Do you ever question, is Jamaica safe to travel?
No matter where you go, there’s Jamaica safety warnings in the news.
However, when planning any trip to the Caribbean, it’s no secret that the reggae land of Jamaica is one of the best islands to visit.
Putting the safety issue aside for a minute and ogling at all the things to do in Jamaica; you’ll see there’s plenty to pick from.
Is Jamaica Safe? 12 Places You Must Visit in 2019
- How to Speak like a Jamaican – Talking Jamaican Patois
- Safety in Kingston – Two ideas to get you started
- Exploring Kingston – Things to do in Kingston
- The Keys to Ocho Rios – Things to do in Ocho Rios
- Mini Guide to Montego Bay – Things to do in Montego Bay
- Negril’s Finest Feats – Things to do in Negril
- Tourist Map of Jamaica – See Jamaica on the map
Not sure where you should begin – Then take a closer look at this guide!
I’ve got some amazing locations you absolutely must take time to visit when travelling here. So, let’s get packing all your favourite belongings.
What are some of the most popular activities that you can take on?
Which trips are worth your time when visiting and how can you find out what to do in Jamaica without breaking the bank?
Despite all the Jamaica travel warnings, I’d say that speaking to locals is by far the most effective way to learn about the culture, history, local cuisine and geography of this island.
The people of Jamaica are not shy about sharing their culture with visitors.
Understanding Jamaican Patois
So, you speak good English but had you imagined yourself speaking like a Jamaican? Here are some great tips to help give you a head start.
Before we talk about safety and look at where to go in Jamaica, I invite you to consider, brushing up on your Jamaican Patois.
Why? Because, although you can get by in Jamaica with English there’s a few common Jamaican words and phrases you’ll need to familiarise yourself with to really connect with the locals.
I’ve listed a few of the cultural elements that I feel you may like to experience:
- Leaning about Rastafarians and the spiritual side of Jamaica
- Having to bean to cup coffee experience
- Visit Bob Marley’s house and learn about his life
I’d like to mention one or two things about Kingston Jamaica if you were in doubt about safety and security.
Obviously, you can’t go to Jamaica without visiting Bob Marly’s house, right?
Allow me to mention two basic things about transportation and accommodation in Kingston before we get deeper into this guide.
Getting around Kingston
I recommend you get a taxi and employ the driver as your private tour guide.
He will pick you up, drop you off when you and give you the keys to the best places to visit.
This can be an inexpensive way to backpack Jamaica if you really know how to talk to Jamaican people on a level.
This is why I mentioned above about understanding Jamaican Patois. It’s a really useful tool to have in your toolbox and goes a long way.
Accommodation in Kingston
If you look around you’ll find may B&Bs as well as some great hotels.
If you’re feeling plush you can stay in the same room Barack Obama stayed in on his visit to Jamaica a few years ago.
However if not, don’t worry. The important thing is that you choose the right accommodation in Kingston based on your need.
Many of the B&B’s like the Yard Guest house are located away from nightlife and other hotspots you may want to check out.
The good news is that there are some B&Bs that are situated in communities with clubs & street dances going on.
I wrote a special guide of things to do in Kingston but outside that, here are a few things to do in Kingston that I highly recommend.
Things to do in Kingston
Most people ask me, is Jamaica safe when I start to mention Kingston.
Kingston is the heart of Jamaica. If you’re looking for the best things to do in Jamaica you simply can not ignore Kingston.
🔗 Wanna Talk like a Jamaican!?
It’s worth knowing that Jamaicans like it when you can speak their lingo.
- ✓ Dictionary for Patois
- ✓ Great starting place
- ✓ Example sentences for context
Learning a bit of Patois goes a long way. I practice with family and use books to up my vocabulary on this ever-changing dialect click here to learn more.
Depending on your style of travel you may be asking yourself what is the best place to stay or how to get to Kingston from Montego Bay.
Don’t worry, in this guide I’m going to give you the lowdown.
1# The Bob Marley Museum
By far one of the top 10 things to do in Jamaica. The Bob Marley Museum is a special place to come and visit; a rich history of one of the most famous men from the country.
Just be sure to pay attention to the clear guides given to you when you arrive: it’s easy to annoy those who care for the museum with carelessness.
If you ask nicely, the guides will recommend you with more fun places to go in Kingston that are outside of most tourist guides.
2# Visit a Maroon Village
Have you ever heard of the Maroons? Well, the word derives from cimarrón which mean runaway slaves.
After the Maroons fled from the Spanish Slave masters they would either join the indigenous peoples or made it out on their own.
From Kingston, you head over to Portland via Nanny-Falls and visit. This is a great option if you favour more cultural things than other activities.
This special tour highlights how descendants of the Maroon people have managed to maintained their culture for all these years.
2# National Heroes Park
I know you already know this! But let’s remind ourselves how proud the Jamaican people are of their history.
An instance of this is displayed at the National Heroes Park.
If you know anything about Marcus Garvey you’ll know that one of the park’s first monuments was constructed to house his remains.
The very beautiful park is one of the things to do in Jamaica that many people miss, and it’s very easy to get if you’re already in Kingston.
Visiting this park will load you up with ammunition for a lengthy conversation with any half-educated Jamaican – especially the elders.
The elders in Jamaica are who I find to be a fountain of knowledge and wisdom.
The park changes its guards every hour on the hour. Barack Obama visited so that say’s it all.
Admittedly if you’re not at all interested in the history of Jamaica or have no other intention of visiting Kingston yes, you could give it a miss but I recommend you get here.
Travel Insurance for Jamaica
If you’re not fully insured whilst backpacking Jamaica, you may be risking more than you could imagine.
I always recommend backpackers to Latin America use World Nomads insurance for a comprehensive cover.
Travelling to Jamaica soon? Get a free quote from World Nomads by entering your details below.
In my experience World Nomads has been the best for travel in Latin America.
Things to do in Ocho Rios
When you’re seeing names like Ocho Rios you know you’re in Latin America. If you’re looking for the top things to do in Ocho Rios as part of your itinerary then you can’t miss these recommendations.
In Ocho Rios, you’ll find everything from rainforest adventures and River Rafting to Zip-Lining through the Jamaican jungle 45 feet above the ground.
1# Dunn’s River Falls
A stunning piece of natural landscape, these falls are a must-see for anyone who likes to take part in nature.
Take a look at yourself: you will get to fully appreciate why Jamaica is such a landmark.
No need to ask yourself is Ocho Rios safe or not at this famous landmark. It’s the kind of place you should find very easy to relax by; just don’t get *too* close to the edge! Make sure you carry some decent water shoes if you can.
One of the dos and don’ts when visiting Jamaica is not just to go with any person that invites you to give a tour.
2# Visit the Blue Mountains
It’s no secret that we spend a lot of money sipping on fine Coffee. The last thing you’ll be worrying about here is your safety.
Have you ever thought about learning more about coffee and did you know you could do coffee farm tours in Jamaica?
So, is Jamaica safe whilst you’re engulfed in the mountains? Of course, it’s by far the best place in Jamaica for me to reside.
- Things to do in Kingston
- Visiting the Bob Marley Museum
- Onwards to: Central America Guide
- Being Black in Latin America
You’ll find that whilst in Jamaica you quite easily get away from the hustle and bustle and learn more than you ever there was to know about one of the worlds leading brands of coffee.
Besides getting a view from the most beautiful points of the island, you’ll see how real Arabica coffee is cultivated. This is a real bean to cup experience
3# Blue Hole
As one of the most interesting places to come and visit, I’m not going to keep it a secret.
Blue Hole is one of those amazing natural wonders that just makes you want to run around and go wild. When it comes to the question of is Jamaica safe – just make sure you can swim.
So long as you pay attention to the edges and you stick within the rules provided when you arrive, you can go as wild as you might like.
Things to do in Montego Bay
Montego Bay is one of the most popular places for holiday goers to Jamaica. In other words, expect to pay more for everything.
Whilst looking for fun things to do in Montego Bay lookout for Doctor’s Cave Beach and if you’ve got time the Walter Fletcher Beach.
Some people have asked, is Jamaica safe in the typical holiday resorts? The answer is a big, yes.
If anything, you feel more isolated from the Jamaican culture when staying in a luxury hotel.
However, outside of sunning and sipping on unlimited cocktails, you may want to check out the following:
1# Rose Hall Great House
Another fine trip to undertake is that of the Rose Hall Great House.
It holds immense historical importance in the region and is a key historical sight worth taking the tour of.
Just be sure to pay attention to your tour guide: tours are always busy here, so they will expect you to keep pace.
2# Croydon Plantation
You may or may not be surprised to know that this is only working plantation left in Jamaica.
Here at Croydon Plantation, you’ll find predominantly Coffee and somewhat 19 different kinds of pineapples – each oozing with their own unique tasted.
Not to mention other distinct tropical fruits. Crime in Jamaica will not even enter your mind here.
Croydon Plantation is the birthplace of Samuel Sharpe the Jamaican national hero, thus why his head is printed on the Jamaican $50 bill.
If you’ve never tried raw sugar cane before just ask one of the helpers there and they’ll be sure to delight you with a stick of Jamaica’s finest.
3# Rastafari Indigenous Village
As I’m sure you’d imagine this Rastafari village is full of positive vibes.
Again don’t expect anything. I recommend you just relax – This is a very rare opportunity for you to visit a working rasta community.
This is quite possibly one of the most authentic ‘organized’ experiences you may have amongst your things to do in Jamaica.
The safety in Jamaica will be the last think on your mind, positive vibe only.
If you’ve not tried the luxury of the Jamaican chocolate here may be your best opportunity. It’s not common knowledge that Jamaican Cacao is one of the sweetest in the word.
There are various opportunity to purchase a righteous gift from the community.
You’ll need your third I for this type of spiritual experience.
Things to do in Negril
Some don’t consider Negril as the real Jamaica but the laid-back nature and holiday vibe of Negril is what makes it the most popular with tourists.
If you are backpacking Jamaica you may find it less appealing initially but that’s no reason not to travel to Negril.
Negril has something for everything beach bums and party animals alike. Not to mention home to some of Jamaica’s most luxurious hotels.
So, what things to do in Negril do I recommend. Let’s start with the basics:
1# Rick’s Cafe
Well, what can I say… Rick’s Cafe is infamous. For many, this spot is one of the best places to visit in Negril for soaking up the vibes. You literally can’t go to Jamaica or at least Negril and not go to Rick’s Cafe.
Rick’s is one of the on top things to do in Jamaica for most travellers to Negril.
I’d go a far to say it’s become a cultural landmark in its own right.
Many tourists go to see the sunset feel the positive vibes, whilst watching people of all ages jump in the water.
People seem to think this place is TGI Friday and are disappointed by the lack of customer service they receive.
I’ve seen it with my own eyes. Just relax. Please.
You’re in Jamaica, at Rick’s place. Just order your drink, sit back let the DJ sooth you with his drum pan sound.
Smart Travel Tip:
The optimum to go to Rick’s is at sunset.
2# Seven Mile Beach
The stunning Seven Mile Beach is easily one of the best things to do in Jamaica, ranking among the impressive and immersive parts of beach landscape you will likely ever set foot on.
The Seven Mile Beach is known for many as the best part of Jamaica.
We just ask that you are very clear about picking up rubbish after yourself: many people aren’t, and you will anger the locals if you do not do your part to keep this place tidy.
3# Royal Palm Reserve
Are you a bird lover, or, just appreciate been present in bio-reserves?
I hope so because the reality is, is that some of Jamaica’s greenest bio-reserve forest are endangered right now.
There has been a lot of Chinese investment in Jamaica recently which has compromised these type of sites. In this case, when you ask, is Jamaica safe? I’d say no, hence why I recommend you visit while you still have the chance.
It can be quite tricky to get there without hiring a driver (as I recommended earlier for Kingston) but it’s worth the effort.
I guarantee you’ll spot at least 10 species of rare bird that you can photograph if you have a decent camera with you.
An amazing mixture of stunning palm trees, you will find that this is a trip that will take you away from the need to do anything.
All that you need to do is look closely at the trees and realise just how beautiful this rich part of nature is – enjoy it in entirety!
So now you have some ideas on what to do in Negril you should be set.
Is Jamaica Safe? 12 Places you must visit
With so much of this in mind, then, you should be able to enjoy your trip to Jamaica like never before.
Map of Jamaica
Use the map of Jamaica below to search the relevant places to you.
Few parts of the world are quite so open and as expansive – or liberal – as Jamaica, so make sure you take your time here and actually enjoy it and embrace it.
So long as you listen to any rules given to you on tours and the like, you’ll have no problem making the most of your time here.
The general rule of thumb for Jamaica is the following:
- 1 Be Careful
- 2 Be Polite
- 3 Be Honest
With those 3 rules, you can’t really go wrong and you’ll be safe in Jamaica.
I hope you have enjoyed this guide of things to do in Jamaica and can learn something for your up and coming trip.
By the way the US News travel site also has a Jamaican travel guide if you need more ideas for your trip.
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So, is Jamaica Safe? Got, tips, tricks or your own advice to share?
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