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Mexico vs Jamaica

Lynchburg, Virginia
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Mexico vs Jamaica

Just wondering for those of you who've been to both why you liked One vs other

Washington DC...
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11. Re: Mexico vs Jamaica

I have been to Jamaica twice: once with my husband and once for a destination wedding. We were not impressed by the aggressive salespeople in Montego Bay and Negril, the presence of marijuana everywhere, and the attitudes of the resort staff where we stayed. And like mykel67, I am not comfortable spending my tourist dollars in a country with such culturally entrenched homophobia. I would also not choose to vacation in an Islamic Fundamentalist country either, for similar reasons.

There are better beaches, more beautiful vistas and better food to be found elsewhere in the Caribbean. IMO Mexico has much more to offer on all fronts, and usually at a much better price.

Cocoa Beach, Florida
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for Cancun, Riviera Maya, Negril
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12. Re: Mexico vs Jamaica

<There are better beaches, more beautiful vistas and better food to be found elsewhere in the Caribbean. >

Perhaps, but for us, JA offers short and inexpensive flights and reasonable prices for resorts, food and entertainment so our investment in time and money is much less than it would be on the other islands in the Caribbean that we enjoy.

Perhaps you should post this on the JA forum as I am certain the answers will be quite different.

Edited: 28 March 2013, 08:05
Alberta, Canada
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13. Re: Mexico vs Jamaica

This is a really close call IMO. We have been to the Mayan Riviera once and then Jamaica (Negril) for three years in a row after that. last year it was Cancun.

We actually prefer Jamaica but...the two are very different depending on your personal needs.


Plus -

1. Very laid back and casual .

2. Warmer than Mexico with a more even temp and tropical climate and vegetation.

3. Negril has AI watersports such as water skiing, snorkeling, Hobie Cats, windsurfing etc.. because it is a Lee side (no wind) location.

4. Beaches are fantastic in Negril but a bit crappy elsewhere.

5. You can actually swim in Negril if you like or "float" on rafts if you prefer (very calm water)

6. People are great and service is OK.

7. Food can be very good and very "local cuisine".

8. Fantastic Sunsets

9. No language barrier

10. No Timeshare salesmen.

11. Generally no tipping


1. You will not find a really nice room where there is a really nice beach (regardless of what you pay). Price simply reflects proximity to beach and views All resorts appear to be poorly maintained.

2. Service can be very poor to very good, but not drop dead excellent.

3. Driving is simply out of the question. JA drivers are crazy bad!

4. A lot of drugs and miscellaneous goods sold by hawkers on the beach.

5. Beaches are fairly narrow in spots, even on 7 mile beach in Negril

6. Generally no tipping

Mexico- (Cancun experience) Pros-

1. Excellent food and service

2. Fantastic rooms and housekeeping and maintenance of property

3. Great access to the "city" and shopping and other hotels by a $1 bus ride along the hotel strip.

4. Weird mix of Resort on the beach side of the hotel zone and small city on the entrance side. The two actually never "see" each other so you get the both of both world.

5. Gorgeous long beach (better than Negril) and the most beautiful warm water that you have ever seen.

6.Nice waves and slightly warmer water (Gulf Stream influence)

7. Lots of strange things to see such as ruins and Cenotes.

8. Great friendly people who will try to their utmost to keep you happy and DO what they say they will do.

9. No real language issue in Cancun since they all speak it very well.


1. Very windy

2. Often strong waves because it is a windward location with strong breeze from the ocean

3. No real watersports because of the strong waves, however the reefs are superior for "pay" snorkeling.

4. Higher buildings in the "hotel zone" that accommodate more people but as I said earlier, you don't really notice it because the beachfront is huge on the ocean side of the resorts.

Overall we preferred Cancun because of OUR needs and likes. This actually surprised us quite a bit!

How many people use the "watersports" amenities anyway? If you can't swim well then you probably shouldn't be in the ocean for any distance in either location.

It is all a matter of taste and likes. We like excellent room and service (and room service which is only partially available in Jamaica). If you want any tips then just msg me.

For us: 1) Cancun 2) Jamaica 3) Riviera Maya

Good luck with your decision!

Edited: 28 March 2013, 14:59
Saskatoon, Canada
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14. Re: Mexico vs Jamaica

That last post was excellent!!! I agree with that comparison, well done.

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15. Re: Mexico vs Jamaica

We are trying to decide the same. My daughter is 17. My husband and I will be "celebrating" our 50th birthdays this year. We wanted to take a "big trip" this year.

America, The...
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16. Re: Mexico vs Jamaica

We love Jamaica, and in particular, Negril and like Mexico a lot. We like Mexican resorts for the more modern rooms rooms, and, like CG said, the ease of travel, particularly the quick trip from the airport to the resort. We like the many historical and marine excursions in the Yucatan.

A big plus in Jamaica is the completely safe and potable water supply. All the gastrointestinal illness issues that folks like to blame on sun, dietary changes, and overindulgence when they are in Mexico simply don't come up in Jamaica...funny thing. We prefer the laid back, but still excellent service we've received in Jamaica to the over-the-top, more formal and fawning service in Mexico. It's just a style preference for us. We like how the Jamaican resorts we've been to seem to embrace their culture as part of their tourism model rather than water it down, for example with more (often poorly done) international than local cuisine, to try to appeal to the masses.

We definitely prefer 7 mile beach in Negril to the beaches in the Yucatan because of the calm, and amazing color and clarity of the water even when you go out to great depths.

<4. Higher buildings in the "hotel zone" that accommodate more people but as I said earlier, you don't really notice it because the beachfront is huge on the ocean side of the resorts.>

I couldn't disagree more with this. I personally cannot stand a compact high rise on the beach and never once forgot about it when staying in the hotel zone. The only place I have and would stay there was Le Blanc because the hotel was so nice that it was worth staying in a concrete jungle to me. I much prefer RM in Mexico and a spread out resort.

<How many people use the "watersports" amenities anyway? If you can't swim well then you probably shouldn't be in the ocean for any distance in either location.>

I am rather puzzled by this statement. We like Couples Resorts in Jamaica, in particular, because of their amazing inclusions. When there is included waterskiing, wakeboarding, snorkeling, stand up paddleboarding, SCUBA, catamaran cruises, hobie cats, and windsurfing, absolutely many, many people are using the watersports amenities. So, I guess that is another plus for Jamaica for us, which is that there are more activities that are important to us that are included in the AI package, whereas, in Mexico we have to leave the resort and pay extra for some of these same things to keep entertained.

However, I agree with Mykel that the anti-gay culture of Jamaica is unfortunate. I refused to stay at Sandals resorts when they would not allow gay couples to stay, and have never had a desire to go to one since they have (only in the last few years) changed this policy. I do hope things get better there, though I know progress has been very slow.

Edited: 24 May 2013, 05:25
Punta Gorda, Florida
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17. Re: Mexico vs Jamaica

I enjoyed Jamaica the several times I have visited, but we always took a local guide with us when we went off property so he sort of took care of the aggressive folks for us. Loved the food there, but I don't think the resorts are nearly as upscale as in Mexico. I did take my kids when they were teenagers to Jamaica and looking back, I wouldn't do it again. They were mortified when everyone at the resort and on the beach tried to sell them pot, but they loved telling the story once they got home.

Mexico is easy access for us with lots of new places to try. I actually like both the waves of Cancun and the lack of them in Riviera Maya. So my vote between the two is Mexico.

18. Re: Mexico vs Jamaica

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