Best Things To Do in Jamaica
Whether you picture yourself dozing on the beach or hiking up a mountain, exploring underwater worlds or playing a round of golf, you won't be bored in Jamaica. The island can be especially terrific for active travelers. If you're staying in Ocho Rios, you should climb through Dunn's River Falls and Park. If you're in Montego Bay, you have to try out the best golf greens – particularly the Tryall Club or White Witch Golf Course. Negril is all about the sand – a Seven Mile stretch of it, to be specific. If you're on the hunt for some of the island's more heart-pumping activities like zip lining and ATV rides, sign up for one of the best tours in Jamaica.
Updated February 20, 2020
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If you're staying in Ocho Rios or just visiting for the day from a cruise ship, travelers insist you allot a couple of hours to climb the Dunn's River Falls. You can take a guided climb of the waterfall, hike a trail alongside it or just recline and relax on the beach at the bottom.
Vacationers say that climbing along the rocks to the top of the falls isn't rigorous, but it can be slippery. Recent visitors said you can keep your footing by wearing water shoes. Given that you'll be splashed, then soaked by the cascading water on the ascent – and some say it's a bit dangerous – it's best if you leave your young kids (or any vacation buddies who aren't strong swimmers) at the foot of the falls. The attractions recommends allotting 45 minutes to an hour to climb the falls.
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Check your calendar before taking your tots to the cumin-colored sands of this western beach in Negril. Like its name suggests, Seven Mile has plenty of space for you to find a spot, but you'll share the area with a few adults-only resorts, as well as those who like to sunbathe in the nude. When the sun goes down, the sandy spread becomes a popular party spot.
Recent travelers said Seven Mile features the clearest water they've ever seen, with others calling it perfect. Still similar to a lot of Jamaican beaches, Seven Mile sometimes has vendors who can often be persistent in hopes of selling everything from crafts to beer to fresh lobster. A simple "no, thank you" will often suffice, but don't be surprised if a vendor is unrelenting.
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Along Jamaica's eastern edge, you'll find the majestic Blue and John Crow Mountains, the fountainhead of the fragrant Blue Mountain Coffee and a scenic masterpiece for nature lovers. In fact, in 2015 it was named a UNESCO World Heritage site. Most vacationers' experience with the Blue Mountains is limited to sipping the coffee, but if you have the time and the stamina, journey to the area to behold the mountains or to hike through them.
Hiking and camping in Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park is strenuous and not for the faint of heart. The peak of the range rises to an altitude of 7,402 feet, and the higher you climb, the craggier the terrain and the cooler and more humid the weather. Remember to dress in layers for your hike, and bring plenty of water to stay hydrated.
- #4View all Photos#4 in JamaicaBeachesTYPEHalf Day to Full DayTIME TO SPENDBeachesTYPEHalf Day to Full DayTIME TO SPEND
Sitting less than 10 miles east of Port Antonio's town center, Boston Beach is known for its clear waters' surfer-friendly waves and the shore's soft, powder-white sands. But even more prominently, Boston Beach is renowned for its delicious, authentically Jamaican eats. This beach claims to be the birthplace of jerk seasoning, so come hungry and ready to taste-test at the nearby Boston Jerk Center, which features jerk foods. You might even enjoy some live music while sampling the flavors.
The water here can get a bit rough, which is why it's a favored spot among surfers. But for that reason, it's not the best beach for young children.
- #5View all Photos#5 in JamaicaBeaches, Natural Wonders, SightseeingTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPENDBeaches, Natural Wonders, SightseeingTYPE1 to 2 hoursTIME TO SPEND
Seen the Brooke Shields movie of the same name? This is your chance to live it (though with your swimsuit on, please). Travelers recommend this central Port Antonio lagoon for its breathtaking water and surrounding gardens. Like its name suggests, the Blue Lagoon is a vibrant cobalt color that's worth snapping a few pictures and swimming a few laps around. The water is cool, very deep (approximately 200 feet, according to some reports) and a mix of saltwater and freshwater fed by a nearby mineral spring. Throughout the day as the angle of the sun changes, the water appears to be different shades of blue. You'll find the lagoon about 6 miles east of Port Antonio.
The best way to experience the Blue Lagoon is on a boat or rafting tour, according to recent visitors. If you're not part of an organized tour, it's wise to visit the lagoon with a group; because of the lagoon's depth and seclusion, it can quickly become dangerous if you happen to get into trouble swimming.
- #6View all Photos#6 in JamaicaBeachesTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDBeachesTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND
Doctor's Cave is one of the most visited beaches in Montego Bay. But it does charge an entry fee, which can serve as a deterrent for some. Many, however, are willing to fork over the dollars to enter Doctor's Cave, play in the quiet waves, enjoy the safety of lifeguards and have ready access to the available water sports, changing rooms and beach bars. The beach's popularity means that you're likely to encounter crowds (especially on days when cruise ships are in Montego Bay's port) and high food prices.
A trip to Doctor's Cave means you'll have the opportunity to rent equipment for snorkeling, kayaking, riding water scooters and other aquatic activities. Umbrellas, towels and beach chairs are also available for rent. But some travelers were chagrined at all the nickeling and diming, even though they admit to having a great experience.
- #7View all Photos#7 in JamaicaGolfTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDGolfTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND
The 18 holes of the White Witch Golf Course sprawl across 200 acres of the Rose Hall Estate. Designed by revered course architects Robert von Hagge and Rick Baril, White Witch is praised for its stunning landscape and helpful staff. In fact, 16 of its holes feature ocean views. If you're a beginner or moderate golfer, White Witch will likely be challenging for you – its hilly terrain has been described as a "roller coaster" by some travelers.
Some golfers recommend scheduling early tee times to beat the heat, but if you're looking to save some cash, you'll be able to do so booking tee times later in the day, especially after 1:30 p.m.
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Take some time out of your sunning and swimming to pay homage to a musical legend. Located in Kingston, this museum occupies the former home of Bob Marley. Inside, you'll see personal artifacts, Marley's personal recording studio and his bedroom, among other highlights. Be sure to snap a few photos by the surrounding fence, decked out in Rastafarian "ice, gold and green" (or red, yellow and green).
Keep in mind that this site can get very busy, which made the experience disappointing for some. Still, others said their tour guides made Marley and his music come alive.
- #9View all Photos#9 in JamaicaGolfTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPENDGolfTYPE2 hours to Half DayTIME TO SPEND
Tryall Club Golf Course isn't technically in Montego Bay (it's actually located about 15 miles east of the Tryall Club resort), but recent guests agreed Tryall is worth the trek as it's one of the most challenging courses in the area. This course is an 18-hole, par-71 championship green designed by architect Ralph Plummer and recognized for its beauty alongside the Caribbean Sea, according to recent travelers. Some also highlight the fantastic golf clinics that the course offers.
As evidence of the green's notable landscape and challenging holes, Tryall has been host to several golf championships, including The Johnnie Walker World Championship and the Mazda Championship.
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