The Travel Professor
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Monday, July 27, 2009

Why Jamaica?

Here’s why I recommended Jamaica in a 60 second burst:

•Tourism in Jamaica is well established and the resort infrastructure is excellent with a wide variety of accommodations at every end of the budgetary scale. Properties range from independent hotels to all inclusive resorts. Flights to the islands from the States are plentiful and they are improving the road system. However I’m not sure I’d want to drive down here. Taxis and shuttles are my preferred mode of transport. Most resorts and hotels will arrange for guided drives around the island for visitors. It is a great way to get off of the beaten path, see the real Jamaica, and to slowly acclimate to a side of the island not found behind the gates.

•Most of the hotel development is on Jamaica’s North Shore at Montego Bay, Ocho Rios and Negril. Jamaica is home to many all-inclusive resorts like Sandals and Super Clubs but you’ll also discover lodging options ranging locally owned properties bungalows all the way up to luxury villas.

•The mountainous interior of Jamaica provides a peaceful setting or adventure opportunities. The island’s Blue Mountains contain a wide variety of plant and animal life and eco tourism here is seeing a healthy interest. Blue Mountain coffee is a must purchase. Bring this home to enjoy or to give to your coffee drinking friends. And don't forget the Red Stripe for your beer loving friends.

•Contemporary Jamaican culture can be explored through the reggae music of Bob Marley and other island artisans. Jamaicans take much pride in the island’s heritage and love to tell you about it. Started in 1968 the Meet the People program hosted by the Jamaican Tourist Board is a great way to share the Jamaican experience. You’ll be matched up with a local host and experience a day or so Jamaican style.

•The English wrested Jamaica away from the Spanish in the mid-1600s and used the island as a base throughout the Caribbean. They permitted pirates to hold sway over some areas of the island like Port Royal to continue to threaten Spanish interests in the rest of the Caribbean.

•Jamaica has more churches per square mile than any other place in the world. Every denomination finds a home here including the Rastafarians. Got a weed Mon?

• To discover more about this wonderful island talk with your travel agent or visit the Jamaican tourist board.

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Happy travels!