Caribbean Vacation Sampler
The all inclusive resorts in Jamaica and elsewhere are extremely popular.
Many people consider all Caribbean islands and their hotel offerings to be alike, but this brief series of sample vacation options shows how markedly different they are. And that's why so many people spend their winter vacation every year hopping from one island to the next.
Jamaica, the third-largest island in the Caribbean, is among the prettiest of them all. Lush dense forests, colorful gardens and over 200 miles of magnificent beaches are but a few of its many attractions.
Dunn's River Falls in Ocho Rios is perhaps the single most photographed spot in all the Caribbean. But these falls aren't just for admiring, they're also climbing. Guides show you the best pathways up the 600-foot high fall and wrap your camera in plastic so you can take your picture at any point.
Exploring Jamaica's lush interior on bamboo rafts is popular at the Rio Grande near Port Antonio, the White River at Ocho Rios and the Martha Brae at Montego Bay. Locals skillfully steer the long, unwieldy bamboo platforms while you sit back, high and dry in an elevated chair, and enjoy the scenery.
Horseback riding on a deserted beach or an overnight trip into the scenic Dry Harbour Mountains is offered at Chukka Cove Farms just outside Ocho Rios. If that's too tame, they'll teach you polo in a special, individualized class.
Jamaica's reefs have lured scuba divers for years, but big game fishermen are just learning about the big blue marlin that cruise incredibly close to shore off the north coast. Sportfishing charters to pursue a 300-500 pound marlin can be booked in both Ocho Rios and Montego Bay.
Jamaica may be without a Club Med, but the all-inclusive vacation plan pioneered by the French hotel chain is tremendously popular here. In fact, there are around 30 more all inclusive Jamaica hotels than any other Caribbean island, and they have taken the concept to its absolute limit.
Everything is included--room, meals, activities, tips, open bar, cigarettes. Prices range widely from $150-$250 a day, double occupancy.
The major chains include the Super Clubs, Sandals and Beaches.
All inclusive resorts are popular on other islands, particularly the Dominican Republic, St. Lucia and in the Mexican Caribbean around Cancun.