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One love – return to Jamaica

By: Virgin Atlantic

May 20, 2021

Coconut tree in summer shadow

Jamaica. A Caribbean island who’s people, music, landscapes and cuisine are known and celebrated right across the globe. This week, as flight restrictions slowly start to ease, our team on the island were super excited to welcome our first flight back to Montego Bay. This means that you can now start to plan your trip to this fascinating country and beautiful holiday destination.

Jamaica is a land with a distinct personality. Aside from the music (the birthplace of reggae), it’s known for sports, amazing beaches, its abundance of waterfalls, and so much more. This week, we welcomed the resumption of our Montego Bay, Jamaica service. Hannah Swift and Deanna Weekes from our Caribbean sales team tell us why Jamaica should be on everyone’s must-visit list and what you should do when you’re there.

J

is for JERK; a flavour, a method, and a national identity; a style of cooking native to Jamaica.

A

is for Athletes. Many famous athletes hail from the island. From world-renowned sprinter Usain Bolt to famous cricketer Chris Gayle.

M

is for Music. Home to so many big names like Bob Marley. Reggae music is connected to the Rastafari movement.

A

is for Amazing Beaches. From Negril with Seven Mile Beach (the longest on the island) to the shores of Ocho Rios with Mammee Bay Beach, and of course Doctor’s Cave Beach in Montego Bay; the ultimate guide to relaxation.

I

is for Incredible views. Jam-packed with diverse tourist attractions. From the Blue Lagoon to Black River for some bamboo river rafting, the immensely popular Dunn’s River Falls and Park in Ocho Rios, as well as hiking in the Blue Mountains. Something for everyone to enjoy.

C

is for Culture. A rich ‘Irie’ culture to be explored. Known for its colorful culture and long list of traditions; mixed with an ethnically diverse society, religion, norms and values, enriched by local foods and their unique language.

A

is for accent; referred to as Patois, spoken primarily among the Jamaican diaspora as a native language and recognized worldwide.

On the ground in Montego Bay. At the controls of the Boeing 787 when it landed in Jamaica was Senior First Officer Sheraaz Rasool. It was his first flight back after almost a year grounded and his first trip to the island.

Hannah and Deanna’s top ten things to do when you get to Jamaica:

Visit Doctor’s Cave Beach. Named after a doctor who visited in the 1920s and proclaimed that the sea had restorative powers (don’t all good beaches have them?) The gorgeous beach is must visit day trip and has all the amenities you need, from changing rooms to bars, cafes and shops.

Re-enact some famous 007 scenes. Jamaica has a strong association with James Bond. The author Ian Fleming built a house and lived in Jamaica and he often sent Bond on assignment to the island. Several of the most memorable scenes in James Bond films were filmed there including “Dr. No,” “Live and Let Die,” “The Man With the Golden Gun” and “Octopussy”. Our blog post about James Bond and Jamaica goes into more detail.

A relaxing round of golf at one of the most stunning courses in the world. There are ten courses on the island, each one with its own character and spectacular views. Find out more about the courses on the Visit Jamaica website

Meet the local wildlife. Jamaica is known as ‘the land of wood and water’ for good reason. With lush forests, the Blue mountains, beautiful rivers and the Caribbean sea lapping its shore, Jamaica has plenty to fascinate the nature lover.

The Black River is also a great ‘get back to nature’ experience – take a boat ride along the river, which gets its name from the darkness of its river bed. The real attraction here are the salt water crocodiles that inhabitat the river.

Take a relaxing raft trip down the gorgeous Martha Brae River.

Sample some local delicacies (rum, beer, fruit, patties and of course some jerk!) When it comes to food, there is of course an abundance of fresh fish and sea food to choose from. But the real culinary treat in Jamaica is ‘Jerk’. Spicy jerked chicken, pork or even fish is something you cannot leave Jamaica without trying. And then you’ll probably buy a bottle of jerk sauce or scotch bonnet spicy sauce before you leave too.

You will of course need something to wash it down with so what better choice of beverage than a famous ‘Red Stripe’ Beer. Or if a sweeter tipple is more your thing, an exotic rum-based cocktail is never far away. Why not be adventurous and ask the barman to surprise you with their own signature cocktail?

Take a nice long walk along the pristine white sand of Seven Mile Beach at Negril. Stop off for a dip in the crystal clear warm Caribbean sea and make a pit-stop at one of the local handcraft stalls where you’ll usually find some hidden gems which make great souvenirs. https://negril.com/   Or discover some of the hidden beaches of Jamaica

Get wet at one of Jamaica’s incredible waterfalls. The island is home to some gorgeous picture-perfect waterfalls. You’ll probably be familiar with Dunn’s River falls. Backdrop to countless Instagram posts. But there are many others to discover. The photo is of the beautiful Blue Hole waterfall located in the hills of Ocho Rios, Jamaica. Planetware have a good blog about some of the other waterfalls on the island. 

 

Take in some culture at a museum or cultural centre. Being such a proud nation with a rich heritage and turbulent history means Jamaica has a rich story to tell. A trip to one of its museums will definitely enrich your visit. Starting with the Bob Marley museums 

Focus on you! Treat yourself at one of the islands many spa and wellness centres.

Many thanks to Deanna and Hannah from our Caribbean Sales and Marketing team for sharing these tips.

The Jamaican flag – black depicts the strength and creativity of the people, gold the natural wealth and beauty of sunlight, and green, hope and agricultural resources.


Head to https://www.instagram.com/visitjamaica/ for more inspiration or visit our Jamaica destination guide. Visit our website for the latest deals and to book your flights.

Fly to Jamaica on our modern efficient aircraft tended every step of the way by our brilliant ground and onboard teams. Visit our Covid-19 travel hub to discover everything we’re doing to make sure you can fly with total confidence.

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