While the Caribbean has always been a popular travel destination, one island, in particular, is experiencing a massive surge in popularity right now.
Jamaica has been seeing a boom in tourism lately. According to Jamaica’s Tourism Minister Edmund Bartlett, the latest predictions show that Jamaica will receive more than 3.8 million tourists in 2023.
From January to March alone, the island saw nearly 1.2 million tourists, an increase of 94% compared to the same period in 2022.
So what makes Jamaica so popular?
Here are the top reasons visitors are flocking to this Caribbean destination!
1. Affordable Resorts
One of the biggest draws to Jamaica is the abundance of affordable all-inclusive resorts.
Although there is much more to Jamaica than just resorts, that’s one of the biggest reasons tourists visit this island destination — they’re looking for a relaxing, do-nothing getaway where they can relax on the beach and sip piña coladas.
Jamaica has dozens of all-inclusive resorts across the island, especially in popular areas like Montego Bay and Ocho Rios. And many all-inclusive resorts in Jamaica are affordable, with the total cost coming in at under $300 a night.
2. Beautiful Beaches
Jamaica is known for having some of the best beaches in the Caribbean. Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, and Negril are all home to beautiful white sand beaches with crystal-clear turquoise waters.
The beaches in Jamaica are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, water sports, or just relaxing under an umbrella with a drink in your hand.
The best time of year to visit Jamaica is mid-December through mid-April for the sunniest weather. The rest of the year is considered off-season, and tourists will experience more rainy days, but there’s still plenty of sun for enjoying the beach.
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3. Stunning Nature
Jamaica may be known for its incredible beaches, but the rest of the country boasts even more natural beauty that visitors shouldn’t miss.
There are quite a few waterfalls dotted throughout the interior of Jamaica that are worth checking out, like the Ocho Rios Blue Hole and Dunns River Falls. For hikers, the Blue Mountains in Jamaica offer great trails and beautiful scenery.
4. Easily Accessible
It’s easy to get to Jamaica from the United States or Canada. More than twenty cities in the United States offer direct flights to Montego Bay, along with half a dozen cities in Canada.
Many flights to Jamaica are also very affordable, with round-trip flights as low as $250 on budget airlines from the United States. Frontier Airlines even offers flights as low as $99 to Jamaica.
You can find the best deals in the off-season, especially in September and October.
5. Friendly People
Jamaica is well-known for its friendly people and excellent hospitality.
You’ll see the top-notch hospitality on display if you stay in an all-inclusive resort, but the best way to experience it is to venture beyond your resort and experience the “real” Jamaica.
Trying local restaurants, shopping in local boutiques and stores, and supporting local tour operators is a great way to see a different side of Jamaica than just your resort and to meet more friendly Jamaicans.
6. Culture Capital
Finally, Jamaica is known for being one of the cultural capitals of the Caribbean.
The island has a rich and lively culture. It’s known for being the birthplace of reggae music and its popular derivatives like dancehall music. There are always street dances and festivals happening in Jamaica.
Jamaica is also known for its food. Jerk chicken may be the most popular Jamaican food, but other dishes like ackee and saltfish and beef patties are worth a try.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com