Introduction to Jamaica
Flying into Montego Bay and heading to an all-inclusive hotel is one way to enjoy a holiday in Jamaica, but although you'll get the impact of the country's beautiful beaches and tasty rum punches, this one-dimensional view hides the full picture. Take the Blue Mountains National Park - nestled into Jamaica's lush and mountainous interior is this veritable jungle in the clouds that shelters endemic birds and is home to some of the best coffee in the world. Walking in dense forest, past gurgling rivers and amid colourful flowers, you might be forgiven for forgetting that you're on a small island holiday, until the steep trails lead out of the canopy to panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea.
A trip to Jamaica is full of surprises. Africa meets the Caribbean with spicy callaloo stews, homemade patties and vegetarian 'ital' food (its roots are found in the Rastafarian belief system). Pockets of little-talked about Maroon communities survive in the interior, one of the many remnants of Jamaica's slave history, and the sounds of dancehall, soca and reggae music make the country come alive, from long white-sand beaches to city dive bars.
The perfect way to explore Jamaica is by mixing beach time, snorkelling, swimming and relaxation, with discovering all of the natural wonders that the island has to offer - whether it's hiking, birdwatching, swimming in icy waterfalls or spotting dolphins off shore. Put down the Bob Marley compilation and immerse yourself into some real Jamaican vibes.