Fun-loving couples who want a “no problem” getaway will revel in happy-go-lucky Jamaica. The third largest island in the Caribbean, Jamaica is easy to reach, economical, and blessed with a bevy of sports and natural offerings as well as a thriving nightlife. Surrounded by the bright blue sea, the “land of wood and water” has three mountain systems, more than 120 rivers, 200 miles of beaches, 25 indigenous bird species, 3,800 flowering plants — 720 of which are unique to Jamaica — and over 500 types of ferns.
Before You Go: Need-to-know info
Language: English and patois
Flight time: 4 hours from New York City; 7.5 hours from LA; 6 hours from Chicago
Getting around: Licensed JUTA taxi recommended
When to Go: Jamaica at its best
Best weather: December to April. Rain (called “liquid sunshine”) is common, especially in October.
Best prices: Mid-April to mid-December; exact dates vary by hotel. Hurricane season swirls from June to November.
What to Do
Montego Bay: Located near the airport on the northwest side of the island, “MoBay” is perfect for golf getaways and short vacations. You can pack a lot of window shopping, beach bumming and rum punches into a short period of time.
Ocho Rios: Garden strollers and nature lovers should make the trip from the airport to Ocho Rios, called “Jamaica’s Garden,” where you’ll find awe-inspiring waterfalls, tropical flora, sugar plantations and quaint fishing villages.
Port Antonio: Called the “most exquisite port on earth,” Port Antonio is a less developed seaside gem on the northeast side of the island near where jerked cooking was invented, and The Blue Lagoon was filmed. Need we say more?
Negril: Legendary for its hedonistic happenings, this once-sleepy secret on the west coast is out. The main draws here are the beautiful Seven Mile Beach, cerulean sea, glorious sunsets and two miles of colorful reef.
Kingston: Although Bob Marley’s home base is culturally rich, we don’t recommend Kingston for vacationers, unless you seek the roots of reggae (visit the Bob Marley Museum) or a starting point to the spas and hikes in the beautiful Blue Mountains.
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