I know Jamaica for its pristine white sandy beaches and I know you’ve heard of the impact of the great reggae icon Bob Marley, his music and current legacy. But that isn’t all there is to the third largest island in the Caribbean. While the island is small, there are a ton of things to do in Jamaica.
From beautiful waterfalls nestled in off beaten path, mesmerising coral reefs to watching the most stunning sunsets in the Caribbean and chic all-inclusive resorts, Jamaica packs quite a big punch for such a small island.
Whether you are looking to sailing through the rainforest canopy on a bobsled, a water baby like me that loves to be out in the Caribbean Sea or you’re interested in relaxing at the beach with a cocktail in hand, here are 27 of the best things to do in Jamaica. Grouped into what you can do in the Island’s different parishes depending on where you’ll be staying in Jamaica.
You can also read more in my Jamaica series of posts like is it safe to travel to Jamaica, the best things to do in Ocho Rios and where to stay in Jamaica all from a proud Jamaican.
Watch my instastories for my Jamaica highlights
You will never need to wonder what to do in Jamaica again!
Table of Contents
- 1 Best Things to Do In Ocho Rios Jamaica
- 3 Best Things to Do In Treasure Beach
- 4 Best Things to Do In Kingston Jamaica
- 5 Best Things to Do In Falmouth Jamaica
- 6 Best Things to Do in Negril Jamaica
- 7 Best Things to Do In Montego Bay Jamaica
- 8 Best Things to Do In Port Antonio
- 9 Unique Things to Do In Jamaica
Best Things to Do In Ocho Rios Jamaica
Irie Blue Hole
Cushioned in the hills overhead in Ocho Rios, the Blue Hole is a serene oasis of beauty. The crystal clear blue water is a sight to behold – perfect for swimming – while the lush greenery and waterfall make for the perfect backdrop for those holidays snaps (read my guide on how to get amazing holiday photos).
Sitting below the hills of the busy town, the Blue Hole is a great alternative to the ever-crowded and touristy Dunn’s River. Visitors can choose a range of tour options, including lunch, stops at other attractions in Jamaica, and shopping opportunities. This is one of my picks for the top 10 things to do in Jamaica.
Visit Dunn’s River Falls
Widely regarded as one of the most beautiful places in Jamaica and a national treasure, Dunn’s River Falls is one of the few waterfalls in the world that empties into a sea.
Its unique terrace is great for climbing as it offers breathtaking views as the waters cascade into the Caribbean Sea. Visitors can either climb on their own or with the help of a trained guide. Though the climb typically lasts between 60 and 90 minutes, it will take longer if you are looking to spend time splashing about in the deeper sections of the falls or just having your body being massaged by the heavy flow of water at other sections.
This is one of my picks for the top five things to do in Jamaica and something you should not miss when visiting Jamaica.
I highly recommend you go on a guided tour of the falls as your guide will show you where you should walk or where to place your feet along the falls. They’ll also stop and take any group photos.
JAMAICA TRAVEL TIPS – This is one activity you’ll need your GoPro for, especially if you want to submerge yourself on parts of the falls where the current of the water gets strong.
Also make sure you check the dates for when the cruise ships dock in Ocho Rios (as this is a port parish), as this means that the falls will be more crowded than usual and the climb will take longer. I have visited the fall both time and recommend avoiding the days when a cruise as dock if you can help it.
You’ll also need a waterproof shoe to climb the falls, you can rent these but I suggest you buying your own shoes especially if you plan on doing multiple water activities in Jamaica as I did.
I also recommend doing tour activities together to reduce cost and really maximise your time on the island.
Check here for tickets to Dunns’ River Falls and Green Grotto Caves or catamaran party boat tour which includes snorkelling and Dunn‘s River Falls.
Green Grotto Caves
One of the most stunning natural attractions in Jamaica, the Green Grotto Caves is carefully nestled on the Island’s beautiful north coast. The limestone cave is made up of interconnected network of caverns and passages, which are filled with stalagmites, stalactites, and other mineral forms.
Visitors here can journey through the 12-meter deep cave to explore the amazing network, underground lake, and other exquisite formations. The Green Grotto Caves is one of the top tourist attractions in Jamaica.
Tours into the cave take about an hour and a trained guide must accompany every visitor.
Check here for tickets to the Green Grotto Caves.
Though many people are against the treatment of animals for entertainment. I will not judge someone for wanting to see or interact with these gentle captures. Because guess what, I’ve interacted with dolphins before when I first travelled, it is not something I would do now, but to this day it is one of the best experienced I’ve had and a treasured travel memory.
Now everyone is an adult and can decide for themselves if this is an experience they would like to take part in (I am not here to beat you with a judgemental stick or ride on my moral high horse). What I would advise is to do your research into how the animals are being treated.
Dolphin Cove is a beautiful natural park in Ocho Rios where you get to interact with amazing creatures in their natural environment. The highlight of your time here will be an opportunity to swim with the dolphins. However, you can also enjoy strolling along a nature trail which offers you an opportunity to marvel at the exotic birds, iguanas, and snakes relaxing on the white sandy beaches.
Fern Gully is a scenic three-mile stretch that begins in Ocho Rios and brings visitors to the town of Colgate. The road runs along a route with so many twists and turns and even a dried-up river bed.
It is also shaded by a tunnel beautified by lush greenery, and as the name implies, there are over 300 varieties of fern in the area.
Bob Marley Mausoleum
Born and raised in Nine Mile, Bob Marley is a legendary entertainer and one of the most famous Jamaicans ever. Following his death, he was laid to rest alongside his mother Cedella Booker and his half-brother Anthony Booker in the Bob Marley Mausoleum, a small museum managed by Bob Marley’s family.
The tours are typically led by Rastafarian guides who entertain guests with Marley’s songs and explain the various pieces that make up the memorabilia in the home, including the famous “rock pillow” where Bob Marley often rests his head when he needed inspiration.
Best Things to Do In Treasure Beach
Tucked away half a mile off the Treasure Beach coast, Pelican Bar is a wooden, rustic bar built in the middle of the sea. The fun part of this attraction spot is that you can literally spend the whole day here doing nothing besides drinking a few cold drinks, swimming in the shallow waters, and sunbathing.
If you successfully make it to the country’s south coast, you do not want to miss the most unique bar in Jamaica.
The Pelican Bar is one of the top attractions in Jamaica and is right up there with unique things to do in Jamaica. Even if it takes a good 3 hours to get there from either Ocho Rios or Negril, it will be worth it.
The largest freshwater wetland in Jamaica, Black River is a 33-mile long water body that was once thought to be the longest river in the country until it lost that title to Rio Minho.
The water body is a great place to find a wide variety of bird species, see crocodiles, and learn about different plants including mangroves. This is one of the best parts of Jamaica to visit.
The YS Falls is one of those activities you have to do in Jamaica. The YS Falls is a beautiful seven-tiered cascading waterfall surrounding by lush green jungle and a wading pool fed by underground springs where you can do river tubing and canopy rides.
You can easily spend your entire day here if you are looking to enjoy an attraction with lots of activities and amazing views. Both the YS and Dunn’s River Falls are considered two of the best waterfalls in Jamaica.
Check here for combine tickets to YS Falls and Dunn’s River Falls or just the YS Falls on its own.
Appleton Estate Rum Tour
The oldest and most famous of all the sugar-cane estates in Jamaica, Appleton Estate Rum is a glorious and fertile land that houses a wide variety of sugar canes, rums, and rum creams. Your tour will be interactive and informative as your trained guide takes you through this unique expanse of land.
The Appleton Estate Rum Tour is another fun thing to do in Jamaica. Just remember to have some carbs to absorb the alcohol before your tour (you guys can’t say I don’t care about my readers).
Check here for tickets to the Appleton Estate Rum Tour
Best Things to Do In Kingston Jamaica
The Blue Mountains & John Crow Mountains National Park
The Blue Mountains is Jamaica’s UNESCO World Heritage site – is a preserve paradise with breathtaking mountain vistas, waterfalls, hiking trails, exotic plants and animals, especially for nature lovers.
Spanning across a 200,000-acre-space, the tropical rainforest is home to about 800 species of endemic plants, over 200 birds, and the famous Blue Mountain Coffee. There are lots of exciting things to do here, and the highlight for visitors is the hike up to the mountain peak (7,402 feet) to watch Jamaica’s sunrise. This is one of my picks for the top five things to do in Jamaica especially if you are a coffee lover like me!
Bob Marley Museum
The Bob Marley Mausoleum is not only one of the most famous places to in Jamaica but it is hands down one of the top five things to do in Jamaica. The Tour of the Bob Marley Museum was amongst the highlight of a recent trip to Jamaica.
If you are a lover of good music, a musician or play a musical instrument you should not miss this tour!
Located inside one of the former homes of the reggae legend, the Bob Marley Museum was first created by his wife and it houses many of his personal treasures. From his favourite guitar which seats in his bedroom to the media clippings in a dedicated room, there are lots on offer.
Besides the main exhibit that welcomes visitors, an 80-seater theatre hall, Grammy’s, the original recording studio he recording countless hit recorders in, gift shop, a gallery of photographs, and a café that specialises in preparing Jamaican cuisines makes for an entertaining experience. You’ll be taken on a guided tour which lasts about an hour and 15 minutes. Photos or videos are not allowed in the museum.
You’ll also see the bullet holes from when the gunmen tried to assassinate him and watch a 30-minute documentary on his life.
If like me you’re also a big fan of his son Damien Marley, this is also the studio he reordered the famous hit “Welcome to Jamrock” and where they re-record the “turn your lights down low” record with Lauryn Hill.
I can’t rave enough about this tour! You’ll love it.
Check here for tickets to this unbelievable tour of The Bob Marley Museum.
Devon House Mansion
Constructed by George Stiebel (Jamaica’s first black millionaire) in the late 19th century, the Devon House Mansion is one of Jamaica’s historical landmarks.
The national heritage site is now open for public tours and even private events like weddings. Sitting on an 11-acre space, the mansion is well furnished with valuable antiques from the 19th century and houses several shops, including the popular Devon I Scream shop where visitors can relax with tropical flavoured ice cream.
Visiting Devon and trying out their famous ice cream is one of the best things to do in Jamaica. As the Devon I Scream is the fourth best ice cream in the world!! And loved by locals and visitors alike
Check here for tickets to Devon House Mansion.
Also known as Fisherman’s Beach, Hellshire Beach is a great place to enjoy a weekend getaway. You can lay back, relax and enjoy your Jamaican experience, eating and drinking at some of the best fish restaurants in the country.
Hellshire Beach is mostly visited by locals and if you visit, you’ll be getting an authentic Jamaican experience. It’s also on the list of best beaches in Jamaica.
If you are looking to enjoy authentic local fish and tasty fried fish, Hellshire Beach should be among things to do when you visit Jamaica.
Best Things to Do In Falmouth Jamaica
Rafting on Martha Brea River
The Martha Brae Rafting Village is a legendary 6-acre town in Falmouth which is surrounded by lush rainforest. Made up of a swimming pool, a full bar, and beautiful picnic grounds, the village is a starting point for bamboo rafting trips to the Martha Brea River.
Rafting trips here include round trip transportation from your place of accommodation, a guided 1-hour raft ride that takes you through a 3-mile stretch of the river, a complimentary welcome drink, and a visit to the Herb Garden where you will be enlightened about the medicinal properties of Jamaican herbs.
Coming along with your bathing suit will be a great idea as many tourists find they’d like to jump into the river for some fun.
Check here for tickets to Rafting on Martha Brea River
While you may have enjoyed the thrill of the turquoise blue water in other countries before now, there’s nothing like the glowing water in Luminous Lagoon. This natural phenomenon is due to the presence of millions of dinoflagellates (microorganisms) in the water.
Best Things to Do in Negril Jamaica
Seven Mile Beach
The Seven Mile Beach in Negril is the most popular beach in Jamaica – and visiting this place is one of the top five things to do in Jamaica. The beach boasts miles of white sand which is only interrupted with the presence of the turquoise blue water.
You only need the visit to see why Seven Mile Beach is a hit with visitors.
Cliff Diving at Rick’s Café
Rick’s Café is a popular cliff diving spot in Negril, where you get to enjoy the sight of people jumping off a 35-foot cliff into the turquoise waters below. It’s also the place where you’ll catch the best sunset over Jamaica and it’s at the top of the list for the top Caribbean beaches to watch the sunset.
You can grab a drink or even sit for a meal, they’ll be live music after the sunsets. Watching the sunset at Rick’s cafe is at the top of the list of things to see in Jamaica.
JAMAICA TRAVEL TIPS – Check when the sun will set and get to Rick’s Cafe at least a90 minutes before. As most party boats and Jamaican tours will arrive at Rick’s an hour or more before sunset. If you want to secure a good spot, then you must arrive early.
Here, are a few clips of people diving off the cliff.
Comprising two scenic waterfalls, 9 natural Jacuzzis, and 21 small cascades, the Mayfield Falls is a great attraction spot for those looking to enjoy splashing around inside the water without the crowds that are a common feature in many parts of the island.
Though the rocks are slippery, those with an average fitness level can climb through with relative ease and you can explore the falls between 60 and 90 minutes.
They require visitors to pay a small admission fee, so the local tour guides can take them through all the glory of this hidden waterfall – from the mountain drive to the falls.
Now you know what to do in Negril Jamaica!
Best Things to Do In Montego Bay Jamaica
Rose Hall Great House
Originally built in the 1770s, the Rose Hall is a historic and impressive Georgian mansion which was carefully restored during the 1960s and has now become one of the most famous mansions in all of Jamaica.
The Rose Hall Great House offers visitors the opportunity to see its well-decorated beautiful interior, designed with silk wallpaper, a collection of European antiques, and beautiful chandeliers.
The Great House also has a museum with exhibits about the mansion’s history of slavery. Visitors here will also learn about the mansion’s history of the plantation, and can even enjoy a unique feel with the night bewitched tour which focuses on the legend of the “white witch”.
The Rose Hall great house is one of the top tourists attracts in Jamaica and for good reason, it has so much history and is set on incredible beautiful pieces of land. Look out for the stunning view of the blue sea and sky meeting as you drive down the long driveway to leaving the great house.
Check here for day tours of Rose Hall or the more Spooky night tours.
Doctor’s Cave Beach
Also known as Doctor’s Cave Bathing Club, this is more than just a great beach. They often recommended the curative nature of the beach’s waters for those who needed a bit of tropical sun and the feel of the sand and sea. Though most of the beaches in Jamaica have some features and qualities of the Doctor’s Cave Beach, none has all of its makings.
It’s clean sanitary facilities and immaculately managed grounds with the glorious feel of the warm Caribbean waters makes the Doctor’s Cave Beach ideal for visitors. I consider doctor’s Cove as one of the best beaches in Jamaica.
I did the Chukka Cove tour in the Falmouth location and loved it! The staff there were friendly and knowledgeable. This is a full-day tour of activities galore.
My top tick for activities are zip lining through the treetops (don’t forget your GoPro helmet mounts or you won’t be able to take your GoPro with you, I learnt this the hard way), ATV Quad (you must have a drivers licences for the ATV) if not you’ll have to do the Dunne Buggy which is still fun and the Appleton Rum tasting.
Chukka Cove is a centrally located, 40-acre scenic coastline – an ideal spot for visitors looking to enjoy an authentic Jamaican experience without venturing into the too far off the path.
The Chukka Cove attraction includes 4 x 4 safari trails, horseback trail, and canopying for the young at heart to enjoy. Feed the thrill of your inner self with a quick dip into the warm Caribbean Sea on horseback, an adventure over the rugged terrain or a cliff jump into the beautiful greenish-blue waters.
I found the Chukka adventure tours to be one of the best things to do in Jamaica.
Check here for tickets to Jamaica excursions with Chukka Tours.
Now you know what to do in Montego Bay!
Best Things to Do In Port Antonio
The Blue Lagoon is one of the best places to go in Jamaica. It’s surrounded by dense green vegetation and steep hillsides.
The Blue Lagoon is a popular travel destination which offers visitors a unique swimming experience with the temperature changes that occur because of the blend of the Caribbean waters and cold waters coming from the underground streams.
Take a dip into the natural emerald lagoon – a 200-feet deep body of water that gives you the adventure feel and offers you the ultimate Jamaica excursions experience.
Rio Grande Jamaica
Heading back to the place where bamboo rafting all started: Rio Grande. Locals previously used the raft for the transportation of bananas from plantations to the Port Antonio harbour.
In recent times, however, visitors can now enjoy a 2-3 hour leisurely float down the river, with stop-overs at intervals to either grab something to eat or dive into the river for a good swim.
Unique Things to Do In Jamaica
Parasailing is one of the best ways to enjoy amazing views of Jamaica’s beaches. Parasailing is relatively affordable in Jamaica compared to the prices obtainable in other Caribbean Islands.
However, it is best to negotiate a suitable price with the parasailing company or vendor of your choice before you begin your adventure.
A Jamaican patty (not meat pie – there is no such thing in Jamaica, let’s move on) is a great snack or meal, depending on how many you prefer to eat. It’s a flaky pastry shell made up of vegetables, spices with beef/pork/chicken/vegetarian options. You can have it on its own or in-between a warm coco bread, either way, you’ll be in heaven.
You can get patties from Tastee’s or Juice Patties and it split the country in the middle on which makes the best tasting patties. But try both shops for yourself to decide which one you like best.
I hope this list of the best things to do in Jamaica, helps you explore and discover the Island; hit some of the best attractions in Jamaica and strive to get the best of this beautiful country.
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