It’s easy to see the appeal of a honeymoon in Jamaica: Reggae was born there, there are scenic beaches at every turn, each town has a distinct vibe and culture, and no matter where you go, you’re surrounded by friendly Patois-speaking locals. While there’s nothing wrong with booking a stay at a five-star resort and just hanging out by the pool, a road trip honeymoon across Jamaica’s northeastern corner—a five-day round-trip journey from Kingston to Port Antonio and Ocho Rios—ensures you really get to the experience the country’s relaxed, creative, and energetic heart.
There are two international airports on Jamaica. For this itinerary, we recommend booking a flight into Norman Manley International Airport, the island’s southern hub near the capital of Kingston. From there, you can either hire a driver, book an airport transfer through your hotel, or rent a car and make the drive solo (but expect winding roads and steep hills and mountains—it’s not for the faint of heart).
Day 1: Port Antonio
The parish of Portland is one of Jamaica’s most hidden gems, known largely for agricultural cultivation of banana, breadfruit, and coconut. But dig a little deeper and you'll come to love it for its natural caves, rivers, waterfalls, and beaches. In the heart of Port Antonio you’ll find the Geejam (from $425), a boutique hotel founded by music industry executives Jon Baker and Steve Beaver. With just four freestanding cabins and three sea-facing villas, Geejam offers total privacy in lush surroundings. Rooms are outfitted with cotton duvets, spa-quality steam showers, and chic Barlow Tyrie outdoor furniture. Also on tap? Service on speed-dial—the staff will give you a loaner cell phone upon check-in to communicate from anywhere. Want the signature island rum punch as soon as you get back from the beach? Just buzz the concierge and it will arrive in your room before you do.
Day 1, afternoon
Unlike other tourist areas, Portland is known for its secluded, well-maintained beaches that remain largely undeveloped. Among its best: Frenchman’s Cove, praised for its calm waters, untouched beauty, lush vegetation, and white sand. Arrange a guided day trip on foot (it’s only a 15-minute walk from the hotel) or opt for a boat tour of the nearby Blue Lagoon, celebrated for its vibrant turquoise hue and starring role in the film Blue Lagoon with Brooke Shields. After an afternoon of fun in the sun, go for a bite at Boston Jerk Centre, one of the island’s best jerk spots; order jerk pork, chicken, lobster, or fish with a side of festival (Caribbean-style fried dumplings) and fresh coconut water.
Day 1, evening
Before dinner, book a 30-minute couple’s massage on your private balcony overlooking the sea. Then head up the low-lit walkway to Bushbar, Geejam’s on-site restaurant, which serves a contemporary blend of Asian and West Indian cuisines. If you prefer to stay in your robe, that's fine; opt for room service and a soak in the outdoor Jacuzzi.
Day 2, Ocho Rios
Breakfast at Geejam is a full-blown affair, so don’t pack your bags just yet. Sit down for a traditional Jamaican breakfast, which includes the island’s national dish, Ackee and Saltfish. Now you’re fueled up for the two-hour ride to Ocho Rios (or “Ochi,” as the locals call it).
Day 2, afternoon
As one of the country’s main cruise ship ports, Ocho Rios is packed to the brim with culture, be it small local restaurants, nightlife and an incredible number of tourist attractions, like the Blue Hole, Dunn’s River Falls, and Mystic Mountain. Upon arriving at Jamaica Inn (from $339), you’ll notice a slower pace of life, which begins when you inevitably stop the car to take in the vibrant cobalt blue exterior. While your room gets settled, head to the hotel’s seaside restaurant for lunch. Our pick: fish of day or grilled southcoast escovitch snapper, followed by an ice cream duo for dessert (flavors change daily).
With limited access to the outside world (there are no TVs, radios or clocks in Jamaica Inn’s 52 suites), you’ll soon realize the hallmark feature of the resort: the way it begs you to unwind and enjoy one another’s company while surrounded by nature. (It's no coincidence that this is where Marilyn Monroe and Arthur Miller chose to escape from Hollywood on their honeymoon in 1957.) Go ahead and relax on your plush, all-white sofa or fully furnished veranda that connects to the hotel's private beach.
Day 2, evening
Speaking of the beach, book a private dinner for two on the sand (we recommend doing so before check-in) for the ultimate alfresco meal. If you prefer to dine in town, just five minutes by car, have the resort ring up a local driver to drop you at Toscanini Italian—the pappardelle with Bolognese is legendary—or head to Passage to India, favored by locals for its authentic chicken curry.
Day 3, Ocho Rios
Since Ocho Rios is one of the country’s most popular areas, consider spending another night to experience it more. Stay put at Jamaica Inn or move over to the Moon Palace Jamaica Grande (from $595 per couple per night), a luxury all-inclusive that has every modern amenity a couple could want—including four restaurants and six bars and lounges. The resort’s 700 rooms are distributed among three separate towers on 17 acres that include a perfect white-sand beach. Between dips in the three pools, try your hand at complimentary non-motorized water sports activities, like stand-up paddleboarding, kayaking, and snorkeling. Interested in something off site? Book the two-and-a-half hour Heritage Beach Horseback Ride excursion, which includes pick-up and drop-off at the resort and an impressive tutorial on the heritage and culture of the island by the local guides.
Day 3, afternoon
After lunch at Moon Place’s Buccaneers Reef international buffet, head to the dolphin habitat, where you can swim with trained dolphins for half an hour. If that’s not your thing, book a sailing excursion on the resort’s hour-long sunset catamaran cruise or relax with a couple’s treatment at the 35,000 square-foot Awe Spa (the largest spa on Jamaica, with a state-of-the-art gym, hydrotherapy circuit and herbal steam baths).
Day 3, evening
Get ready for a night out from the comfort of your own room; each is equipped with high-tech CHI haircare products, including blow-dryers and flatirons. (We also recommend some last-minute R&R in the whirlpool tub and a cocktail from the fully stocked mini bar.) For dinner, try La Gondola, which serves hearty a là carte Italian dishes like creamy risotto and penne alla vodka with mulled wine. Not ready for bed? You’re in luck: Moon Palace hosts concerts by Grammy award-winning artists like Sean Paul and OMI. If your favorite reggae star isn’t performing that night, don't fret; you can still dance the night away at the resort nightclub, Noir.
Day 4, Kingston
Time to head back to Kingston—rise early to make the nearly 90-minute drive to Strawberry Hill Resort & Spa (from $310), an Island Outpost property founded by Chris Blackwell, a legendary Jamaican music producer. (He discovered Bob Marley.) Set in the heart of the isle, 3,000 feet above sea level, this picturesque hillside property features 12 Georgian-style cottages, each with a kitchen and private veranda overlooking the mountains or the city. After settling in, check out the Gold Room exhibit, which takes its name from the Blackwell-produced gold and platinum records by artists like Stevie Wonder and Bob Marley hung everywhere on the walls.
Day 4, afternoon
Begin your afternoon with a cup of coveted Blue Mountain coffee on the library veranda before heading to the Blue Mountain Coffee Estate for a 45-minute guided production tour (from bean to cup of joe) and a lap around the stunning Heritage Gardens of Cold Springs. By the time you return to Strawberry Hill, it's cocktail time: order Blackwell’s own smooth rum at the bar, which is filled with never-before-seen photographs of Stevie Wonder and the British royal family during their visits to the resort.
Day 4, evening
Stroll on down to the eponymous restaurant and do as Jamaicans do by ordering the signature lamb curry or fish stew. Afterward, retreat to your suite or take a moonlight dip in the infinity pool.
Day 5, morning
Finally time to say good-bye (sigh), but thankfully Kingston’s Norman Manley Airport is less than an hour’s drive.