Adults-Only Vacation to Jamaica: Everything You Need to Know
August 22, 2023
Jamaica is not only known for its stunning beaches and lush landscapes, but also for its music, cuisine and warm hospitality. In this travel guide, I’ll take you through everything you need to know to plan the ultimate adults-only vacation to Jamaica.
A short introduction to Jamaica
Jamaica is the third-largest island in the Caribbean and is located south of Cuba and west of Hispaniola. This island nation is famous for its reggae music, stunning beaches, lush rainforests and rich history that includes influences from African, indigenous and European cultures. The official language is English and the currency is the Jamaican dollar (JMD). Whether you’re an adventure seeker, a beach lover or a culture enthusiast, Jamaica has something for every adult traveler.
How to travel to Jamaica?
Getting to Jamaica is relatively easy, thanks to its well-connected airports and ports. Most international travelers arrive at the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston or the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. From North America, you can find direct flights from major cities, making it a great destination for U.S. and Canadian travelers. From the airport, you can book a transfer for only 10 EURO per person to your accommodation.
Additionally, many cruise ships include Jamaica as a stop on their Caribbean itineraries.
How to get around in Jamaica?
Getting around in Jamaica is very easy. The most common means of travel within the island include taxis, rental cars or organized tours. Taxis are available in the major cities and touristic areas. Make sure to agree on a fare before starting your journey! Rental cars provide the flexibility to explore at your own pace, but be prepared for driving on the left side of the road. Another option is to book a transfer or an organized tour. This is an easy way to explore all the popular attractions.
What is the best time to visit Jamaica?
Jamaica is a year-round destination, but December to April is its high season, which means more crowds and higher prices. Booking during the shoulder seasons—May to mid-December—can often lead to significant savings and a more tranquil experience.
The most popular areas to visit in Jamaica
When it comes to exploring Jamaica, there are a few popular areas to visit. Below you can read about the most popular destinations in Jamaica:
Located on the western tip of the island, Negril is famous for its breathtaking Seven Mile Beach, Jospeh’s cave, Negril Lighthouse, horse riding and stunning sunsets. The town offers a relaxed, bohemian atmosphere and is home to numerous beachfront resorts and bars. The famous Blue Hole Mineral Spring is only a 30-minutes drive from Negril. If you love adventure, you can also go cliff diving at Rick’s Café!
When it comes to dining, Negril offers many options. For authentic Jamaican flavors, try the sweet and spicy jerk chicken at Rick’s Café while enjoying live reggae music and cliffside views. Pushcart Restaurant & Rum Bar is another beloved spot for traditional island dishes, featuring fresh seafood and vibrant Jamaican fare. If you are looking for an intimate dining experience with a beachfront setting, I can recommend to visit Ivan’s. Make sure to try the Bamboo Jerk Chicken or the 100 candlelight dinner if you want a romantic experience.
Montego Bay, also known as “MoBay,” is a city on Jamaica’s north coast. The city is known for its luxury resorts, golf courses, nightlife and beautiful beaches, like Doctor’s Cave Beach and Dead End Beach. It’s a great place to base yourself if you want easy access to the beach and nearby attractions like Sam Sharpe Square, Fort Montego or the Rose Hall Great House. If you like adventures, you can also enjoy some activities like water sports, zip lining and horse riding.
When it comes to dining, Montego Bay boasts many options. If you are craving authentic Jamaican flavors, I recommend you to visit Scotchies and try the jerk chicken wings or rum barbecue ribs. It’s delicious! Another great place to try, is the Houseboat Grill that offers a unique dining experience right on the water, with many seafood options and a romantic atmosphere. If you’re looking for international cuisine, Pier 1 is a popular choice, known for its seafood, stunning views and lively nightlife.
Ocho Rios, situated on Jamaica’s north coast, is known for its nature and adventure activities. Here, you can witness the awe-inspiring Dunn’s River Falls, where I recommend you to climb the terraces. Ocho Rios is also known for Fern Gully, a road adorned with tropical vegetation. Furthermore, you can visit the Island Gully Falls, Cascade Blue Hole or explore the beautiful botanical gardens in the area.
Ocho Rios is a great place to eat Italian, Jamaican or Seafood. Evitas is an Italian restaurant known for its pasta dishes and stunning views of the Caribbean Sea. For an authentic Jamaican meal, I recommend to try Miss T’s Kitchen, where traditional flavors are celebrated in dishes like jerk chicken, ackee and saltfish. If you like to close to the beach, I recommend to visit the Almond Tree Restaurant. This place is affordable and offers fresh seafood and Caribbean fusion cuisine.
As the capital city, Kingston offers a great taste of Jamaican urban life. Some fun activities to do in Kingston are visiting the Bob Marley Museum, National Gallery or one of the bustling marketplaces, like the Coronation Market or Kingston Craft Market.
When it comes to dining in Kingston, the city boasts a great culinary scene. For a taste of traditional Jamaican cuisine, I recommend to try the rooftop bar and restaurant called Red bones. This place is known for its lively atmosphere, art gallery and live music. Make sure to try the Jamaican jerk chicken! Next to this, I can recommend Fromage Brasserie, a restaurant known for its European-inspired cuisine, including gourmet sandwiches, salads and an excellent selection of wines and cheeses. It’s a great choice for a relaxed brunch or lunch. As an ice-cream lover, I can also recommend to visit one of the 3 Devon House I Scream cafes in Kingston. Here, you can find the best ice cream of Jamaica! I loved the coconut flavor!
Nightlife and entertainment in Jamaica
Jamaica offers a great nightlife and entertainment scene. Here are some of my favorite places around the island:
Montego Bay’s Hip Strip: this area in Montego Bay boasts an array of bars, clubs and live music venues.
Negril: the famous Rick’s Café not only offers cliff diving, but also live reggae music and stunning sunsets. A must-visit place when chilling in Negril.
Kingston: has a dynamic nightlife, with hotspots like Fiction Fantasy Nightclub and Usain Bolt’s Tracks & Records.
Ocho Rios: is much quieter than the other locations and often hosts live music events. For a truly authentic experience, don’t miss out on dancing on a local Jamaican street party, where reggae music comes alive. I’m sure you can find one!
Packing tips for your adults-only holiday in Jamaica
When packing for an adults-only holiday in Jamaica, it’s important to find the right balance between comfort and style. Be sure to pack plenty of lightweight, breathable clothing like shorts, tank tops, sundresses and swimwear. It’s also important to bring sunscreen, insect repellent and a wide-brimmed hat to shield yourself from the sun. A pair of comfortable walking shoes for exploring and water shoes for rocky shorelines and water activities are advisable. If you plan to dine at upscale restaurants or attend evening events, pack a few dressier outfits and for adventure excursions, bring proper gear like hiking shoes. Lastly, include a travel adapter for Jamaica’s Type A and Type B electrical outlets and consider travel insurance to ensure a worry-free vacation. Keep your luggage light to make room for the memorable souvenirs you’ll undoubtedly want to bring back from this beautiful Caribbean destination.
Tip: visit my online packing lists to see what products I use when traveling.
Don’t forget a travel insurance for your Jamaica trip. Heymondo is one of the cheapest travel insurances for backpackers and covers medical emergencies, theft, delays, cancellations, lost luggage, and more. For being a reader of Girlswanderlust, you’ll get a 5% discount on your next Heymondo travel insurance.
Selecting the ideal Adults-Only Resort in Jamaica
Choosing the right accommodation for your adults-only vacation in Jamaica is important for a comfortable and enjoyable stay. Imagine yourself lounging on a pristine beach with a tropical cocktail in your hand, no splashing children around you and the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea stretching out before you. There are quite a number of hotel and resort options on the island. Have a look at the adults only resorts Jamaica and my recommendations below:
Secrets St. James Resort
The Secrets St. James Resort is a luxurious and adults-only paradise nestled on the Montego Bay peninsula. This all-inclusive resort combines elegance with the natural beauty of the Caribbean, offering an ideal setting for romantic escapes and upscale vacations. Here, you can unwind in spacious suites, enjoy the services of a personal butler and savor gourmet cuisine at a variety of world-class restaurants. Secrets St. James boasts a beautiful beachfront, a great spa and a range of activities. With many activities, including yoga sessions by the beach, wine tasting, and water sports, you can make your vacation as tranquil or vibrant as you want. The resort’s emphasis on relaxation and romance is evident in its secluded alcoves, infinity pools and intimate nooks.
Staying at Couples Negril in Jamaica promises a great escape. This all-inclusive, adults-only resort is nestled along the shores of Negril’s famous Seven Mile Beach. The resort is known for its romantic ambiance, making it an ideal choice for honeymooners, couples and anyone seeking a romantic getaway. With spacious and beautiful rooms, several dining options and a plenty of activities to choose from, this resort is a great option in Jamaica. Dining here is something to remember, with options ranging from gourmet international cuisine to private, candle-lit beach dinners under the stars.
Other travel and safety tips for traveling to Jamaica
When traveling to Jamaica, make sure that your travel documentation is up-to-date, including a valid passport. I recommend you to make (digital) photocopies of important documents like your passport, ID and travel insurance. While Jamaica is generally safe for tourists, it’s essential to exercise common-sense safety precautions, such as safeguarding your belongings and avoiding walking alone at night in unfamiliar areas. Vaccinations for hepatitis A, typhoid, and routine vaccines like measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) are recommended. Additionally, consider travel insurance that covers potential medical expenses and trip cancellations, as well as emergencies related to COVID-19. Finally, consider buying an esim or local simcard, to avoid unexpected high roaming costs.
Traveling to a country with a different currency? Avoid ATM transaction fees and pay in local currency with a Wise Visa Card or Revolut Maestro Card. I have been using these cards for several years and have saved a lot of money as a result. I recommend bringing both bank cards with you when you travel.
Useful phrases for traveling to Jamaica
When traveling to Jamaica, it’s good to know a few common Jamaican phrases and slang. Here are some useful expressions:
“Wa gwan?” – This informal greeting means “What’s going on?” It’s a friendly way to say hello.
“No problem, mon!” – Jamaicans are known for their relaxed attitude and this phrase reflects their easygoing nature. It means “No worries” or “It’s all good.”
“Irie” – A positive term meaning “feeling great” or “everything is alright.”
“Mi soon come” – This phrase conveys that you’ll be back soon or that you’re on your way.
“Wah gwaan mi bredda?” – A friendly way to greet someone and ask how they’re doing. “Mi bredda” means “my brother” and can be used for both friends and strangers.
“Likkle more” – It means “see you later” or “we’ll meet again.”
“Mi deh pon di vibes” – Express that you’re enjoying the good vibes or atmosphere.
“Mi belly full” – Let your host know you’ve had enough to eat and are satisfied.
In conclusion, Jamaica is a fantastic destination for adults seeking a mix of relaxation, adventure, and culture. Whether you choose the lively streets of Montego Bay, the bohemian charm of Negril, the green wonders of Ocho Rios or the cultural experience in Kingston, I’m sure that you will enjoy exploring the island. The Secrets St. James and Couples Negril are great examples of adults-only resorts in Jamaica where you can relax and enjoy some luxury. As you embark on your journey, remember the travel and safety tips, pack wisely and brush up on some useful Jamaican phrases. So, pack your bags and get ready to experience Jamaica on your adults-only vacation!
If you have any questions about the above mentioned information, please let me know in the comment section below. I’m happy to help you. Safe travels!