Close your eyes and think about Jamaica: what do you imagine? Reggae music? Usain Bolt? Beach resorts?
For most people, Jamaica has long conjured up images of beach paradise, and while the tropical climate is one of the main attractions, there are a whole host of other fantastic reasons to visit. Sitting at the centre of the Caribbean Sea, Jamaica oozes charm and relaxation from the bustling streets of Kingston to the luxury retreat of Montego Bay where you can enjoy a relaxing package holiday with Thomson.co.uk or other major holiday companies.If you’re interested in history, Devon House in Kingston is a great place to visit. Built in 1891, it was originally owned by Jamaica’s first black millionaire, George Steibel. There’s a huge array of antique furniture and décor on display and the grounds hold many exciting shops and restaurants. Jamaica’s premiere brand of ice cream, Devon House I Scream, has its flagship store on this location.
Staying out of the main cities doesn’t have to mean missing out of the action. Many smaller Jamaican towns have a lot to offer travellers. Negril for example offers several fantastic experiences, including Mayfield Falls, where visitors can camp, hike and picnic and learn traditional local dances and cooking techniques, or have their hair braided and tipped with beads and shells.While visiting Negril, you’ll also have chance to check out Dolphin Cove, the largest dolphin lagoon in the world. Swim with dolphins, sharks and stingrays or take a camel ride along the glorious beachscape.
More adventurous travellers many want to tackle the Dunn River Falls, where groups can climb the 183 metres to the top of this regenerating spot of natural beauty. As a fun twist, visitors are invited to join hands with one another to walk the falls in a human chain. Local crafters can be commissioned to carve a personalised piece before you head off, for you to collect on your return as a souvenir to remember your day.
After a hard days climb, you can cool off in the Rockfort Mineral Bath in East Kingston. This refreshing mountain-filled pool sits at the bottom of Long Mountain and is open to visitors of all ages, who are invited to bathe for up to 45 minutes. While you’re in the area, you may want to explore the military fort that was erected in 1694 as a British defence base.
Whether you’re interested in a relaxing romantic break, or a fun-filled family holiday, the amazing sights and sounds of Jamaica will stay with you for a long time after you leave.