Three great ways to see Jamaica beyond the resorts

Posted on January 3rd, 2013 by Laura Byrne Paquet in Destinations, News

Sunday morning in rural Portland, Jamaica. Flickr/Creative Commons photo by Michael L. Dorn/Edu-Tourist.

Say the words “Jamaica vacation” and most people will immediately picture an all-inclusive beachfront resort. But this Caribbean island has more to offer the adventurous traveller. Here are three tips.

  1. Rent a house. Huffington Post writer Dr. Irene Levine recently profiled three rental villas in Jamaica, including Goldeneye, the scenic estate where Ian Fleming wrote 14 James Bond novels.
  2. Chat with the locals. Sign up for the Jamaica Tourist Board’s Meet the People program, either before you leave or while you’re on island. The JTB will do its best to match you with someone who shares your interests–a family with young children, a photographer, a chef–you name it.
  3. Rediscover Jamaican bobsledding. Those who remember the Jamaican bobsled team–the darlings of the 1988 Calgary Olympics–can try tropical sledding for themselves at one of the island’s bobsled theme parks. Karen Berger describes her experience at Mystic Mountain in a recent post for

Want to get a taste of Jamaican culture without leaving home? Check out this 11-minute video guide to making a classic Jamaican dish, rice and peas.

Do you have a good tip for seeing Jamaica like a local? Let me know in a comment!

3 Comments on “Three great ways to see Jamaica beyond the resorts”

  1. Doreen Pendgracs

    Right on, Laura! Getting off the beaten track is definitely the way to go. We recently went on a nature walk in St. Lucia with a local who caught a possum for us and ripped a coconut apart with his teeth. You won’t get experiences like that on a canned tour. Happy New Year to you and happy travels.

    • Laura Byrne Paquet

      Wow, Doreen–that St. Lucia trip sounds like an adventure! I did a similar walk in Montserrat–no possum, but we did eat a variety of odd-looking plants. Happy New Year to you, too!

  2. Thee posh vacation villas in Jamaica

    […] a trip to Jamaica, you may want to read my fellow travel writer, Laura Paquet’s article on Three Great Ways to See Jamaica Beyond the ResortsĀ on her blog, Facing The […]

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