A throwback to Cindy’s first trip to Jamaica

It was a dream coming true. Never could Cindy wish for a better birthday than the one she had in 2018, in Jamaica. Ever since her first visit, she went back to Jamaica five times. Today she’s sharing her first experience with us and why she loves this Caribbean island so much.

I’m starting my story with the most favorite excursion I’ve experienced during my first trip. Bamboo rafting on the Martha Brae River was truly wonderful. You can try to raft yourself, or let the rastaman take the lead while you look around and enjoy the beautiful nature.

Why this was my favorite excursion? Simply because I felt so relaxed and didn’t have any worries. And that’s exactly what Jamaica is about. The vibe that you feel when visiting the island can’t be described. You have to experience it yourself to understand it. And since that first visit, every time that I go back to Jamaica, I feel home again.

There’s just something about Jamaica that I can’t explain…

Traveling to Jamaica

It is actually more easy to travel to Jamaica than you would think in the first place. Each week there are two flights leaving to Montego Bay from Brussels Airport. Mostly with a transit in the Dominican Republic, Mexico or Cuba. This depending on the season and travel schedule. However, you’re never loosing more than a couple of hours if your flight has an extra top.

Next to getting your flight tickets, it’s also important to prepare your luggage as Jamaica has a climate which is completely different than we’re used to in Belgium. It’s never colder than 22 or 25 degrees. Even during the raining season which starts in May and lasts till the end of October. These are the months were it can be very humid, hot and when you have more rainy days than usual. However, as we’re all experiencing the climate changes, it can rain at any moment of the year. Therefor, I recommend you to always take a waterproof-jacket with you when going on an excursion.

Zoetry Resort in Montego Bay

The first hotel we stayed at was Zoetry Resort in Montego Bay itself. At only a 10minutes drive from the Airport you arrive in this wonderful boutique hotel. Every morning around 5AM, especially when you have a jetlag, you can enjoy a magical sunrise.

At Zoetry you can enjoy a full all-inclusive stay. There’s an outdoor wellness area, massage and relaxing institute, and also a beautiful infinity pool. Thanks to their own private beach, you can also enjoy the sea water by doing some paddling, kayaking or just enjoy at the beach.

Going around the island

From Montego Bay we went to the South of Jamaica (St. Elizabeth) and we ended our trip in Negril, the West Coast of Jamaica. And until today these are still the two cities I go to when going back to the island.

Even though it’s not as touristic as Montego Bay, you have of course touristic attractions everywhere around. Every day you can plan a different excursion. However, you should take into account the travel time from one place to another as there are no high ways between each city.

Get to know the culture and locals

Stopping for a coconut was our first experience with the locals. But it was definitely not the last one as we asked to our private driver and JTB guide to show avoid the tourist sides. This because we wanted to get to know the people and their culture. How they live, how life is there and experience it together with them. And let me tell you that it was not only a very learning experience, but it was also a trip that openend new horizons. The locals inspired me in many ways as they showed a unique feeling of welcoming you.

Wherever you go in Jamaica, free mindset and positive way of thinking, is definitely something we can all learn from.

Local food you can’t miss

During my first travel, I immediately discovered one of their local dishes, called Jerk Chicken. And even though it was very spicy, it was the best kind of chicken I’ve ever eaten in my life.

The Jerk Chicken is rubbed or marinaded. Then directly roasted over coals. The reason why it’s so spicy is because the marinade included scotch bonnet chillies, and they are very hot. Do you prefer the fried version? Than ask one of the local cooking shop for a piece of fried chicken with peas and rice!

Next to Jerk chicken, plantains and hot porridge are two very known foods as well. And if you want to go for a typical breakfast, I recommend you to try the Ackee and salt-fish.

I can talk for hours about Jamaica, but as this would result into a very long article, I will split the different subjects. In the meantime it would be amazing to know if you’ve ever been to the Caribbean before or if you’re planning planning a trip soon. Let us know in the comments!

This article has been written by @CINDY VAN DYCK

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