How to Experience Jamaica Without Venturing Beyond the All-Inclusive Resorts

Did you know you can experience Jamaica without venturing out beyond the all-inclusive resorts?

Jamaica is the birthplace of reggae music, home to 635 miles of coastline, and a country that invented jerk chicken. There’s so much to see and do from sunrise to sunset on this Caribbean island. And you don’t have to venture out of your resort to experience them all. Here’s how:

1. Choose your resort destination

Fly to Sangster International Airport (MBJ) in Montego Bay if you plan to stay at resorts in Montego Bay and Negril. Choose Norman Manley International Airport (KIN) in Kingston if you want to be in Ocho Rios or Kingston.

After deciding your resort destination, you can start looking for a resort that suits your needs. Most importantly, look for a resort by the beach that offers a variety of Jamaica food and drinks, entertainment, water sports, and activities.

Consider the following:

Montego Bay

Half Moon

A luxury resort with two miles of beachfront and 400 acres of manicured tropical grounds that were part of a sugar plantation. There are jogging and cycling trails, award-winning restaurants, two large swimming pools, tennis courts, an equestrian center, a golf course, and a water sport and dive center. You can go sailing, scuba diving, windsurfing, or paddleboarding.

Half Moon is seven miles from Montego Bay’s airport. It’s suitable for couples and families.

Melia Braco Village

Located 45 minutes from Sangster International Airport, Melia Braco Village is a colonial-style village by a private beach. The resort has an adventure park offering zip-lining, obstacle course, and rock climbing. There are four bars and six restaurants in Melia Braco Village. Every Friday, the resort organizes Friday Night Street Party, where the main street in the village is converted into a big outdoor buffet area with live entertainment and unlimited tropical drinks.

It’s best to choose the Level category when staying at Melia Braco Village for extra comfort, access to the lounge, a less crowded pool, and a private beach.

2. Eat local food

The resorts offer local and international cuisine. Dine at a restaurant that offers local flair so you can learn about the Jamaican culture and history. You can try these Jamaican delightful dishes at the resorts:

3. Enjoy local cocktails

No trip to the Caribbean islands is complete without trying the tropical cocktails. When in Jamaica, you must try these:

Bob Marley cocktail - this cocktail is made either frozen or flaming. The frozen Bob Marley cocktail is popular in many resorts throughout Jamaica. Made of three layers of green, yellow and red, it’s a mix of rum, blue curacao, orange curaçao, strawberry daiquiri, mango, lime juice, and crushed ice.

Jamaican rum punch - is a mix of pineapple and orange juices with Jamaican rum.

Dirty banana - it is made of banana, half and half, Tia Maria and rum.

4. Soak up the sun

Spend your days soaking up the sun by the pool or at the beach and enjoy Jamaican hospitality and fun music. For more adventurous activities, go sailing, windsurfing, snorkeling, kayaking, or paddleboarding. There are plenty of water sports activities in most resorts in Jamaica. If you prefer to swim in the ocean, make your way from the white sands to the warm turquoise sea, enjoy the waves gently lapping at your feet, and wade into the warm Jamaican seawater.

Guests at the Half Moon resort can go horseback riding on the beach and swimming with the horses.

5. Experience local music

Most all-inclusive resorts in Jamaica offer a variety of live entertainment in the evenings like steel pan music performance and reggae, mento, ska, and dancehall music performances. Some hotels provide magic show and synchronized swim shows too.

You’ll have ample opportunity to listen to reggae, mento, ska, or dancehall music played through speakers throughout the day at the pools and bars.

6. Shop for Jamaican souvenirs

Rum, Blue Mountain coffee, wood carvings, and jerk spices are authentic Jamaican goods you can get in the resorts’ souvenir shops. Less authentic souvenirs made outside of Jamaica like key chains, t-shirts, fridge magnets, and shot glasses are also available for purchase in these shops.

There’s virtually no difference between shopping at a shop in the resort or outside the resort. All souvenir shops carry similar souvenirs throughout Jamaica.

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