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Believe it or not, there’s a lot more to Jamaica than just reggae music and rum. A cracking coastline, rich culture and excellent all-inclusive resorts mean this Caribbean island’s a fantastic choice for a family holiday.

One of the country’s biggest draws is obviously its beaches. There’s over 50 public ones to choose from, plus many more private ones – and all of them are utterly spectacular. Seven Mile Beach in Negril is the biggest of the bunch, but they all offer up powdery white sand, a sprinkling of palm trees and direct access to the Caribbean Sea. And that allows for all kinds of adventures. Not only can you splash about to your heart’s content, you and the kids can also go snorkelling, diving, kayaking, windsurfing – or why not try your hand at surfing?

There’s even more fun to be had on a Jamaica family holiday away from the shoreline. Point your feet inland and you’ll find a lush jungle interior complete with craggy peaks and thundering waterfalls. Take a dip in the natural lagoons, or try to conquer a few of the hiking and biking trails. Or, to experience a completely different side to Jamaica, head to Kingston. Sprawling and somewhat chaotic, this is the cultural heart of the country. It’s home to mural-lined streets, exciting art galleries and some of the best restaurants on the island. And if you or your kiddies are into music, you should definitely find time to stop by the Bob Marley Museum.

Once all this gallivanting begins to tire you out, just treat yourself to some R&R back at your hotel’s tranquil spa. And if the little ones are keen to keep busy, that’s no problem. Most resorts come with a kids’ club and organise heaps of activities too – so your brood can continue playing, but you don’t have to.

If we’ve convinced you that you should book a family holiday to Jamaica, just give our experts a call. They’ll be able to offer loads of recommendations and can plan everything for you.

Best family hotels

Ocean adventures

Outdoor pursuits

Best time to go

Family hotels in Jamaica

With so many great hotels available, deciding where to stay on your Jamaica family holiday can be a challenge. But if you fancy being right in the heart of the action, the two big names to know are Montego Bay and Ocho Rios.

As one of the island’s main tourist hotspots, Montego Bay packs in tonnes of bars and restaurants, powdery beaches and even a handful of golf courses. Plus it’s mastered the whole all-inclusive resort thing. There are heaps to choose from, but our top choice here’s Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall. Set right on the sand, it’s got oceanside fire pits, hot tubs and a dedicated kids’ pool. There’s also a packed activity calendar with options including snorkelling, dance lessons and beach volleyball – and of course there’s no limit to the amount of food and drink you’re allowed from the seven restaurants and six bars.

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Over in Ocho Rios, we’re big fans of Moon Palace Jamaica. Another all-inclusive resort, it’s bagged itself the largest private beach in the area. Besides offering up a variety of world-class cuisine, it’s got a playroom, a games arcade and lots of other entertainment options for kids both big and small.

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Ocean adventures

Being an island, Jamaica’s surrounded by water – so there’s plenty of scope for ocean adventures on your Jamaica family holiday. Its 1,000-kilometre coastline’s packed with beaches, so you’ll have no problem finding somewhere to take a dip. The water here is warm, clear and generally calm, making it ideal for swimming and safe enough even for little ones.

Montego Bay Marine Park, on the northwest side of the island, is Jamaica’s first protected marine park – and an excellent spot for snorkelling or diving. Conservation and restoration efforts mean the coral here is thriving and teeming with tropical fish.

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Another great water-based activity to try on your Jamaica family holiday is surfing. The most popular spot for this is Boston Bay, on the northeast coast. It gets continuous swell throughout the year but waves are gentle enough for beginners to handle. It’s also a top spot for windsurfing and kayaking. However, if you or your kiddies are a little more advanced in the surfing stakes and want to tackle some bigger waves, head over to Makka Beach in Yallahs. An international surf contest – Makka Pro – takes place here every year.

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Show Less

Outdoor pursuits

Not everything you do on your family holiday to Jamaica has to be ocean-based – there are loads more adventures to be had on dry land. Like most island nations, this country’s something of an outdoor playground.

Head away from the coast and you’ll discover a lush rainforest interior, complete with waterfalls. The most famous is Dunn’s River Falls, near Ocho Rios. You can climb the tiers of limestone cascades with a guide and take a dip in the lagoons along the way. Alternatively, stick to the walkways if you prefer to stay dry. There’s yet more swimming to be done at the seven-tiered YS Falls, on the southeast part of the island – or you can get a different perspective on things by zip-lining through the canopy.

Show More
Show Less

A White River tubing trip is another way to spend the day. Or you could always check out the various hiking and biking trails in Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park. But if your little ones are fans of an adrenaline rush then you shouldn’t miss Ocho Rios’ Mystic Mountain. Here you can whoosh down a 1,000-metre track in a custom-designed sled, inspired by Jamaica’s Olympic bobsled team. Plus, there’s also a climbing wall, a zip-line and a brand new inverted rollercoaster.

Show More
Show Less

Best time to visit Jamaica

Its Caribbean setting means Jamaica enjoys a tropical climate, with only slight weather variations across the country. Average temperatures tend to be in the mid to high-twenties throughout the year, but can creep up into the low-thirties during July and August.

Although summer is the warmest time for a Jamaica family holiday, it’s also the wettest and most humid, as the wet season here runs from June to mid-November. But even if you do decide to visit at this time of year, your holiday might not be a total washout. Showers tend to be short and heavy, rather than lasting all day, and some months are generally wetter than others.

Show More
Show Less

Mid-December to March is when most people choose to visit Jamaica. The winter months are warm and dry, so great if you’re looking to escape the cold back home. However, if you’re keen to avoid the crowds on your family holiday to Jamaica, you might want to travel outside of high season. Instead opt for the very beginning of winter, so late November or early December, or plan a spring break sometime in April or May.

Show More
Show Less

Best family hotels

Family hotels in Jamaica

With so many great hotels available, deciding where to stay on your Jamaica family holiday can be a challenge. But if you fancy being right in the heart of the action, the two big names to know are Montego Bay and Ocho Rios.

As one of the island’s main tourist hotspots, Montego Bay packs in tonnes of bars and restaurants, powdery beaches and even a handful of golf courses. Plus it’s mastered the whole all-inclusive resort thing. There are heaps to choose from, but our top choice here’s Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall. Set right on the sand, it’s got oceanside fire pits, hot tubs and a dedicated kids’ pool. There’s also a packed activity calendar with options including snorkelling, dance lessons and beach volleyball – and of course there’s no limit to the amount of food and drink you’re allowed from the seven restaurants and six bars.

Show More
Show Less

Over in Ocho Rios, we’re big fans of Moon Palace Jamaica. Another all-inclusive resort, it’s bagged itself the largest private beach in the area. Besides offering up a variety of world-class cuisine, it’s got a playroom, a games arcade and lots of other entertainment options for kids both big and small.

Show More
Show Less

Ocean adventures

Ocean adventures

Being an island, Jamaica’s surrounded by water – so there’s plenty of scope for ocean adventures on your Jamaica family holiday. Its 1,000-kilometre coastline’s packed with beaches, so you’ll have no problem finding somewhere to take a dip. The water here is warm, clear and generally calm, making it ideal for swimming and safe enough even for little ones.

Montego Bay Marine Park, on the northwest side of the island, is Jamaica’s first protected marine park – and an excellent spot for snorkelling or diving. Conservation and restoration efforts mean the coral here is thriving and teeming with tropical fish.

Show More
Show Less

Another great water-based activity to try on your Jamaica family holiday is surfing. The most popular spot for this is Boston Bay, on the northeast coast. It gets continuous swell throughout the year but waves are gentle enough for beginners to handle. It’s also a top spot for windsurfing and kayaking. However, if you or your kiddies are a little more advanced in the surfing stakes and want to tackle some bigger waves, head over to Makka Beach in Yallahs. An international surf contest – Makka Pro – takes place here every year.

Show More
Show Less

Outdoor pursuits

Outdoor pursuits

Not everything you do on your family holiday to Jamaica has to be ocean-based – there are loads more adventures to be had on dry land. Like most island nations, this country’s something of an outdoor playground.

Head away from the coast and you’ll discover a lush rainforest interior, complete with waterfalls. The most famous is Dunn’s River Falls, near Ocho Rios. You can climb the tiers of limestone cascades with a guide and take a dip in the lagoons along the way. Alternatively, stick to the walkways if you prefer to stay dry. There’s yet more swimming to be done at the seven-tiered YS Falls, on the southeast part of the island – or you can get a different perspective on things by zip-lining through the canopy.

Show More
Show Less

A White River tubing trip is another way to spend the day. Or you could always check out the various hiking and biking trails in Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park. But if your little ones are fans of an adrenaline rush then you shouldn’t miss Ocho Rios’ Mystic Mountain. Here you can whoosh down a 1,000-metre track in a custom-designed sled, inspired by Jamaica’s Olympic bobsled team. Plus, there’s also a climbing wall, a zip-line and a brand new inverted rollercoaster.

Show More
Show Less

Best time to go

Best time to visit Jamaica

Its Caribbean setting means Jamaica enjoys a tropical climate, with only slight weather variations across the country. Average temperatures tend to be in the mid to high-twenties throughout the year, but can creep up into the low-thirties during July and August.

Although summer is the warmest time for a Jamaica family holiday, it’s also the wettest and most humid, as the wet season here runs from June to mid-November. But even if you do decide to visit at this time of year, your holiday might not be a total washout. Showers tend to be short and heavy, rather than lasting all day, and some months are generally wetter than others.

Show More
Show Less

Mid-December to March is when most people choose to visit Jamaica. The winter months are warm and dry, so great if you’re looking to escape the cold back home. However, if you’re keen to avoid the crowds on your family holiday to Jamaica, you might want to travel outside of high season. Instead opt for the very beginning of winter, so late November or early December, or plan a spring break sometime in April or May.

Show More
Show Less
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