Travel

A Heritage Travel Itinerary for Jamaica

Experience Jamaica's vibrant culture and rich history in Montego Bay, the Blue Mountains, and Cockpit Country.


A serene scene in Montego Bay. / Photo by David Neil Madden/Getty Images

Number of Bostonians with Jamaican Heritage: 11,710

Despite centuries of colonization, Jamaica has developed its own truly unique culture, which became popular worldwide after it gained independence from England in 1962. This ­heritage-inspired four-day itinerary from the Jamaican tourism board highlights the unbreakable spirit of the country’s inhabitants, past and present.

Day 1

Cerulean waters and white sands beckon at the Half Moon Bay resort in Montego Bay, where you’ll be staying for the first part of your trip, but stories about the island’s past come first. Just a couple of miles away is the Rose Hall Great House, an 18th-century colonial plantation turned museum that recounts the property’s dark history.

DAY 2

What began as a social movement in the 1930s born from an Abrahamic faith has developed into a culture that continues to thrive in Jamaica today. This morning, you’ll learn about the history, religion, and experiences of the Rastafarian people at the Rastafari Indigenous Village, about a 30-minute drive from your resort. Rest up this afternoon, because once the sun sets, you’re headed out for a swim in one of the few bioluminescent lagoons in the world with the hospitality company Glistening Waters.

DAY 3


No heritage trip to Jamaica would be complete without a visit to the Bob Marley Museum, located on the site of the legendary musician’s home and recording studio in Kingston. Marley lived here from 1975 until 1981, and his wife, Rita, later opened the house to the public to display the reggae icon’s personal treasures. Tuck in early at Strawberry Hill resort, which offers 12 Georgian-style cottages in the Blue Mountains just outside the city: Tomorrow, another adventure awaits.

DAY 4

Nearly 300 years ago, runaway Maroon slaves gained semi-sovereignty from the British over land in Jamaica’s mountainous Cockpit Country, and today the breathtakingly beautiful, and very remote, town of Accompong is still considered a “nation-within-a-nation.” Early January marks the annual independence festival: If you make the three-hour trek from Kingston, expect a rollicking street party featuring traditional dancing, drumming, and food.

Read more: The Ultimate Guide to Planning Your Heritage Travel Journey