Few Caribbean holiday destinations are more famous than Jamaica – and for good reason. Jamaica is an island that has it all, from authentic Calypso and Reggae music to pristine white sand beaches and unique historic sites. No matter what you or your family enjoy doing, you'll be able to find it in Jamaica.
Montego Bay's Doctor's Cave Beach Club is one of the best beaches in the Caribbean. Sheltered from strong winds and waves in a snug inlet, the waters along this white sand beach are always calm and clear. The beach gets its name from Dr. Alexander James McCatty, who allowed his friends and other doctors to bathe at the beach by entering it through a nearby cave. In the 1920s, an English osteopath named Herbert Barker wrote an article on the curative, soothing properties of the waters of Dr. McCatty's beach. Soon, the beach was no longer a well-kept secret; today, there are several nearby hotels that provide easy access (no swimming through caves) to the beach.
Lime Cay is located about fifteen minutes (by boat) from Port Royal. Known as a party spot, Lime Cay is filled with revelers, music, and boats during the holiday season and weekends. It's not a spot for a quiet nap on the beach, but it's a great place to have a good time.
Duncans is a small town in the rural area of Jamaica along the northwestern coast. The birthplace of singer and civil rights activist Harry Belafonte, Duncans is a sleepy town with a few pubs, a few sugar estates, and not much else. However, Silver Sands, Duncans' beach, is described by some as the best beach in all of Jamaica. Silver Sands is primarily private beach; to visit, you'll need to rent one of the villas that butts up against the beach.
Inhabited since about 4000 BC by the South American Arawak and Taino tribes, Jamaica has a long, colorful history. Christopher Columbus was the first European visitor to Jamaica in 1494; Jamaica was claimed by Spain until 1655, when the British took the last Spanish fort on the island. Jamaica did not gain full independence until 1962.
Given this long history, Jamaica has plenty to offer by way of historical and cultural attractions. Bluefields, for example, is the oldest settled area in Jamaica. Built in the seventeenth century, the city withered when the British took over, but pirates still called the settlement home. Today, Bluefields is home to a popular beach park.
Meanwhile, at the Prospect Plantation, one of the nation's oldest plantations, you can take a tour and learn the history of the estate, take an open-air carriage ride, go horseback riding, or even take a camel ride. The villas nearby are great places to stay and are popular wedding destinations.
Reggae lovers should definitely visit ReggaeXplosion near Ocho Rios, not far from Prospect Plantation. An exhibit celebrating Jamaican music, ReggaeXplosion includes videos, images, soundtracks, and interviews dating from the 1950s to the present day.
For some people, a holiday isn't complete without golfing. Jamaica's golf clubs won't disappoint. From Kingston to Montego Bay, golfers will find plenty of world-class greens, including some championship courses.
One of the most unique golf courses is The White Witch golf course in the Jamaican mountains. Located on the 5,000 acre Rose Hall Plantation, the course features panoramic views of the Caribbean from the vast majority of its eighteen holes. Lodging nearby is no problem; The White Witch is a part of The Ritz-Carlton Golf and Spa Resort.
These are just a few of the many things you can do while on your Jamaican holiday. As soon as you feel the island has revealed all it has to offer, you'll discover a new nook, a new waterfall, a new restaurant that you almost missed. To see everything Jamaica has to offer, you'll have to visit this island paradise again and again.
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