Jamaica is hot and spicy, yet also laid-back Bob Marley-style. Whether you know of Jamaica through a jerk chicken recipe, Bob Marley's "Jammin", the sweet sound of steel drums or the speedy Usane Bolt, this sun-drenched Caribbean island continues to make its mark and beckon the curious traveller.
I've been twice and learned a few things:
- Always negotiate your cab price before you leave and be firm about it. Regardless of our negotiations, our driver took us to our Rick's to watch the crazy divers, waited for us, then demanded double the rate to return.
- I will never go to the depths of the ocean unless it's on a submarine. I'm not a good candidate for scuba since I had trouble breathing through my mouthpiece in a pool (might have something to do with my breathing problem :))
- Dunn's river falls is: wet, sort of steep, extra fun in a torrential downpour, best experienced in a bathing suit and aqua socks, overcrowded and full of guides wanting to make spicy videos for tourists to take home.
- There is no shortage of sly guys, prowling the shore in boats in search of tourists wanting to experience the laid-back lifestyle (to the fullest)
OK, back on track.... Jamaica holds a special place in my heart. My first time there was on my honeymoon. I now realize that the only pictures I have of my honeymoon are, gulp, not digital and it was only 5 and half years ago! We stayed in Negril at Superclubs' Grand Lido. At the time, Grand Lido Negril was the crown jewel of Superclubs brand featuring the only 5-diamond restaurant in the Caribbean, nightly cruises on Princess Grace's honeymoon yacht and complimentary manicures to all guests. Sadly, the resort has turned into a (Grand) Breezes.
My second Jamaica experience was a short cruise ship stopover where we were taken on a 'three-hour-tour' up to Dunns River Falls. See my thoughts in the bullet points above.
Today I'm going for a Jamaican trio, travelling there for a third time in search of sun, fun, relaxation, a good resort experience (hopefully), unbelievable music and spicy chicken! When I left Jamaica the first time, I told my husband we should come back the following year, he negotiated five. Curiously, five and half years later, here we go again!
Stay The RockHouse hotel. Voted best boutique hotel in the Caribbean for fifth consecutive year with individual cabana-style rooms scattered on a rocky, sea-side outcropping. When I go back to Jamaica--maybe for my 10-year anniversary--I will stay here!
Entertainment Rick's Cafe featuring speedo-clad, daredevils diving into a steep, rocky bay from high-flying tree branches.
Do Rhino boat safari. Not sure why the two-person boats are called rhinos, but I had the time of my life launching myself off waves and down shallow rivers on this ocean safari.
Getting There Canada to Jamaica - Fly with Air Canada (AC) or WestJet. In the winter months, AC offers direct flights from Vancouver. Year-round fly from Toronto with AC and WestJet.
USA to Jamaica - Fly with JetBlue, US Airways, Delta and United.