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February-March 2023

Quintessential Caribbean island.

Who hasn't heard of Jamaica? This legendary island, with its fun-loving people, colorful culture, and obsession with reggae, is world-famous and well-loved, all for good reason.

We came to Jamaica mostly to explore its caves, and also some canyoneering, but also traveled extensively around the island in a creaky rental van that bottomed out on the islands numerous potholes.

On our journeys, we met some of the friendliest, most energetic, positive people of anywhere. We encountered many problems, such as our rural rental house running out of water for a full five days, but with the smiles and 'no worries, mon' attitude of the locals, still had a blast. This country, if traveled in its rural parts away from grimy Kingston and the ugly tourist areas, is a pinnacle of travel.

Airbnbs are cheap, as are rental cars, and infrastructure is good. In the dry season, when we went, flooding is not really a concern either. A word of caution: most of the good beaches are highly developed, require paid entry, and super crowded. Jamaica is definitely not a good place for a beach paradise. A trip here instead would instead be better off focusing on the extensive mountains and streams crossing the backbone of the island. The interior of the island is relatively little-visited, and many locals in the small villages in the interior, like where we stayed, rarely see or talk to foreigners. Jamaicans are all characters, in a good way, and you'd be well off focusing your trip on meeting these wonderful people. Plan on wanting to stay longer than you would expect.

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