The country of reggae. And you will hear a lot of Reggae during your Jamaica holidays.
But Jamanica has also beautifull beaches to enjoy.
Our Jamaica holidays were in Montego Bay, one of the most touristical areas in Jamaica. There are many hotels around Montego Bay but not as many as you will find in the Domanican Republic.
Things to keep in mind
- Although Jamaica has the image that everybody is smoking Marihuana, if you are up to smoking, keep in mind this is not legal.
- Outside the resort sales people will tell you that they work at your resort, to win your trust. But it is a bit a coincidence that the whole island is working at your resort.
For our Jamaica holidays we stayed at the Grand Iberostar Rose Hall. A very Luxury and nice hotel. Many restaurants and Bars to choose from inside the hotel. The rooms are very spacious, a very nice pool with Swimming up bar. There are more Iberostar hotels next door and you can use also the facilities as guest from the Grand Iberostar.
Although the hotel is quite large, it does not feel too crowded. What we found quite a disadvantage of this hotel is that there is limited outside space. The hotel is oriented on the inside in terms of bars and restaurants. On top the AC is running on low temperatures which makes it a bit chilly inside the hotel and the temperature difference high with the outside.
The hotel has the all-inclusive formula with plenty of choice in terms of drinks and food, both of good quality. There is nice entertainment at night, with a good reggae band.
There are enough hotels to choose from in Montego Bay, but we believe we made a good choice for our Jamaica holidays. It is not a cheap hotel but has good standards.
Things not to miss.
- The trip to the Dunn`s falls is one of the things you must do. Climbing the falls is not too difficult. The area is very nice and the trip from Montego Bay is not too long. A bit annoying are all the people waiting for tip at the end of the falls. There is a line and they all expect to get something. It is good to take dry clothes with you as you will get wet, but with the hot weather that is quite a nice refreshment.
- We also took a sightseeing trip into Montego Bay. There is not much to see, but it is nice to see something from the real live.
We booked a ticket with Jet air and booked the hotel separate. This was a huge difference in price compared with a traditional package. Especially outside high season it can save you a lot of money.
The best is to look for a flight with the vacation airlines like TUI or Thomas Cook. Here you have the better options to find a direct flight. Connecting flights to Montego Bay will add quite some hours into your travel time.
What we see as a huge benefit to book a flight and hotel separate is that you have more flexibility. You can split your stay over more hotels. And if you make sure you book a hotel that you can cancel, you can see once you are at the vacation destination whether you made the right choice. Is for example the hotel you booked not according to your expectations than you can change to another hotel. Is the location not that good, same thing you can change your hotel.
Once you book a package holiday, you will not have this flexibility.
Inside the resort it is obviously absolutely save, and organized trips are no problem. We took a sightseeing trip into Montego Bay during our Jamaica holidays, and went a bit off the main road. We had the feeling that people were watching us and we were not feeling to comfortable. However, we did not face any problems, but would not go there after dark.
Now safety seems to be of more concern in Jamaica, with even some governments advising there citizens not to leave the hotel due to the high criminality.
Don`t get yourselves fooled by the people on the street telling you that they work at your hotel. They are not and just try to sell you something. It is one of the most common tricks to scam tourists.
In Jamaica you feel the laid-back Caribbean atmosphere. The reggae influences can be seen everywhere. You can also visit the house of Bob Marley, but it is a long trip from Montego Bay.
You will hear a lot of time “Ya Man” which is the most used expression in Jamaica. It means that they agree with you.
Jamaica is not the country with a lot of cultural places to visit. If you want to go and explore a country, then Jamaica is not your destination. In the case we advise to go for example Brazil or Mexico, where you have more to do and see outside your hotel.
It is all year around very warm and humid. In the autumn months, when we had our Jamaica holidays, it can rain quite a bit. Typically, these are the short and intensive showers and thunderstorms. The good thing is that the temperature will not drop, so as soon as it stops raining you can go back to the beach. The humidity is very high, so also evenings are quite warm.
We went in the autumn and had almost every day rain. Some days just some short showers but also days with rain for a substantial part of the day. It is a bit a hit and miss during this period.
If you want to be sure of sunny weather, the period December – April is the best. The period June – October is the period where the chance for a hurricane is the biggest. October is the month where you have the biggest chance of considerable rain.
Prices vary with these seasons. In the period June – October prices will be significant lower. In this period it is the best to go with a very last-minute, so that you can see the weather forecast before you head to Jamaica.
Do we go back to Jamaica? Most likely not. It is more a country which you visit once which more than worth it. But is not the most interesting vacation destination you will find on the Real Travel Blog.
But as there is not much to do outside your hotel there is not really a reason to go back. If you are looking for a pure beach vacation the Domanican Republic island is a better option.
You have way more choice in hotels and these are also quite a bit cheaper than in Jamaica.
Read also places to visit Brazil, to get an idea of what we understand of a combination of beach and sightseeing.