ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Visiting Jamaica Me Crazy Mon

Updated on May 8, 2013
Jamaica has some of the clearest sunsets
Jamaica has some of the clearest sunsets

Relaxed to the max, that’s the best way to describe Jamaica. Nothing is urgent in Jamaica, everything is simply “No problem mon.” Best way to convey this ideology is a picture I took outside a “restaurant” on the beach.

When going to Jamaica, especially for the first time, you really only have two options for cities to stay. The biggest city and capitol, Kingston, is really just too dangerous to visit. Even the locals tell you to stay away from the city if possible. Montigo Bay has the main airport, from which you will have to fly into, and is by far the biggest and most popular destination, but it’s a bit too touristy for my taste, making Negril on the west coast a much better choice. It’s smaller and more relaxed, and there are a lot of nice hotels and resorts right on the beach. Most of these resorts are on what’s called '7 mile beach', because of the seven miles of pristine Jamaican beach running along the coast.

'7 Mile Beach'- Seven miles of pristine beach on Negril's west coast.
'7 Mile Beach'- Seven miles of pristine beach on Negril's west coast.

The coast and its beaches are not the only natural beauty one can find in Jamaica. The inland areas of the country are filled with tropical forests, mountainous terrain, and spectacular waterfalls. I took a day trip into the inland, which in my opinion the best way to do is with a hired cab driver. You can find these guys anywhere and they’ll take you wherever you want to go for the day for usually around 50 bucks. Just make sure the cab is in fact a cab and you’re not being scammed. You can usually spot a scam, but be careful. So I went up to the mountains and visited a little “plantation” area that was quite interesting. The inland area was beautiful, the waterfalls were my favorite but I was surprised to see big tracts of open land where you could find horses grazing. My cab driver and guide through this adventure was named simply Mushroom. He was a cool Jamaican and taught me all about the exploits of Bob Marley and what it meant to be rastaaa. Bob Marley is pretty much as big as you would expect down there. They obviously exploit heavily in the touristy areas, but even in the smaller shanty towns you can hear his music being played. I think there might actually be a church or some kind of cult dedicated to him. The love is intense, you'll get that impression right away.

YS falls...these tiers of waterfalls just kept going back up the river for miles
YS falls...these tiers of waterfalls just kept going back up the river for miles
Hiking with a local named 'Mushroom'
Hiking with a local named 'Mushroom'
Hangin at 'Mushrooms' house
Hangin at 'Mushrooms' house
These elephant ears were ginormous
These elephant ears were ginormous

The socioeconomic situation in Jamaica is clearly third world with most of the people living in total poverty. There aren’t many job opportunities and in fact more than half of the economy is relies solely on tourism. You get a sense of this the minute you walk out of the airport as you are swarmed by locals trying to sell you something, mostly pot. Seriously I hadn’t even left the airport before I was confronted by about 10 guys trying to sell me some. They are usually really carefree and funny about it though. Arriving in the country on Christmas Day one of the locals trying to sell us dope came up to me and said HO HO HO merry Christmas, Santa Claus comes bearing gifts! The stuff really is everywhere and there is just a total benign neglect to it, even though it is in fact illegal. People are smoking it on the beach, on the streets, even your hotel bell hops offer it to you on a daily basis.

Not sure exactly what that is ;)
Not sure exactly what that is ;)

Accommodation

Depending on who you're going to Jamaica with will determine the kind of accommodation you will want. If you're a couple then you'll definitely want to stay in one of the many all inclusive resorts on the '7 mile beach.' If you're with a family or just a couple buddies there are plenty of cheaper hotels in that area as well.

Food

Unless you are staying in one of the all inclusive resorts there isn’t a whole lot of options for decent food to eat. There’s only a handful of good restaurants, so if you fancy going to the same places it’s not a big deal. If you’re there for a longer stay your hotel might have a kitchen in it, but the grocery store is a bit sketchy, but do-able if you’re there for a long stay. One thing they have in abundance is jerk chicken. Literally every 50 yards or less on the “main road” there is another jury rig grill making burgers and jerk chicken. The chicken is actually pretty tasty, it’s cheap and stopping to talk to these guys is half the fun.

Smokey Joe's road side pulled chicken. This guy was out here all day every day.  It was some really good chicken.
Smokey Joe's road side pulled chicken. This guy was out here all day every day. It was some really good chicken.

One restaurant in Negril that is a must see is Rick’s Cafe. It’s not just the restaurant atmosphere, with its quality Jamaican service and live reggae music, making it worth the trip, but the place is perched right on top of a cliff line and they let their guests jump off the cliff at will.

Rick's Cafe
Rick's Cafe
Me cliff jumping
Me cliff jumping

Fun and Games

There is no shortage of things to play with in Jamaica; from banana boating to zip-lining Jamaica offers a wide range of fun activities for everyone. I would absolutely suggest at least doing some of the water sports. Unlike getting on a jetski in the states, the Jamaicans aren't too bothered by what you do while you're on them. There is a lot more freedom and flexibility, which allows you to be a little more wreckless and have a bit more fun.

Water Sports

Definitely the key note attractions in Jamaica. You'll find everything in the way of watersports, the trick is to shop around for cheaper deals. Always bargain. My personal favorite water toys was the jet ski, scuba diving, banana boating, and this awesome trampoline they just have flight out in the middle of the water that you can jump around on and off of.

Adventure Sports

There is plenty to do other than water sports. A popular thing to do is take day trips to the inner island to hike around the several big waterfalls around the country. YS Falls and Dunns river are the two big ones, and both are beautiful. There's a lot of adventure type sports, such as zip-lining, off-roading, horse riding, archery, plantation exploration, you name it and you can probably find it. Jamaicans are always looking for a way to make a buck.

Night Life

Apart from the day adventures one can have in Jamaica, sitting on the beach getting a tan, checking out one of the many water sports all along the beach, cruising into the inner island to see spectacular waterfalls and lush “plantations”, there are many fun experiences to be had at night as well. There are a bunch of really fun restaurants that have good live music and an entertaining atmosphere, like Rick’s cafe above, but there’s also a lot of cool beach parties thrown randomly along the beach. Sometimes you have to pay to get into these but many times they are free, but they’re all fun. It’s usually a mixture of locals, travelers and in betweeners just jammin out to some live reggae music. This was one of my favorite parts about Jamaica. The atmosphere is so chillaxed, weather at night is perfect so your just wearing shorts, t-shirt and sandals, your drinking a couple rum rummers, mingling with the people who are just so laid back and friendly. You end up meeting random people from all over the world, some of the time right down the street from you.

So if you’re not wanting to go to Jamaica after seeing these pictures then you’re crazy!! Seriously a must see if you have the time and money; especially the money because contrary to my belief Jamaica isn’t that cheap, especially in the tourists parts. Jamaica is a great vacation spot and can be a great place to take the family, but in my opinion it’s best enjoyed by adults, either couples or a few friends. Being in Jamaica you can relax to the max, partake in one of the many activities on the beach and around the island, mingle with some locals and have random adventures, or a combination of all three. If you’re ever down that way and don’t have much time skip the other stuff like the Bahama’s, Mexico, the Dominican, just head straight for Jamaica. That’s where time stops and you can just forget everything going on back at home.

Cool Runnings!!!
Cool Runnings!!!

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • TravelinJack profile image
      Author

      Jack Baumann 5 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

      Yes Clara it is truly an amazing place, make sure to add it to the bucket list!!

    • Clara Lambert profile image

      Clara Lambert 5 years ago

      seeing the pictures really makes me want to go there at ONCE!

    • TravelinJack profile image
      Author

      Jack Baumann 5 years ago from St. Louis, Missouri

      You definitely should!! One of the most beautiful places I've visited

    • Mrs Jil Manning profile image

      Mrs Jil Manning 5 years ago from Sussex, England

      fabulous hub, these pictures are amazing! This really makes me want to go and pay a visit myself.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)