Is Jamaica Worth Visiting? Tips for Planning a Trip

A prime location for cruises, there’s a reason why many consider Jamaica to be the beating heart of the Caribbean. From white sand beaches to the Blue Mountain valley, this island’s natural beauty is in abundance. Jamaican culture has made a lasting impression all around the world, but here’s a taster of what a trip to this island paradise could be like.

Consider a Caribbean cruise 🚢🎊

Jamaica’s breath-taking landscape embodies everything to love about the Caribbean. The white sand beaches, the sparkling water and sun-kissed nature are already beautiful, but add sunrise hues into the mix and you have the perfect picture.

It is hardly a surprise, then, that so many would choose to explore Jamaica via cruise. For starters, you have access to incredible views whenever you like. And waking up in time for dawn is much easier when all you have to do is step outside.

Cruises usually stop outside Kingston and in Montego Bay. But the most famous docking point is easily Ochos Rios: a destination packed with cinematic allure. Climb the mystical Dunn’s River Falls in your bathing suit, and if you’re still feeling energetic, book onto an action-packed tubing tour. Don’t forget to check out the gift shop and museum at the historic Jamaica Inn: a favourite resort amongst many Old Hollywood Stars, including Marilyn Monroe and Ian Fleming — the man who brought 007 agent James Bond to life.

Fun fact: three James Bond films have been filmed in Jamaica, but the first ever (Dr. No in 1962) filmed in Ochos Rios. You may recognise sites like Dunn’s River Falls as the place where Bond first met Honey Ryder in her iconic beach scene.

Check out Royal Caribbean or TUI for inspiration.

Ochos Rios, Jamaica.

Unwind on the Seven Mile Beach 🏎️😎

You’ll find mesmerising beaches across the entire island, but if we had to narrow down the best area for this category, it would be Negril. This western region has an easy-going and romantic spirit — regardless of all the honeymooners and happy couples who cannot get enough of this place.

Sometimes the best activity is nothing at all. It’s not hard to find your own space on a beach that stretches for seven miles. Grab a lounger and your day is made.

Sleep all day if you like, because Negril has plenty of beach bars where you can party until the early morning. Listen to a live band or Reggae music with a cocktail in hand, or maybe try some of that famous Jamaican rum. Served up with a plate of jerk chicken, the two compliment each other quite nicely.

But if you’re more of an adrenaline junkie, don’t count out Negril just yet. An unexpected highlight of Negril is its motorsports speedway, where you can live out your Formula 1 (or Mario Kart) dreams. There’s also push-karting, ATV tours and ziplining — just in case one activity wasn’t enough. The “capital of casual” brings out the inner child in everyone.

A beach in Negril at sunset.

On to the Blue Mountains ⛰️☕

One hour away from Jamaica’s capital, Kingston, you’ll find a different world entirely. As the producers of the mild and sweet Blue Mountain coffee, it’s surprising that the Blue Mountains is relatively unknown to many.

Getting here can be quite challenging since the roads are quite narrow and have a few potholes. Once you overcome those obstacles, you’ll discover an unbelievable view of the rainforest — and that’s before you even start hiking to the top.

There are three different hiking trails you can take in the Blue Mountains that cater to different skill levels. The easiest option is to explore the Holywell National Park’s trails. There are several viewpoints and information boards along the way, making it all the more easy to freely unwind.

Meanwhile the Blue Mountain peak is a bucket-list worthy adventure. A round trip can take anywhere from five to eight hours, making this quite a challenging trek. Yet despite this hike taking you to the highest altitude point of Jamaica, the hike is less steep than you may expect.

Stopping off at one of the few cafes along the road is highly recommended. If not for a cup of those world-famous beans, then to get to know the locals and ask what it’s like to wake up to this view everyday.

Viewpoint of the Blue Mountains.

Need to knows

Although many travel to Jamaica via cruise, the island has three international airports. These are Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, and finally Ian Fleming International Airport in Ochos Rios.

A trip to Jamaica can be incredible, and it is for many. However, there are some precautions travellers should take when visiting. In particular, taking public transportation and walking alone in isolated areas or at night is advised against. Tourists are recommended to travel exclusively with certified taxis and established tour operators. A good idea is to speak to your hotel’s staff and ask them for suggestions.

For more information, check out World Nomads’ detailed guide, as well as the public travel advice provided by your government.

Header image is of Ochos Rios.
Starting from Skratch? Here are some links to help you get started:
Kick back and relax with our Island Life series.

Jamaica — Facts before you go


🇯🇲 English (Official); Jamaican or Patois (Patwa) most widely spoken.


💵 Jamaican dollar ($), but USD is usually accepted inside resorts.


💲 Not expected but appreciated. 10 to 15%.

Famous for…

🏖️ Beaches

🫘 Blue Mountain coffee

🎶 Bob Marley & Reggae

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Hannah Douch
November 8, 2023

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