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Ever since Errol Flynn cavorted here with his Hollywood pals in the 1930s and '40s, travelers have regarded Jamaica as one of the most alluring of the Caribbean islands. Its beaches, mountains and carnal red sunsets regularly appear in the sort of tourist brochures that promise paradise.
The northern mountain slopes shelter Kingston and the south coast from the worst of torrential Caribbean rain so there's little chance of cancelled limbo marathons, in case you were worried.
JAMAICA TOURS & TRAVEL:
Montego Bay Tours,
Ocho Rios Tours,
MONTEGO BAY Tours, Travel and Activities
Welcome to Montego Bay. No other city provides such a lively, inclusive snapshot of contemporary Jamaican society. Downtown you'll find the animated bustle of Jamaican urban life and historic sites that speak volumes about the island's complex, tortured history.
At dusk in Sam Sharpe Sq - where Jamaica's icon of passive resistance is honored - great swarms of noisy, metallic black grackles circle overhead, threatening to drown out the evangelical bands playing on the periphery.
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NEGRIL Tours, Travel and Activities
In Negril you'll find the island's longest stretch of sugary white-sand beach, its most ebullient nightlife and a permissive throw-your-cares-to-the-wind attitude. You'll also find an astonishing range of lodgings, from the simplest of guest houses to stylish boutique hotels and luxurious all-inclusive resorts.
Naturally, Negril boasts a robust cuisine scene, with some of the island's most adventurous chefs and plenty of good restaurants featuring beachside or clifftop dining.
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OCHO RIOS Tours, Travel and Activities
While Ocho Rios (nicknamed Ochi) itself is nothing to write home about, engaging nearby attractions, lively nightlife and an abundance of hotels, resorts and guest houses make it a serviceable base for exploring the hinterlands.
Ocho Rios was a sleepy fishing village until the 1980s; the on-the-go place you experience today is the result of the Jamaica Tourist Board's laser-like focus on developing destination products.
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TRELAWNY Tours, Travel and Activities
Falmouth's early history is one of sugar and slavery. Few other towns in Jamaica have retained their original architecture to quite the same degree as Falmouth, which has a faded Georgian splendor. The city, 37km east of Montego Bay, has been the capital of Trelawny parish since 1790.
Wednesday and Saturday are market days, when everything from bootleg underpants to fresh ginger to homemade root tonics are up for grabs. Much of Trelawny parish shows up for good deals on produce, baby chickens, yam sprouts, coffee beans, etc.
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SUGGESTED ITINERARIES: JAMAICA
Unlike other nearby islands, Jamaica caters to everyone from beach bums to newlyweds: you can choose a private villa with your own secluded beach; laugh your vacation away at a party-hearty resort; or throw yourself into the thick of the island's life while experiencing the three Rs: reggae, reefers and rum.
The Blue Lagoon is by any measure one of the most beautiful spots in Jamaica. Made famous by a certain Brooke Shields movie and the site of a well-publicised Jacques Cousteau dive, the 170ft (52m) deep 'Blue Hole' (as locals call it) opens to the sea through a narrow funnel, but is fed by freshwater springs that come in at about 131ft (40m) deep. The lagoon's colour changes through every shade of jade and emerald during the day.
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Montego Bay, Jamaica
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