Andrew Zimmern's Guide to Jamaica

I loved Jamaica. The Jamaica Inn is a throwback hotel on the Caribbean island tradition and Cottage Number 3 is one of the best hotel rooms on the planet. Goldeneye is a superb place to eat and stay while in Jamaica and the location can’t be beat, especially the beach. Round Hill still has the best service I have experienced in a hotel on the whole island and the vibe there is family friendly to a tee. If you have kids, it’s an awesome place to stay.

Jamaica has suffered immensely from negative publicity, revolving around the violence in some of the cities. Even when I was in Kingston, I didn’t see anything that would give me pause to taking my family to the island for a vacation. -
Andrew Zimmern, host of Bizarre Foods

Before planning your trip to Jamaica, check out all the places Andrew Zimmern visited and a few other places that you should add to your to-do list when visiting the island.

Getting There

There are 3 major airports in Jamaica. Norman Manley International Airport is located in Kingston, the island’s capital. On the northwest corner of the island, travelers can fly into Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. The third and final choice is to fly into the Ian Fleming International in east of Ocho Rios, a city located on the island’s north central coast. Car rentals, taxis, shuttles and buses are available to take you where you need to go for a price.

Getting Around

Public transportation is sometimes unreliable; so it pays to rent a car when exploring the island. Unfortunately, car rental prices have skyrocketed. Avoid potential scams and rent with companies, including Hertz, Budget, Jamaica Car Rental, United Car Rentals or Island Car Rentals. Most car companies offer unlimited mileage; switch to one that does if the company you’re calling doesn’t.

Some taxis don’t have meters, so agree on a price before you get in the car or before booking. Avoid pirate or unlicensed taxis. Not only are they not metered, but they are illegal and rarely carry insurance.

Moped & Motorcycle
The front desk of your hotel can usually arrange the rental of a moped or motorcycle. The daily rental rate can range anywhere between $45 and $70. Be aware that a deposit of $100 to $300 is generally required, depending on the vehicle rented.

Where to Go

Discovery Bay

Andrew headed here to hunt for lionfish with local fishermen, but it’s a great place to view the island’s natural beauty. It’s also said to be the first place Christopher Columbus landed when he discovered Jamaica.
Location: Saint Ann Parish, Jamaica
Learn more about Discovery Bay  

Dunn’s River Falls & Park

Climb the falls in a human chain with an experienced guide, and explore one of Jamaica’s natural treasures.
Location: Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Visit the website  

Kool Runnings Waterpark

Have a fun-filled day with the kids at this park equipped with 10 amazing water slides. Families can also experience The Adventure Zone filled fun activities, including the Laser Kombat Experience, Jamboo Rafting and Palisadoes Go-Kart Track.
Address: Norman Manley Boulevard, Negril, Jamaica
Visit the website  

Rastafari Indigenous Village

This village introduces visitors to authentic Rastafarian philosophy and culture.
Address: Montego River Gardens, Porto Bello, Montego Bay
Visit the website  

Where to Eat

Angela's Shack

After eating at Cherry’s, Andrew moves down the row and eats at Angela’s Shack for two more Jamaica favorites -- mannish water and goat curry.
Location: Route A1, South of Ocho Rios, Jamaica

Aunt Merle's Fish Shack

Jacqui and Andrew go to Hellshire Beach where fishermen come ashore to sell their catch. There are little stalls called fish shacks where Andrew tastes some fresh seafood.
Location: Hellshire Beach, Kingston, Jamaica

Bog Walk Gorge

Further along Route A1, Andrew stops here where the street is lined with fruit vendors. He tries a Jamaican apple, star apple and a custard apple.
Location: St. Catherine, Jamaica

Cherry's One Stop

Andrew follows route A1 to an area known as “Faith’s Pen,” where he tries some of Jamaica’s most interesting foods. The area is lined with rows of shacks selling snacks.
Location: Route A1, South of Ocho Rios, Jamaica

National Heroes Park

Andrew’s friend Jacqui takes him to this park where families serve their own versions of Caribbean staples at makeshift food stands.
Location: Kingston, Jamaica


Andrew and 2 reggae musicians take him to a place where he learns how to make real Jamaican jerk. Pit master Max Miller shows Andrew how to prepare pork with jerk seasoning.
Address: N. Coast Hwy., Drax Hall, Ocho Rios, Jamaica
Visit the website

Where to Stay

GoldenEye Hotel
Address: Oracabessa Bay, St. Mary, Jamaica
View the website

Jamaica Inn
Address: Main Street, Ocho Rios, St. Ann, Jamaica
Visit the website  

Round Hill Resort
Address: John Pringle Drive, Montego Bay, Jamaica
Visit the website  

Spanish Court Hotel
Address: 1 St. Lucia Avenue, Kingston 5, Jamaica
Visit the website

Want more options on where you can stay in Jamaica? Check out picks for the best hotels on the island.
Next Up

Jamaica Photos

Check out Andrew's trip to Jamaica with photos of Hellshire Beach, Faith's Pen, Discovery Bay and more.

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