There is no question that when you think of the Caribbean, you think of Jamaica. Whether it is the warm island breeze, the relaxed atmosphere or the beautiful nature, the Caribbean is a destination loved by most and visited by many. Jamaica is a little slice of heaven sitting nicely with the Caribbean Sea. It is home of rich culture, delicious food, upbeat music and jaw dropping natural sights.
Jamaica has put their name on the map, competing in world sporting events that include terrific athletes that have left the rest of the world in awe at their performances. This country has a lot to be proud of and it is no wonder that everyone flocks to it at some point in their lives. Jamaica holds a laid back attitude and stress free way of life that is appealing to westerners. It is a great vacation spot for people to unwind and live in the moment. The locals are very welcoming and there is always something going on. There are great concerts and festivals that allow people to get up, enjoy the music and move. It is a happy place, with a hot climate that makes it difficult to say goodbye to.
If there is one type of cuisine you have got to try once in your life, it is definitely Jamaica. This cuisine comes with an array of herbs and spices that encompass meats, rice and vegetables among the most popular options. Jamaican cuisine is so tasty that thousands of places around the world, outside of Jamaica, open up shop to give the world a taste of the great island flavors. Some popular dishes include: Curry goat, Ackee and Saltfish, rice and peas and the most famous, jerk chicken. Having authentic jerk chicken involves it being cooked in steel barrels that are found all around the island. Any one of these dishes with a Red Stripe beer will have you wanting more of Jamaica’s amazing tastes. Interestingly enough, many strict Rastafarians choose a vegetarian way of life and not eating any type of meat. They fill up on wonderful fruits and vegetables and still enjoy the Jamaican flavors provided in dishes that do not include any fish, poultry or meat. Another popular snack are Jamaican patties that can be found all over. They are filled with beef or chicken and can be a little spicy if you choose. Jamaican food? Ya Mon!
If you have ever been to a lively Jamaican concert or club, you will definitely not forget the Jamaican style and way of dancing. It is very physical, high energy and intense. It is amazing to see how some bodies can twist, turn and bend to the extreme all while making it look so easy to do. There is a form of Jamaican dance that is actually known as daggering. Daggering incorporates different movements to create the entire dance style. Some of these movements include wrestling, dry humping and very intense and frantic movements. This style of dance is usually danced to a dancehall type of music, which is very fast pace and upbeat. This style of dancing has been around and known in Jamaica over the years but only recently got very popular outside of the island. It has caught on quickly and many perform this dance when they go out to party. It is actually very impressive if done right. It is definitely worth seeing at some point in your life. In terms of being able to coordinate yourself to move like this, that may be a different story. Sometimes the groove is just in your jeans… get it?.. in your genes?
Jamaican culture includes language, religion, lifestyle and values among many other things. The main language that is spoken there is English with a dialect of Patois. It can be very difficult to understand if you are not exposed to the distinct accent. Most Jamaicans are Christian in terms of religion, Rastafarianism actually stems from the Christian faith. It is a movement largely expressed through music and one of the most famous advocates for this was singer Bob Marley. The main difference between Christianity and Rastafarianism is Rasta believe in the divinity of the Emperor Haile Selassie of Ethiopia. Dance and music is a huge part of the Jamaican culture. A very popular sport in Jamaica is soccer. You can always find the fields there with people on them kicking a ball. Bob Marley was actually buried with a soccer ball because he loved it so much. There is always something new to learn about Jamaican culture. The best way to really know how it is, is to experience it first hand over time. Speaking with the locals, living as if you were Jamaican yourself will immerse you in their world and expose you to the realities of a Jamaican lifestyle.
One of the things that Jamaica is known best for is all of the water sports the island provides. Naturally, there are some of the biggest and most beautiful bodies of water surrounding this paradise. There are few beaches specifically around the island that have stood out to locals as well as tourists. Silver Sands beach in Duncan Bay is popular because of how clear the water is. The sand is very clean and smooth. The biggest attraction is that it is quite private. One must be staying in the villas along the stretch in order to get access to it. This beach is not public and anyone can not just walk along the beach and try to sell you things. Another popular beach is Boston’s Bay beach in Boston’s Bay. This is a not a very busy beach but is best known for it’s waves. This is a popular visit for people who like to surf as it carries the best waves. The best part about this beach’s location is that it is right next to some of the original birth places of jerk cuisine. After surfing all day, what better way to relax than enjoying some jerk and surf?!
6. Water sports
Jamaica is one of the best places in the world to have fun, fun, fun! There are a multitude of activities to do, but when it comes to water sports, Jamaica knows how to be #1! A world famous attraction is Dunns River Falls. It is a large rocky body of water that you can climb solo or with a group and take memorable pictures. The water is not too cold and you have protective gear that will keep you safe throughout your adventure. Rick’s famous café is also another world famous spot and a must visit. It is a restaurant lounge type of area perched on top of a large rock. Professional divers can climb up these rocks and dive off doing amazing stunts. It makes for great entertainment! If you are feeling brave enough, you also can jump off the high or REALLY high rock with the instructors guiding you through the process. It is definitely a freaky experience, but once you land you instantly feel the love of the thrill and your dare devil side. There are many lazy rivers and tubing all over the island and the standard boat rides and jet skis that never fail to disappoint.
One of the best things about visiting islands in the Caribbean is the natural wonders that are hiding within them. There are countless nature parks, exotic animals and sights that will take your breath away. Jamaica does not disappoint when it comes to possessing some of the most intoxicating natural wonders on the island. Firstly, there is treasure beach which is a popular spot to have fun and enjoy water activities like fishing and snorkeling. There are also the green grotto caves which are very interesting. You can learn some great history lessons about the area and how the caves were used as a shelter in the past. Taking part in this type of visit also gives you a break from being under the sun all day. It has a natural smell and beautiful green look of limestone. You can also go for an amazing hike through the mountains and get some exercise. Bluefields Mountains specifically is a big attraction because of it’s beauty. There are all kinds of tropical birds and beautifully colored snakes. There are massive butterflies that are very striking. Near by you can enjoy going horseback riding if you need a break from all of the hiking and walking.
Contrary to popular belief, there are many more music genres than just Reggae when it comes to Jamaican music. There is folk music, ska and reggaeton among many other styles. Reggae definitely is the most known and popular throughout the world though. The godfather of Reggae, Bob Marley originated from Jamaica. He is worshiped throughout the island and the world and changed Jamaica forever. There are many outdoor shows with performers from around the world that always are happening throughout Jamaica. Music is a huge part of Jamaican culture. It is a way for people to express their sentiments and tell stories about their land and history. One of the best instruments ever is used when playing a lot of ska and Caribbean sounding music, that is the steel drums. The instruments always gives off an upbeat and positive sound and gets everyone dancing and enjoying the atmosphere. Among the many genres of music, Jamaican music includes: Calypso, Jazz, Dancehall, Dub and Rock Steady as some of the most popular. These have become extremely popular worldwide. It is great that some of the most famous artists in the world have originated from Jamaica or have performed on the island on a regular basis.
When thinking of partying in Jamaica, smoking weed is definitely a more common choice on a regular basis around the island than drinking is. The locals can be found puffing throughout the day and the aroma of fresh marijuana can be smelled throughout the air continually. Although some love the green, Jamaica cannot deny that they are responsible for some of the best rum in the world. Rum and Jamaica go hand in hand and the alcohol is found in many of the their mixed drinks if it is not being sipped slowly on ice. There are many popular brands of rum being sold throughout the world that originate from the island. Some of the most popular include, Appleton and Mount Gaye brands. You can also get different styles of rum that are delicious like spiced, dark or white rum. It is a favorite of many because some of the greatest cocktails being sipped on the beach or in the disco are made with the flavors of rum. You can enjoy pina coladas, bahama mama’s or the famous concoction: rum and red bull. A very famous musician actually wrote a song about the mixture of rum and red bull and the world fell in love!
The best part about going on vacation is definitely the sunshine, the fun, the relaxation, the views and pretty much everything! We cannot forget about the amazing hotel accommodations that Jamaica provides for it’s guests on a regular basis. There is always a new establishment getting bigger or better to keep tourists coming in. Within these beautiful hotels, there is quick access to the beaches and many pools that allow you to unwind and enjoy. The staff are always so friendly and accommodating to their guests. You can expect the royal treatment when vacationing in Jamaica. Not only with you enjoy authentic and delicious cuisine, you will learn all about the culture from the staff and locals. There is always room at these hotels that are made big enough for groups. Jamaica is a popular hotspot when it comes to destination weddings. The hotels will give you the full service from beginning to end to make your guests and event go off without a hitch. They use the natural surroundings provided to them and find a way to incorporate them into your wedding look making it absolutely beautiful. Do you research and you will find some great places to stay on the island.
The official language of Jamaica is English. You can be sure that you will be hearing Jamaica Patois when visiting the island. Patois is also known as Jamaican Creole. The pronunciation and vocabulary is completely different from the regular English that is often heard throughout North America. It is somewhat a language of their own that has been evolving and developed over time. The communities who speak Patois are not limited to just Jamaica. They have travelled throughout the world and many reside in Miami, New York, Toronto and Costa Rica among many other areas. The dialect is used for every day conversation but it significantly used heavily when it is incorporated into Jamaican music. The language became so commonly used that institutions began to set up in order to standardize the language. The University of West Indies did this in 2002 and established the Jamaican Language Unit. A standardized Jamaican alphabet was also made and accepted worldwide. In 2011, the Bible was reportedly also being translated into Patois for those who needed to understand it and read it more easy than regular English. It is a beautiful and very interesting language that has progressed and will continue to greatly throughout the years.