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by Sheree-Anita Shearer | Associate Writer
What is the best place to live in Jamaica? Well, that is entirely up to you. Let’s look at some of the best locations and then you can decide.
Whether you’ve called Jamaica home before and you are now looking to return to the island or this is a new beginning entirely, I can’t blame you for looking to move back home.
One of the very first things to figure out is where exactly you’ll settle when you arrive. Some persons test out a few locations for a while before finding their forever home on the island. But not all of us may have that privilege for whatever reason.
If you fall into the latter, then, I might be able to give you some insight into what to expect from the top locations to live in Jamaica as an expatriate or permanent resident.
If you were searching before I am pretty certain you’ve seen Mandeville or other parts of Manchester come up multiple times for, places to live in Jamaica. Mandeville is the most popular location for returning residents and retirees on the island. This is due to its location in the cooler part of the island, the convenience of the laid-back town and its peaceful environment.
Manchester has one of the lowest records for crimes on the island, making it a haven for expatriates and those who have retired, especially when they get a little older.
If you aren’t a retiree, then there are still reasons for you to relocate to Mandeville if you really wanted to. Some of the most prominent universities and colleges on the island have campuses there, if you are looking to continue your academic journey, or if you would like to work, then there are BPOs, financial institutions, restaurants and other local businesses where you can seek employment.
I would not suggest Mandeville for someone who is not very financially secure as it is one of the more expensive towns in Jamaica. Housing, transportation, food and everything in between will be a little more expensive than the norm in Mandeville when compared to elsewhere on the island.
Also, it might not be the town for younger people as what you have in peace and quiet you will have to trade for entertainment. There are a few restaurants and bars around the town, but Mandeville is not known for its entertainment scene.
Now, if you would love to visit another beach or adventure park ever so often, you will have to be in Ocho Rios. Ocho Rios is perfect for younger migrants who are looking to experience the more exciting side of Jamaica.
It works even better if you plan on working remotely as you won’t have to work from home all the time but you can have a change of scenery as often as you’d like.
Ocho Rios is also ideal if you would like to purchase a home as many new housing developments are popping up as near or far from the town as you would like. And, for added convenience, businesses are expanding outside of the main town.
If you are interested in working in hospitality or setting up a business that would benefit from tourism then living in Ocho Rios would be best. It is also a great town if you would love to live a comfortable distance away from both of our major towns as it is under 2 hours away from both Kingston and Montego Bay.
This is also a great place to raise children if you are moving with your family. You will have access to a great education and still give your children a chance to live an island dream.
Nearby St. Mary is a great alternative to Ocho Rios if you would love to be close to the town but not directly in it.
If you decide to live in Kingston, you will not miss the city life you probably left. Kingston is a fast-paced city and our business hub here on the island. It is perfect for persons in all facets of business, technology and entertainment. Almost every business, company or institution is headquartered there.
While some areas of Kingston can be unsavoury, many areas are more welcoming.
Kingston has many prestigious schools and universities, so should you be moving with your children, then it should be an issue to continue their academic journey and even surpass where they are currently.
For those searching for a buzzing nightlife, niche activities and restaurants that fit every diet and aesthetic, then you will no doubt feel at home in Kingston. It is also more likely for your favourite fast food chain to be in Kingston than anywhere else on the island.
By a good distance, Kingston has the most reliable transportation system as both public and private transportation services work well throughout the city. If the JUTC or route taxis are not for you, then taxi services such as Uber, In Driver, On Time, TravelR or many others can be utilised instead.
Montego Bay is another city that sees many returning residents. They choose Mobay as it is a good midway between having everything a city should without being as fast-paced as Kingston is. Just like Kingston, some parts are not very appealing, but there are many more places to live and feel safe.
Montego Bay is a great location for digital nomads who would love to explore the island very easily. Montego Bay is a good central location to live if you are planning to explore the Western section of the island.
For golfers, swimmers, equestrians and those who love a good cafe by the sea, Montego Bay offers that and much more.
The schools in Montego Bay from kindergarten to secondary are well-known for nurturing brilliant minds. Additionally, prominent colleges and universities also have locations here.
Nearby, Trelawny is great as well, as many new housing developments are being erected there.
If you are looking to seek employment, Montego Bay has a healthy mix of it all but the most prominent jobs are in tourism, healthcare and the BPO sector. If you would love to come home to start a business then the chances of it doing well in Montego Bay are quite high.
Negril offers a great balance between a laid-back town and a vibrant vacation spot. We know vacationing and living somewhere are very different and you might not want to be in the middle of the excitement all the time, but Negril provides you with that choice.
The beach is a very enticing reason to choose Negril but living in the town also gives you the chance to explore more.
The parts of Westmoreland and St. Elizabeth make up what we call the South Coast. If you would love a complete 180 from your city life, then these rural areas will be the best option for you. Here, you will have access to farm fresh fruits and vegetables, freshly caught seafood and so much more.
The seaside areas of Belmont, Whitehouse, Crawford and Treasure Beach are favourites for people to live in since they are in proximity to a major town. Whitehouse is a great place to live if you would still love the semblance of a town but just with a rural laid-back atmosphere.
Because it is the hub for transportation between Westmoreland and St Elizabeth it is more developed than the other locations mentioned but it hasn’t lost its rural charm.
Portland is quite a rural and secluded area, perfect for those who would love to reset and become one with nature again. Portland embraces its undisturbed state more than any other parish and truly tries to preserve the beaches, waterfalls and other natural gems in the parish.
If you want excitement then this is not the move to make, but if you want to spend your spare time exploring nature, caves and heritage sites, visiting waterfalls and beaches, then here is where you need to be.
I hope this has given you an idea of what to expect from each location and which place would be best for your big move. We can’t wait to have you here!
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Best Places To Live In Jamaica | Written: January 22, 2022