I had been backpacking around Cuba for a few weeks during the summer of 2001. Travelling the country by train, taxi and various other means and staying in illegal private homes or ‘particulares’ along the way to Santiago. I couldn’t face the horrendous 16 hour train back to Havana* so I opted to fly to Montego Bay, Jamaica instead on a cheap flight with Air Jamaica.
We stayed right on the beach at Alfred’s Place in Negril. The soundsystem parties below in the bar were so loud, that a glass of water would vibrate straight off my bedside locker. Meeting the local characters for me was definitely a highlight. However, waking up, looking out the window and seeing paradise every morning was something I will never forget.
Jamaica is bitter-sweet for me. In the last hour, on the last day we were held up a knife point on the main street at 8am. I can still remember the glint of the knife in the morning light.
Jamaican travel safety advice
HOW TO GET TO NEGRIL JAMAICA
Fly into Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay. Take a 60-90 minute shuttle van ride to Negril.
* in the link we ended up with the overnight train 7 or 8 not recommended