Jamaica is a top travel destination with amazing sights, culture, and food. The Caribbean island has some of the best activities that easily carve a smile on the most forlorn of individuals. Unfortunately, many Jamaican visitors only experience a fraction of what the land of reggae is all about.
Beyond the all-inclusive resorts and luxury hotels, is an expansive adventure into Jamaica and its people that many visitors miss out on. Travel like a local, and you will see a side of Jamaica that will both give you great insights into the culture and have mad fun while you are at it.
The adage, ‘if you travel to Rome, do as the Romans’ applies to Jamaica. That is if you want to get the best out of your Caribbean travel. There’s so much treasure under the surface of what many travelers think about Jamaica.
Travel like a local, and you will meet and interact with some of the most hospitable people you will ever meet. We are not talking about the luxury hotel shuttles crewed by cultured locals, but rather, public transport and route taxis that ordinary Jamaicans use on a daily basis.
Yes, there may be a little crowding in these buses and taxis, but you get firsthand experience and contact into the Jamaican way of life, in a way that is not possible through the luxury shuttles. The additional perk of traveling this way is low budget.
Use Guest Houses and Villas
The all-inclusive resorts may have the best activities and services, but it secludes you from the locals and the real Jamaican culture. Instead, use guest houses and villas during your stay in Jamaica. Personalized and localized, villas combine the best of both worlds – living like you are within a Jamaican family and not having to give up some of the comforts you get from a luxury hotel. You can find out more information on places online.
An Airbnb host is another good option for optimal interaction with the locals. Your interaction with locals will let you in on some of the best places to visit and have fun.
Dine like a Local
The legend has it that Jamaica, the home of jerk chicken, has some of the best cuisines. La carte restaurants in those top resorts may polish and westernize the local dishes, and you may not get to know the real taste of local Jamaican food.
The local restaurants, without the fancy ingredients and preparation methods, will serve you the best local delicacies that taste like nothing you have ever had. You will be taking your taste buds on a vacation of their own, and why not?
Jerk, which is a blend of several spices, is a favorite in the island. However, you will need to know where you can get the best of it.
The two places where you can get the best jerk chicken are Montego Bay and Ocho Rios. You can head out there and have the best of jerk chicken, perfect and delicious, the way the locals like it.
Clothe Like a Local
The island’s attire is light and colorful, vibrant. However, comfort is critical in whatever clothing you choose. Avoid clothing items that may not be appropriate with the conservative Jamaicans. For example, only wear shorts and bathing suits at the beach but cover-up when heading inland. The idea is to fit in and experience the real Jamaica.
You can as well wear the Rastafarian-themed clothing that features the colors of the Ethiopian flag and made from the natural fibers. But you need not worry too much about the dress as most of the fashions and trends are from the West.
Tour like a Local
The idea of getting off the relaxing beaches and away from the confines of luxury hotels is to get a feel of the Jamaican culture, firsthand. That includes going to places that an ordinary Jamaican family would take their children or have fun.
For example, you can head to Martha Brae River and enjoy bamboo rafting. And if you are curious enough, you will learn about the legend of Martha Brae, and your knowledge of the culture will improve. A visit to the Bob Marley Museum and Rose Hall Great House will do some justice to your understanding of the island and its ways