Jamaica is a popular tourist attraction for cruises and resort vacations, but there is much more to experience here. You have to be willing to venture out past the resort or port to truly experience the island. One of the most obvious tourist attractions is the beach, but there is so much more to do here. If you do head to the beach, try to stick to one that is well known, such as Seven Mile Beach in Negril. While you are at the beach, look for the beachside eateries that can give you a true taste of the island.
Cool Runnings put the spotlight on a Jamaican sport that you probably wouldn’t think of as part of the country. If you are in Ochos Rios, go to The Bobsled. You ride a lift up to the top of the mountain and then head down in a bobsled. The ride up the mountain takes about 15 minutes, but you decide how long the trip down will take. You have full control over the brakes, so go as fast or slow as you desire.
You can zip through the greenery of the island on an ATV with Chukka Tours. You will keep a steady pace during the tour. When you get to the top of the mountain, you will enjoy the view that looks over the island. You need to book the adventure in advance and be sure to show up on time. There are starting points all over the island, so find one that’s closest to you.
Learn about the local culture and history while you ride a bamboo raft down the Martha Brae River. The trip takes about 90 minutes and is considered one of the most romantic excursions you can enjoy on the island. During the adventure down the water, you are able to stop to do things on land, such as having fun on rope swings or checking out local artisans.
The Black River Safari takes around 90 minutes to complete. During that time, you will get to see crocodiles in their natural habitat. Other wildlife is usually easy to spot on this adventure. The guide will let you know what to look for and will point out some interesting information while you are on the water.
When most people think of Jamaica, they think of jerk chicken. Scotchies is a Jamaican institution that serves locals and tourists alike. The meat is tender, the jerk sauce is plentiful, and it is all served family style in tin wraps. If you are heading to St. Elizabeth, you can try your hand at making your own jerk dishes by taking a cooking class at Jakes’ Treasure Beach. Then, you can try to make jerk like Scotchies at home.
Musical legend Bob Marley’s former home is now a museum where his fans can take a glimpse into his life. The Rastafarian fence out front is an amazing place to take a selfie, so be prepared to make it happen. The museum is open daily and admission prices include a tour. This is sometimes a very busy spot, so be prepared to deal with crowds. Take a moment to check the offerings at the café if you need an afternoon snack.
If you love golf, plan to spend time at the Tryall Club Golf Course, which is about 15 miles east of the resort with the same name. The championship green is a par-71 that was designed by Ralph Plummer. While you venture around the course, you can enjoy the beauty of the Caribbean Sea. You can also take lessons at one of the golf clinics that are held here. Plan ahead as you must book your tee time at least 24 hours in advance.
Immerse yourself in the Rasta culture with a trip to the Rasta Village near Montego Bay Gardens. You can enjoy coconut water that is served in a calabash bowl. Community members open up their businesses to show visitors things handmade drums and soaps. There is also a medicinal herb farm that is cared for by First Man. The goal is to help people engage with nature and improve their awareness.
Lounge on the boat while you are on the way to your destination or ask the staff to share some tales. Catamaran tours have different purposes, depending on where you are and who you hire. One of the interesting options is one that involves snorkeling. Even if you’ve never snorkeled before, you can find a tour for beginners. The water chosen for snorkeling is calm and enables you to see some native fishes, such as pufferfish.
The rum tour at Hampden Estates is a good option for adults who are traveling without children. You can sip on rum punch as you take in some of the Jamaican history. Guided tours are available to help you learn more about the rum making process and the history of the distillery, which was established in the 1750s. Be prepared as the roads aren’t the best on the way to the estates, but the experience you get while you are there is worth it. You can even eat jerk foods and rap with locals to give you an authentic experience.
One of Jamaica's most cherished natural wonders, Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios offers an exhilarating experience. Picture a cascading waterfall, resembling a giant wedding cake, where you can climb over 600 feet of natural limestone steps. The journey is both refreshing and awe-inspiring, with lush greenery surrounding you and the soothing sounds of flowing water. It's a perfect blend of adventure and tranquility, and a must-do for anyone seeking to connect with Jamaica's stunning natural landscape.
For those who seek the thrill of heights and the beauty of nature, hiking in the Blue Mountains is an unmissable experience. These majestic mountains are not only the source of world-renowned Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee but also a haven for hikers. The trek to the peak, standing at 7,402 feet, is a challenging yet rewarding journey through vibrant tropical forests. Reaching the summit rewards you with breathtaking views and a sense of accomplishment that's hard to match.
For an exhilarating blend of adventure and stunning views, Mystic Mountain Adventure Park in Ocho Rios is a must-visit. This eco-friendly attraction offers a unique way to experience the island's lush rainforests. The highlight is the Sky Explorer chairlift, which takes you soaring above the treetops, offering panoramic views of the surrounding landscape and the Caribbean Sea. For thrill-seekers, the park features a bobsled ride inspired by Jamaica's famous Olympic bobsled team, which twists and turns through the forest. Additionally, the park offers zip-lining adventures that allow you to glide through the canopy. There's also an educational aspect, with displays about the local ecosystem and the history of the area. The park is ideal for families, groups, or solo travelers looking for a day filled with adventure and scenic beauty.
Dive into the heart of Jamaica's history and geology by exploring the Green Grotto Caves. These fascinating limestone caves offer a journey through time, having served as shelters for the island's first inhabitants and hideouts during historical conflicts. Wander through the network of caves and marvel at the stunning stalactites and stalagmites, while learning about the caves' historical significance. It's an adventure that combines natural beauty with intriguing historical tales.
For an underwater escapade, snorkeling off of Rockhouse Beach is a must. Unlike the typical sandy beach experience, here you dive into the clear Caribbean waters from small, rocky cliffs. Explore the vibrant marine life, including colorful starfish, eels, and schools of tropical fish. The unique underwater terrain with small caves adds to the thrill, making it an ideal spot for both novice and experienced snorkelers seeking a glimpse into Jamaica's underwater wonders.