Jamaica's Caribbean beaches, mouth-watering cuisine, and relaxed island living attract millions of tourists every year. From families with children on Spring Break to couples celebrating their honeymoon to groups of friends wanting to party, there's a slice of paradise for everyone in Jamaica. To help you plan your perfect trip (when it's safe to visit) to this gorgeous island, we've rounded up nine types of Jamaica vacations and the best hotel for each.
First trip to Jamaica? Don't make these 7 rookie mistakes.
For Romantic Vacations in Jamaica
Beautiful beaches, cliffside hotels, and waterfalls are just some of the reasons Jamaica makes a wonderful romantic vacation destination. One of the most popular Caribbean islands for honeymoons, there are several spots couples can stay for an amorous getaway. Negril‘s rocky cliffs provide a stellar, often secluded, setting; Montego Bay allows travelers to be off the plane and on the beach in just minutes; and Port Antonio provides a quiet escape. Romantic activities throughout Jamaica include long walks on the beach, sunset catamaran cruises, and couples’ massages by the sea. Destination weddings in Jamaica are popular for a reason.
Easily considered one of Jamaica’s most romantic hotels, The Caves is an adults-only all-inclusive property with a breathtaking cliffside setting in Negril. There are just 12 individually decorated cottages and suites here, which have terraces, free Wi-Fi, and free minibars, plus outdoor showers and ocean views in most. No TVs keep the atmosphere peaceful and intimate, and features like a saltwater pool, delicious restaurants, and snorkeling keep guests happy.
For Family Vacations in Jamaica
Whether your family loves splashing all day together at the resort water park or go tubing on the White River, there’s a good deal on offer for travelers with children in Jamaica. Tours of Dunn’s River Falls, snorkeling excursions, and the phosphorescent Glistening Waters Luminous Lagoon provide additional activities, though many families are content to spend all their time at the resort, utilizing the beach, stellar pools, and action-packed kids’ and teens’ clubs found at many properties.
In terms of family-friendly amenities, most resorts don’t compare to the all-inclusive Beaches Ocho Rios Resort and Golf Club. The 233-room beachfront property has a 27,000-square-foot Pirates Island Waterpark with several waterslides, five swimming pools, an Xbox Garage for teens and tweens, and a kids’ Camp Sesame with Sesame Street characters.
For All-Inclusive Vacations in Jamaica
Alongside the Dominican Republic and Mexico, Jamaica is a top-notch destination for an all-inclusive vacation. All-inclusive resorts allow travelers to have their room, meals, drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), and activities in one convenient price. Luxury adults-only all-inclusive resorts and affordable family-friendly all-inclusive hotels are all found in Jamaica. While some all-inclusives offer a stellar spot to hole up for the week, without ever needing to step off property, others — like Couples Sans Souci — provide free tours of Jamaican landmarks and sights to encourage travelers to see more of the country and its culture.
Read our list of the Best All-Inclusive Resorts in Jamaica here.
Couples and groups of adults looking to escape children on their all-inclusive vacation should consider the luxury Secrets Wild Orchid Montego Bay. Located a quick 20-minute drive from the airport, it offers tons of free activities, unlimited dining, and top-shelf liquor at 10 restaurants and nine bars. Lovely rooms feature jetted tubs — and peace and quiet.
For Beach Vacations in Jamaica
If you’re heading to Jamaica, chances are it’s partly for the beautiful Caribbean beaches lining the island. From the famous powdery white Seven Mile Beach in Negril to the picturesque bays along the northern coast to the rugged and undeveloped stretches in the south, there’s a beach for all travelers. Oceanfront shacks selling delicious Jamaican food and sensational snorkeling opportunities just off land mean there’s more to do than just lounge in a chair — though we enjoy that too!
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The luxurious, family-friendly Half Moon resort is an oceanfront property with two beautiful beaches outside of Montego Bay. A large spa, multiple outdoor pools, buffet and a la carte restaurants, and a kids’ club are all on-site, and guests can opt for the all-inclusive package to save on dining. The beaches here offer lounge chairs, waiter service, kayaks, and Hobie Cats.
For Luxury Vacations in Jamaica
Jamaica’s “ya mon” spirit, ubiquitous rum punches, and lively reggaeton may give the country a notoriously laid-back attitude, but that doesn’t mean a luxury getaway can’t be had here. With stellar resorts housing top-notch spas and excellent fine-dining restaurants, and private group tours of coffee plantations and the Blue Hole natural sinkhole, travelers can easily create a sumptuous getaway.
If you think James Bond is the epitome of class and status, head to the beachfront GoldenEye, a historic property where Ian Fleming wrote 14 of the Bond novels. The boutique luxury property has 21 amenity-packed cottages and villas overlooking a private beach and lagoon, in addition to a Jamaican restaurant, two pools, a tree house spa, and a daily lineup of activities. Free yoga, non-motorized water sports, tennis, and use of mountain bikes add to its appeal. This is a popular resort for celebrity guests.
For Cheap Vacations in Jamaica
Compared to some Caribbean destinations like Turks and Caicos and The Bahamas, Jamaica is a much more affordable option. Direct flights to Montego Bay’s Sangster International Airport are available from several U.S. cities — New York City, Atlanta, Chicago, and Dallas among them — hotel room prices are varied and inexpensive, and cheap food can be found around the island. Going the all-inclusive resort route often means free meals, drinks, activities, and even sometimes free airport transportation. For those looking to explore the island more, Viator offers tours of natural sights such as Blue Hole and Ocho Rios, as well as cultural tours for under $50.
The mid-range White Sands Negril is a charming oceanfront property along Negril’s stellar Seven Mile Beach. This laid-back property has been run by the same family since 1971, and it attracts lots of repeat guests thanks to its comfy rooms, garden-set pool, and oceanfront, open-air restaurant and bar. Some units have kitchens, helping travelers cut down on costs by cooking themselves.
For Solo Vacations in Jamaica
Whether you want to escape winter, take a much-needed break from work, or have a fun getaway meeting singles, Jamaica is a suitable spot for a solo vacation in the Caribbean. The friendliness of the locals will have you feeling welcome, and visitors can choose any number of resorts to suit their travel style. Tours also allow travelers to experience coffee plantations, city life, and water holes with the comfort of a group. If all you want is a beach vacation, pretty much any Jamaican hotel will do, but if you’re looking to keep busy with activities and meet other travelers, opt for an all-inclusive with scheduled entertainment.
The 537-room, upper-middle-range Grand Palladium Jamaica Resort & Spa is a massive family-friendly all-inclusive resort. It houses an 86,000-square-foot pool complex with an adults-only pool, water park, and whirlpools, 11 restaurants, free non-motorized water sports, free daily activities and late-night entertainment, and several bars with nearly 24-hour drinking opportunities. Solo travelers will have ample opportunities to meet new friends and socialize.
For Secluded Vacations in Jamaica
Want to feel like you’re at your own private paradise? Jamaica’s 635 miles of coastline make it possible to carve out your own secluded spot for sunbathing, swimming, and sipping cocktails. The farther travelers go from Montego Bay, Negril, and Ocho Rios, the more undeveloped and peaceful. Several properties offer their own remote spot that’s only shared with other guests — think Round Hill Hotel & Villas — while some resorts also provide stand-alone rooms that are fairly private. Look to Port Antonio, Treasure Beach, and White House for less tourist-heavy areas.
Perched on a hill amidst jungle foliage, the luxury Geejam is an exclusive hideaway with just seven private villas. Thanks to an on-site recording studio, Geejam has welcomed the likes of John Legend and Gwen Stefani, though it’s also popular with couples seeking a secluded escape. There are no spa or communal pool, but in-room massages are available, and the Sanwood Villa has its own pool.
For Golf Vacations in Jamaica
Year-round sunny, warm weather makes the Caribbean a stellar spot for golf aficionados, and there are several golf courses with locations overlooking the sea. Most are near Montego Bay and its tourist-heavy airport, allowing travelers to optimize their time in the country. The most popular courses include Cinnamon Hill Golf Course, Half Moon Golf Course, Tryall Golf Club, and White Witch Golf Course.
The upscale, 295-room Iberostar Grand Hotel Rose Hall is an adults-only all-inclusive resort located along the beach near Montego Bay. Rates include a free round of golf at the well-regarded Cinnamon Hill Golf Course, in addition to access to all three Iberostar resorts’ restaurants and bars, non-motorized water sports, and use of facilities such as a huge infinity-edge pool overlooking the beach.
Don’t forget to pack these essentials on your Jamaican vacation:
Swimsuit Accessories Outfit
Travel Gear Essentials
Women’s Night Out
Men’s Night Out
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