The Caribbean island nation of Jamaica is famous for the sun, sand and sea as also rum, reggae and great outdoors. The island’s largest airport is Montego and cruise ships dock near Ocho Rios bringing in a million tourists every year, if the figures of the Jamaican Tourist are anything to go by. For the convenience of the tourists, there are many Jamaica accommodation rentals comprising private villas, cottages and apartments located close by. Savvy travellers to Jamaica can find rentals that suit any budget.
Most tourist activity in Jamaica is focussed in Ocho Rios. To be near the action, you can choose to stay in Ocho Rios apartments overlooking the Ocho Rios bay. The area is famed for the Dunn’s River Falls, with water cascading down a series of protruding rocks forming a natural staircase which tourists can climb up with the help of a guide. Then there is Negril, known for its spectacular beaches and equally stunning sunsets. The notable beach here is the Seven Miles Beach, counted amongst the best in the world. The capital of Jamaica is Kingston, a must visit for those who are interested in Jamaica's history and its vibrant arts and music scene. While any one of these cities makes a good base for exploring the island, visitors can also check out surrounding smaller towns. Falmouth, a sugar plantation town near Montego Bay, Rio Bueno near Ocho Rios and Petersfield near Negril to get a glimpse of rural Jamaican life and admire the colonial architecture.
Jamaica offers a wide range of accommodations ranging from five star resorts to fully furnished apartments. Most budget minded vacationers prefer to book Jamaica villas and cottages because that allows them to arrange their own entertainment and meals and immerse themselves in the local culture.
Food and drink
Jamaican cuisine greatly relies on the native produce comprising chicken, pork and fish. You’ll find jerk stands everywhere serving jerk, which is meat seasoned with peppers and spices and grilled over a hot fire made of pimiento wood and mixed in fiery jerk sauce. If you don't want it spicy, you can ask the cook to leave off the sauce. Besides, you can check out other local specialities such as rice cooked in coconut milk and native red beans.
Jamaica is also famed for its Blue Mountain coffee, which is prized for its smoothness. The island is also home to Red Stripe beer, available in both light and regular varieties, and Appleton Rum. Infact, you can even tour the Appleton Rum factory south of Montego Bay along the Black River.
The local currency is the Jamaican dollar; however US dollars are also commonly accepted from local jerk stands to duty free shops. Whether you are in the beach or in the towns you will be beseeched by vendors selling local crafts. Be firm but polite if you don’t want to purchase. For souvenirs, you can buy local paintings, wood carvings and pottery as well as items crafted from shells and coconuts. Coffee, jerk seasoning and rum cakes are also good buys.
While you will always be safe within your community of Jamaica villas and cottages, exercise some common sense while venturing out. Don’t go out alone after dark, avoid carrying too much cash or flashing expensive watches and jewellery. You may be asked to purchase marijuana or other drugs on the streets, but realize drugs and possessing marijuana is illegal in the country.