Jamaica is an island nation in the Caribbean. Tourists visit this island to enjoy the wonderful climate, the stunning beaches, the diverse landscapes, and the Jamaican culture. There are some amazing things you can do during your visit, and many of these are along the spectacular coastline or in the island’s vibrant capital Kingston. However, you will find activities and attractions to enjoy no matter where you are on the island. Regardless of whether you want to spend your time outdoors exploring the island's beauty or if you want to experience the culture, you will find plenty to keep you entertained.To ensure you make the most of your time on this island, you should try to include as many activities in your itinerary as possible. Here are the 20 best things to do in Jamaica, to help you plan ahead.
20. Stroll Around Harbour Street Craft Market
Taking a stroll around Harbour Street Market will give you a better insight into the lives of Jamaicans and their culture. The focus of the market is on handmade crafts, so it is an excellent place to pick up some gifts and souvenirs to commemorate your trip. It is also a good place for people watching ad for grabbing a bite to eat from one of the food stalls that are also open in this market. While food stalls are the most basic dining option, these are where you will find the best examples of the distinctive flavors of Jamaican cuisine. Try some jerk chicken if you can.
19. Splash Around at Kool Runnings Adventure Park
If you want to cool off from the Jamaican sun, then head to Kool Runnings Adventure Park. This water theme park is named after the cult film ‘Cool Runnings’, which is about a group of Jamaicans who from a bobsled team to compete in the Winter Olympics. There are multiple fun slides, pools, and activities to enjoy, and it is a fun place for all the family. There is also an eatery so that you can grab a bite to eat during your visit. You will need a full day to get the most out of this activity.
18. Negril Lighthouse
One of the best-known landmarks on the East coast of Jamaica is the Negril Lighthouse, so it is an interesting structure to see. Take a walk to the lighthouse to enjoy the coastal views and beautiful surroundings. When you reach the lighthouse, it is possible to climb the 130 steps to the top of the building if you are feeling energetic. This is the perfect vantage point to enjoy spectacular views of the coastline and to take photographs, so make sure you take along your camera.
17. Drive or Walk Along Fern Gully
Fern Gully is like nowhere else you will see in the world. It is a winding road that runs through the lush tropical rainforests of Jamaica, so the surroundings are beautiful. What makes this such an unusual road is that it is dotted with street vendors selling everything from handmade goods to traditional Jamaican foods. Regardless of whether you walk along the road or you are enjoying a scenic drive, you will have the chance to meet some of the locals and to peruse the wares of the sellers.
16. Have Some Outdoor Fun at Mystic Mountain Adventure Park
One of the best attractions for families visiting Jamaica is the Mystic Mountain Adventure Park. This outdoor park is set in the rainforest, and it uses natural features as a setting for a fun playground for thrill-seekers. There are ziplines, rope bridges, cable drops, platforms in the trees, and climbing nets to explore. Depending on your abilities and physical fitness, there are various courses you can try. There are easier courses for children.
15. Visit Greenwood Great House
Those who are interested in history and architecture should include a visit to Greenwood Great House on their vacation itinerary. This structure is part of both literary history and the history of Jamaica. Poet Elizabeth Barrett-Browning’s family were some of the first colonial settlers on the island, and this property was built in the 1700s by one of her cousins. Many of the original features of the house have been preserved. There are also some interesting collections, such as a collection of relics from properties slavery history and a wonderful collection of Dresden china.
14. Watch the Sunset and Divers at Rick’s Cafe
If you are looking for a great place to grab a bite to eat, then a popular option is Rick’s Café. However, it is not just the food and drinks that attract people to this café. According to Viator, there are two additional features of the café that make it a great place to dine. The first is its clifftop location, which offers spectacular sea views and it is one of the best places on the island to watch the sunset. Second, you can watch the locals cliff diving. However, it is important to note that this is a very risky activity and not something that you should try yourself.
13. Dive in the Blue Hole
Jamaica is a popular place to visit amongst divers. If you want to explore the underwater magic of this beautiful island, then one of the best spots in the Blue Hole. Set within the mountains of Jamaica, this is a natural beauty spot with a deep water-filled cavern. Waterfalls constantly refill the holes, and the falls create a picturesque backdrop for this natural water feature.
12. Take the Nine Mile Tour
A highlight of a trip to Jamaica for many tourists is taking the nine-mile tour. Rastafarian guides lead this tour, which includes a visit to the former home of Bob Markey and his mausoleum. You will also visit the Mt. Zion Rock, which was a beloved landmark for Bob Marley. On this tour, you will also appreciate the Jamaican scenery and coastline.
11. Try Watersports Along the White River
The White River is a hot spot for tourists who want to try some fun, water-based, outdoor activities. There are lots of option for things that you can do. Some of the most popular activities include canoeing, kayaking, and tubing. There are various companies offering equipment hire and tuition along the banks of the river.
10. Visit the National Gallery of Jamaica
Lonely Planet recommends a visit to the National Gallery of Jamaica. For art enthusiasts, this is the top attraction in Jamaica. This is the finest collection of art on the island, and it focuses on the work of Jamaican artists. However, there is also some work by international artists. Set aside an hour or two to visit this gallery.
9. Play a Round of Golf
Jamaica is a dream for golf enthusiasts, as the golf courses on this island are spectacular. US News recommends White Witch Golf Course in the Montego Bay area of Jamaica. The course sprawls over 200 acres of the Rose Hall Estate, and it was designed by Rick Baril and Robert von Hagge. The terrain of the course is quite hilly, which poses some interesting challenges. Therefore, it is best suited to experienced golfers. Another fantastic golf course is the Tryall Club Golf Course, which is also in Montego Bay.
8. Visit the Bob Marley Museum
One of the most famous celebrities to hail from Jamaica is Bob Marley, so it is little wonder that the Bob Marley Museum is considered one of the best things to do in Jamaica. This is located in the former home and recording studio of the Jamaican singer. Marley lived in this colonial-style home from 1975 until his death in 1981. Much of the property has remained exactly how he left it, and there is also an interesting photograph collection. Visitors can also watch a short film about the legendary Jamaican.
7. Go Bamboo Rafting Down the Martha Brae River
The most popular activity at Martha Brae River is bamboo rafting. You can take a guided bamboo rafting tour that takes you through the tropical interior of the island. These tours often include a stop-off for lunch and the opportunity to swim in the lagoons. One of the highlights of these tours is the stop-off at Luminous Lagoon, which is a natural beauty spot where the water lights up at night due to a natural phenomenon.
6. Take a Rum Tour at Appleton Estate
Rum is probably one of the most famous products of Jamaica, so it makes sense to learn a little more about its production during your vacation. The best place to do this is at the Appleton Estate, which offers rum tours for tourists. This business was founded in 1749, and the tour includes an overview of its history along with information about rum production. At the end of the tour, you can sample different rum varieties, and there is the option to buy some rum to take home.
5. Drink at the Pelican Bar
A top activity to enjoy during a visit to Jamaica is a visit to Pelican Bar, says Getting Stamped. Jamaica is famous for its relaxed bars where you can enjoy vibrant cocktails. While there are many such bars to visit, this one stands out from the rest, not least because it is an adventure getting there. The bar is in the middle of the ocean off the south coast of Jamaica, so it is only accessible by boat. It is an excellent day trip out enjoying the boat ride and a few cocktails.
4. Swim in the Blue Lagoon
There are various ways that you can explore the Blue Lagoon. If you are a confident swimmer, you can go swimming in the deep cool waters. If you prefer to stay dry and warm, then an alternative is to take a boat trip. The lagoon is located about six miles from Port Antonio, and it is surrounded by beautiful gardens. If swimming in natural water is not your thing, you can simply explore the pretty area surrounding the lagoon.
3. Explore Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park
While there are many interesting landscapes to visit on this geographically diverse island, one area not to miss is the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park. You will find this national park along the eastern edge of the island, and it has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2015. It is where the coffee beans are grown for Blue Mountain coffee. The best way to appreciate the beauty of this part of Jamaica is to hike along one of the many trails.
2. Spend Time on the Beaches
The beaches of Jamaica are one of the big draws for tourists. There are some amazing beaches to choose between. Some are best for relaxing, and others are great for family fun or watersports. One of the best beaches is Seven Mile in Negril, along the western coast of the island. However, it is important to note that this stretch of beach is alongside many adults-only hotels and there are some nudist beaches, so this is not the best option if you have children in your party. Another fantastic beach is Boston Beach, and this is a popular spot for surfers.
1. See the Waterfalls
According to US News, the best thing to do in Jamaica is to see the waterfalls. One of the most distinctive features of the Jamaican landscape is its magnificent waterfalls, and there are many of these you can see during your trip. Some of these include Reach Falls, Dunns River Falls, YS Falls, and Mayfield Falls. Try to see as many of these spectacular waterfalls as you can while you are on the island.
Written by Liz Flynn
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