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Jamaica see + do

Jamaica's diverse landscape—sugary beaches, mountainous rain forests, and unique rocky coasts—has been luring visitors steadily for the past several decades. And thanks to infrastructure improvements, it's easier than ever to create an itinerary that includes all three. Resorts, large and small, have lined up along the coast, which means guests can choose from a laundry list of water sports, from kayaking and kite surfing to deep-sea fishing and diving (the best of which can be found in Negril). Farther inland, canopy tours offer a bird's-eye view of the lush interior, and rafting trips traverse the rivers near Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, and Port Antonio. Golf is another big draw, especially in Montego Bay, which is home to three championship courses.

Jamaica's strong sense of culture is a huge draw as well. Practically synonymous with reggae, the country hosts the world-renowned Red Stripe Reggae Sumfest in mid-July, and pays tribute to its ambassador, Bob Marley, at the artist's former residence in Kingston and at the Bob Marley Theater in Montego Bay. Jerk spice is another of the island's famous exports, but it barely scratches the surface of Jamaican cuisine—one that reflects a complex heritage and merits a trip beyond the large resorts to truly local restaurants. (Rastafarians, a small but influential portion of the population, have their own distinct cuisine, known as ital, that's salt-free and vegetarian.) Touring the former great houses (or plantation houses) gives a taste of the British colonial period and the influence it still has on the island's art and architecture.

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Beaches in Jamaica

In Jamaica, all beaches are public (some charge a small entry fee), but a world of difference separates the facilities at a luxury resort and a beach frequented...more

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Blue and John Crow Mountain National Park, Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park

Blue and John Crow Mountain National Park covers almost 200,000 acres of wilderness on the eastern end of the island, between Kingston on the south shore and...more

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Bob Marley Museum, Kingston

The late grandmaster of reggae enjoys godlike status in his homeland, and a visit to this, his shrine, is a must for music mavens. This simple clapboard house...more

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Canopy Tours in Jamaica

A forest canopy tour turns beach potatoes into instant Tarzans, swinging through naves of greenery on cables and walking rope bridges hundreds of feet in the...more

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Coronation Market, Kingston

At Jamaica's largest daily market, every kind of produce from all over the island is for sale. You'll find gungu peas, dasheen, breadfruit, and an enormous...more

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Deep-Sea Fishing in Jamaica

Just 15 minutes from shore, the water beyond Jamaica's coral reefs teems with marlin, wahoo, billfish, tuna, and dolphinfish. Marlin tournaments are held in...more

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Diving + Snorkeling in Jamaica

There are dive sites around the entire Jamaican coast, but some of the best underwater gardens of black coral, rope sponges, coral gorgonians, and the thousands...more

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Golf in Montego Bay, Montego Bay

Jamaica's northwest corner around Montego Bay is a golfer's heaven, with six gorgeous 18-hole courses. Three of them are famous championship courses, all...more

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Great Houses of Jamaica

The most imposing of the former plantation houses around Montego Bay is Rose Hall Great House, pictured, the restored home of a legendary 18th-century...more

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Hope Botanical Gardens, Kingston

Seventy tranquil acres next to the University of the West Indies include cactus and forest gardens, an orchid house, and a small zoo and aviary. Open daily 6 am...more

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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