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New year, new destinations: Here’s why you should visit Jamaica in 2017

It is about time we moved over Paris, London and New York. If you should take any resolution for 2017 at all, it must be exploring newer, faraway lands. There’s Croatia, there is Namibia and then there is Jamaica.

travel Updated: Dec 06, 2016 11:21 IST
Jamaica,Travel Trends,Wanderlust
Add Jamaica to your travel bucket list for 2017. Because it’s beautiful and serene. Also because why not?(Istock)

It is about time we moved over Paris, London and New York. If you should take any resolution for 2017 at all, it must be exploring newer, faraway lands. There’s Croatia, there is Namibia and then there is Jamaica.

Here’s a look at what awaits you if you dare to take a trip to the Caribbean island.

Must-visit museum

> The Bob Marley Museum

The Bob Marley Museum is a must for reggae fans. (Istock)

Jamaica will forever be associated with Bob Marley, the local boy turned international megastar. Freshly arrived in Kingston, the island’s capital, visitors with a taste for reggae can head to the legendary musician’s former home and recording studio, which is now a museum.

The building still bears the bullet holes from a failed assassination attempt in 1976, and is home to press cuttings, gold discs and concert tickets retracing the artist’s career.

Essential excursion

> Cockpit Country

Cockpit Country may be hard to reach, but the wildlife is breathtaking. (Istock)

This part of the island is a haven for hikers! Jamaica has more to offer than idyllic sandy beaches. Inland, to the west of the island, a hilly region covering around 1,300 sq km is home to exceptional flora and fauna.

However, only hardy vacationers who aren’t afraid of strenuous activity will be able to reach the area, accompanied by a guide. Otherwise, a helicopter tour is a popular and less challenging way of taking in the scenery.

Still, hiking is well worth the effort to experience the unspoiled natural environment and incredible wildlife. The region is still autonomous and is inhabited by the descendants of former slaves who rebelled against English colonists in the 18th century. Less seasoned walkers can head to the east of the island to explore the Blue Mountains.

Authentic activity

> Golf, diving, swimming with dolphins

Golf fans should head to Montego Bay. (Istock)

Jamaica has plenty to offer sports fans. The area around Montego Bay, in the northwest of the island, is an essential stop on any visit thanks to its famously beautiful beaches. The region is also great for golfers, offering some of the best greens in the Caribbean.

Divers will find plenty of marine fauna in Montego Bay and swimmers can head to Ochos Rios for a chance to get up close with dolphins. Rafting is also an option on the Rio Grande. Otherwise, Jamaica is a great place to kick back and relax with stunning beaches scattered along all of its coastlines.

Upcoming hotspot

> Long Bay

Runaway Bay is one of Jamaica’s most beautiful beaches. (Istock)

At the very south of the island, Long Bay is considered one of Jamaica’s most beautiful beaches. While Montego Bay and Negril have long been prime locations for visitors in search of scenic sea views, Long Bay is the latest upcoming hotspot.

Long Bay is an ideal getaway for anyone who can’t stand crowded beaches jampacked with tourists. With around 10 kilometers of beach to enjoy, you’re sure to find a quiet spot to lay out down your towel.

Sampling the nightlife

> Negril

Head to Negril for laid-back vibes. (Istock)

Negril is located on the western point of the island. This seaside town is popular with tourists, offering the clearest waters in all of Jamaica. Here, travelers step out alongside locals to enjoy the laid-back atmosphere. Don’t be shocked to see products of all kinds being touted by sellers in the area.

Souvenir shopping

> Kingston Craft Market

A street market in Kingston. (Istock)

The Jamaican capital is a great place to stock up on souvenirs. The craft market is held under a traditional steel structure dating from 1872.

There are stalls selling all kinds of local crafts and artisanal trinkets, from wooden statues and figurines to tortoiseshell jewellery and the obligatory Bob Marley statues and memorabilia.

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First Published: Dec 06, 2016 11:17 IST