Home is where the heart is, right? I was ten years old when I had my first taste of Jamaica, and every few years I meander my way overseas to this little (...in size, big in personality) island. The slow pace, warm temps, and 'no problem' attitude was a nice getaway from below freezing, Christmas craziness in New York. The week flew by, but the pictures make fleeting moments last and remind me of all the beauty that surrounded us.
Jamaica is a place you can simply go and be. There is much to explore, but as soon as you walk into the airport, you experience the exotic island and welcoming culture right away. Reggae artists on their bongo drums, merchants selling freshly picked fruits, waves crashing against the shore, tropical foliage and an infinity of blue mountains.
During our week long stay, we roamed from one end of the island to the other - stopping for authentic Jamaican jerk, cliff jumping, beach days, blue mountain hiking, and a tasteful brunch.
Staying inside the gates of a resort is fun I'm sure, but I'd rather be free to wander. If you're planning your next venture, I would consider adding Jamaica to your list. But what will you do? Where will you stay? How will you dine? Hold off on the headache-inducing Google surfing; I've got you covered.
Rick's Cafe : cliff jumping, if you dare ...
Dr.'s Cave : lovely beach, enjoy any day BUT Tuesdays and Wednesdays - when cruises land.
Mystic Mountain : skyline tours and adventure activities for the curious soul.
Dunn's River Falls : climb up a giant waterfall!
Blue Mountain Hiking : 7400 feet at the peak, the views are incredible!
Reach Falls : beautiful attraction tucked in forests of the John Crow Mountains.
Port Royal : visit a sunken pirate city!
Scotchies : best jerk, fire-roasted breadfruit, festivals. make sure to try 'ting' (grapefruit soda)
Devon House I Scream : take precaution with the rum raisin flavor ....
Dragon House : chinese-jamaican fusion!
Gloria's : seafood by the water in Port Royal.
Strawberry Hill : as mentioned above, their brunch is incredible! go all-out jamaican and try 'ackee and saltfish'!
Any street food places... ask locals for recommendations. Every one I've tried was delicious!