There's more to Jamaica than the beautiful fine sand beaches and sunshine - so tear yourself away from the lounger, take to the road and head for the mountains, caves, reefs and rivers that make Jamaica such a wonderful holiday destination.
Things to do in Jamaica include:
- Explore the majestic Blue Mountains on foot or by bicycle, where you will find charming villages, coffee plantations waterfalls and spectacular views.
- Go horseriding, with tours available that combine riding along scenic mountain trails and on white beaches with swimming on horseback in the Caribbean Sea.
- Enjoy a day out at Mystic Mountain where attractions include zip lining, bobsledding and a hummingbird garden.
- Go tubing down White River or rafting along Rio Grande on a traditional bamboo raft.
- Climb to the top of Dunn’s River Falls, a natural wonder consisting of a series of beautiful waterfalls and pools.
- Swim with dolphins at Dolphin Cove in either Montego Bay or Ocho Rios, or with stingrays at Stingray City on James Bond Beach.
- Discover the places in Jamaica that are related to James Bond including GoldenEye, where Ian Fleming wrote the original books. Destinations used in the filming of Dr. No include James Bond Beach and Laughing Waters Beach where Ursula Andress emerged from the sea.
- Witness the colourful underwater world found around coral reefs by going scuba diving or snorkeling, or admire the marine life from above the water on a glass-bottom boat trip.
- Explore the unspoiled interior of Jamaica on an off-road safari by jeep or by quad bike.
- Take a tour of the Green Grotto Caves where you will find intriguing rock formations and grottos in the caverns.
- Go on a nighttime excursion to ‘Glistening Waters’, a luminous lagoon on the north coast where the water is filled with organisms which glow when disturbed.
- Take part in water sports including kayaking, surfing, sailing and stand up paddle boarding.
- Shopping enthusiasts will be able to buy local souvenirs produced by Jamaican artists and craftsmen as well as luxurious designer products from duty free shops
See ‘When to go’ for more information about local events.
There are a number of historical and cultural sites allowing visitors to step back in time and discover the island’s culture:
- Kingston, Jamaica’s cosmopolitan capital city which is home to a variety of attractions including the Bob Marley Museum (see below), the National Gallery, Natural History Museum, National Heroes Park and Port Royal.
- Port Antonio, a waterside town set between mountains and two harbours in the north east of the island, where the nearby Blue Lagoon is a popular spot to go swimming thanks to the turquoise water and lush surroundings.
- Bob Marley Museum, a colonial-style house in Kingston where Bob Marley lived and recorded music in the years before his death. Visitors can take a tour which provides an insight into the famous musician’s life.
- The Royal Botanical Gardens, commonly called “Hope Gardens”, a haven of tranquility which are the largest of their kind in the Caribbean. The grounds feature a cactus garden, fountains, greenhouses, an orchid house and zoo.
- Firefly, a simple house built and lived in by Sir Noël Coward on the site of a pirate’s look out on the north coast of the island. The house is now open as a museum and is where the English playwright and actor was buried.
- Appleton Rum Estate, where visitors can take a tour which gives an insight into the history of rum and the rum-making process.
- Historical plantations and sugar estates such as the Good Hope Estate, Rose Hall and Bellefield Great House.
Jamaican cuisine has been influenced by a variety of cultures including the indigenous population as well as the Spanish, British, African, Indian and Chinese who have all inhabited the island.
Jerk seasoning is one of the most famous Jamaican flavours, usually applied to pork or chicken and grilled over charcoal in a steel drum. Other popular dishes include curry goat, rice and peas, saltfish and fried plantain, all of which can be found at street food shacks and local restaurants across the island.
There are many fine restaurants in the main resort areas as well as a multitude of bars and music venues, with both lively and laid-back options catering for different tastes.