Our first trip to Jamaica was in 2010; my dad took off the week before Christmas to take my brother and I to an all-inclusive resort in Montego Bay. We’ve gone back nearly every year since. This year we split our time between the Riu Palace, a large all-inclusive resort with great food and drinks, and Banana Shout, a small cliff-side ‘B&B’ with access to fantastic snorkeling, and beautiful views of the ocean.
We spent the first two nights at Banana Shout. It didn’t have a bar or restaurant, so we went to road-side restaurants close by and ate Jamaican food which consists of a lot of rice, curried/stewed meats, and of course plenty of Red Stripe.
The snorkeling around Banana Shout was fantastic. The reef hosted all kinds of wildlife; we saw Sting Rays, Squid, Octopus, Skates, and dozens of different species of fish.
We’ve been to the Riu Palace a few times in the past; it has more-than-decent food (something that’s rare at most all-inclusives), a reasonably well-equipped bar, and a decor that alludes to Hemingway’s Havana.
While the beach is beautiful and expansive, the snorkeling here isn’t nearly as accessible as at the cliff’s along Banana Shout. We did, however, manage to get a good bit of snorkeling in by walking all the way to the end of the beach past more than a couple nudist resorts to a nice bit of secluded reef and caves.