Despite the title of this blog post, it’s actually freezing outside at the moment – a thick layer of snow and ice. Yuk.
I’ve got the heating up on full but even with all three cats on my lap I’m still far from warm. Just the thought of a sunny holiday in the Caribbean is making me feel a little bit cosier, but seriously, isn’t it supposed to be spring now? I’ve seen lambs being born and everything. Wearing a scarf and gloves everywhere just isn’t fun when you’re not wandering a Christmas Market with a hot mulled wine in hand.
Sunny holidays are, inevitably, something I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. I’ve been on work trips as far as USA and Vietnam, but I’ve never been on a really luxurious summer holiday in the sunshine. I’ve always kind of liked the thought of going on a really luxurious resort holiday, either on my own or with Bee and Belle somewhere really exotic that I would probably never go to again. The Caribbean seems like somewhere only people on fancy cruises go to, but I guess there’s nothing to stop me browsing a few Jamaican retreats as options is there?
Jamaica is a world so far from our own in terms of the culture, the scenery, the weather, the food, everything. I think I’d have a really good time there. It’s a really interesting place. Did you know that Jamaica is home to over 200 species of exotic orchid, or that it was the first Caribbean country to launch its own website? Thanks Google.
If you’re thinking of taking a trip to Jamaica, it can be a bit daunting knowing where to start with everything you’re going to see and do. There’s so much to explore and you want to make sure that you make that 18 hour flight worth it and have an experience you will never forget, especially for someone like me who will probably never go there again.
So here are my top 6 things to do on your first trip to Jamaica. I hope you do go now that I’ve gone to the effort to write this post. You basically have to.
- Spend a day in Dunn’s River Falls
Dunn’s River Falls is definitely a place you want to visit as it’s one of Jamaica’s national treasures. As well as basking in the majesty of it’s natural springs and waterfalls (plenty of opportunity for a really good Instagram grid) there are also loads of water sports and other fun activities to get involved in if you are that way inclined. The entire place is a living and growing phenomenon in itself because it continuously regenerates itself from deposits of travertine rock, the result of precipitation of calcium carbonate in the river, as it flows over the falls. Same.
- Calypso Rafting
If you’re going to be anywhere near the White River, Calypso Rafting offers some of the best and most daring water sports in Jamaica. If you’re staying in the area they will take you straight from your hotel out for a day of fun and adventure, for anything from deep sea fishing to jet skiing. Truly a once in a lifetime experience if you love a bit of water sport based excitement and thrills.
- A plate of fresh seafood at Rockhouse Restaurant
With absolutely breath taking views of the beach and the ocean directly from your table, there’s nothing not to love about the view from Rockhouse Restaurant. The food is pretty good too. One of Jamaica’s best cuisines is its fresh seafood, and Rockhouse Restaurant definitely does it justice. As well as the great view and even better service, you can grab yourself a plate of stuffed lobster, jerk calamari, shrimp and snapper pasta or anything that takes your fancy. If you’re anything like me, you’ll probably refer to this element of the trip to the exciting water sports. Nom nom nom.
- Treasure Beach
Imagine going to Jamaica without visiting the beach at least once a day?! Treasure beach is one of Jamaica’s favourites. If you love exploring or you have kids who do, you’ll be amazed by the coves, bays and hidden secret places that you can get lost in (but hopefully not too lost.) Whatever type of beach you prefer, Treasure beach has it all from long stretches of white sand to secluded swimming spots and rocky coves.
- Glistening Waters
If it wouldn’t be a holiday for you without some late night partying (personally I’m happy to be in bed by 10pm with a cup of tea, even on holiday, but that’s not for everyone) then you won’t want to miss the totally unique Glistening Waters. Here you can see a phenomenon that only occurs naturally in three places in the world – a glowing lagoon made possible by microscopic organisms which glow in water. Pretty cool.
- Bellefield Great House
I didn’t just pick this one because it has ‘Belle’ in the name. (Okay, maybe I did a bit.) But this a must see for all you history buffs who are interested in Jamaica’s rich cultural past. This is the perfect place to experience the ‘real Jamaica’ – a sugar plantation on 10 pristine acres of beautiful land. Its tropical gardens are so gorgeous (another one for the Instagram grid) that they even do weddings there.
If you’ve visited Jamaica, or if you plan to, let me know where you’ve been and what the best part of your trip was!