From the American East Coast, 10 daily flights land in Kingston and Montego Bay. Therefore, getting to the island is not a problem. The challenge starts with choosing a destination. Where do you go?
Kingston, the capital of Jamaica, has the reputation of being unsafe for foreigners. That may not be true, but unless you are involved in investigative journalism, you have no need to test the theory and find out the truth. Wisely, you will opt for Montego Bay, Negril or Ocho Rios.
Montego Bay, for the Sophisticated…
It featured in James Bond’s Live and Let Die.
It is the easiest place to get to. From Sangster International Airport, it will take you minutes to reach your hotel. The hotels are fabulous. Disadvantage: More expensive than anywhere else. The hotels offer plenty of activities and entertainment, such as golf and horseback riding.
Outside of your hotel, you will visit:
Green Grotto Castle
Green Grotto Cave
Green Gray House
At night, you will have the chance to enjoy, perhaps the best nightclubs on the island, among them:
Cornwall General Hospital is the closest you will have to an American hospital, in Jamaica.
Ocho Rios, for the Down to Earth…
Featured in The Bachelor and The Real Housewives of Atlanta.
The drawback is it takes shorter to travel from Miami to Montego Bay than to reach Ocho Rios from Montego Bay. And please, don’t even think about driving in Jamaica. They drive on the wrong side of the road (British legacy).
Do not expect to see eight rivers (ocho rios, in Spanish) when you reach destination. This is simply a misnomer. The hotels are less sophisticated than the ones in Montego Bay, but they are more family friendly. You should inquire about their free babysitting programs.
Ocho Rios is a docking port for cruise liners. Outside of your hotel, you will find plenty to do.
Dunn River Fall, the #1 Jamaica tourist attraction
Duty-free shopping open markets.
Blue Hole (I can’t explain, just jump in there.)
Konoko Falls and Park.
Shaw Park Gardens (botanical)
Bamboo Beach Club
Turtle River Park
Negril, for the Cheap and Real Fun…
Paradise for honeymooners and swinging couples.
It takes 75 minutes to drive from the airport to Negril, as much as it takes to fly to Miami.
In Negril, it is all about the beach, a long, long, long white sandy beach, with clear blue water hosting a permanent party. The locals call it Eleven-Mile beach. In there exists one small inaccuracy: the beach is 7-mile long, but who cares?
Many hotels are built on the beach: from mom and pop’s to Sandals. There also are restaurants, bars and nights clubs. Then there is Rick’s Café, where divers plunge 80-feet high to their death, but surprisingly, none of them, die. At the bars, on the beach, one can easily spot a call girl, never too prominent, but generally ready for the ride or for the night.
On the beach, ganja (marijuana) is quasi openly on sale. In Negril, is held an annual Ganja Festival. The next one comes in March 2019.
Beyond the majesty of the beach, there is a small town. It offers a craft market and several souvenir shops. Seize the opportunity to drive further, and see the Light House, and some cannabis farm. You may also spend some time at the Kool Runnings Adventure Park, or at the Roaring River Park, or the Royal Palm reserve.
Negril is Nature. There is a meaning to Hedonism.
From anywhere in Jamaica, the visitor may search, request and enjoy:
Bicycling on Blue Mountains
The Bob Marley Bus Tour
(Odler Robert Jeanlouie, Sunday, August 19, 2018)