According to a worldwide study conducted by British economists, Jamaican people are some of the happiest human beings on Earth. With miles of soft, ivory-sand beaches, lush mountains and all-night parties with a lilting reggae soundtrack, there’s a lot to be happy about on the third-largest island in the Caribbean Sea.
Heading west from the cruise port at Ocho Rios to the sprawling city of Montego Bay and the remote beaches of Negril, Jamaica’s coastline is fairly blanketed with all-inclusive resorts, but nature and adventure are rarely far away. To the west is the unspoiled jungle of Cockpit Country, while in the central north, you can splash through Dunn’s River Falls or the swirling White River. To the east, between Port Antonio and Kingston, explore the lush, shady reaches of the Blue Mountains, home to some of the world’s most sought-after coffee.
In the middle of the action, be sure to visit Scotchie’s roadside stand for Jamaica’s most famous jerk chicken, seek out some of the island’s 3,000 tropical plant species, and bite into a ruby-skinned, white fleshed Jamaica Apple, which is as sweet and soft as a pear. On this dazzling, delicious island, it’s easy to find irie, Jamaican patois for “the state of feeling great.”