As the country begins to reopen, we'll keep publishing news to help you navigate the state of travel today (like whether travel insurance covers the coronavirus), as well as stories about places for you to put on your bucket list once it's safe to start going more far-flung.
Jamaica is a superb destination for a three-day weekend. Not only is it less than three hours by plane from your hometown of Atlanta, it's also immensely affordable once the crowd-free summer months arrive. And it's a seriously underrated adventure getaway. Most tourists in Jamaica tend to keep within the confines of their all-inclusive resorts, but there’s much to see and enjoy there, as long as you’re smart and take normal safety precautions. Head for the village of Treasure Beach on the southwest coast, and do these four things.
The Ultimate Jamaican Weekend: Live on Island Time
The greatest thing about Treasure Beach is its relative seclusion. It's far from the bustle of the cities and tourist havens, which allows you to enjoy the slower side of Jamaica. Jake’s resort, a small collection of ocean-side cottages, including a few which sport tin roofs, epitomizes laid back luxury. Room prices start at under $100, yet its charm lures in billionaires and celebrities.
The Ultimate Jamaican Weekend: Lounge on a Secluded Beach
Its name aside, Treasure Beach is actually a collection of four beaches lining a series of quiet coves. If you want to go swimming, the short beach along Calabash Bay is a safe bet. Given its out-of-the-way location, and the fact that you’ll be there in the off season, you can stake a giant, empty claim for yourself with simply a towel and book.
The Ultimate Jamaican Weekend: Swim in a Waterfall
The hills of Jamaica create the perfect conditions for the country’s famed Blue Mountain coffee. They’re also home to a wealth of hidden waterfalls, Somerset Falls, on the northeast coast near Port Antonio, being the most famous one. Less than an hour from Treasure Beach, though, are the equally as magnificent YS Falls—a seven tiered, 120-foot cascade of water. You can take a dip in the swimming holes here, go zip lining above the falls, or take a 20-minute tube float during your visit.
The Ultimate Jamaican Weekend: Drink Rum
The Appleton Rum factory has been producing barrels of the amber liquor since pirates sailed the nearby coast, more than 250 years ago. If you don’t want to venture that far from the beach, you can take a boat ride to the Pelican Bar, a thatch-roofed wooden shack built on stilts above a sandbar about a quarter-mile from the shore. Jake’s can provide you with a boat shuttle, or you can find a ride in town.