Best Things To Do in Jamaica that will Captivate You

Introduction: Things to do in Jamaica

Jamaica is the land of Bob Marley and reggae sunsets. It’s the land of forests and waterfalls. The earliest settlers, the Taino people, called this island Xaymaca (from where we get the name Jamaica) which means “land of wood and water.” Overall, there are many things to do in Jamaica and places to visit.

The history, the culture, the music, and the food, will touch you no matter where you stay in Jamaica, whether Montego Bay or Kingston, Ocho Rios or Negril. As an illustration, the following suggestions will give you a flavour of what to expect on your visit. Pre-book Jamaica tours with your travel agent. The atmosphere, you will need to soak up for yourself. The following are among the best excursions in Jamaica.

Things to do in Jamaica

Luminous Lagoon Night Cruise in Jamaica

Stretched out along the marshlands of Trelawny, the freshwater of the Martha Brae River meets the salt water of the Caribbean. Here lies the Luminous Lagoon.

This shallow warm water lagoon is the perfect habitat for tiny (harmless) microorganisms, called dinoflagellates, to flourish.

These millions of microorganisms emit an eerie blue-green light. So, it’s best to view them in all their splendour, at night.

Book the moonlight cruise which includes enough time to swim in the lagoon. Wear white for maximum effect. You may need a special lens on your camera in order to capture this phenomenon. But this once in a lifetime experience is worth the effort.

Falmouth (Trelawny) is 17 miles from Montego Bay. Tour operators also make collections from Ocho Rios and Negril.

Boats depart every night from the Glistening Waters Marina.

Bob Marley’s Nine Mile

Drive a few miles south of Brown’s Town in the parish of Saint Ann, through rugged, winding roads. And enjoy the verdant, red-clay of Dry Harbour Mountains, until you discover the small village of Nine Mile. This is the birthplace and resting place of the great reggae singer, Bob Marley.

Bob Marley's House in Nine Mile
Bob Marley’s House in Nine Mile

For worldwide fans, this is a place of pilgrimage. For intrepid travellers and all-inclusive tourists, this is a “must visit” destination.

Bob Marley, musician and peace activist, was born here in February 1945 and laid to rest in May 1981.

What will you find at Nine Mile? The two-roomed house in which Bob was born. A humble dwelling with a gathering room and a small bedroom. The kitchen was outside. There are two mausoleums on the property. The first, houses the remains a Cedella Marley (Bob’s mother), and the second, the remains of Marley himself. They do not allow photography in either building.

There are other artifacts that reflect Bob Marley. For example, his Rasta-coloured rock pillow where he would meditate.

Hiking the Blue Mountains

The peak of the Blue Mountains is 7400 feet (2256 metres). It must be one of the great Jamaica landmarks. The summit is accessible via a walking track. There are sensational views of the north and south coasts of Jamaica from the summit. And you can see Cuba on a clear day.

They set much of the Blue Mountain range within the Blue and John Crow National Park (a UNESCO World Heritage Site). For enthusiastic hikers, there are collection points around Kingston. You can take the 4-wheel drive and start at Abbey Green, 5000 feet (1520 metres). And you ascend along Jacob’s Ladder, a steep, winding path that takes you to the peak. The distance from Abbey Green to the Peak is just under 6 miles.

Things to do in Jamaica. Hiking the blue mountains
Start of Blue Mountains near Kingston

Along the way look out for unique bird life. You may observe the doctor bird (the national bird of Jamaica), the Chesnut bellied cuckoo, crested quail dove and the rufous-throated solitaire. Allow 6 hours for the trek, and an additional 2 hours if you visit the world-renowned, Blue Mountain Coffee plantation on the lower slopes. This trek is among the great Jamaica activities. It must be remembered that die-hard trekkers can take the long way up, but will need a knowledgeable guide and camping gear.

Jamaican ATV Off-road Adventure in Sandy Bay

How about an action-packed ride ideal for beginners and experts alike? Place the ride on the rugged dirt trails up a mountainside through citrus groves and farming villages such as Smithfield and Blue Hole Estate. This is a Jamaican ATV off-road experience.

You will have time for great photo opportunities from 2200 feet, and a chance to inspect heritage buildings. And time to explore lush Jamaican countryside with its unique plant and animal life. Then you can buy a lunch at a safari ranch. There are hotel drops in Montego Bay and Negril.

Things to do in Montego Bay

Known as Mobay to locals. Jamaica’s second city, Montego Bay, is a major port and tourist destination. There are many beach resorts and golf courses in and around Mobay. There are more things to do in Montego Bay

Doctor’s Cave Beach is one of the popular beaches. A doctor claimed in the 1920s that the waters around here had healing powers! Well by all means, you need to check it out for yourself. Then there’s Walter Fletcher Beach which hosts the amusement park. And, the protected waters of Montego Bay Marine Park provide safe snorkelling and diving among the coral reefs.

But there is much more for those who wish to venture out for the day from the resorts:

Rose Hall Great House & Garden Tour

Here’s a place with colonial history, ghostly tales and beautiful gardens to explore. In days gone by, this was a great sugar plantation. Visit Rose Hall Great House and Gardens for a great day out.

The story goes that Annie Palmer came from Haiti and married the owner John Palmer. she murdered him and two subsequent husbands, and some of the plantation slaves. Johnny Cash wrote the “Ballad of Annie Palmer” for his album, Any Old Wind That Blows, in 1973 (So it must be true!).

The locals knew Annie as the White Witch of Rose Hall.

You can visit the dungeon and taste “Witches Brew” a special Rose Hall strong rum cocktail.

The house walks you through the history of the plantation lifestyle and the island’s heritage.

White Witch Golf Course

As if notoriety at Rose Hall Plantation wasn’t enough, Annie Palmer has a golf course named after her. The White Witch Golf Course is an 18-hole championship course created by Rick Baril and Robert von Hagge. This is golf at its best. They shaped the course from 200 acres of the gentle slopes of what was formerly part of the historic Rose Hall plantation.

The ghost of the white witch, local folklore claims, still roams the estate. Golfers would, prefer to see Arnie Palmer rather than Annie Palmer!

The magazine Conde Nast Traveler ranked this course #1 Golf Course and #1 Golf Shop. Other features include:

The White Witch Golf Course is simply amazing, offering some of the following features to its players.

  • Most of the holes have views of the Caribbean.
  • Native stone inlaid walls support tees and greens.
  • 5 (or more) tee boxes on every hole.
  • Large practice bunkers and greens.

If one world-class golf course is not enough, then there are two more in Jamaica, Half Moon Golf Club, and Cinnamon Hill Golf Course.

Horseback Riding in Montego Bay‎

Experience the exhilaration of riding bareback on a horse in the warm Caribbean! Explore Jamaica’s countryside and visit an 18th-century plantation on horseback.

No experience needed for these are well-trained horses with experienced guides.

Martha Brae River

One of Montego Bay’s top attractions you can chill out on a bamboo raft while learning about the local history and wildlife from a knowledgeable guide.

Gloucester Avenue

Near Doctor’s Cave Beach is the city’s “Hip Strip.” It boasts some of the city’s best cafes, bars, and art galleries, and souvenir shops.

Rocklands Bird Sanctuary

Where else can you experience a hummingbird feeding on your hand?

This is not a big company attraction. But that is its strength. The Rocklands Bird Sanctuary is in the mountains with panoramic views of Montego Bay.

It’s a wonderful experience for kids and adults.

tings to do in Montego Bay. Feeding hummingbirds
Feeding a Doctor Bird (Colibri) at Rockland

This place is home to hundreds of exotic and species of Hummingbirds.  They descend on you when you arrive at this refuge of a bird sanctuary! This is an unforgettable experience!

Things to do in Ocho Rios

Rainforest Adventures Mystic Mountain Sky Explorer Tour

Get this! Where can you soar 700 feet above the rainforest canopy? You can experience this at Mystic Mountain on the electrifying Sky Explorer chairlift.

Get spectacular views of Dunn’s River Falls. Other views include the Lookout Tower, and Mystic Pavilion, where the famous bobsled ride takes off.

Or relax at the Infinity Edge Pool or reconnect with nature at the Butterfly Garden and Hummingbird Garden, or, go for a walk along the Nature Trail.

Chukka River Tubing & Blue Hole

Treat yourself to a thrill of a lifetime on three miles of stunning White River and gain a new perspective on natural beauty.

Your journey will take you on a breathtaking voyage from the 17th century Spanish Bridge, over limestone riverbeds, under arching bamboo, and past a historic coconut plantation.
 
Then, you’ll travel further down the river to the stunning Blue Hole. Once a well-kept secret, but it looks like the secret is out! Blue Hole is more than just a pool of cool water. The area comprises many water holes, each with beautiful aqua blue water that makes it so inviting to jump in.

You may climb cascades, jump off the rocks into the natural swimming pools. Explore hidden, underwater caves and tunnels, Execute daring dives and swing on vines to drop in the water.

Your guide will make sure you stay safe. The advice is that you swim in the pools when they are clear and blue. After heavy rains the soil comes down from the surrounding gullies to muddy the waters and it does not provide a good experience. So plan your visit when it’s clear and dry. Discover the Blue Hole for yourself!

Dunn’s River Falls

This is where four rivers meet! At Dunn’s River Falls, the Roaring River, Turtle River, Cave River, and Dunn’s River merge to form a waterfall 600 feet (183 metres) high. You can climb it! You can rest on the way up,  or swim in the small pools formed on the waterfall’s terraces. Then admire the lush tropical landscape from the top of the falls.

Things to do in Negril

Discovery Falls

Even closer to Negril are the Discovery Falls. You will find here lots of small waterfalls and walking paths. But the real fun is to take the canopy zip line down. Travel above the forest canopy for 1000 feet and see Jamaica like you never imagined!

Walk 7-Mile Beach

Seven Mile Beach is among the best beaches in Jamaica and a great walk. Miles of white sand, a wide-open ocean gentle lapping the shore, and a clear blue sky. But don’t be too daunted. It may be closer to four miles than seven.

When you walk this beach, you will watch as jet-skis and kayaks work their way through the waves. There are snorkellers and SCUBA divers checking out the coral reefs. There are Catamaran cruises and Glass-Bottom boat rides. And if a long walk is too much to contemplate, you can see it all from a horseback ride along the sand (one of the favourite activities on the beach).

Things to do in Jamaica. Walk 7-Mile Beach Negril
7-Mile Beach Negril

Stop at one of the many restaurants for a lunch of spicy Jamaican fare, jerk chicken or pork and a Red Stripe or rum, to the sound of sweet reggae music.

Travellers place 7-Mile Beach among the best beaches in the world. This place is family friendly. First thing to remember though is to stay hydrated and apply a good factor sunscreen.

Watch a Reggae Sunset

Where are the best romantic sunsets in the Caribbean? You won’t go far wrong in awarding the title to Negril. Not only is it a spectacular event, but also, it’s a free show!

Honeymooners, families, couples and individuals, head down to the beach and for a sensational display.

Stay back after the main event and witness the colours as they continue to change.

The Pelican Bar & Rick’s Cafe

The Pelican Bar is about half a mile from the shore. A palm-thatched roof held up by wooden supports. You can take a tour which includes the Pelican and Rick’s café another iconic venue in Negril.

There are 3 cliffs at Rick’s Cafe at 10 feet, 25 feet, and 35 feet. If you are not into an adrenaline-rush, then sit and watch the action. It’s a great place to spend the afternoon.

Water Sports in Negril

  • Parasailing–you can take part or just enjoy the spectacle of colourful parachutes as they glide along the beach. You can book from one of the vendor’s stalls on the beach.
  • Snorkelling & SCUBA–is a great pastime for a Jamaica holiday. There are perfect conditions in Negril for underwater activity.

Photo spotNegril Lighthouse is worth a visit for a great photo opportunity and the surrounding views.

Things to do in Kingston

Port Royal Heritage Tour

Port Royal was once the busiest city in the Caribbean. It was a bustling trading centre. However, disaster struck many times, and hurricanes and earthquakes ravaged the city. The largest of the earthquakes occurred in 1692, sinking ninety percent of the city.

It is now a sleepy fishing town with remnants of its former glory. However, it is a great place to relax and enjoy the laid-back atmosphere of a town that enjoys the simple life. Although it is close to Kingston, it bears little similarity to the capital. Learn about the ill-gotten wealth of traders during Port Royal’s eventful history Attractions you will see include Fort Charles and the Giddy House. The town is home to museums and acclaimed fish restaurants.

Kingston: Devon House Tour (and Ice Cream Treat)

Journey to Devon House and discover the architectural dream of George Stiebel. He was Jamaica’s first black millionaire. Stiebel, and two other wealthy Jamaicans constructed elaborate homes during the late 19th century. The site at the corner of Trafalgar Road and Hope Road, was known as “Millionaires Corner.”

They demolished the other homes to make way for modern developments. But Stiebel’s legacy lives on within the well-maintained mansion. The Jamaica National Heritage Trust declared it a national monument in 1990.

Devon House Kingston
Devon House Kingston

Other key points:

Firstly, trace the early history of Devon House back to the mid-17th century, when Britain captured Jamaica from Spain.

Secondly, admire the ornate fountains and palm trees on the front lawn. Then, take a guided tour inside the 2-story property.

Thirdly, you will see the balconies, crystal chandeliers, silk wall hangings and period reproductions of the time.

Finally, learn more about West Indian society in the Victorian era. And receive a sweet surprise at the end of your tour!

Kingston: Story of Jamaican Music Tour

Discover what it is about Jamaica that led it to create Reggae music and spawn the musical genius of Bob Marley.

Next, head to a musical studio to immerse yourself in various forms of Jamaican music.

Kingston: Story of Jamaican Music Tour
Bob Marley Statue in Kingston

Further information

History of Jamaica

Weather in Jamaica

You will have the opportunity to interact with professional musicians, and perhaps, record your own musical memory.

Explore Orange Street, known as Music Street. Visit Trench Town, the birthplace of reggae. The 4-hour excursion includes a delicious lunch, after which you’ll head to the Bob Marley Museum to learn about one of Jamaica’s musical giants.

Summary of places to go in Jamaica

All things considered, whether you want an all action holiday, or just your place in the sun, Jamaica has something for you. There are many things to see in Jamaica. Spectacular natural sunsets, the Blue Mountains, and river walks are part of the natural splendor of this Caribbean Island.

There are many fun things to do in Jamaica. It is an ideal destination for families. Then couples can celebrate anniversaries or a honeymoon on romantic beaches or excellent restaurants. Individuals can enjoy many sporting and adventure pursuits. And there is music and a historical colonial legacy. But best of all, the charming Jamaican people.

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