Jamaica is a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful beaches, vibrant culture, and delicious food. However, there are several reasons why travelers may want to think twice before booking a trip to this Caribbean island. In this article, we will explore ten reasons to avoid Jamaica.
The most common issue I hear about when talking about Jamaica is crime. I personally wouldn’t worry about the crime in Jamaica when deciding on where to vacation. The touristy areas are safe and it’s important for the island’s economy that it stays that way.
However, there are many other reasons to reconsider if Jamaica is the best place for your trip.
We personally have stayed in Jamaica for 3 weeks and have visited 9 other Caribbean Islands. While we recommend many other islands, we only recommend Jamaica because of its affordability compared to other islands. Here are 5 reasons you shouldn’t visit Jamaica.
Jamaica is known for its beautiful beaches, lush greenery, and vibrant culture. However, there are some tourist traps that visitors should be aware of.
Take for example Dunn’s River Falls, is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Jamaica. It is very refreshing and fun, however, it is often overcrowded and the vendors and guides try to get every penny out of you that they can. The experience can be underwhelming, as visitors are herded up the falls in a human chain and hounded for tips.
Bad Tour Operators
Some tour operators in Jamaica have a reputation for being unreliable and unprofessional. You may find yourself doing a lot of waiting around. On one tour we left our resort at 9 am and returned at 4 pm. More than half of the time was waiting around or being driven from one place to another.
Another thing we noticed is in Jamaica they will turn low-quality activities into top-priced tours. You’ll find wildlife that is not well taken care of and poorly run facilities.
Additionally, it is very common to be nickeled and dimed all the way. For example, we were told to bring towels, water shoes, and other items on the tour with us. One tour operator was prepared and told us to keep our things safely in the van. The other took us to different places charging us $10 per locker at each location. And expect to have everyone asking you for a tip, even if they do not provide a good service.
Preditory Sales Tactics
More than anywhere else in the Caribbean, Jamaican’s are going to try to get as much money out of you as possible. So many things are set up to try to take advantage of tourist.
For example, at Dunn’s River, in order to go to the parking lot you have to go through a craft village to leave. As you walk through you will be offered “gifts”. If you stop they will try to entice you to take a gift, then guilt you into to buying something more expensive.
These vendors will even carve your name into objects to make you feel even more obligated to purchase.
Another thing we experienced was taxis working with businesses to make extra money. We asked our driver to take us to a pharmacy to buy sunscreen. Instead they took us to a tourist trap that sold one type of sunscreen. They wanted $26 for a bottle and when we said no the price started dropping. Later we asked a taxi to take us to the pharmacy for a prescription and we got to where we wanted to go, paying $8 for sunscreen.
Jamaica has struggled to maintain its roads, bridges, and other critical infrastructure, leading to a range of problems that can make travel throughout the island difficult.
One of the most significant issues with Jamaica’s infrastructure is the state of its roads. Many roads in the country are narrow, poorly maintained, and often filled with potholes. This can make driving in Jamaica a challenging and potentially dangerous experience, particularly for those who are not used to the country’s roads.
If you get car sick, do your research before coming and stay close to Montego Bay.
Lack of Authenticity
Jamaica is known for its vibrant culture, music, and food. However, visitors may find that the authenticity of the island is lacking. Many tourist attractions and experiences are designed to cater to visitors rather than showcasing the true Jamaican way of life.
One of the most significant examples of this lack of authenticity is seen in the resort areas. While these areas are beautiful and offer a range of amenities, they often feel disconnected from the rest of the island. Visitors may find themselves surrounded by other tourists and unable to experience the true culture of Jamaica.
Another area where authenticity is lacking is in the food industry. Many restaurants and eateries cater to tourists with watered-down versions of Jamaican cuisine. Visitors may be disappointed to find that the food they are served is not as flavorful or spicy as they expected.
Lack of Locally Owned Businesses
One thing that anyone will notice is there is a lot of poverty in Jamaica and while Jamaicans do have plenty of opportunities with jobs in hospitality, the resorts are mostly owned by large multinational companies where less money goes back to the Jamaican people.
While many people enjoy Jamaica, keep these things in mind before you go, and if you do decide to go you will be prepared to go so you can enjoy your vacation more.