Jamaica offers all the blue sky and stunning beaches you’d expect of a Caribbean island, but also has lush green landscapes, intriguing history, and an infectious background reggae beat. Much of this vibrant and colourful country is rugged and mountainous, but each of the 4 major resort areas has its own vibe: on the east you’ll discover dense greenery and sleepy unspoilt regions around Port Antonio; the narrow northern coastal plain is flatter and more open; west coast Negril and Montego Bay are populated and touristy, whilst the parched southern landscape is empty and isolated. But wherever you travel, life ticks over at an easy pace.
The places to stay are as diverse as the landscape. You can be cocooned in glamorous seclusion, or barefoot in luxury, but service is consistently generous and friendly. Beaches are less manicured than on other Caribbean islands, but there’s plenty of reef, aquamarine water, and no shortage of space. The 7-Mile Beach in Negril is a white-sanded whopper, and attracts a party-ready crowd; on the south coast, the sand is darker than the north, and the sea tends to be rougher. But wherever you are, there’s no need to be self-conscious about your bikini body - in Jamaica there’s no such thing as being fat; larger women are simply ‘fluffy’.
Beyond the beaches and cities there’s plenty to do, and it’s a beautiful country to explore - waterfalls, botanical gardens, historical sites, vibrant communities and local markets abound. Active types will be in their element, zip-wiring, river rafting, birding and hiking. You can’t avoid the sombre history of slavery, but its legacy, along with the Spanish and English colonial past, and importance of reggae and Rastafarianism, are all part of the modern-day Jamaica.