Tips for family vacation in Jamaica
By Karen Thompson
The Island nation of Jamaica in the Caribbean is synonymous with the sun, sand, and sea as also Blue Mountain coffee, rum and reggae. You can indulge in various water activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, deep sea fishing, river rafting and swimming. On land you can go horseback riding, hiking, caving and golfing. With so much on offer, it is little wonder it is so popular as a family holiday destination . To make your holiday all the more special, there are also many Jamaica accommodation rentals comprising private villas, cottages and apartments that you can book for the duration of your stay.
Sightseeing in Jamaica
Most of the tourist towns in Jamaica are located on the island's north coast. You can visit Ocho Rios, undoubtedly the island's most sought out tourist destination. You can check out the Dunn's River Falls with their natural staircase of protruding rocks which you can climb. There is the Dolphins Cove nearby where you can swim with the dolphins. Head to Negril to view some spectacular sunsets and also to spend time on its world class beaches, notably the Seven Miles Beach that has consistently been voted amongst the world in the world. In Negril, you can also visit the Y.S. Falls where the water falls into seven pools in which you can swim, swing or take a tube ride. You can also spend a fun-filled day in Royal Palm Reserve spread across 300 acres of land housing ponds, rain-forest trails, picnic areas and of course the exotic flora and fauna of the island.
For those interested in arts and the history of the island, the destination is Kingston where you can browse through art galleries and also shop for some great local paintings and wood carvings. One gallery worth a mention is the National Gallery of Jamaica housing numerous artifacts, paintings, sculptures, pottery and other pieces of artwork from different periods. You can also explore the Luminous Lagoon whose water contains the rare microbes that glow with a greenish neon light giving the lagoon an ethereal quality that can be witnessed in only four places in the world including Jamaica.
Where to stay in Jamaica
Jamaica has a fair share of hotels and all-inclusive resorts, however if it is a family holiday you are planning, the ideal option would be to stay in Jamaica accommodation rentals comprising private villas, cottages and apartments. The logic is simple; why book a hotel room when you can book a whole home for the same amount? Apart from the services you would normally associate with a hotel, you also get privacy and space which you would normally associate with a home. Besides, there are some rentals that especially cater to families, for example, the Silver Sands villas, a secure community of villas located on the north coast of the island.
These villas encompass a private beach that is perfect for swimming, snorkelling and enjoying a family picnic. Should you just want to stay indoors, you'll find many amenities to keep you busy. These rentals are well-equipped with amenities such as TV, DVD/CD players, Internet etc. You can play board games with the family or else simply lounge away in the porch or terrace reading your favourite book or taking in the views of the Caribbean Sea. The Silver Sands villas also provide childcare facilities and have separate play area for kids.
Many international airlines go through the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay while there are others serve the Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston. You can reach your destination in Jamaica by taxi or bus. If you are staying in Silver Sands villas, you have the option to include airport transfers in your package.
The local currency is Jamaican dollar. As on May 2010, one US dollar equalled 89 Jamaican dollars. The US dollar is commonly accepted in villas and markets, however it is wise to carry the local currency along when you go out.
Karen Thompson is a travel writer for Mysilversands, a company dedicated to providing quality self-catering accommodation in Jamaica Accommodation Rentals, my silver sands, cottages and my silver sands by the sea.
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Views expressed in the article are those of the author and are not necessarily the opinions of CaribbeanChoice, its staff or members.