The new edition of Lonely Planet’s Jamaica hit the shelves last month, and I’m proud to be its lead author. It’s a fantastically interesting country to travel in, with multitudes to explore beyond the paradise clichés of the all-inclusive resorts. I’ve just written a mini-guide to the country for The Independent, which includes everything my favourite Kingston sound-systems to the island’s best festivals and food experiences. I was particularly pleased to sing the praises of the capital, which is often unfairly maligned as a travel destination:
Kingston has frequently been regarded as the sort of place you would arrange your trip to avoid, but these days the city is very much on the way up, brandishing a rich cultural life that is tempting travellers back through fine dining and local festivals.
The music scene is extraordinarily vibrant and a real eye – and ear – opener for anyone who thinks Jamaican music begins and ends with Bob Marley. From live jazz and roots poetry to raucous dancehall street parties, Kingston lays it on with the knowing self-confidence that is the country’s stock-in-trade.