Things to do in Jamaica

Things to do in  Jamaica

The island with a reggae beat

From the open-air markets and colonial landmarks in Kingston and Montego Bay to the laid-back vibe on Negril's Seven Mile Beach, Jamaica something to suit every traveler's style. Vacation in true Caribbean fashion by lounging on the miles of beaches along the Ocho Rios coastline. You'll want to take breaks to taste some local rum, sip a Red Stripe, sample some famous Blue Mountain coffee, or dig into a plate of traditional jerk chicken. The entire azure coastline offers myriad opportunities to swim and snorkel among the coral reefs and the abundance of marine life. A tour guide is the best way to gain insight into the island's musical history, with a visit to the Bob Marley Museum or even Marley's hometown, Nine Mile. Adventure-seekers can take their pick of activities such as ziplining through the jungle canopy; white-water rafting down the Black River; climbing the terraced Dunn's River Falls; hiking to the top of Blue Mountain; or spelunking in one of the many limestone caves that dot the island nation. Don't miss a visit to the Luminous Lagoon, one of the few places in the world where the conditions are just right for swimming and boating in a bioluminescent bay lit up by tiny, harmless dinoflagellates.

Top 15 attractions in Jamaica

Blue Hole

The Blue Hole—alternatively known as the Cool Blue Hole, Secret Falls, or Island Gully—is a natural limestone sinkhole near Ocho Rios. A deep cavern within the tropical mountains of Jamaica, the Blue Hole gets its name from the deep azure hue of the water. Travelers visit to swim, cliff dive, and make their way through the lush rain forest to Secret Falls.More

Dunn's River Falls

Dunn's River Falls is a spectacular White River waterfall near Ocho Rios in Jamaica, where cold mountain water cascades 1,000 feet (300 meters) down naturally terraced steps. Those interested in geology will be fascinated with the way the world-famous falls renew themselves via regular deposits of calcium carbonate and sodium, while movie buffs will recognize them from films such as Dr. No and Cocktail.More

Rick's Café

High on the cliffs outside Negril, Rick’s Cafe is one of Jamaica’s most enduring institutions. Negril was a sleepy fishing village when Rick’s opened in 1974, and travelers and locals alike still make a pilgrimage to the restaurant and bar for strong cocktails, tasty Jamaican dishes, death-defying cliff divers, and sunset viewing parties.More

Appleton Estate

Largely regarded as one of Jamaica’s best rum distilleries, the Appleton Estate has been producing the liquor since 1749. With its sprawling sugarcane plantations and facilities, the estate covers an 11,000-acre (4,452-hectare) plot and makes about 10 million liters of rum per year.More

Martha Brae River

Winding 20 miles (32 kilometers) through Jamaica’s tropical inland rain forests, the turquoise Martha Brae River is an essential stop for nature lovers traveling in this Caribbean country. Visit for a quick rafting trip or take advantage of its privileged position close to other natural attractions and diverse wildlife during your Jamaica vacation.More

Club Mobay Departure Lounge

Start your Montego Bay vacation as soon as you get off the plane at Club Mobay, and then linger in island vibes until the minute you board your flight back home. This luxury lounge in Montego Bay’s Sangster International Airport combines professional services with Jamaican hospitality, making your airport experience part of your vacation.More

Bob Marley Museum

Housed in the former home and recording studio of reggae king Bob Marley, this museum is among the most popular attractions in all of Jamaica. Here you can see Marley’s gold and platinum records, articles of his clothing, and his favorite guitar still resting beside his bed, as well as reminders of a 1976 attempt on his life.More

Rose Hall Great House

The Rose Hall Great House is a grand estate built in the late 18th century in Montego Bay, Jamaica. One of the area’s most popular historic attractions, the Georgian mansion is the centerpiece of a 650-acre (263-hectare) plantation that is most notable for its famous occupant, Annie Palmer—better known as the White Witch of Rose Hall.More

Greenwood Great House

Take a walk through a unique piece of history with a tour of the magnificent hilltop Greenwood Great House. A national landmark, the house was built in the late 1700s by Richard Barrett, a cousin of poet Elizabeth Barrett-Browning, whose family was among Jamaica’s original colonial settlers.More

Hip Strip (Gloucester Avenue)

Buzzing with activity and music day and night, the Hip Strip is the beating heart of Montego Bay. This stretch of Gloucester Avenue—between Aquasol Theme Park and the airport—is the epicenter of tourism entertainment, where the town’s most popular shops, nightclubs, restaurants, bars, and beach hangouts pulsate with fun-seeking travelers.More

Doctor's Cave Beach

Set along Montego Bay’s famous Hip Strip stretch along Gloucester Avenue, Doctor’s Cave Beach is one of the most popular beaches on Jamaica’s west coast. A jumping-off point to the pristine 15-acre (6-hectare) Montego Bay Marine Park, the beach offers easy and direct access to fun water-based activities.More

YS Falls

YS Falls comprises seven waterfalls on the YS River, located in St. Elizabeth Parish on the lush south coast of Jamaica. Often overshadowed by Dunn’s River Falls, YS is worth a visit for its more secluded location and the promise of a less-crowded experience of Jamaica’s natural beauty.More

Rio Bueno

Reportedly the place where Christopher Columbus first set foot on Jamaican soil, Rio Bueno is a small village east of Montego Bay. People come to the area to take part in water sports on the river.More

Devon House

In the capital of Kingston, the 19th-century Devon House mansion is not only unique on the island, but also throughout the Caribbean, as it was the home of George Stiebel, Jamaica’s first black millionaire, offering a rare glimpse of West Indian high society. When you visit the Georgian-style home, you can explore rooms furnished with 19th-century Jamaican and Caribbean antiques, along with original features like the English chandelier bought by Stiebel that still hangs in the ballroom. Today, the house sits on 11 acres of gardens within the city, and the surrounding buildings, including the stables and the kitchen, have been repurposed into shops, art boutiques and cafés. Don’t forget to stop in the courtyard, where you can find a sweet treat at the original location of the now-popular island chain Devon House I Scream.More

Seven Mile Beach

Swaying palm trees, gentle azure waves, and dazzling white sands make Negril’s Seven Mile Beach a postcard-pretty classic. With a nearly permanent spot on myriad “best beaches in the world” lists, you won’t be alone in paradise—but with miles of beach and nearly every water sport available, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for.More

Trip ideas

Top activities in Jamaica

Triple Action pack Combo (Blue Hole, Horse back riding and river tubing)
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Negril & Ricks Cafe Sunset Catamaran Cruise
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Negril & Ricks Cafe Sunset Catamaran Cruise

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Dunn's River Falls Climb plus Ziplines, ATV, Horse Ride & Swim from Montego Bay
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Bamboo Rafting and horseback
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Bamboo Rafting and horseback

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All about Jamaica

When to visit

Jamaica enjoys near-constant sunshine. The weather is best from December through April, when temperatures linger around the 71°F (22°C) mark and trade breezes brush the sands. This season is also busy, so expect everything to be relatively crowded. The island’s festivals also draw visitors; the most popular include January’s Rebel Salute concerts, March’s Carnival season, July’s Reggae Sumfest, and late summer’s Dream Weekend music festival. For quieter experiences, consider the post-hurricane period of November and early December.

Getting around

Public buses reign supreme in Jamaica, but if you take them, be prepared for crowded vehicles and lots of transfers if you need to go a long distance. Taxis (marked by red license plates with PPV or PP on them) can be expensive but are easy to find. If comfort is your priority, your best bet is to rent a car. That said, if you’re only planning occasional sightseeing trips, the best options might be to book guided tours that include transportation or hire a private car and driver.

Traveler tips

Make sure to pack electrical adaptors when heading to Jamaica; the island’s sockets vary from 110 volts to 220 volts, and not all hotels will have appropriate connectors. You should also be prepared for the island’s somewhat limited banking hours. Most banks are open from 9am to 2pm Monday through Thursday and from 9am to 4pm on Fridays. Foreign exchange stands in resorts and supermarkets are often more convenient.


People Also Ask

What is Jamaica known for?

Some of Jamaica’s major claims to fame include turquoise seas, beaches, mountains, waterfalls, rainforests, coral reefs, sunshine, and reggae—the latter linked to the island’s favorite son, Bob Marley. Also popular are the bustling capital of Kingston and entertainment-packed tourist hot spots of Montego Bay, Negril, and Ochos Rios.

Is there a lot to do in Jamaica?

Yes, Jamaica has plenty to do, including sunbathing, snorkeling, and diving in the Caribbean. Tour a rum distillery or plantation house, go river rafting, climb Dunn’s River Falls, swim in sinkholes, play golf, and visit the Bob Marley Museum. Kingston’s colonial-era sights beckon, while foodies enjoy the local Creole cuisine.

What is the number one attraction in Jamaica?

Most tourists visit Jamaica for its beaches and near-endless sunshine, but it boasts other draws. Topping the most-visited lists are the terraced Dunn’s River Falls where visitors climb upwards through the cascades, Blue Hole sinkhole, and Kingston and Montego Bay—the latter popular for its white sand, golf, diving, and restaurants.

How many days in Jamaica is enough?

A week is enough for experiencing Jamaica’s essentials: lazing on the beach, getting out on the water, and visiting must-sees like Kingston or Dunn’s River Falls. However, two weeks lets you dig deeper. Explore the interior, try experiences like river rafting and rum tasting, and wallow in the mellow vibes.

What is the nicest part of Jamaica to visit?

The nicest part of Jamaica depends on your interests. For beach lovers, Negril’s Seven Mile and Montego Bay’s Doctor Cave beaches are ideal with their swaying palms, beach bars, and reggae parties. For tropical scenery, peace, and adventure, the Blue Mountains, Martha Brae River, and the island’s forested waterfalls are best.

Is Jamaica safe to travel to?

Jamaica is relatively safe, providing you stay vigilant. Crime is high in parts of Montego Bay and Kingston, but wherever you are, exercise caution and take steps to protect against pickpocketing and scams. Don’t flaunt cash or high-value items, and avoid using public transport or walking alone at night.

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