The Jamaica 60 theme is “Reigniting a Nation for Greatness,” and Jamaica invites Jamaicans living in Canada and friends of Jamaica to “come home” to rediscover their roots or reignite their passion for Jamaican culture.
If you’re among the hundreds of Jamaicans living in the Diaspora, who are planning to return home to celebrate Jamaica’s 60th year of independence, here are a few places to visit and things to do:
Parties and Festivals: After a two-year hiatus, Jamaica’s popular annual festivals are back this year, showcasing some of the country’s hottest local talents. With Jamaica’s 60th anniversary of independence, all local festivals this year will be extra celebratory, with signature summer festivals, including Jamaica Dream WKND and MoBay Jerk & Food Festival.
Jamaica Dream WKND, Friday, July 29 to Monday, August 1
MoBay Jerk & Food Festival, Catherine Hall Entertainment Centre, Monday, August 1
Attractions: Nature lovers will find plenty of things to do in Jamaica. You can hike and bird-watch in the jungle, or dive and snorkel along the fringing reefs. Jamaica is also renowned for its many historic plantations, where you can sample tropical fruits and tour the grand great houses.
Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park
In 2015, the spectacular Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park was inscribed on the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites for its rich natural and cultural heritage. This unspoiled preserve offers breath-taking scenery. Within its borders, you can explore jungle-clad mountains, waterfalls, lush rain forests, and coffee plantations.
Getting around the park can be an adventure. The roads and tracks are rough – especially after rain – so 4WD vehicles and/or experienced guides are highly recommended.
A highlight of a visit here is the hike (or mule ride) up Jamaica’s highest peak, 2,256-meter-high Blue Mountain Peak. This two-day trip offers thrilling views, and on a clear day, you can see all the way to Cuba. Most sightseeing tours depart from Kingston.
Port Antonio exudes the relaxed charm of a sleepy fishing village. Once a centre for banana export, the area is distinctly less commercial than the other resort towns.
Popular things to do in Port Antonio include hiking jungle trails, rafting the Rio Grande, taking a tour to Reach Falls, and snorkelling and diving the coral reefs. A favourite swimming spot is the beautiful 60-meter-deep Blue Lagoon, fed by freshwater springs.
Other highlights of the area include the 18th-century British stronghold of Fort George and beautiful Frenchman’s Cove, where a fish-filled river flows into the sea.
Jamaica 60 Sweet Deals & Specials: The Jamaica Tourist Board has worked with hotel and resort partners to offer a collection of deals across various destinations in Jamaica.
Couples Resorts’ “Join the Jubilee!” Offer: Couples Resorts is celebrating Jamaica’s Diamond Jubilee with a special offer. Travellers that book by August 31 for travel August 1 through December 16 will receive their 6th night free, a $60 resort credit and two times the Romance Rewards points.
JN Rewards Partners: You can also benefit from discounts of up 20% at an array of local attractions and businesses when you show or swipe your JN cards. For more information visit: https://www.jnrewards.com/