Known as the “Birthplace of Reggae”, Jamaica is the island nation that gave the world Bob Marley and other reggae greats. A treasure trove of natural jewels and boasting a colorful and vibrant African vibe, it is one of the most popular holiday destinations in the Caribbean. If you are a nature lover, you will never find a shortage of things to do, like hiking in the emerald green jungles and snorkeling or diving in the fringing reefs that thrive with amazing marine life. You can also explore the major cities in Jamaica, including Port Antonio, Ocho Rios, Montego Bay, Negril and of course, the country’s capital, Kingston – they are all perfect for immersing yourself in this beautiful country’s history and culture.
10 Best Attractions in Jamaica
Here is a look at 10 of the best places you must visit during your stay in amazing Jamaica:
Also known as Seven Mile Beach, a trip to Jamaica is not complete without a visit to one of its most famous beaches. Pristine white sand, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and palm trees make up this picturesque beach located just over an hour away from Montego Bay. While it is always tranquil as it is sheltered by one of the great reefs of Jamaica, you will never be short of exciting and fun things to do – you can take your pick from boat rides, scuba diving, kayaking, horseback riding, and snorkeling. Of course, there is also the usual lazing under the beautiful Caribbean sky!
If you are a nature lover, you will absolutely love Reach Falls, which you will find in the rustic parish of Portland. The surrounding foliage adds to the beauty of the falls which has refreshing, sparkling blue water gushing down. You can go on guided tours of once-secret paths and caves that are believed to be used by slaves to avoid being found by their masters. There are areas where you can have a picnic too! Explore the underground caves and rocky footpaths in Reach Falls for a slice of history and adventure.
Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park
Inscribed into the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in 2015, the spectacular Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park is renowned for its rich natural and cultural heritage. The park was once a refuge for the indigenous Taino and former slaves who fled to escape slavery. Within the unspoiled preserve’s borders, you can go on an adventure and explore lush rainforests, jungle-clad mountains, coffee plantations and waterfalls. Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park, is also home to countless species of exotic plants, animals, and birds, as well as the second largest butterfly in the world, making it a fantastic place for an off-road adventure.
Dunn’s River Falls
One of the most famous natural attractions in Jamaica, Dunn’s River Falls encompasses 180 meters of gently terraced, gorgeous waterfalls. The falls tumble over limestone ledges and rocks into the sea. With the guidance and assistance of a trained guide, you can climb the natural tiers and go for a cooling swim in the refreshing pools you will find at the base of the falls. You can go on a guided hike to Dunn’s River Falls or opt for a cruise from Montego Bay or Ocho Rios, a great way to enjoy the ocean’s beauty as you make your way to the renowned falls.
Rose Hall Great House
Located in Montego Bay and built in 1770, Rose Hall is a magnificently restored plantation house with awe-inspiring views of the ocean. According to legend, the Great House was once ruled by Annie Palmer, who was also known as the white witch, with an iron fist and cruelty. Her home today is decorated with period furniture and makes for an interesting tour. With tales of ghost sightings and other creepy stories, you can go for an evening candlelit tour. For the faint of heart, there is always a day tour too.
Surrounded by cattle land and sugar estates, Falmouth is one of the best preserved Georgian towns in the Caribbean. A major port once upon a time, the town is dotted with superb examples of Georgian architecture from the 19th century, including a superb restoration of the courthouse. A major tourist attraction you should definitely visit while in Falmouth is the Greenwood Great House, which was built by Richard Barrette, a relative of renowned poet, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, in 1790. Today, the Great House is a museum which boasts an impressive collection of period furniture as well as a rare collection of Wedgwood china and musical instruments. During your stay in Falmouth, you should also explore Good Hope Plantation, Luminous Lagoon and Red Stripe and Burwood Beach.
Rainforest Adventures Mystic Mountain
If you are looking for the perfect place to get panoramic views of Ocho Rios and the sea and have a thrilling adventure at the same time, you will love Rainforest Adventures Mystic Mountain. A chairlift that ascends the mountain, called the Sky Explorer, gives you an unforgettable view of the town and the water around it. For those looking for thrills and spills, zoom down the mountain on a single-person roller coaster ride called Bobsled Jamaica or glide through the treetops on zip lines. Some of the other attractions you will find here include hummingbird and butterfly gardens, guided nature walks, and an infinity pool and waterslide.
When you visit Jamaica, you should not miss going to Kingston, located at the foot of the Blue Mountains. While it is still a little rough and gritty around the edges, the country’s capital city has plenty of attractions to offer – you can explore them on guided tours. While you are here, you should definitely visit the Bob Marley Museum as well as the Town Culture Yard Museum, located in the ghetto that gave birth to reggae music. Other attractions in Kingston include the historic Devon House, Natural History Museum, National Heroes Park and the National Gallery. If you are lucky, you can enjoy a music concert at Emancipation Park, a green space studded with palm trees smack-dab in the middle of the city.
Once called The Blue Hole, Blue Lagoon was renamed after the hit movie ‘Blue Lagoon’ was shot here and made it a famous attraction. If you are looking to escape to paradise, this is the perfect place to go. Mineral springs bring fresh water that flows into the Caribbean sea’s salt water, creating the unique natural phenomenon known as the Blue Lagoon. One of the most amazing things about this spot is that the color of the water changes from either turquoise, royal blue or sapphire colored, depending on how the sun hits the water. You can go on serene bamboo raft rides or leisurely boat rides on the lagoon – both options are affordable and worth the trip and the cost.
Doctor’s Cave Beach
Considered Montego Bay’s best beach, Doctor’s Cave is a beach you should definitely make a part of your Jamaican tour. Conveniently located on the popular Hip Strip, this is a popular beach among tourists and locals alike. Although the beach’s namesake cave was destroyed by a 1932 hurricane, you can still have the perfect beach getaway at Doctor’s Cave Beach. The Montego Bay Marine Park is situated on the same grounds as the beach – a superb nature reserve where you can explore the grounds with a guide or hire a canoe and go on a leisurely ride to enjoy the flora and fauna found everywhere on the reserve.
Needless to say, Jamaica is one of the most beautiful and diversely interesting places you can visit in the world. It is an eclectic blend of natural beauty, rich and diverse roots and culture and an ever-growing modern, urban vibe. These are just a handful of the countless attractions that await you. Whether you are looking for a tranquil vacation to enjoy Jamaica’s natural attractions or a fun-filled trip with reggae music and adventure sports, it has it all. If you are planning a vacation this year, you should definitely head to Jamaica.