WHY WE LOVE IT
A country more than an island, Jamaica has it all: mountains, rain forest, caves, amazing beaches, and a taste of the old Caribbean.
A nice smattering of long-standing upscale resorts
Vibrant culture: reggae music, jerk pits, cricket, the world's highest concentration of churches
Vastly varied enclaves: Negril, Montego Bay (MoBay), and Ocho Rios are crammed with clubs, bars, and restaurants; along the South Coast, towns such as Mandeville, White House, and Black River offer peace and quiet.
Good buys: Blue Mountain coffee, jerk paste and pepper jelly, hemp clothing, hand-painted coffeepots from Wassi
WHEN TO GO
High season is December to March; look for bargains in April; also July and August—though hurricane season runs June to September.