Jamaican Experience; Jamaican People; Jamaican Culture; Jamaica Attractions; Jamaican Products
Known as the "birthplace of reggae," Jamaica will charm you with its warm people; enjoyable local dishes; cinematic sunsets; postcard-precision beaches; lush, green mountains; colorful coral reefs; memorable products… In this amazing Caribbean paradise, you will understand what true happiness is.
I live in Jamaica and love the Jamaican experience; but what is the Jamaican experience? The Jamaican experience may mean different things to different people – the locals, the tourists, the diaspora. There is one thing in common though, the warmth, color and fun that is Jamaica. I enjoy the Jamaican experience of waking up early to hear the crickets, listening to a good Jamaican joke, travelling the country roads full of surprises, watching a “glory” sunset, and riding the waves at the beach. My Jamaican experience is full of “nature-inspired” moments.
I will share Jamaica’s least-kept secret with you -The Jamaican people – a joy, a treasure, and having Jamaicans around is an unbeatable experience as they are so warm, funny, and willing to help.
What’s life without the experiences that add a little zest and make it worth living? With a myriad of jaw-dropping experiences, Jamaica offers much more than sun, sand, and sea. If you wish to indulge in what this paradise island has to offer, here are 7 Jamaican experiences that should be immediately added to your bucket list:
A Happy Jamaican Fruit Vendor!
We have all heard of Jamaica's legend, Bob Marley; we have heard of Jamaican music such as ska, rock steady, reggae, dancehall… Music is at Jamaica’s heart. Every pulsing beat pushes forth the creativity and soul of a bold, strong, and resilient people. There is no beat that is too difficult to complement with the art of movement; no tune that doesn’t make us groove.
The term reggae denotes the modern popular music of Jamaica and its diaspora. While sometimes used in a broad sense to refer to most types of popular Jamaican dance music, the term reggae more properly denotes a particular music style. This music style evolved in the 1960s from traditional Jamaican mento as well as American jazz and rhythm and blues, especially the New Orleans R&B, and evolved out of the earlier genres ska and rocksteady. Reggae usually relates news, social gossip, and political commentary. It is instantly recognizable as it has a heavy bass and strong second and fourth beat.
While in Jamaica, visitors have a chance to learn about the beginnings of reggae music, to experience the entertainment scene of which reggae is a huge part, and even to embark on rum and reggae tours, or visit the popular Bob Marley Museum where there are opportunities to take a closer look at the life of the admired Jamaican musician.
In 2018, UNESCO added the "reggae music of Jamaica" to its "Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity."
2. Home to Some of the World’s Fastest sprinters
There’s something in Jamaica that causes this small island to keep producing some of the best athletes in the world. This Caribbean nation is known to be the birthplace of several world-renowned sprinters, including the fastest runner in the world, Usain Bolt. Bolt is a three-time Olympic Champion and former World Record Holder.
Why does Jamaica have the fastest runners? It could be a combination of diet, regular training, an early career start and more. With hard work, determination, and dedication, our athletes go out with a view to win and make their mark on the world stage each time they take to the tracks.
On Saturday, July 31, 2021, Elaine Thompson-Herah won the 100-m race at the Olympic Stadium in Tokyo, Japan. Her final time in the race was 10.61 seconds, a new Olympic record, breaking Florence Griffith-Joyner’s 10.62 mark from the 1988 Olympics. Jamaica swept the 100-m race, further cementing the island nation’s sprinting dominance; behind Thompson-Herah, Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce took second, running 10.74 seconds, while Shericka Jackson took bronze in 10.76 seconds. This marks the second time in the last four Olympics that three women from Jamaica won all the 100-m medals. In Beijing in 2008, Fraser-Pryce won gold, and Sherone Simpson and Kerron Stewart tied for second.
You should have heard the cheers and roars echoing through my community as Jamaica took 1-2-3 finishes in the 100-m women's race. The latest Jamaican joke is that the new Jamaican area code is “123.” In pre-Covid-19 times, we would congregate at intersections in major towns to watch the races on the big screen and the "vibz" there was exhilarating, just as if we were in the stadium! Next time the Olympics are held, please do join us in the squares.
Jamaican Sprinter - Elaine Thompson-Herah, Winner of Olympics Gold Medals
3. Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee®
Jamaica is known for its exceptional Blue Mountain Coffee, which is grown in the Blue Mountains, the highest mountains in the Caribbean. What makes Blue Mountain Coffee so special is that it only grows on steep mountainside. The humidity of the mountain range, its favorable drainage and other uncommon conditions produce a denser bean, which equates to better quality. This smooth Arabica coffee of Blue Mountain is sweet toned, easily had without additives, and naturally alkaline. It contains vitamins and nutrients making it beneficial for daily consumption.
Blue Mountain Coffee can be a little pricey, depending on when and where you buy it, but it is one of the most sought-after coffee brands in the world. The coffee is handpicked, and locally roasted, and its creation is part of a very intricate process. Our coffee regulator validates Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee® with a globally recognized certification mark and trademark. So, if your coffee does not have the trademark image on the package, it is not authentic.
Overall, it is one of those things you just must try while in Jamaica! It’s what I drink daily. Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee® is now available in the Jamaica So Nice Shop so you can have this experience right at home with your friends.
Cherry Red Jamaica Blue Mountain Coffee Ready for Picking
4. The Country’s Natural Beauty
Jamaica will charm you with its cinematic sunsets, with the perfection of its beaches and natural treasures. In this little Caribbean paradise, you will understand what true happiness is.
Whether you consider the water your second home or are new to experimenting with the sea, there is a sea adventure for everyone! Snorkeling and scuba diving are so much fun, exposing visitors to the tropical life under the sea’s surface!
If you’re a surfer, Jamaica’s coasts won’t disappoint you! Beautiful, clear waters and great tides offer an enjoyable adventure to new and experienced surfers alike. This is a great opportunity to take a surfing lesson as well, immersing you in a tropical adventure.
Jamaica boasts many gorgeous beaches. Across Jamaica you’ll find at least 50 public beaches, including the sprawling Seven Mile Beach in Negril, Doctor’s Cave Beach in Montego Bay, and my favorite beach - Frenchman’s Cove Resort in Port Antonio. I visited Frenchman's Cove resort Beach last May, and the beauty, the splendor, the tranquility of the beach gave me such a boost and refreshing that I will make time to visit our attractions regularly, and I invite you to do so too!
Both peaceful and exciting, Bamboo River Rafting is a must while in Jamaica. Some of the best spots to try this are on the Martha Brae, Black River, or Rio Grande River. You don’t need to have any experience to be able to go river rafting, only a love for adventure.
In Jamaica there are several waterfalls just waiting for a refreshing dive including the world-famous Dunn’s River Falls where you can embark on a wet hike and dry hike, the Ocho Rios Blue Hole, Mayfield Falls, Reach Falls, YS falls, and Konoko Falls. All these waterfalls offer natural pools that you can dip into for a refreshing splash, and Dunn’s River even has its own beach! Checking out at least one waterfall should be a priority while in Jamaica, as the breathtaking falls are one of those things Jamaica is most known for.
Much like the island has its own personality, every attraction is a little different, and knowing the kind of experience you’re looking for will help you choose the right one.
Frenchman's Cove Resort Beach, Port Antonio
5. Jerk Food
The Jamaican Cuisine consists of a wide mixture of influences reflecting our rich cultural heritage. Known for its exotic and delicious cuisine,
do you know that jerk chicken is the most popular dish in Jamaica, which is loved world-wide.
Jerk Chicken is the most traditional food from Jamaica and if you’re a foodie, this is one of the must-try dishes. Jerk Chicken is sold by street vendors. mid-range restaurants, and high-end restaurants. It’s delicious, a great snack at the beach while sipping on some refreshing Jamaican drink!
I know a jerk food shop on Mannings Hill Road which I can take you to. It offers delightful jerk chicken and pork with side orders such as breadfruit, festival, and plantain.
Jerk is a style of cooking native to Jamaica in which meat is dry-rubbed or marinated with a hot spice mixture called Jamaican jerk spice. The blend of herbs, spices, and pimento leaves, invented by Jamaican Maroons, has made Jerk chicken the most famous Jamaican dish. Jerk Chicken
is a delicacy by itself but is typically served with bread or festival (dumplings made with flour, cornmeal, baking powder, salt, and sugar).
Authentic Jamaican Jerk Pork
6. Pirate History
One of the oldest and most historic regions of the country, Port Royal has maintained much of its independence as well as its heritage. Once the enclave of pirates and other outlaws, there is still a strong seafaring tradition. The Taino Indians occupied this area as a fishing camp for centuries before the Europeans. The Taínos were an Arawak people who were the indigenous people of the Caribbean and Florida.
The Spanish established the town in 1518. As a port city, it was notorious for its gaudy displays of wealth and loose morals. It functioned as the center of shipping and commerce in the Caribbean Sea by the latter half of the 17th century. It was a popular homeport for privateers to spend their treasure during the 17th century. Pirates from around the world congregated at Port Royal, coming from waters as far away as Madagascar.
Port Royal was known in the 17th century as "the wickedest and richest city" in the world. It was destroyed by an earthquake on 7th June 1692. Another severe earthquake occurred in 1907. Plans to revitalize Port Royal made 20 years ago came to fruition with the visit of a cruise ship on January 20, 2020.
The Port Royal Beach is where I go swimming – when it’s calm. When it’s rough, I stay close to the breaking waves to ride them as they sweep up the beach – now that’s fun!
Historic Ship of Port Royal, Kingston
There are many experiences to be had in Jamaica, and shopping is one of them. The Land of Wood and Water is known for its unique products that can be found nowhere else. From the world-renowned Blue Mountain Coffee to interesting wood carvings, Jamaicans take pride in blessing the world with items that represent their culture.
Handcrafted jewelry is also popular in Jamaica where talented jewelers use the island's natural resources to make world-renowned beautiful jewelry. Jewelry that is popular with tourists as well as Jamaicans.
Today, Jamaican jewelry can be had from anywhere in the world - thanks to the power of the internet! The Jamaica So Nice Shop will soon be offering copper, wooden and tatted jewelry online.
8. Find Your Jamaican Experience
I live in Jamaica and love the experience of living here. So, I am eager to share the Jamaican experience with you. The Jamaican experience is captured through our people – who we are; our culture – what we do; our products – what we make; and our attractions – the country’s beauty and history.
So, if you want to experience Jamaica whether through travel, or our products… and need help or advice, call me, DM me, chat with me so you can have what you desire from Jamaica…
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She is a blogger, content writer, engineer, corporate planner, project manager, and musician. Jackie loves to see people transformed through her work.
An entrepreneur with years 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. Jackie represents an e-commerce business called "Jamaica So Nice"
which offers authentic Jamaican products. She speaks about it with animation, "I love the experience of living in Jamaica, and I introduce Jamaica to the world through the "Jamaican experience," which is captured in our people, culture, products and attractions."