Yearlong warm weather, delicious cuisine and endless adventures all make Jamaica magically irresistible, and is even why it’s one of the most popular vacation spots in the world. But to truly experience Jamaica, you’ll need to dive beyond its glamorous surface.
Jamaican culture is everything
Jamaica’s motto is “Out of Many, One People.” Residents of the Caribbean island embrace their vibrant mix of race, language, cuisine, arts and religion, which is part of the reason why you’re made to feel at home as soon as you step off the plane. The locals have an innate spirit of hospitality and want everyone to feel irie, or welcome. So why not leave your worries behind and soak in the island’s joyous vibes?
They’ve got riddim in their heart
Jamaican music has inspired many generations of music. So much so, that its influences can still be heard in today’s biggest pop hits. You’ll have many opportunities to discover the island through its pulsating dancehall beats or through relaxing reggae grooves. Some island favorites include:
- Reggae Sumfest – July 14-20, 2019: hosted in Montego Bay, this is the largest and most well-known music festival in the Caribbean. Sumfest features the world’s top reggae and dancehall artists (the likes of Popcaan, Bounty Killer, Damian Marley and Beres Hammond) and also gives you the opportunity to attend music-centric parties leading up to festival weekend.
- Ocho Rios Jazz Festival – May/June (2019 TBD): this international jazz festival promotes “Classical Black Music and America’s First Art Form,” aiming to preserve the original American nature of jazz. You’ll get to see the best jazz artists in Jamaica, side-by-side, with guests from other Caribbean islands.
- Bob Marley Birthday Bash – February 1-6, 2019: this event commemorates Bob Marley’s birthday through a five to six day dedicated event. Drums, food, dancers and performances from various reggae groups all take place along One Love Drive in Negril.
Otherwise known as Carnival, this world-famous festival takes over the island every year. Ocho Rios, Negril and Montego Bay each hold their own festivities, usually featuring costumed parades, street parties, dancing and live music. The official party, though, will be held in Kingston every weekend from March 8 – 28 in 2019, at Jamaica National Stadium Park and will feature over 15 fun-filled events.
You can’t forget about the waterfalls
You can’t visit Jamaica without making a trip to at least one of the many stunning waterfalls scattered throughout the island. Blue Hole Falls, YS Falls and Konoko Falls are some fan favorites, but there are so many others that are just as splashing.