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Idyllic settings.

Jamaica is the third largest island in the Caribbean and one of the most colourful. The idyllic white sand beaches with turquoise waters and colourful tropical blooms sit on a backdrop of blue mountain peaks, providing some attractive scenery and an idyllic setting for a holiday. Renowned as the birthplace of Bob Marley, reggae remains at the island's musical heart and contributes to the laid back atmosphere.

Renting a car is a great way to get around the island. There are lots of areas to explore, all offering a different way to experience Jamaica. You can opt for a lazy day on a secluded beach or opt to explore the ‘the real Jamaica' with street markets of ackee, yam and breadfruit and vendors hawking kulu kulu rum, or alternatively explore the fishing villages of Treasure Beach, Port Antonio and Oracabessa, which offer a glimpse of Jamaica's quieter side.

Jamaica Tourist Board: The official website for the Jamaican Tourist Board – a useful resource for planning your trip to Jamaica.

Know Before You Go: Travel advice from the FCO for Jamaica.

Things to see and do

  • Hike along one of the hiking trails in the Blue Mountains.
  • Take a tour of the world-famous Blue Mountain coffee plantations.
  • Relax on Montego Bay’s laid-back Doctor’s Cave Beach.
  • Explore the limestone caves on the north coast.
  • Take a ride on a bamboo raft and explore the Rio Grande for a thrilling trip through banana and sugar cane plantations.
  • Go scuba diving and explore the sunken wrecks and variety of fish and coral.
  • Visit the Bob Marley museum.
  • Take a romantic cruise or river raft alongside enchanting waterfalls.
  • Get in touch with nature at the botanical gardens and working plantations.
  • Visit Kingston, Jamaica’s cultural and commercial centre. There is lots of sight-seeing for art and culture.
  • Spend some time in the Port Antonio area which is said to be the prettiest area of Jamaica. There are cascading waterfalls, crystal springs and caves. If you follow the coastal road for about 60 miles from here, you’ll travel some of the most scenic roadway in the world and you will end up in Ocho Rios.
  • The area between Ocho Rios and Runaway Bay offers some great sightseeing. Visit Dunn’s River Falls, take a sunset cruise, visit Prospect Plantation, Coyaba River Garden Museum at Shaw Park Estate, Harmony Hall with its unique collection of arts and crafts, and historical Seville Guest House.

Festivals and events

  • Wine and Food Festival raises money for the Heart Foundation in Jamaica and is a great way to sample local cuisine. (September)
  • Nyammins & Jammins Food Festival raises money for local project in Jamaica. (October)
  • Kingston Restaurant Week occurs across Kingston, Montego Bay and Ocho Rios. (November)
  • Port Royal Music Festival lasts for three days and is hailed as the islands biggest music celebration. (November)
  • The Jamaican Coffee Festival held annually in Kingston celebrates this Jamaican tradition. (Autumn)
  • Ocho Rios Jazz Festival offers visitors a great selection of jazz. (June)
  • During Jamaicas’ Independence Day it jumps to life with music and dancing as the island commemorates the anniversary of its independence, which took place in 1962. (August)
  • The Jamaica Carnival is celebrated in parishes including Negril, Mandeville, Montego Bay and Ocho Rios, each organises their own costumed street parades, blowout fetes and Las Lap. (March)

Time difference

GMT -5