff Gong Studios, the Emancipation Park and many more cultural sights to see. A short trip into the nearby hills will have you sipping from the source, some of the world’s finest, the Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee.
Kingston is home to many business hotels, boutique properties plus bed and breakfasts’ – no all-inclusive resorts in sight. Just like any other bustling city, visitors can expect to enjoy a variety of culinary options from streetside to fine dining. In these dishes you will find many cultural influences stemming from the island’s heritage and motto “Out Of Many, One People.” Indian, African and Chinese to name a few. In general, heavy spice is a way of life but we can also do mild for beginners. Nevertheless, there is always a cool Red Stripe Beer or scoop of Devon House Ice Cream ready to cool you down.
Staying in Kingston is also easy and convenient with the Norman Manley International Airport providing connectivity to many gateways across the USA, Canada, UK and the Caribbean. So the next time you’re looking to explore our island’s city life – check out Kingston, there is so much in store.
The resort area of Port Antonio is known for its distinct natural beauty. Located in the parish of Portland, visitors that make it here take the road less travelled. However, what awaits is nothing short of amazing! Majestic waterfalls, sheltered coves, deep blue lagoons and winding rivers – all surrounded by lush dense flora, are just some of the area’s highlights. Port Antonio’s natural beauty can be attributed to the high levels of rainfall experienced in the parish, the highest in the entire island. Portland is known as one of the most beautiful and romantic – a perfect balance between peaceful surroundings and peace of mind.
The lush green untouched environs are perfect for those persons who want to get away and be in touch with nature. Enjoy Reach Falls, Rafting down the Rio Grande River, a beach day at Frenchman’s Cove or trekking down to the Blue Lagoons. Reconnect with nature here. You won’t be disappointed.
The south coast area consists of the parishes of St. Elizabeth, Manchester and Clarendon. This area is known for their dark sandy beaches, referred to locally as ‘black sand beaches.’ The South Coast is off the beaten path, a true escape into the Jamaican countryside filled with authenticity and emersion into the surrounding community.
This natural paradise of unspoiled beauty and old-world charm boasts areas such as Treasure Beach, a six-mile gem with coral and black-coloured sand that’s home to a genuine fishing village and some vibrant local culture. Venture farther north to YS Falls, a collection of eight cascading waterfalls nestled within limestone cliffs, or to the nearby Appleton Rum Estate Experience, Black River Safari and a host of others. The South Coast is considered by many to be one of Jamaica’s most beautiful natural attractions.
Let us find the perfect resort area for you! From the active adventures along the north coast, to the passive vibe of the south coast; there is a sure find for you among the six resort areas in Jamaica.