I recently visited Jamaica (the second time in 10 years) and my main goal was to see how the country had progressed, get wrapped back up in it's culture and dip my feet back into the luxurious sea.
The first 2 nights we stayed in Ochi Rios, one of Jamaica's busiest cities where often tourists from around the world visit.
We stayed at Rooms on the Beach Hotel, this a budget hotel located in the prime location of Ochi Rios and situated on the beach and feet away from the main street, where you will find some of the best restaurants such as Mongoose and Scotchies. Also great fast food spots such as Island Grill, Juici Patties and clubs like Amnesia.
Ratings based on the places I visited in Ochi Rios
Mongoose Restaurant - The best cocktails = 10/10 Food however was a little bland = 7/10
Scotchies Restaurant - The best succulent Jerk Chicken in town = 10/10 for the chicken
Island Grill - The best take away spot and the food is very filling. However you have to be patient, as sometimes the service is very slow = 9/10
Juici Patties - The best Patties in JA - I would recommend the Chicken Curry Pattie although my friends loved the Beef and Cheese Patties = 10/10
Mystic Mountains has a Tranopy tour package (a combination package of the Bobsled, Canopy Zip Line, and Sky Explorer tours!). The Tranopy tour was worth every penny although I initially thought it was quite expensive $135 (USD) £110 per person.
Mystic Mountains = 10/10
Dunns River = 8/10
The last 8 days we stayed in stunning St Annes Richmond, in a 3 bedroom house called Coolshade which resides in a fairly new development.
This residential area had an onsite swimming pool, outdoor gym, sun loungers, changing rooms, showers and bar facilities for people that lived in the gated community
The development is incomplete and apartments are currently being built and sold, there are on-going plans to build a shopping centre and more. You can read more about this development here.
Although this area was beautiful and relaxing, the house spacious and furnished to a very high spec, you would require a taxi to get everywhere. You would need a taxi to go to the local private beach and other areas of Ochi Rios or Richmond and it is a 30 minute walk to the nearest supermarket which I found to be quite expensive (£8 for a bunch of grapes).
Negril was probably my favourite day trip as I felt this small resort had more culture, as it is not as developed as Ochi Rios. I visited Rick's Cafe where I witnessed people diving from cliffs into the sea, musicians performing, ate great food and watched the sun set which was extremely picturesque.
I also spent a few hours at Seven Mile beach which was eye-catching and one of the most beautiful beaches I've seen. There is nothing more calming then to lay on a beach, with great weather, music and good cocktails. Did I just describe heaven?
Being that we visited Negril on a Sunday, most of the shops etc were closed, I would definitely consider staying in Negril during my next visit to Jamaica.
As a huge music lover, I had to visit the Bob Marley Museum and my goodness it was such an inspirational tour of his home. I would suggest that everyone visit this museum, to see where Bob Marley lived and where he recorded some of his hit songs. I won't give too much away, as it is such a fantastic place and people need to see it with their own eyes.
I love learning about history and therefore it was imperative that I visited the Marcus Garvey Multi-Media museum. The information at the museum was very insightful, however I felt that some of the videos required updating and I expected it to be a lot bigger than it was. However I could not fault the wealth of resources that were available.
Bob Marley Museum = 10/10
Marcus Garvey Museum = 7/10
Overall this was an amazing holiday and although it rained more than I expected, it didn't spoil my time in Jamaica. I would probably avoid months of December/January next time though :)
Next time I visit Jamaica, I aim to visit Negril for a longer period of time as there was something very special about Negril that was just "calming" and I felt a great connection to the area I visited. Perhaps it is because some of my older family members were born there?
The people were generally very welcoming and helpful, however ensure you check the price list prior to purchasing food or items as I noticed on a number of occasions that I was being over charged. Unfortunately some locals like to think that because I live in the UK, I am rich? If only I was :) I would be traveling the world!
If you have any queries or questions regarding traveling to Jamaica, feel free to leave a comment or send me a message via the Contact page.