The third largest Caribbean island, Jamaica is home to reggae music, coral reefs, rain forests and a large resource of salt and freshwater fish.
Fresh fish such as mackerel, tuna, snapper and kingfish are served in restaurants along with traditional Jamaican dishes and, of course, locally brewed rum (Appleton). Known as the “hip strip”, the port town of Montego Bay is a popular destination for tourists searching for a lively shopping district, interesting souvenir shops and the best restaurants available on the island. Swimming, sunning, snorkeling, boat rides and enjoying nightly shows at your resort hotel are just a few of the exciting things Jamaica offers for both families and couples.
With all of its hidden treasures, Jamaica is the ultimate getaway for relaxation when searching caribbean vacations. If you are looking for a family trip, honeymoon or wedding destination or just a fun vacation getaway, then Jamaican has much to offer, including: great food, reggae music, beautiful beaches, moutain hiking and other great activities.
Here are some of the places you should include on your trip to Jamaica.
Lazing at YS Falls
The YS Falls is a favorite play land in Jamaica, with an awesome series of 10 waterfalls that offer a wonderland of water fun. Either climb the lower falls or use the stairway to reach a platform beside the highest and grandest waterfall in Jamaica. From this point, you can swing from hanging ropes, bathe in pools under each fall, swim under the main falls and explore the caves behind. This is one of most relaxing vacation highlights in Jamaica.
Boating on Black River
Another favorite highlight in Jamaica is traveling to Black River for a boat safari. The Black River is 44 miles and is Jamaica’s longest river. Its name is derived from the peat moss that lines the bottom of the river and makes the clear water look inky black.
The river is the main source for the Great Morass of Jamaica, a 125 square mile area of wetland. The wetland spreads north and west from Black River, providing a swampy abode for Jamaica’s surviving crocodiles, as well as for its diverse and spectacular bird life.
Tasting the Rum
This getaway wets your whistle with one of Jamaica’s finest products—rum from the Appleton rum estate.
Close to the YS Falls, the Appleton’s Wray & Nephew rum estate in Jamaica occupies a grand setting in the Black River valley, amid sugarcane fields that spread for thousands of acres. This vacation highlight is one of Jamaica’s oldest, with the estate dating 250 years as the oldest producer of rum in the English-speaking Caribbean.
Visiting the National Gallery
Are you into the arts? If so, you definitely want to visit the National Gallery on the waterfront in Kingston, Jamaica. As the main gallery of Jamaica, its superb permanent collection ranges from delicate woodcarvings to royal religious paintings, showcasing the best contemporary art in Jamaica.
Hiking the Blue Mountains
If you enjoy immersing yourself in nature’s beauty, then you will want to hike in the Blue Mountains of Jamaica. The Blue Mountains reach above 7,000 feet and feature quiet country roads that lead to misty forests and mountain trails.
At this grand vacation highlight in Jamaica, you can experience the Rio Grande Valley’s lush beauty throughout the John Crow Mountains. Travel on paths that parallel some of the most beautiful streams and bamboo forests in Jamaica. You can climb Jamaica’s mountainsides, graze through fern-laden valley floors, explore hidden caves and discover secret waterfalls.
Counting Cacti in Hellshire Hills
Hellshire Hills is a getaway that is just southwest of Kingston, Jamaica. Here you will find a desert-like expanse of Makko thorn bushes, as well as beaches sheltered by towering Jamaican cacti.
The primary beauty of this vacation highlight in Jamaica comes from its solitary peacefulness. The only inhabitants within this expanse are migrant birds, conies and Jamaican iguanas, formerly on the brink of extinction. At Hellshire beach, you can kick back and enjoy pristine waters protected by a barrier reef, then take a stroll and eat in some of the finest fish restaurants in Jamaica.
Musing at the Bob Marley Museum
If you’re a reggae fan, you can’t miss the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston, Jamaica. This was Marley’s home in Jamaica from 1975 until 1981, when he died from cancer. The hour-long guided tour gives you a chance to check out awards and concert memorabilia from one of the premier musicians in the history of Jamaica.
Daydreaming at the Devon
The Devon House is another highlight in Kingston, Jamaica. Built by the first black millionaire in Jamaica, building contractor George Stiebel, the Devon House is a sight to see. Born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1820, Stiebel accumulated his fortune by mining gold in Venezuela. He then returned home in 1873 to buy properties throughout Jamaica. One of these properties was Devon Pen, where he built his house.
The Jamaican government bought the house in 1967, decorating it with antiques and modern Jamaican reproductions. Take a leisurely stroll on the vast landscaped grounds during your stay in Jamaica and partake in some of the goodies of Jamaica, such as heavenly homemade ice cream, gooey cakes and Kingston’s best patties.
Touring the Safari
If you want to visit the wilds that range over Ocho Rios, Jamaica, then take a jeep tour. This region of Jamaica is known for its lush vegetation, mountainous slopes, clear streams and breathtaking waterfalls.
The tour delivers you to hidden waterfalls in the backlands of Jamaica in English Range Rovers. Take time to swim in some of the most secluded water holes in Jamaica. Your only companions will be the hummingbirds and bougainvillea that are abundant in this part of Jamaica.
Basking in Botanical Garden Beauty
While in Kingston, Jamaica, visit Castleton Gardens. Giant palm trees, some towering more than 100 feet, surround the entrance of Castleton Gardens. This is probably the best garden in Jamaica and affords you the opportunity to linger amidst exquisite and unusual flower plants, such as Bemoua, Allemanda and Shell Ginger.
Sipping at the Coffee Plantations and Estates
If you haven’t had a cup of Jamaica’s coffee, you have no idea what you are missing. For a taste of java history, visit the coffee plantations and estates of Jamaica. With more than 1,000 acres, Sherwood Forest, Jamaica is one of the largest original Blue Mountain coffee plantations still intact in Jamaica.
This Jamaican plantation has been growing coffee since the late 1700s. Sherwood’s coffee plantings are dispersed in tree-shaded valleys that benefit from the seasonal springs and cool night breezes of Jamaica. The jewel of Sherwood Forest is Big Level, a magnificent 100-acre sloping area at 4,400 feet. With its rich red volcanic soil and the cool mists that drift off Blue Mountain peak, Big Level produces the highest-quality coffee in Jamaica. Take a tour and then have a cup of Jamaica’s best.
Meandering in Montego Bay
Montego Bay, Jamaica, is the country’s premier tourist destination and the second largest city in Jamaica. The city offers a multitude of activities, including one of the top golf courses in the world. Other things to do in Jamaica include scuba diving, fishing charters, sailing, and shopping.
Montego Bay, Jamaica, harbors some of Jamaica’s most scenic, elegant and romantic dining, allowing you to have a day of adventure and a night of good dining.
Nesting in Negril
In Negril, Jamaica, a startling white-sand beach stretches along the Caribbean for nearly seven miles. This is one of the most mellow and charming resort towns in Jamaica, with sleepy tropical charm, sun and solitude. Spend your time taking peaceful walks over the white powder sand, swimming or snorkeling in aquamarine waters. Its craft markets and beach bars are also good places to talk to the Jamaican locals.
For a day of leisurely activity, you can take a horseback ride to the ruins of Whitehall Great House or a boat ride to Booby Cay, Jamaica, the breeding place for the rare blue-footed booby bird. Because of its coral reefs and clear waters, this part of Jamaica is also a diver’s paradise and offers endless water sports.
Ogling in Ocho Rios
Ogling is exactly what you’ll be doing when you visit Ocho Rios, Jamaica, home to some of the most captivating landscape in Jamaica. On this north coast region of Jamaica, you can gaze upon fern-covered cliffs and magnificent waterfalls.
Ocho Rios, Jamaica is a tranquil area that combines popular ports of call with splendid scenery, including a string of dazzling blue bays, tiny fishing villages and sandy coves that attract all sorts of swimmers and sunbathers.
Dunn’s River Falls
Dunn’s River Falls, one of the most popular natural attractions in Jamaica, is also in Ocho Rios. With its 600-foot drop of cascading water, Dunn’s River Falls is often called the Niagara Falls of Jamaica. Climb up its limestone tiers for one of the grandest views in Jamaica and witness why Ocho Rios is often a favorite among tourists to Jamaica.