Sparkling beaches, azure waters, exotic animals and palm-fringed, luxury-spoiled coastline will no doubt be found here. After all, it's the Caribbean. No sooner have you taken a four-wheel drive along the bumpy roads leading through shanty towns, lush sugarcane fields and the mystical Jamaican jungle to the hidden rapids of the Great River than you discover there's more to Jamaica than the typical Caribbean luster. For the island pretty much follows the lifestyle of its Rastafarian legends and the Marcus Garvey-inspired Afrocentrism can be nowhere else in the archipelago as keenly felt as here.
Obviously, most sun-longing tourists flock to the northern part of the island, where they wind down in the shade of enormous palm trees presiding over Montego Bay, sip coconut milk in Port Antonio, or dive into the underwater realms of Ocho Rios, with spectacular Dunn's River Falls at a stone's throw away. To top off a standardized holiday experience, they step into Kingston to do a little haggling with higglers, take a couple of pictures to fit in the family photo albums, and generally, for a smattering of life in the capital. Yet you can't say you have fully embraced Jamaica before you trek the Blue Mountains, try world-wide famed coffee in tiny Hagley Gap, spend a nigh or two at a family-run hotel in Negril, get a souvenir bottle of the amber-colored specialty at the Appleton Rum Estate, and pay tribute at Nine Mile, where the reggae icon was born and is now eternally resting.
You may not have a clue who Bob Marley was and you may well ramble that all ganja smokers are most likely to burn in hell, but Jamaica, rocked with mid-tempo reggae back beats and lulled with mashing vocals, will penetrate your senses to the point of making you want to try whatever's indigenous, be it the full-flavored cuisine, dreadlocks or a huge, torpedo-shaped spliff whatsoever. But mind you, if you get arrested for marijuana possession and you don't have enough money to bail your way out, you may end up in Jamaican prison for a while, and that's, we hear, a completely different kind of fun.