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Do You Know Jamaica Fact from Fiction?

The magical island of Jamaica, because of its unmatched beauty and wonder, has grown a reputation for certain stigmas throughout the years. Whether good or bad, we are here to give you the truth from first hand experience!

1. Everyone says, “yah, mon!”

Yah, mon- they do! However this response covers more bases than simply, “yeah, man.” Jamaicans will use the phrase in place of “yes” “correct,” “just fine/okay,” or “of course!” Many of the local staff encourage vacationers to use this phrase and many other Patois expressions, taking delight in teaching foreigners.

2. Marijuana is really popular in Jamaica- everyone does it.

False! Marijana is illegal in Jamaica, and was just decriminalized recently. Jamaica’s reputation for being marijuana friendly is linked to the Rastafarian culture. While there are Jamaicans who partake, it is not especially common and definitely not openly exposed. Similar to the United States, most Jamaicans simply don’t discuss it at all. Many tourists are arrested as a result of the common misconception that marijuana is legal.

3. It is not safe to leave your resort. 

Ricks CafeRick’s Cafe in Negril, one of the most popular tourist attractions on the island.

False! There are so many great spots to explore the island and take in some real Jamaican culture, and you will miss out on the magical island if you stay on the resort property the entire time. Local jerk chicken stands in Montego Bay and Negril are a great way to experience living like a local for the day. Montego Bay and Ocho Rios offer a spread of both artisan and souvenir shops that are perfectly safe to explore. As in any country or major city, common sense and precaution should be taken, do your research on which areas of the city are tourist-friendly and don’t wander off alone, especially at night.

4. Everyone listens to Bob Marley. 

Marley, 2

Yah, mon- they do! Inside and outside of the resorts, Bob Marley is celebrated, and honored as one of the most influential musicians and cultural and political leaders to grace the streets of Jamaica. Jamaicans are proud to celebrate many of the attitudes and thoughts recognized in Marley’s songs. All over Jamaica, especially in the Ocho Rios area not far from where Bob Marley was raised, there is a hot bed of aspiring Reggae artists who continue to make a name for Jamaica as the Reggae capital of the world.

5. Jamaicans eat jerk and drink Red Stripe. 

ScotchiesConcierge Tip: Scotchies (shown above) is the place to be for the best jerk chicken you will ever taste!

Yah, mon- they do! On and off resort property, you can find delicious spicy jerk chicken and pork paired flavored rice, scotch bonnet hot sauce, festival, a fried dumpling, paired with a nice cold Red Stripe to balance the heat.

While jerk and Red Stripe is certainly the most well-known food and beverage, many people may not know some of the country’s other celebrated and delicious dishes, and beverages: there’s curried goat, Ackee and Saltfish, Jamaican Patties, and Run-Down, a coconut fish-stew.

6. Jamaica is sandy beaches and sunny skies.

Blue LagoonThe Blue Lagoon in Port Antonio is a gorgeous natural wonder you will not want to miss. 

False! Jamaica, like many Caribbean islands which lie on the hurricane belt,  has a hurricane season between June and November, with the highest rainfall in September and October. Even during low rainfall seasons it’s common to see a few quick showers that may last 5-10 minutes which then subside to partly cloudy skies.

While the beaches are pristine in Jamaica, the country does not lack diverse landscapes and boundless adventures off the beach. Blue Mountains stretch across the country, and provide an alternate climate perfect for harvesting one of the most sought after coffee beans in the world, Blue Mountain coffee. In addition to the mountains, the Jamaican landscape is home to countless rivers, lagoons and waterfalls.

 7. Jamaicans drink lots of rum.

Yah, Mon- they do! Probably the most well-known is Appleton Estate Rum, located just about 2 hours from Montego Bay. Tours and tastings at the Estate make for excellent day-trips. The other rum you should know about in Jamaica is JB, or John Crow Batty Rum, which is Jamaica’s answer to moonshine, and is used to make the other national drink, Rum and Ting.

Amelia combines her easy-going attitude with an eye for detail to create a wedding that reflects the happy couple. She also loves to turn her personal love for seeking out unique travel into an extra-special experience for the entire group. Email her and ask her how she does it or visit WeddingsbyFunjet.com.

This post was written by Bryon Schmear

1 Comment

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