In many ways, Jamaica epitomizes what the Caribbean is all about. This gorgeous island nation is situated west of Hispaniola and south of Cuba. The capital city, Kingston, is a wonderfully cosmopolitan place and offers a variety of great cultural and historical attractions, as well as an amazing nightlife. English is the primary language, but many locals also speak Jamaican creole. The currency of this nation, which boasts a population of around 2.8 million people, is the Jamaican dollar, but you can generally use American money too.
Jamaica’s climate is tropical, and the heat and humidity can be oppressive at times. However, the interior, with its higher elevations, tends to be more temperate. Major cities include Kingston, Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Negril, and two major airports serve this bustling country: Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston and Donald Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay.
If you’re a reggae fan, Bob Marley’s birthplace and gravesite in Nine Mile is not to be missed. Dunn’s River Falls, which soar down a whopping 600 feet, are absolutely stunning. Vacationers here spend their time basking in the sun, splashing in the surf, golfing, fishing, hiking, scuba diving, snorkeling, horseback riding, camping and enjoying a variety of other activities. In terms of cuisine, ackee and saltfish is a mainstay. Jerk chicken, of course, is something every visitor must try. As with other nations in the Greater Antilles, hurricane season runs from about June through December, so it’s best to visit during the first half of the year.