What is it about Jamaica?
If one of those places, the moment you step into it’s own little world, you feel the tension leave your body, you relax, you slow down. I can’t explain it, but a few days here and I am good to go for months.
Every year over one million tourists visit Jamaica, the Caribbean’s third-largest island – and it’s not hard to see why. It is a self-contained holiday universe offering unsurpassed tropical beauty, excellent watersports, the most vibrant of music scenes and a sophisticated tourist industry.
There are many different images of Jamaica and, because the country is so diverse, visitors find that most of them are accurate. It’s an island where you can find peace and seclusion in relaxed coastal hide-aways or join the crowds in the big, popular resorts.
There’s Kingston – the Caribbean’s largest English-speaking city; Montego Bay’s wonderous stretch of white sand and more hotels rooms than anywhere else on the island; Negril with its legendary seven miles (11km) of white sand beach and breathtaking sunsets; and Ocho Rios, home of the spectacular Dunn River Falls. Port Antonio on the east coast is known for its lush vegetation and, for a more unhurried pace, there is the laid-back South Coast on Jamaica’s rustic countryside.
Metropolitan Kingston is the centre of the island’s cultural and business life, where you’ll find markets, art galleries, museums, theatres, nightclubs and of course, the Bob Marley Museum, the recording studio in which the reggae star worked and lived. If you’re Marley mad, you might want to go inland to see the Bob Marley Mausoleum at Nine Miles, 45 minutes from Ocho Rios.
The National Heroes Park in Kingston celebrates the lives of other notable Jamaicans. In nearby Port Royal – once the island’s capital – you can see where pirates such as Sir Henry Morgan and other buccaneers lurked when they weren’t carrying out raids across the Caribbean.