It can be hard to tear yourself away from the fabulous beaches to discover Jamaica’s other considerable attributes, however it well worth the effort if you do. The incredible rainforest interior is a playground in itself, with ever more inventive ways to explore and enjoy it. Up on Mystic Mountain near Ocho Rios, your choice of tour will depend on just how adventurous you are: a state-of-the art chair lift gliding sedately above the rainforest canopy; custom-designed bob sled ride down the mountain at speed, or a 170 metre zip wire zooming through the jungle. Dunn’s River Falls is Jamaica’s most visited attraction - climb up through amazing cascades of water running down huge tiers of limestone, rewarded with refreshing pools to splash about in afterwards. Combine it with a Mystic Mountain tour for a fabulous day out. The restored Rose Hall Great House at Montego Bay is an interesting former plantation house with a ghostly past, while Devon House in Kingston is a museum and former home of Jamaica’s first black millionaire. The beautiful grounds now offer arts and craft shops, restaurants and delicious ice cream. You may also like to include a visit to the Bob Marley Museum, in honour of the late great reggae star.
You won’t have to go far during your Jamaica villa holiday to find a bar that really hits the spot. The island is famed for its good-time vibe, with everything from ramshackle beach bars to sophisticated cocktail lounges. Some of the island’s bars have become legendary, not least Rick’s Café in Negril, a clifftop institution with incredible sunset views and resident cliff divers to entertain the party-goers. Many bars offer live music in the evenings – and not only reggae. You can just as easily be dancing barefoot in the sand to the sounds of a jazz band, soul singer or folk group. When the musicians have played their last tune, there’s always another nightspot to move onto if you’re still feeling energetic, with many clubs pulsating away into the early hours. If you prefer something a little gentler, there’s always a nightcap under the stars at your own beautiful villa – just the thing for Jamaica’s delightfully balmy nights.
Jamaica has a number of modern shopping malls selling all manner of goods, from clothing and shoes to jewellery and sunglasses, many also with duty free stores. Montego Bay has The Shoppes at Rose Mall and the Half Moon Shopping Village while at the cruise terminal in Ocho Rios there are dozens of duty free shops at Island Village where you’ll find designer watches, luxury gifts and high-end jewellery.Craft markets and souvenir shops are found in most resorts but do shop around and be prepared to haggle. Bob Marley memorabilia, Jamaica-themed T-shirts and flags, wood carvings, baskets and leather goods, gemstone jewellery and musical instruments are all popular items. Jamaica’s Blue Mountain Coffee is said to be among the best in the world while its rum and rum cream are synonymous with lazy days at the beach bar. Buy some to mix your own delicious cocktails in the comfort of your holiday villa.
With over 50 public beaches in Jamaica, there’s a perfect stretch of powder white sand to suit everyone, with some enjoying a lively atmosphere and others preferring a more tranquil, castaway feel.In the Montego Bay area, Doctor’s Cave and Seawinds Beach are ideal for those who love to people-watch over a chilled cocktail or leisurely lunch. Seven-mile long Negril Beach on the west coast is more low-key, with plenty of beach bars and restaurants but also plenty of room. If you’re interested in checking out some of the more remote beaches on the island, take a trip to the southwest corner where you’ll find Treasure Beach’s five golden bays, a little more windswept than the north but wonderfully relaxed and natural. With excellent visibility and lovely warm sea temperatures, a peek under the water is a must during your Jamaica villa holiday, whether from a glass bottom boat, with a scuba diving tour or simply by donning a mask and snorkel and setting off from the beach. Some of the best sites are offshore so it’s well worth joining a snorkelling excursion, for example to the reef at Montego Bay Marine Park, off Doctor’s Cave Beach.
Average monthly temperature and rainfall for the Jamaica holiday season°C