Updated: Apr 19, 2020
These are the things you would miss if you ever visited or lived in Jamaica. Jamaica is an island you will easily fall in love with. Being away from Jamaica, you realize how much the small things matter and how easy it is to miss them. Here is my list of the top ten things I miss from the island of Jamaica.
Jamaican Cuisine is so delicious. Every meal in Jamaica will have you sucking on your fingers and wanting more. If you ever visit Jamaica, eat all the food you can. Trust me, you won't regret it. From beef patties to jerk chicken, it's all good.
Jamaica is well known for its exotic and locally sourced meals. Fruits, vegetables, meats, seafood and even eggs are all typically grown and sourced by the regional farmers in Jamaica.
Of the first things to try are the jerk-seasoned dishes, one of the most well known cuisines. Usually served on chicken or pork, jerk and curry seasoning pack a delicious punch! Some consider it the second-national dish of Jamaica.
The true national dish is ackee and saltfish. Ackee is a locally grown fruit sautéed and served with onions, peppers, tomatoes and salt cod. Seafood is caught daily by the Jamaican fisherman, presenting you the freshest cuisine possible.
Jamaican music is world famous, not only for making you want to sing along and shake your hips, but also for being a powerful tool for ‘change.’ Although Reggae is commonly used to define Jamaica’s music, the island’s traditional or folk music is rich – heavy with the substance of African rhythms and collective experiences. Drawing from several different influences, our music reflects the tides of the time with the sounds and rhythms, each possessing its own distinctive beat.
Jamaica's influence on music has spread throughout the world and has manifested in many different ways. Most everyone is familiar with Jamaica's reggae, but other musical styles credited to Jamaica include mento, ska, rocksteady, and dancehall. Jamaica's influence is omnipresent on pop music charts from around the world.
3. The Weather
In Jamaica, it's sunny all year round with a few rainy days. It's always a good day to be outside in tank tops and shorts.
Like its neighboring islands, Jamaica’s climate is lush and tropical, with only slight variations across the island. Note too that the island experiences two rainy seasons; the first beginning in May, ending in June and the second lasting from September to November. There are also two dry seasons, with one running from July to August and the second from December to April.
The best time to visit Jamaica is during the start of 'winter,' November to mid-December, with temperatures averaging 80°F. Peak season begins mid-December and ends mid-April, which is a great time to vacation in Jamaica if you don't mind the crowds. Summers (June to August) are warmer, bringing a slight increase in rainfall.
Instead of staying cooped up in the winter months, throw on a bathing suit and make you way to Jamaica!
4. The Scenery
Jamaica is blessed with a gorgeous landscape — the kind of scenery that brings you peace, serenity and joy.
If you love to experience nature, you will be delighted with the new experiences and adventures to take in while visiting Jamaica. Known for their exotic wildlife, the area bird species and flora will astound you. Cameras can help you retain the memories, but seeing the wildlife for yourself is irreplaceable.
If you decide to participate in snorkeling or scuba diving, the sea life will expand your horizons even further! (Tip: Underwater cameras are a must – pick up a disposable one for under $15 before your flight.) Swim with dolphins, admire the aquatic plants, and be awash with enchanting sea creatures.
5. Sunrises and Sunsets
The best way to start and end any day is to watch the picture the sun paints as it rises and sets over the mountainous terrain of Jamaica. It's absolutely beautiful!
I missed only 2 sunsets when I was in Negril the last 2 months. We had great weather pretty consistently throughout so every sunset was spectacular. Negril is the sunset spot since it is the most eastern portion of the island. I saw 2 beautiful sunrises while there too - New Years Eve and our last night/morning there...AND 3 beautiful moonsets including the full moon set on January 21 which was happening at the same time that the sun was rising.
We watched the sunrise on New Years Eve from a friend's house whose "observatory" 4th floor towers over the canopy. So even though we weren't in an eastern location on the island, the sun rising over the bush was magnificent.
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Jacqueline Cameron is a writer with decades of writing experience running the gamut from blogging to reporting. She lives in Kingston, Jamaica and is the chief writer for the Jamaica So Nice Blog. She is a trained engineer and musician and loves to see people transformed through her work.