Jamaica, land of lush rainforests, Red Stripe, reggae and reefs is just over 200 miles away from Grand Cayman.
To the north coast, with their British-colonial architecture, all inclusive resorts line the beaches of Montego Bay. To the west of Jamaica lies the town of Negril, famed for its diving and snorkelling sites, shallow bays and aquamarine waters.
While on the south east coast in Jamaica’s capital, Kingston, lies the Blue Mountains – a region renowned for its coffee, majestic waterfalls and wonderful hiking trails. Kingston is also the birthplace of reggae music and home to the Bob Marley Museum.
Cayman Airways flies non-stop to Kingston (1 hour and 5 minutes) most days and offers Montego Bay flights (55 minutes) seasonally. Once in Jamaica, domestic flights are relatively inexpensive which makes it easy to move around.
Montego Bay offers something for every type of traveller. Its vibrant nightlife appeals to those seeking to socialise, while its tranquil waters and serene resort–lined beaches attract those seeking to unwind.
The adventure seekers are treated to underwater exploration and coral reef discoveries in the protected waters of the Montego Bay Marine Park, while signature Jamaican handicrafts and artwork can be found at the open-air craft market, Harbour Street.
Sights & Activities: The Rose Hall Estate, horse riding, river rafting, zipline canopy tours, golf and Dunn’s River Falls.
Hotel Suggestions: Half Moon Club and the Round Hill Hotel.
All-inclusive resorts: Sandals, Beaches, Couples Resorts (www.couples.com) and Sunset Beach Resorts. For families with children try the FDR Resort.
These mountains are regularly covered in mist, giving them their bluish colour. In July 2015 they were designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Due to the area’s humid and cooler environment, plant and bird life thrive here, making it an spectacular place to hike and enjoy the breathtaking views. This part of the Island is also home to the famous Blue Mountain Coffee Plantation. Many Cayman residents love visiting during Cayman’s hot summer months when the Blue Mountains offer a cool and refreshing getaway.
We recommend Strawberry Hill (Tel: (876) 944 8400, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.strawberryhillhotel.com) as a place to stay in the Blue Mountains. Perched on a mountaintop 3,100 feet up, the property features 13 Georgian-styled rooms and cottages overlooking the Blue Mountains or Kingston city. As well as an infinity edge fresh water pool, there is a spa, sauna with plunge pool, yoga pavilion and library. Activities on offer include mountain and nature hikes, bird watching, coffee plantation tours and local eco and cultural excursions. Don’t forget to book a walk from the hotel to Gordon Town which takes you past streams and paths overhanging with tropical fruit.
Check with Cayman Airways, as they offer special packages to Strawberry Hill. Visit www.caymanairways.com for details.
With nice sandy beaches, clear blue sea and ruggedly beautiful cliffs, Negril is not only visually spectacular but culturally rich as well.
Although serene and calm during the day, the nightlife in Negril is bustling. The Negril Lighthouse, built in 1894, boasts breath-taking views of the coast.
Only 25 minutes southeast of Negril lies the unique Blue Hole Natural Mineral Spring. Jump into this invigorating top tourist spot and take in the magical warm bubbling springs surrounded by the gorgeous grounds of flowers and plants.
Ocho Rios offers stunning scenery, some of Jamaica's most famous attractions and world-class resorts. It's a tourist-friendly spot on the coast with waterfalls that flow into the Caribbean Sea.
For nature and environment lovers, the popular and picturesque Dunn's River Falls and Mystic Mountain rainforest can be found here. Dunn's River Falls is a national treasure of Jamaica's. Described as a living and growing phenomenon, it continuously regenerates itself from deposits of travertine rock as it flows over the falls. This gives the Falls the distinction of being the only one of its kind in the Caribbean, if not the world.
The 700ft mountain peak at Mystic Mountains will give you an astonishing view across Jamaica, and is only 5 minutes away from the Falls. There are various activities you can do at Mystic Mountain, including the Rainforest SkyExplorer, a state-of-the-art chairlift that soars above the treetops, the Rainforest bobsled which features a 1000m long, gravity-driven ride through the rainforest, and zip-line that whisks travellers through the rainforest canopy.
Culturally, there's much to see in Ocho Rios. Visit the Rio Nuevobattle site, Goldeneye estate of James Bond and Port Maria, a Spanish settlement which dates back to 1759.