Ahhh April. Spring is in the air, Easter holidays break up school and work schedules, and soca music blasts from every speaker ringing in the crescendo of the Jamaican carnival season.
Jamaica isn’t a land of many seasons, but in April things start to get that much hotter and as temperatures rise, so do our spirits as we get ready for party weekends and public holidays going into summer.
This April is a different one however. It’s accentuated by uncertainty and anxiety as we make our way through a worldwide pandemic that requires us to stay home as much as we can instead of venturing out to enjoy the weather and the dizzying soca vibe.
So what, then can we do in April as we take on social distancing and our new normal? Surely, we’ve got to be able to leave our homes and find entertainment. Surely, we can connect with nature and our loved ones from a safe distance as we soak up some vitamin D and appease our senses.
If you find yourself in Jamaica in April, even though Carnival has been postponed, all major events have been cancelled and we’re all encouraged to stay at least 3 feet away from each other, here are some ways to enjoy your time in Jamaica safely and within gatherings of less than 10 people as recommended by the Jamaican government.
How to Enjoy Jamaica in April
Relax on the Beach
Go to the beach! Pack a picnic and head to one of Jamaica’s many beaches, the more remote the better. Now is a great time to seek out the hidden gems of our shoreline that get little traffic from visitors and locals alike. If you’re sticking to the popular beaches close to hotels, visit the major beaches with lots of space to isolate and distance yourself from any other beach-goers. Long Bay Beach in Negril and Doctor’s Cave Beach in Montego Bay are large beaches with lots of space to soak up the sun.
If you go remote, bringing a picnic along with a beach towel to lay out, and a good book is important as there may not be any vendors on these remote beaches with food or refreshments for sale. If you’re in Kingston, Gloria’s Seafood on the beach side of Port Royal is a good option for grabbing food to-go and enjoying it on the majestic black sand beach.
Speaking of grabbing food to-go, many restaurants are only operating with delivery or curbside pickup at this time. If you’re inclined, take a break from cooking, grab your favorite comfort food from one of Jamaica’s many gourmet restaurants, and take it to the waterfront to enjoy a spectacular sunset.
If you’re in Montego Bay, that may be at the Hospital Park or down by Dead End Beach to watch the airplanes come in. In Negril, pull up at the lighthouse on the cliff, and in Kingston at the Downtown Waterfront to watch daring divers jump in the harbor.
Take a Hike or Visit Nature
While most attractions and places of entertainment have been ordered close to safeguard from crowds, on the flip side, Jamaica boasts a multiplicity of breathtaking terrain. If the parks are closed, nature is open. Take a road trip inland to the hills to revel in the striking views of our Blue Mountains. Hike to a river or stroll along the rugged coastline in the south to simply breathe in our awe-inspiring slice of Mother Earth.
Now is the time to slow down. Whether that means to simply find a hideaway to read a book, practice yoga, drink a flask of good Jamaican rum, or elevate the background of your video-conferencing call, Jamaica is a great place to be still and enjoy the beauty of our paradise.