FEEL THE VIBE AND BE HAPPY
Oh, that Reggae Music
June marks the annual Ocho Rio Jazz Festival that hosts 30 events across the island. The festival began the festival in 1991 to enrich tourism and provide a family-friendly event while promoting Jamaican music.
The music festival has grown so much that if you’re visiting during the month of June, then plan to check this out. You’ll hear live jazz music by top local artists as well as internationally renowned jazz musicians. And you can find events not only in Ocho Rios, but also in Montego Bay, Negril and Runaway Bay. Best of all, the event is free to the public! Plan early to come.
Truly, Paradise Found!
Jamaica is a destination favorite largely because of the gorgeous beaches that are to be found all over the island. The warm sun and the turquoise blue water draw more and more visitors each year. Plus, the weather is sunny, warm and tropical. You really won’t be disappointed lounging by the ocean in this Caribbean spot!
One of the most popular beaches in Jamaica is in Negril, which is called the Seven Mile Beach. Most of the activity in Negril is along this beach. As Negril is on the western tip, so the sunsets at night off the water are spectacular. A gathering spot is Rick’s Cave to watch the sunset and see the natives dive off the cliffs to the sea below. But, another popular spot in Jamaica is Runaway Bay. Runaway Bay is about 10 miles from Ocho Rios. The beaches here see less traffic, so it’s easy to find a quiet spot to spend the day. And if you’re in Montego Bay, the beaches there are equally as beautiful! Jamaica is truly, paradise found.
Jerk Chicken, Of Course!
The Jamaican people are probably some of the friendliest you’ll meet. Make sure you take time to enjoy the vibrant culture. Touring the Jamaican cities will let you mix and mingle among locals and tourists. You can weave in and out of local boutiques, sample authentic Jamaican jerk and enjoy the colorful displays of art. Strolling down “Hip Strip” in Montego Bay, you’ll find unique art galleries as well as great food vendors.
If you’re staying near Montego Bay or Ocho Rios, stopping off at Faith’s Pen in St. Ann is worth it. Located along Mt. Diablo, you’ll find stalls filled with authentic Jamaican cuisine. From roasted corn to steamed fish to honey, you’ll see a little bit of everything here. And, of course, reggae music will be playing in the background. Getting out and seeing a local market is well worth your time!
JAMAICA IMPORTANT FACTS
English is the official language.
Central Standard Time (UTC/GMT -5 hours)
The official currency is the Jamaican dollar, but some places will take the US Dollar.
The water in Jamaica is, for the most part, safe to drink. Check to make sure it is desalinated and if it’s not, then stick to bottled water.
Jamaica does not have a standard electrical outlet. You’ll either have 110v or 220v, so packing an adapter is a good idea.
Peak season in Jamaica is mid-December – mid-April.
All U.S. citizens must have a valid passport when traveling to and from Jamaica.