Fly directly to Kingston or Montego Bay on Air Jamaica, which has the most nonstop flights from U.S. cities. airjamaica.com
Rent a car and driver from Burke’s Transport and Tours from $175 around town for up to 10 hours. 876-925-9448
Stay at Strawberry Hill in the Blue Mountain Range for rooms in the traditional Georgian style. Yoga classes, spa treatments and skillfully prepared organic, local foods provide a refreshing respite. Deluxe rooms and houses from $660, strawberryhillresort.com. In Port Antonio, Jamaica Palace Hotel has a swimming pool shaped like Jamaica itself. It is located near the island’s jerk-heritage area in Boston Bay. Rooms start at $138 with a minimum seven-night stay, jamaica-palacehotel.com. The Island Outpost’s Geejam Hotel lets guests live out their fantasy of being rock stars with an on-site studio. geejamhotel.com
Eat at Scotchies in Drax Hall and Montego Bay for traditional jerk in a clean, well-organized setting. Faith’s Pen Rest Stop in Ocho Rios is a collection of traditional food stands with everything from jerk to curry mannish water (a goat-head stew). Jelly coconut and fruit vendors offer their sweet wares islandwide. Norma’s on the Terrace at Devon House features seafood chowder, grilled snapper and other authentic creations of Norma Shirley, called Jamaica’s Julia Child, devonhousejamaica.com. Evita’s in Ocho Rios is an Italian restaurant with Jamaica flavor. Opened in 1984 in an 1860s Gingerbread-style house, evitasjamaica.com. The Houseboat Grill is a floating restaurant amid the Montego Bay Marine Park. Try the pan-fried snapper in Thai-style chili tamarind sauce and the seared tuna with wasabi mayo, montego-bay-jamaica.com/houseboat. Jake’s restaurant in Jake’s Resort is on the island’s sleepy southern coast. Patrons make the trek here for the jerk spices and exotic island fruits, jakeshotel.com. Little Ochie in Alligator Pond started as a one-man seafood restaurant in 1989 and now is the epitome of rustic, beach-side dining, led by owner and chef Evrol “Blackie” Christian, littleochie.com. The tiny Lobster Trap restaurant in Hanover is down the road from the exclusive Round Hill Hotel. Call ahead so Chef Dervy can catch and grill your lobster, snapper or kingfish, 876-783-5046. Marguerites in Montego Bay has a reputation for expertly flambéing everything from seafood to steak to killer crème brûlée, providing dinner and a show to well-heeled patrons. 876-952-4777
Bathe in the sulfur springs at Firewater pond in Runaway Bay in the parish of St. Ann.
Buy crafts like dolls, wood-carved aphrodisiac statues, straw baskets and more at Kingston or Montego Bay craft markets.
Bring some Walkerswood Allspice back home for about $2 for 2 ounces. Allspice is a mixture of ground berries of the pimiento tree that creates a savory and sweet flavor great with any dish. The Walkerswood Jerk Seasoning is a must-try as well. Easily the most authentic version on the island, the seasoning was created after months of research among the Maroon people, who invented jerk. walkerswood.com
Learn more at visitjamaica.com.