There are so many must do’s in Jamaica, a top ten list was sooooo needed! Whether it is laying on a beautiful white sand beach, legally smoking a mary jane with a bunch of Rastafarian’s, sipping on a fresh coconut, or witnessing two people doing the nasty in public…
Jamaica has it all for everyone!
But I had to limit it to 10 must do’s for everyone’s sake 🙂
When traveling to a new country, I put in 348% effort to experience that new culture in every way possible. See it through the eyes of a backpacker and a tourist. Living as if I was a local or a secret undercover agent. TAKE IT IN FOR ALL IT HAS TO OFFER. NO MATTER WHO YOU ARE. Though there are hundreds of wonderful things to see and do in Jamaica…
For anyone who is a hugeBob Marleyfan like myself, visiting the place where he lived, Nine Mile, is definitely a must do in Jamaica. Being inside his house, seeing where he was born and where his body now rests. Words could not describe how incredible it felt to be there. But if you are a fan like me, then you would probably want to get deeper than just where he ate his breakfast. You, would want to bond with him spiritually the best way anyone can. Perhaps, “Do as Bob would do“, you might say. So when we approached his famous meditation rock, I laid my head upon it and lit one up. That is right, I smoked one in his honor the exact way he had done it a thousand times before, in the exact same spot.#55 on my Bucklist = Check!
It is okay if you do not own the when in Rome mentality like myself and don’t smoke. At least lay your head down and embrace all the magic that is Bob Marley.
2. TRYING ACKEE
A fruit that looks like fruit but tastes like egg? Huh?!?
Ackee is the national fruit of the island and you will find this an interesting treat mixed in dozens of dishes. I tried it a few different ways but my favorite was with codfish, which is actually the national dish of Jamaica. Though the look of it is very deceiving as you assume.. well, that it tastes like fruit! Don’t let that discourage you. It tastes yummy like scrambled eggs. Just get over that little head trip you’ll be juuustt fine 🙂 Though the texture might also be weird for some, embracing this staple of the island is a must. You don’t have to love it, or even like it.
Spit it out and feed it to the birds for all I care!
Just make sure you at least try it this one of a kind, egg disguised in the body of a fruit, Carribeandelight.
3. PARASAILING OVER NEGRIL
Jamaica is filled with nothing but beach paradise. But Jamaica’s7 mile beach in Negril is something that will really take your breath away. With white sand and beautiful teal water, this is not a beach you want to miss putting your toes in the sand! More importantly, though, this is not a beach you want to miss experiencing while sailing hundreds of feet above it. This is coming from a chick who is scared of going up high buildings! Not only was it completely worth the tour leaving without us, but it was also one of the most serene moments I have experienced. This is a must do in Jamaica for everyone!
Yes, it was very touristy, I can honestly say I have never done anything quite like it. Dunn’s River Falls. Hmm.. how does one describe it?! It is a natural waterfall that is made up and connected by a bunch of little waterfalls? Yeah, we will go with that 🙂 A group of 20 or so people start at the bottom and start hiking up the falls while linking hands. It is about an hour long climb up but walking through this natural wonder was totally worth the work. Keep in mind if you are clumsy like me, it will be a bit painful. Falling straight on your butt.. on hard rock.. every 10 minutes.. is NOT as glamorous as it sounds, trust me. Most people headed to out for Bobsledding at Mystic Mountain afterward, I wish we did! Don’t make our mistake!
When I asked my sister where she really wanted to go in allllllll of Jamacia she said… wait for it…. Margaritaville. Holy Crap! I am not sure what more screams American Touristmore than Margaritaville!! But when we arrived in Montego Bay, it really was the place to be! Great music, a popping dance floor, delicious drinks, locals, tourists and plenty of Jamaican men to randomly confess their love to you. They also have the most unexpectedly thrilling waterslide that we could not get enough of. This place is the perfect must-do bundle of fun!
6. HOSTEL LIFE
Experiencing life as a backpacker is always one of my favorite aspects of traveling, so it was a must for me to show my sister how I travel the world. We stayed atReggae Hostelin Ocho Rios, where we bonded with dozens of solo travelers, hearing about their travels and getting their inside wisdom for the trip. Like my trip to Langkawi, this hostel was not only located by the beach, but it had a vibing social area and a staff of friendly faces. Can I also mention, there were some very hot foreign guys that were very interesting to chat with…though I couldn’t understand a word they said 🙂 Experiencing hostel life gives you the opportunity to meet and learn from so many different people from all around the globe. So if this opportunity sounds up your alley, staying at the Reggae Hostelis a must.
7. MUST DO THE JERK
Oh boy oh boy!! Oh how I do love spiiiiicy! And lucky for me, Jamaica is filled with spicy everything! More specifically for their Jerk. Jerk Centers all located all around the island and are very hard to miss. Though it might sound like something named after your ex, jerk is actually named after Jamaican’s most delicious style of cooking. Fish, chicken, veggies, you name it! They rub the most perfect mixture of hot spices all over to create this mouthwatering party in your mouth. There was one time I thought I actually might have been dying from the heat but I survived. That’s right, I am a survivor and so are you. Do not leave Jamaica without trying jerk at least a few times and in a few different ways. You must indulge in the spicy!!!
8. JAMAICAN COUNTRYSIDE
Though Jamaica is better known for its beaches, visiting the Jamaican countryside is just as beautiful in its own way. You get the chance to get away from all the resorts and busy streets, and really see the inside beauty of the island. We took a trip through the countryside within theSaint Ann Parishand could not take our eyes off the windows. Whether it was being amazed at the gorgeous hills filled with lush greenery, or watching little kids kick a ball around in their front yard. Driving through the country gives you a well-needed perspective on Jamaica you would never get otherwise.
9. THE ENTERTAINMENT
I don’t care if this comes from your resort or a night tour, Jamaica has some incredible entertainment!! We saw the majority and the best of it at our resort, the Royal Decameron. It was one thing that really made us look forward to the sun going down each day. Every night they had a 2-hour show of singing and dancing, very unique and specific to the Jamaican culture. Fire-throwing, original reggae music or watching them dance by shaking shake shaking their hips in ways only God knows how! Jamaicans know how to entertain and put on a show, FACT! It is a must to make the time to witness it firsthand.
10. MAKING FRIENDS WITH THE LOCALS IN JAMAICA
This is always very high on my priority list when traveling, and it is no exception for when visiting Jamaica. My sister and I made friends and chatted with almost everyone we met during our trip. We met many Rastafarianswho taught us about their religion and beliefs. We made friends with most everyone working at the resort and hostel, teaching us about their culture and tellings stories of odd guests. Shooooot, I even accidentally made friends with a nice lady I later found out was a hooker! Nonetheless, everyone we met made us love Jamacia that much more. Jamaicans are welcoming, social and oh boy do they have swaaag! Traveling without meeting the locals is like eating food without tasting it.
You must embrace both the culture and the people to get the ultimate Jamaican experience.
<3 Hot Mess
If you want to view more of my pictures from Jamaica, click here to see my album