Summer is just around the corner, and it’s likely that you’re at work dreaming about your next great escape. While the weather is warming up, it’s always nice to get away to tropical climates, and Jamaica is one destination that’s worthy of your hard earned dollars. From crystal clear waters and adventurous excursions to mouth-watering fares and relaxing retreats, here are 10 reasons why your next vacation should be in Jamaica.

1. White sandy beaches and blue waters are just a short plane ride away

For those in Toronto, Caribbean heat, blue waters and pristine beaches are just a short flight away. And with the help of Signature Vacations by Sunwing, planning a trip with flights, hotels and excursions is simple and stress free. With the flight to Jamaica lasting just four hours and your entire getaway pre-planned, you can get right into vacation mode and use the time to binge-watch your favourite show, catch up on reading or sleep.

2. Breathtaking resorts that ooze with beauty

Jamaica has a plethora of awe-evoking resorts to choose from, but we suggest checking out Riu Resorts through Signature Vacations by Sunwing. Depending on the type of experience you’re looking to have, there’s a Riu property for you. Looking for an adults-only kind of experience? Check into the Riu Palace on Mahoe Bay. Situated in between the family-friendly Riu Montego Bay and adults-only Riu Reggae, a stay at Riu Palace gives you access to all three resorts and their prospective offerings. Into more of a party scene? Riu Ocho Rios gives you the luxury of resort life, but is in close proximity to local bars and shops for those who want to explore. Each Riu property is all-inclusive and offers a variety of amenities – think swim up pool bars, daily activities, spas, gyms, tennis courts, free wifi, water sports, endless eats and more.

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One of the three pools at Riu Palace, Montego Bay (Image: Amanda Phuong)

3. Dance culture that’s in a league of its own

So you think you can dance? Then you need to see the moves of a Jamaican. In Jamaica, every floor is a dance floor and dancing is a part of everyday life. The Riu Reggae puts on a jaw-dropping History of Jamaican Music performance that chronicles everything from ska, rocksteady, reggae, and dancehall, with impressive choreography to accompany the sounds. But you don’t need to stay at Riu to appreciate Jamaica’s dance culture. Visit any local nightclub to catch vibrant spirits move to the rhythm of the beat.

4. Find pure tranquility

While kids are cute, sometimes you need a trip that’s all your own. The magic of resorts like the Riu Palace or Reggae are that they’re adults only – they even have a strict No Spring Breakers policy. Enjoy days and nights of peace and serenity or indulge yourself at Riu’s on-resort spa. You have the option to enjoy a treatment in a tranquil private room or on the beach set to the sound of waves against an idyllic backdrop. Oh, and don’t forget the free 24-hour room service for those days when bed > everything.

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Breakfast in bed at Riu Palace (Image: Amanda Phuong)

5. Get high on the good life

Despite the fact that the cultivation and consumption of ganja was illegal in Jamaica for the greater part of the century, it hasn’t stopped marijuana enthusiasts from flocking the destination, where ganja is seen as a sacred herb to Rastafarians. In 2015, possession of up to two ounces of marijuana was decriminalized. While the law mainly pertains to locals, there has been conversation about installing marijuana-dispensing kiosks for tourists at airports and there are no shortage of cannabis tours that allow visitors to explore local bud.

6. Discover the birth place of one of the century’s top musicians

Bob Marley is, without a doubt, one of the greatest musicians of all time. And through Nexus Tours, you can visit the birthplace and final resting spot of the King of Reggae in Nine Miles. Here tour guides will take you through the area where Marley grew up and you’ll get to see his late-mother’s home (which includes an interesting collection of handmade dolls), Marley’s mausoleum, live music, and the famous Mount Zion, all while interacting with Rastafarians and, if you should desire, indulging in ganja tea or spliffs.

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The path to Mount Zion (Image: Amanda Phuong)

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Bob Marley’s Mausoleum (Image: Amanda Phuong)

7. Enjoy mouth-watering Caribbean eats

People don’t typically go boasting about all-inclusive eats, but the same can’t be said for the Riu, where everything from the all-day buffets to the a la cart menus will impress even the toughest of critics. Off the resort, the food is even more delicious, with local flavours of jerked meat, rice and beans, and Jamaican patties – each bite packs a punch. We suggest visiting Usain Bolt’s restaurant, Tracks & Records, which has locations in Kingston and Ochos Rios.

8. Immerse yourself in gorgeous waterfalls

A trip to Jamaica isn’t complete without a visit to the famous Dunn’s River Falls, one of the most beautiful spots on the island. Grab your swimsuit and water shoes, and prepare to embark on an adventure of a lifetime as you climb up a 600 ft. waterfall and take in tropical views. Nexus Tours offers the experience, which includes transportation, entrance fees and a guide.

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Dunn’s River Falls (Image: Instagram/@dawnhiggins73)

9. Take your love for adventure to new extremes

And when you’re done chasing waterfalls, you’ll want to check out all the other excursions Signature Vacations by Sunwing offers through Nexus Tours. From a luxurious catamaran cruise with snorkeling to swimming with dolphins or exploring the Black River, home to crocodiles, mangroves and exotic birds, there’s something to satisfy everyone’s inner adventurer.

Will you travel Jamaica for your next big trip?

Featured Image: Instagram/@victoriaericsson

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