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a VirtualTourist member from Stockholm asked on Oct 5, 2015


Multi day tour operator in Jamaica

I would like to go to Jamaica, but not by myself and I don´t have any friend that want to go there right now.

I was booked on a 10 day roundtrip in Jamaica, by Swedish tour operator called International Reggae Travel, in the end of december 2015, but they had to cancel the trip due to low interest.

The only other trip, with focus on not only seniors, to Jamaica I found was Gadventures:

Do you know any other tour operators that can help me experience Jamaica together with a group of other travelers? I don´t want to get stuck in all inclusive-hotels... I love reggae and want to learn more about the rastafari culture, spend some time at the beautiful beaches and make a visit to Kingston.

There are a lot of one day tours by operators like Viator, but that's not what i'm looking for.

7 Answers

answered on 10/5/15 by
a VT member from Hesperia

Greetings mi bredren, Jah. Rastafari........d:o)

So mi fren, wanna com to Jah Town. Not a bad choice you be makin eh? OK, if you wait for morrow, I will giive you plenty to consida bwoy.

First let me talk 'bout dem tour operators, well the Int'l Reggae Travel is a moot issue. However G-Adventures is a different thing altogether. G-Adventures used to be GAP adventures, and it catered to young people talking a "gap" year off from school, most between high school and college. It was a well known and respected company. The only thing was, itt was always too much partying often resulting in some members being late and/or hungover. GAP, then devised a new strategy, where they eliminated the telltale "gap" word and just used G adventures. This was so that they would get a bit older crowd, but still young people. As for their trip to Jamaica, it is quite good actually. It hits all the points that one should IF one is interested in Jamaica and the reggae histories, However, and I know this well as I spent my life as a tour director.

I am a little pressed for time but I will finish this tomorrow. No worries it will all come together. I will say as I started to, that there is seldom enough time in each place. Amnd I saw a shameful omission.......;no trip to Bob Marley museum. I will tell you tomorrow morning (California time), how best to do this.

From your neighbor to the north (Iceland). One love! Iree!

answered on 10/5/15 by
a VT member from Provincia de Ciudad de La Habana

Great post, Odinnthor. One thumbs up from here...

answered on 10/5/15 by
a VT member from Hesperia

Thanks Martin, - coming from you, that sounds good. I have a piece in my heart that belongs to Jamaica. There was a time when those who are legends today, I was an inconsequential shadow or fly on the wall , but got to know some before they were somebody, hangin' at Mr. B's Yard, and when the Soul Syndicate.....and Burnin' Spear were unknown outside Kingston. Back when Mr Cox and King Tubby's studios, along with Lee Scratch Perry's studio, all of which is part of Jah Town history now.........d:o)
Much respect Marvin, and thanks again for the kind words..
I an' I get chicken skin jus' tinkin 'bout it man.

answered on 10/5/15 by
a VT member from Brisbane

Hi, I also looked into a tour operator and could not find any that suited what I wanted to see and do in Jamaica. I just flew in and went solo and had a wonderful time, plenty of group things to do and found a lot of people travel solo (I was 27), I stayed in the reggae hostel in Ocho Rios and Kingston and a few other guest houses around the place, went by bus or taxi everywhere. Met heaps of people who were inclusive, ended up at a big reggae music festival and the staff also were happy to hang out and show you are the town, also a lot cheaper this way!

answered on 10/6/15 by
a VT member from Hesperia

OK Johan, here goes.
Like the above poster Abby, and if you really want to see and/or experience Jamaica and reggae, I would tell you to do this on your own. I need some input from you. I don't think you are an AI guy (AI = All inclusive) resorts, but you are obviously not without funds as you are ready to plonk down USD1,500 plus air plus spending money, so I need to determine what you would do if you do this on your own. Are you satisfied staying in hostels, or do you want some nice hotels?

I am going to give you an overview first and then we can tweek it as needed. I am also counting opn your wanting to experience reggae culture as well. That would mean a bit more time in Jah Town (Kingston).

The following is already written for others. Look it over and see what you like and don't like and we can start tweeking it.

What is your budget range? I use to live in JA and, return often, so I know a bit about it. What activities are you looking for? Relaxing? Fishing? Sailing? Exploring? Approximate ages would help. This is just too broad to give specific advise

Most likely areas for you are MoBay (Montego Bay), Ocho Rios (north coast), and Negril (north west coast). If you are first timers MoBay is likely what you should be looking at. I am not a big fan of all inclusives but that is just me, and there are times that I do enjoy doing nothing and just be pampered. However for first timers, it may not be the best idea. Unless doing nothing is exactly what you want to do. Of course you can go wherever you want, but consider the things that you have already paid for that you may miss by exploring the island.

That being said, lets take a look at some AIs. First it will depend somewhat on your budget. Consider this. The more expensive (more luxury), the less chance of partying 20 year olds. Here is a overview of some of the properties located in MoBay. The Ritz is excellent. So is the Breezes. Probably want to stay away from Couples and Sandals, and Hedonism.

The Rose Hall is fabulous....

For details on what you like, Google the name to get the actual website for each property. More often than not you can get a better deal by dealing directly with the property.

Here is just a sample of a very nice affordable villa accommodation on Treasure Beach, - small but stylish and cozy. I added this to get a perspective of what you are looking for. Bigger? Smaller? Cheaper?

Here is a look at some of the things to do in Jamaica.,Jamai...

This should give you a start. Come back with specifics and we will go from there. Don't be afraid to ask.

I will add this. Most people that go to Jamaica, never go to Kingston, usually due to being told that it is dangerous. It is no more dangerous than say, New York. If you have not been to Kingston, you really have not been to Jamaica. Yes I am biased, I spent considerable time in Jah Town. Being a huge reggae fan, to miss the Bob Marley Museum is a crime. However this may not be what you want, but i would not be true to my Jamaica if I did not include it.

Negril is likely the nicest of the three main tourist areas on the north and west sides of Jamaica. The RIU on Bloody Beach is probably the nicest.

I would rather go to a resort that is not all inclusive and have more freedom to pick and choose. Don't worry about, finding things to do, bars and such. Plenty within reach. Here are a few: I can recommend, and Mi Yard.

Oh, - one thing. You may want to check out Rick's once you hear all about the cliff diving. Everyone gets caught up in that one. If you are serious about jumping off the cliff at Rick's, at Treasure Beach, perhaps you need to take a look at their fatality rate.....

Here is some stuff from our VT members about Negril, including cliff jumping.

[original VT link]

I would perhaps try to make a trip to the Royal Palm Reserve, a protected flora/fauna area just a few miles inland from Negril close to the town of Sheffield. It is just breathtaking. There is a a long boardwalk that you can walk deep into the reserve, and they have over 40 observation towers that give you just spectacular views over the area.

Nearby is the Lighthouse Inn, where the cuisine is very good. What they do have, that in quite good, is a local "Mento" show. They used to do this once a week but if you check with them you can find out the day(s) they do this. They will also pick you up and drop you off at your hotel if you make dinner reservations.

Mento, by the way, is Jamaican folk music that is similar to Calypso but different. It predates ska and reggae, and if not for Mento, there likely would be no reggae. Well worth seeing. (Reggae is the soundtrack to my live/movie....)

Don't know if this is your style, but this is a little known hideaway on the beach in Negril, that is just beautiful, and serene. I do like this place a lot. No, it is not a huge place, but for a couple it is definately worth it. Just though I would throw it in here.

If you are interested in the "real" Jamaica, relatively unspoiled still, a drive past the Lighthouse down the south western coast is the place to go. Relatively void of tourism, the people are friendly and the scenery is great.

Enjoy my Jamaica. Hope this all helps a bit! One love......d:o)

Well Johan, this is a start. However I am going to add some hostels for you. I would recommend a stay in Negril rather than MoBay. Are you able to rent a car? Would you consider having a contact with a reliable driver/guide. That is really the best way to get all you want at your personal leisure.

Would you want to go to some Reggae clubs in Kingston? In Kingston, it would be really good to have a private driver/guide, Or time can be some time with a driver guide and not when you do not need one. You should definitely get a peek into Tuff Gong the Marley studios, and of course the Museum, and what about Marley's house?

I will look for some driver/guides for you and we can talk about that once I fiond out what the cost is.



These are just in Kingston, but you should review and familiarize yourself with the possibilities. A happy traveler is one that covers all the possibilities, and always roll with the punches. Be flexible and don't let minor glitzes annoy you. Dat is nah de way mon. Niceness mon, niceness.

I will again visit this, this time in the morning (it is 7:30 pm in Cali. now.)
Respect mi bredren. One love......d:o)

answered on 10/7/15 by
a VT member from Stockholm

Thanks a lot! :)

Reggae and ska music is the main reason why I want to go to Jamaica. Been listening to reggae since I was a kid (I'm 36 now).

I really want to do the group trip with Gadventures, traveling solo doesn't suit me. But I will probably have a few days on my own before the trip starts in Montego Bay. I want to see a lot of things, so if I go to Montego Bay i will do day tours to places around the island. Like Nine Miles/the village where Bob Marley was born. So it does'nt really mather if the city I stay in is full of action.

Why would you recommend Negril instead of Montego Bay? I know the beaches are fantastic in Negril, but what is the downside with Montego Bay?

I will probably get back to Jamaica many times, so this will be a trip just to see how it is and how it feels to be there.

answered on 10/7/15 by
a VT member from Hesperia

Well Johan, MoBay has the heaviest tourist traffic, and out of the normal three, (Ocho Rio is the third), Negril has a little more "feel" to it, and yes the beaches are great. However as a newbee MoBay is fine, especially since you likely will do more trips to Jamaica. Negril also offers the road ride through practically unspoiled Jamaica.

I say again, that if you have like you said, prior to the Gap tour start, Instead of doing tours from MoBy, which will mostly be covered by Gap, I would either fly to or transfer to Kingston, and use the extra time to do dem riddim an' reggae/ska ting bwoy.

Tuff Gong should give you some chicken skin, and there are other music studios there as well. The history of King Tubby, Scratch Perry, and Coxone Dodd is all over. You will find the real riddim in Jah Town, whereas in MoBay there are such abominations as Margaritaville, which is about as un-Jamaican as you can get.

Anyway, it appears that you have settled on the G tour. That's fine, but find a way to spend more time in Kingston, pursuing your interest in de riddim.

Enjoy mi Jamaica, One love, an' iree fe tru........d:o)

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