Local Tips for Visiting Jamaica
I just recently returned from a business trip back to Jamaica, and I think the best part about this visit was spending time with Afiya who is a local rep from the Jamaica Tourism Board. We spent the day driving around from resort to resort together, which gave us lots of time to chat and get to know each other.
One of my favorite things about traveling is meeting the people who actually live in the destination - it's such a great way to learn more about the local culture and place you're visiting!
Below are some of the local insights Afiya shared with me about visiting Jamaica.
Q. What is your favorite thing about Jamaica?
A. "The people. Even with our wide range of personalities and experiences, we are very hospitable and warm."
Q. When is the best time to travel to Jamaica?
A. "Any time is a good time to travel to Jamaica! We have a year long summer and the experiences keep evolving.'
Q. What is one thing/tip people should know before visiting Jamaica?
A. "Each resort area has a character of its own, so do your best to visit at least two of the six on your first trip (Montego Bay, Negril, Ocho Rios, South Coast, Kingston and Port Antonio)."
Q. What are your top five recommendations for things to do/see in Jamaica?
"Dunn's River Falls
The Bob Marley Museum
Visit the Blue Mountains
Rafting on the Rio Grande / Martha Brae River
Try anything Jerked, but specifically Jerk Chicken"
Q. What are some common phrases that are unique to Jamaica?
"One Love = Unity of all people
Ya Mon = yes / used as a confirmation
Soon Come = I will return soon
Irie = Everything is great/wonderful
Wah Gwaan = What's going on"
Q. What is the best way to experience the real Jamaica?
A. "Jamaica is multifaceted. As such, be sure to have experiences that give you a mix of our culture, music, history, cuisine, natural attractions and go out and meet the people!"
Q. How would you describe the vibe in Jamaica?
A. "Energetic but laid back depending on what part of the island you end up hanging out for the day."
Q. What’s a fun fact that most people don’t know about Jamaica?
A. "We have over 120 rivers with names, which is part of the reason the destination was named "The Land of Wood and Water" by Christopher Columbus."
Q. Where do locals go in Jamaica for their own vacations?
A. "We generally venture to parishes outside of the ones in which we reside, however, Portland is a hot spot for locals to visit because of its lush natural beauty."
Q. What do you think is a special/unique souvenir people can take home with them from their trip to Jamaica?
A. "100% Blue Mountain Coffee as it is one of the most aromatic in the world, along with a bottle of rum distilled in Jamaica."
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