I recently went on a trip to Jamaica via Air Transat and spent an incredible five days in what felt like paradise! The weather was warm and beautiful compared to the icy, snow-blanketed world I’d left behind. There’s really nothing like a little sunshine to lift your spirits. Keep reading for a broad overview of my Jamaican vacation. If you are planning a trip to Jamaica, I have all the details about vacationing in Jamaica with many the Montego Bay and Negril excursions.
You can also find other posts on Jamaica travel such as 10 Things to do in Jamaica. I hope all this information is helpful for when you go vacationing in Jamaica and Montego Bay.
First, I flew from Vancouver to Toronto and spent a few days there to visit with friends. Then for the next leg of my journey, I flew from Toronto via Air Transat, and I was nothing but pleased. I upgraded to option plus seating which means I got two checked pieces of luggage, complimentary seat selection, priority check in, and priority boarding.
I was also served a meal (breakfast in my case), an alcoholic beverage and a comfort kit. The kit had everything I needed to get nice and settled in, which included a blanket, eye mask and neck rest. I sure felt pampered on this flight! Air Transat is easily one of my favourite airlines after this experience.
The In Flight Meal
Chef Daniel Vezina from Quebec created the beautiful meal I had on my flight. His dishes are seriously amazing. I had the chance to try the breakfast option, which was an additional $25. I made sure to order that ahead of time. The staff were all very friendly. Overall, I really enjoyed my flight from Toronto to Montego Bay, Jamaica. I was so excited about the adventures that awaited me!
We stayed at the brightly coloured, all-inclusive Royal Decameron Cornwall Beach in Montego Bay. Very Caribbean, relaxed kinds of vibes fill the resort—exactly the kind of ambience you want when you’re vacationing in Jamaica. The resort has an awesome pool and is beachfront. Plus, you can rent canoes and paddle boards on the beach if you’re looking for some fun day activities.
In each room there’s a super comfy bed, a cute little space where you can do some reading, and a deck that serenely overlooks the beach. This is a nice place to hang out in the mornings and evenings, where you’re treated to gorgeous sunrises and sunsets every day. If you’re like me though, you might prefer taking it all in straight from the beach itself.
You really can’t go wrong at this resort. It’s pretty easy to find beauty from all angles.
Royal Decameron Cornwall Beach in Montego Bay
It’s only right I mention the buffet at the hotel. It was delicious! They had a wide selection of foods. Even with my limited diet (gluten free, dairy free, low carb), I had no problem finding things to enjoy. In particular, I really liked the jerk chicken and the wide variety of fresh fruit. It was especially nice since fresh fruit can be hard to come by in the wintertime!
Since it was an all-inclusive resort, the bar was open more often than not. This meant more opportunities for a Pina Colada, which was delicious. They serve lots of other fun drinks, but that was definitely a favourite of mine.
The Royal Decameron Cornwall Beach in Montego Bay resort had a private beach, which was convenient. Although there was lots of seating, I would head out as early as you can. People were starting to grab seats around 6 am! The early bird catches the most sun in Jamaica! When you start to Jamaica travel plan, make sure you set aside beach time!
Just the Girls Vacationing in Jamaica!
I was joined on this trip to Jamaica with some gals from Montreal and Toronto that became fast friends. Check them out for their take on the trip…. Angela, Alyssa, Anna, Krystle, Jeanne and Jess. This Jamaica travel guide is great for a couple, family or even a solo itinerary.
My Trip to Jamaica Vlog
You can watch my trip to Jamaica vlog below or on YouTube for better quality.
The Adventures and Excursions in Montego Bay, Jamaica
Rafting on the Martha Brae River
This Martha Brae Rafting Tour is so relaxing, and the scenery is beautiful. First, you embark from aboard a 30-foot bamboo raft that doesn’t even seem like it should float…but it does! The raft captains are all licensed and experienced, so you’re in good hands. The ride goes over a span of three miles of river and lasts about an hour. During the tour, the captain shares lots of information about rafting, how the rafts are made, and “The Legend of Martha Brae”. You can also go for a nice swim if you so desire!
“The embarkation area, ‘Rafter’s Village’, encompasses six acres of beautifully manicured lawns situated on a natural horseshoe island,” as the tour site puts it. Before you take off on the raft, you can also take a walk through “Miss Martha’s Herb Garden”, a show of some of the country’s herbs with healing properties.
Overall, I thought this was one of the most beautiful Montego Bay excursions. It was such an amazing experience! Don’t forget to bring buy spray and sunscreen for this tour. It is totally safe to bring your good camera, too. I highly suggest this activity if you take a trip to Montego Bay Jamaica.
Hampden Estate Rum Tour
The historic Hampden Estate is located in Falmouth. On the rum tour, I learned that they’ve been making their rum since the 1700s. They use spring water, tropical aging, and secret production styles to create it. The use of spring water makes the whole process more environmentally-friendly, which is pretty cool.
“Hampden Estate is one of the last surviving distilleries that still uses discontinuous distillation to produce its rums,” the company says. The rum is also natural, without any added sugar or artificial colouring. They pride themselves on the versatility and sumptuous taste of it. According to Hampden, it’s something you just have to experience for yourself.
And we did exactly that. While on the tour, you get an opportunity to sample their rum. I tried one that was 80 proof and it was super strong. My body was on fire for hours—they don’t call it fire rum for no reason!
Out of my favourite Jamaica experiences during my trip to Jamaica, this one was definitely a strong contender. If you travel to Jamaica, you’ll definitely want to add this adventure into your itinerary.
Zimabli Retreats is an off-the-grid farm in Negril where you can enjoy a farm-to-table meal, or enjoy a retreat. The beautiful property has over 500 fruit trees from pineapple to bananas and plantain. We had a tour of the farm, and it was amazing to see all the fruits and vegetables and then enjoy the delicious meal. A freshwater spring supplies the farm, which may be one reason behind all those fresh flavours and quality.
If you’re interested in staying for a retreat, you’ll stay in one of the uniquely-decorated cottages amongst the mountain scenery. All come with their own relaxing porches.
Negril Seven Mile Beach
If you’re looking for a long, lazy day of soaking up the sun, this is the place to do it. Seven Mile Beach is in Negril and a wonderful place to spend the whole day if you have the time.
While we were at Seven Mile Beach we went to Margaritaville—and enjoyed margaritas, of course! The water is a beautiful clear blue and the sand is that pure, powdery white you want in your ideal beach setting. It’s also clean and family-friendly. Every Jamaica travel guide should list a stop here!
Rick’s Café is an iconic place to visit in Jamaica. I can also vouch that it has the best sunsets ever. If sunsets are your thing, this place is an absolute dream destination! Add in the warm breeze and the chill, live reggae songs, and you’re basically in sensory heaven.
There’s also the option to exhilarate your senses with an epic cliff jump. This was my main source of excitement for this place! I did the one from 30 feet high, but there are some ledges lower down and closer to the water. It was so much fun, and a real adrenaline rush.
If you go here planning to jump, make sure you try and go through with it. No regrets. There’s also plenty of liquid courage available at the bar if needed. Either way, that water is revitalizing to splash into!
Chukka Falls Flyer Tour
Whether you arrive to Dunn River by land or sea—on a catamaran—you’re going to love touring this area in Ocho Rios.
We opted for the newer adventure package the falls has—zip-lining! This excursion, Chukka Falls Flyer Tour, is one where you fly through the palm tree forest and over Dunn’s River Falls.
These falls are one of Jamaica’s national treasures and I can see why…they’re certainly easy on the eyes! You should make sure you bring bug spray in addition to sunscreen to this location, as well.
Rose Hall Haunted House
I am not one for scary things (like at all) so I was a little apprehensive to go on this Rose Hall Haunted House Tour. It turned out to be a really fun tour, even though I screamed a lot! On the tour, the guide shared the stories behind the haunted house.
It was a grand colonial house that was restored in the 1960s. They explain that it is one of the very few great houses left in Jamaica. They also told us the story of “Annee Palmer, the famed White Witch of Rose Hall.”
You can visit Rose Hall during the daytime for less scary tours, too. If scary and haunted are right up your alley, check out this blog with the most haunted places to visit in the world.
Places to Eat
All the food at the all-inclusive Royal Decameron Cornwall Beach was delicious and abundant. However, it’s always nice to get out and experience the local spots for some traditional Jamaican food (and drinks). Check out my Guide for Travelling as a Celiac if you have some diet limitations, too. Some of my favourite places are below!
Scotchies is another Jamaican icon. It has the best jerk in Montego Bay (or Mobay as the locals call it). What are you doing if not sampling jerk-seasoned delicacies when in Jamaica?
Scotchies was delicious…I’m really glad we got a little of everything to try. My taste buds were singing praises to me for delighting in such a treat!
Tastees is Jamaican fast food. This is the place you should go to for meat patties—yet another food known best by Jamaica! I would recommend getting the beef and cheese variety. It was absolutely scrumptious.
I always love exploring the local markets wherever I visit. It’s such a great experience to have outdoors. You also get to sample authentic local foods while having a cultural experience, making it one of the best travel activities you can do!
There was so much fresh fruit in Jamaica, which you start to miss in the wintertime in Canada. If you go, you must get a ‘jelly’, which is a green coconut. The fresh coconut water is to die for and it is so refreshing. I really liked the Jamaican apple, and the star apples were also tasty. You can’t find them at home!
Consider a Trip to Jamaica
Thanks for following along with my Jamaica travel stories! If you could use some sun-soaking amidst a relaxed, culturally rich island vibe, you should definitely consider travel to Jamaica.
Thanks for following along on my trip to Jamaica and my fun Jamaican adventure! If you are interested in Caribbean destinations, I would totally recommend vacationing in Jamaica with Montego Bay excursions and Negril excursions. It is always so much fun to get outside the resort to explore.
Do you plan to travel to Jamaica soon? My Travel Resource Guide might be helpful.
Other Travel Posts You Might Like
This blog post about vacationing in Jamaica and travel to Jamaica is brought you in collaboration with Air Transat, Visit Jamaica and the Royal Decameron Cornwall Beach. Thank you for supporting the brands that support me.
Bella Bucchiotti of xoxoBella is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for recipes, dogs, sustainability, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.
Bella Bucchiotti is a freelance food, travel, and lifestyle writer for MSN and the Associated Press Wire.