View Map

Overview

Known for its reggae music and Rastafarian culture, Jamaica is one of the most culturally complex of Caribbean islands. This mountainous isle is stupendously scenic, although relatively few visitors venture into the interior. The rugged Cockpit Country boasts dramatic landscapes, while the Blue Mountains offer a challenging hike topping 7,000 feet. Many of the best beaches are the private domain of hotels, but Negril is one of several stunning white-sand beaches that host live reggae shows.

Jamaica's watersports are superb, from diving to sailing. Golf is an island forte, as are lazy bamboo raft trips, and there are historic ...

Known for its reggae music and Rastafarian culture, Jamaica is one of the most culturally complex of Caribbean islands. This mountainous isle is stupendously scenic, although relatively few visitors venture into the interior. The rugged Cockpit Country boasts dramatic landscapes, while the Blue Mountains offer a challenging hike topping 7,000 feet. Many of the best beaches are the private domain of hotels, but Negril is one of several stunning white-sand beaches that host live reggae shows.

Jamaica's watersports are superb, from diving to sailing. Golf is an island forte, as are lazy bamboo raft trips, and there are historic plantation homes and working plantations to explore. Kingston, while limited in tourist sites, is a cosmopolitan city with a vibrant cultural scene and throbbing nightlife. Jamaica's sobering violence rarely involves tourists, but the aggressive hustling of tourists in recent years helps explain the runaway success of all-inclusive resorts, such as Sandals and SuperClubs. Accommodations range from the all-in resorts to escapist boutique hotels, notably those of the Island Outpost chain, which draw from the Hollywood A-list.

Christopher Baker
About the Expert

Christopher P. Baker has authored guidebooks to Costa Rica, California, and various Caribbean islands for Frommer's, Lonely Planet, and National Geographic, among others.

view full overview

Christopher Baker for Triporati

Compare Flight, Car Rental, and Hotel Rates

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Note: A new window will open for each site you select.

Now Happening in Jamaica

Facts at a Glance

  • Location: is an island nation of the Greater Antilles in the Caribbean Sea and is south of Cuba and west of Hispaniola.
  • Language: English, English Patois
  • Currency: Jamaican Dollar
  • Research: Wikipedia | Wikitravel
  • Weather: Rainfall | Daylight
  • Current Time:

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    December-April dry season; April for Carnival in Kingston; August for Reggae Sunsplash