There is no shortage of Caribbean islands to visit, but without a doubt Jamaica is one of the best. Gorgeous views, crystal clear turquoise and azure water, friendly people, great food, and beautiful beaches can be found everywhere you turn.
While you should of course plan to spend plenty of time at the beach, there are also lots of other things to do. Let’s look at the top 10 things to do in Jamaica, in no particular order.
10 Dunn’s River Falls
Located in Ocho Rios, this is a must-see attraction. Not only is it a great place to take gorgeous pictures, but it gives you lots of opportunity for fun in the sun.
Whether you choose to lay out on the beach, climb the 900 feet to the top of the falls (water shoes are a must), go jet-skiing, or just want to enjoy the beautiful scenery, you should plan to spend a large part of the day here.
There are plenty of local vendors on hand selling their crafts, so be forewarned that you leave with far more than you came in with.
9 Blue Hole
Located in Ocho Rios, Blue Hole is run by locals and is not commercialized like Dunn’s.
The stunning beauty of the scenery can be quite mesmerizing. Combined with the peace and quiet of the location, it is a perfect place to spend the day relaxing.
To get into the gorgeous, clean water, you have a few options. You can make the 6ft jump (plenty of people do), swing in on a rope like Tarzan, or climb down the rocks to the water.
Make certain you make the five to ten minute hike to the waterfall for a truly spectacular site. While vendors are not in the area, there is a bar located at the falls so you can get a quick drink.
8 Rick’s Café
Located in Negril, Rick’s is one of the best places to have fun, watch risk-takers (or do it yourself!) dive off the cliffs located 35 feet above the turquoise water, view one of the most gorgeous sunsets anywhere in the world, and grab something great to eat while taking in the impressive sights.
With everything from lobster to filet mignon, jerk chicken, and shrimp alfredo, there is something that everyone in your group is certain to enjoy.
Rick’s spans 1.5 acres and has amazing staff who know everything about the area. Many employees are happy to let you in on the fact that they have worked there since day one, over 20 years ago.
7 Mystic Mountain
Located in Ocho Rios, Mystic Mountain gives you the opportunity to do things that you will not experience anywhere else in world. For example, bobsledding through the rain forest is a top choice of visitors.
Other fun options include zip lining, taking a relaxing chairlift ride 700 feet above the Jamaican rainforest, or sliding down the Mystic Waterslide, a 252 feet slide that dumps you out into a gorgeous infinity pool.
For visitors who are simply looking to relax, the Hummingbird Garden and Butterfly Attraction Garden are the perfect places to explore. Of course, there are plenty of shopping opportunities at Mystic Mountain as well.
An integral part of the Jamaican experience is partaking in the local food options. Now is the time to expand your palate and Scotchie’s is just the place to do that.
Located in Montego Bay, it is home to what many natives and tourists consider to be the best jerk chicken, pork, sausage, fish, and more on the island.
It is a local hangout with a very laid back atmosphere, but they are very welcoming to tourists. The staff is friendly, the service is fast, and the food is delicious.
Scotchie’s hasn’t quite made it to this century, so they do not have a website. However, they are located on Falmouth Rd. and almost anyone on the island will happily direct you there.
5 Rose Hall Plantation
Perfect for anyone who questions whether or not ghosts are real, Rose Hall is a stunning mansion full of flawlessly preserved antiques and is set perfectly atop a hill for outstanding ocean views.
It is also said to be home to Annie Palmer, otherwise known as the White Witch, who lived in the home during the early 1800s. Famous throughout Jamaica for her “inhumane cruelty”, Annie experienced a life marred by love triangles and betrayal.
To make up for it, she killed numerous lovers, slaves, and husbands. She was later killed by a slave and is thought to still haunt the grounds.
4 Green Grotto Caves
Located in Runaway Bay, the Green Grotto Caves are full of history. While it operated as a nightclub in the 90s, it was once a safe haven for those escaping slavery.
Extremely knowledgeable tour guides lead you through the dark and mysterious caverns while giving you a detailed account of the cave’s history. The amazing lake located in the bottom of the cave is known for harboring its share of snakes, so watch out.
There are also plenty of bats that live in the caves, though they leave tourists alone. It’s a great idea to spend a few hours here and then stop by Scotchie’s after you have worked up an appetite.
3 Dolphin Cove
Located in Ocho Rios, Dolphin Cove Jamaica is a natural cove that gives visitors the opportunity to swim with the dolphins in their natural habitat. In addition, you can hold, feed, and swim with the Caribbean sharks.
For even more excitement, you can opt to go snorkeling alongside the stingrays. If you are not certain about entering the water, you can opt to take a glass-bottom kayak ride out or catch one of their entertaining Shark Shows.
The cove is surrounded by 5 acres of rainforest giving visitors the chance to see iguanas, exotic birds, and snakes.
2 Ahhh…Ras Natango Gallery and Garden
Located in the hills above Montego Bay, Ahhh is an exquisite garden and art gallery that is packed with information on the Jamaican way of life, as well as the island’s history, plants, and culture.
You have the opportunity to watch the artists as they create their own authentic Jamaican crafts or they are more than happy to help you create your own.
The Gallery and Garden are owned by a family, Ras, Tamika, and Ayale who have gone out of their way to create a retreat unlike any other. Best of all, they will come pick you up and take you back to your resort when your day is complete.
1 Take time out for shopping
Don’t forget to shop! There are artisans set up all over the place with a huge assortment of gorgeous items for sale, from handmade jewelry to beautiful paintings, unique wood carvings, strong Jamaican coffee beans, baskets weaved by hand, and much more.
Sure there are plenty of gift shops on the island, but some of the most amazing finds can be found on the streets and at markets being sold by local vendors. Bargaining is expected and can be quite fun. You’ll be amazed at what you can find.