Looking to travel to Jamaica? This post contains 9 reasons why you should choose to travel to Jamaica rather than any other Caribbean destination.
Reason #1 to travel to Jamaica: There’s a bar in the middle of the ocean
This is ultimately one of my favourite bars in the world, and a must-see if you travel to Jamaica. Floyd’s Pelican Bar was originally built as a hangout for the local fisherman, but it now operates as a fully functional bar and it can only be reached by boat. Order fresh fish straight from the ocean with a refreshing Red Stripe. After eating, you can go for a swim. This is a great place to spend the whole day.
Make sure to bring cash, local Jamaican dollars are better. Bring a license plate or a flag and they will hang it up because the entire place is filled with flags and license plates from all over the world. If you can’t do that, you can carve your name into the wood outside to leave a lasting mark on the place.
To get here you can take a boat from either Parottee Point, Black River or Treasure Beach. We drove to Black River and parked the car there. The price of the boat to the bar is $15 (€13, £12). The boat ride from Black River took 25 minutes.
Reason #2 to travel to Jamaica: You can visit Bob Marley’s birthplace and childhood home
This is a little bit further away from most attractions on the island, but it really is worth the hassle of getting there. There is a Bob Marley museum in Kingston which is all about his music and his career, but this is a mausoleum in Nine Mile where Bob Marley and his mother are laid to rest. His resting place is unique, as you can’t take pictures, wear shoes, eat or drink, but you can smoke! It’s an extremely interesting tour and the tour guides are local Rastafarians who are super knowledgeable. The whole experience is a must-do if you travel to Jamaica, even if you aren’t too interested in reggae music.
I know that many people usually prefer to book a tour to visit here. I suggest driving here. The roads were very bumpy and it was a very windy road so if that isn’t your thing maybe you would prefer to book a tour. Once you park your car, local people may approach you and ask different questions. As long as you stay confident and politely refuse to visit a ganja farm, you should be fine!
Reason #3 to travel to Jamaica: You can swim with bio-luminescent plankton
Jamaica is home to this amazing phenomenon where small micro-organisms emit a flash of light when disturbed. Jamaica’s Luminous Lagoon is one of many places around the globe that experience this type of event regularly, so you can book a tour almost every night and swim among the plankton. It has to be seen to be believed, and it really is such a special experience.
We drove to Glistening Waters in Falmouth and booked a tour to witness this incredible sight. The boat tour cost $25 (€22, £20) per person and the tour was 60 minutes long.
Reason #4 to travel to Jamaica: It has the most beautiful beaches
The beaches in Jamaica are some of the nicest beaches that you can find in the world. A lot of beaches are private and belong to resorts and some are public. The water is super clear and the sand is really white. One of my favourite beaches was Treasure Beach, on the south of the island. It was really quiet and peaceful. There is a strong current so please be careful whilst swimming! If you would like to stay in this area, I recommend staying in Katamah Beachfront Guesthouse.
Reason #5 to travel to Jamaica: The talent at karaoke is some of the best I’ve ever seen
Karaoke is something that I love anywhere in the world. I witnessed so many incredible singers at a local karaoke night in Ocean’s 11 restaurant in Ocho Rios. Every Tuesday night they host a karaoke night. Where you can eat incredible seafood, drink cocktails, and listen to local singers performing. Although it might not be for everyone, I suggest that you request a song and get up on stage. I think about a version of Angel by Shaggy ft Rayvon all the time, it honestly was one of my favourite karaoke performances I have ever seen.
Reason #6 to travel to Jamaica: There’s a Usain Bolt-themed restaurant, owned by Usain Bolt
This may not excite everyone but I really wanted to try this place. Usain Bolt’s Tracks & Records is a shrine to the man himself and it’s pretty great. The decor is Usain Bolt-themed, the TVs play his sporting victories on a loop and there is a statue outside the restaurant of him doing the iconic pose. There are three branches in Jamaica, in Kingston, Montego Bay, and Ocho Rios. The menu was filled with Jamaican classics and the food was really tasty.
Reason #7 to travel to Jamaica: You can visit sites from James Bond movies
As you may know, James Bond and Jamaica have strong ties. All 13 James Bond novels were written in Jamaica by author Ian Fleming. The very first 007 films ‘Dr. No’ was partly filmed on location in St. Mary and Kingston, Jamaica in 1961, and the latest installment of the James Bond series No Time to Die was also partly shot in Jamaica.
My favourite tourist attraction from these movies has to be The Green Grotto Caves, on the north coast of Jamaica, it was the location of many of the subterranean scenes in Live and Let Die.
Note: Helmets are required while visiting the caves and te cost of admission is $20 (€17.50, £16).
Reason #8 to travel to Jamaica: You can try bobsledding at Mystic Mountain
Have you seen the 1993 movie Cool Runnings? If so, you will like this one. Although this is not the actual winter sport or the Olympics for that matter, it is still a thrilling and fun ride in a specially made bobsled, which is painted to resemble the Jamaican bobsled in the movie. The bobsled whooshes down a 1000 metre long track, down a mountain. You twist and turn through the trees. To get to the bobsled ride you have to take a ski lift up the mountain first, which shows great views of the Ocho Rios area. More information about Mystic Mountain can be found here.
Reason #9 to travel to Jamaica: The standard rum has a 63% alcohol percentage
Do you like rum? If so, travelling to Jamaica is a good idea. There are plenty of rum tours all around the island. If you decide to order a rum-based drink in Jamaica, be warned! Their standard rum has an alcohol percentage of 63%. The best rum is Wray and Nephew, it is the national rum of Jamaica, affectionately known as Uncle Wray. If you want to continue your Jamaican holiday once you return to your home country, pick up a bottle of this delicious rum in Duty-Free on your way home. So you can fondly sip on a rum-based drink thinking about the amazing time you had in Jamaica.