This past week, I had the amazing opportunity to travel to a place I’ve always wanted to visit,
Ocho Rios, Jamaica!
The Jamaican island is as beautiful as it looks in pictures. I had an amazing stay at the Moon Palace Resorts, which I will get into in this post!
Are you thinking of planning a trip to Jamaica one day?! Well, I will be including the best way to book your flight and reservations, what to do, what to bring, what to eat, and more about Jamaica and its history.
Buying Your Ticket
Based on my experiences booking flights for trips, I recommend you buy your ticket at least 3 weeks in advance. Tuesdays seem to be the cheapest days. I would also recommend using Google Flights because they give you notifications on price drops (very helpful!). You can try booking your flight around 12am-1am in “incognito” mode (for MAC users: click File>New Incognito Window).
If you are not enrolled in a rewards program for your favorite airline carrier, I strongly urge you to do so! This way, the flights you purchase now produce points for you that will go towards a free flight for you in the future! If you are a frequent flyer, you will enjoy this bonus, so I highly recommend signing up for it sooner than later ;).
To save extra cash, it helps to travel on off seasons and off days. I traveled in August on a Wednesday, and my flight was significantly cheaper!
I flew into Montego Bay, Jamaica, which was about a 1hr 30min drive to the Moon Palace Resort in Ocho Rios.
Where to Stay
I stayed at the Moon Palace Resorts, and let me just say – that place was amazing!! They have the theme of royalty, so as soon as you walk into the establishment, you are greeted with friendly staff, a rose and a cold towel. It is all-inclusive with several different restaurants to suite your pallet, an all you can eat buffet, 24hr room service, with spas and entertainment. I received excellent service while staying at this resort and I highly recommend it!
You can book there here: BOOK HERE!
I stayed in Ocho Rios, Jamaica, the northern part of the coast of Jamaica. This area is close to the rainforest, Dunn’s River Falls, Dolphin Cove (real dolphins), and The Turtle River Falls & Gardens. So many beautiful places in this area. You will also be able to see the Ocho Rios Craft Market, food markets, and history trails. It’s a great place to stay with local beaches at the resorts and around the area like Ocho Rios Bay Beach.
I had the great privilege to have access to Club Mobay, a private VIP lounge at the airport for travelers to Jamaica. In the VIP lounge, you get to skip through the line for customs, buffet service, a private seating area, and great service. I highly recommend this service for your trip!
Things to Do
Mystic Mountain- bobsleigh, zipline, rainforest
Dunn’s River Falls- hiking, beach
Dolphin Cove – swim with dolphins!
The Turtle River Falls- lush gardens, wildlife
Ocho Rios Bay Beach, Reggae Beach
Yaaman Adventure Park- dune-buggy rides, horse riding
Ocho Rios Craft Market- art pieces, souvenirs
Food Market- fresh vegetables and produce
History trails – learn Jamaican history
What to Pack
You will need your passport
Umbrella (in case it rains a bit)
Light clothes (options: HERE)
Sandals (& sneakers if doing outdoor sport activities)
Cash on hand (U.S. money accepted)
Camera (or cell phone for pictures!)
Tripod (for bloggers ;))
Journal (to take notes for bloggers)
Who doesn’t love food?! Even though I am vegan lol, I will still share with you the many dishes you can try when you visit the island:
Fresh fruits & veggies
Rice & peas
Ackee (national fruit of Jamaica)
Ackee & saltfish (national dish of jamaica, very popular!)
Friend plaintain (my favorite 😉 )
Bammy (vegan friendly)
Things You May Not Know about Jamaica
One of the things I loved about Jamaica was the locals. I learned soo much about the history of the island by talking to locals. From the education system not being free, to the way reggae music and dance hall are completely different genres. I learned about colonization, the diverse cultures and traditions that still exist on the island from Britain, Spain and Irish settlers, and where the term, “Rastafari” comes from.
If you travel to this country, please ask about the history and culture. You will be amazed at the vast knowledge and information you will pick up from talking to the Jamaicans there.
Get to know the culture, be kind and friendly to locals, enjoy the beauty of the island and have fun!
I hope you found this post helpful for your next vacation to this beautiful destination. Let me know if you’ve traveled here before and what you enjoyed the most about your experience!
Until next time,