30 October 2017
For a standout Caribbean holiday look no further than Jamaica, where everything from reef-lined beaches and rugged mountain ranges to colonial architecture and vibrant cultural experiences await. To help you plan your perfect itinerary, here are seven things to do when holidaying in Jamaica.
Make the most of this Caribbean paradise by enjoying Jamaica’s 600+ miles of coastline. Chill on the soft white sands of Bloody Bay Beach in Negril, where you can snorkel the vibrantly-hued coral reefs. Embrace seclusion on Montego Bay’s under-developed Dead End Beach, where the waters are crystal clear. Explore Jamaican culture at Bluefields Beach in the South, a favourite among locals, where food stands serve favourites like jerk chicken and reggae bands play here regularly. Winifred Beach in the north-east is great for families, with its shallow waters and donkey rides.
Learn about Jamaica’s fascinating past during your visit. A popular attraction for music fans is the Bob Marley Mausoleum – a shrine dedicated to Jamaica’s most famous performer. Delve into the murkier side of Jamaica’s past by heading to former plantation Rose Hall Great House in Montego Bay. See local architecture nearby in Falmouth, famous for its Georgian buildings and for housing the oldest Masonic Temple in Jamaica. Visit a variety of great houses from Bellefield – known for its sprawling fields and historic sugar mill to Firefly House, once the home of playwright Noël Coward.
Jamaica boasts a glorious natural heritage to explore. A must for your itinerary is the Dunn’s River Falls near Ochos Rios in the North. Join the thousands of people who visit the falls each year as they climb its iconic rock slopes while water cascades across the stones. Another must-see is the Blue Mountain National Park just to the East of Dunn’s, where you can trek up rugged peaks and spot fascinating creatures like hummingbirds and Doctor Birds – a symbol of Jamaica.
There are plenty of outdoor pursuits to enjoy in Jamaica. Head to Martha Brae village in the north west and sail a bamboo raft down placid rivers. Delve into the dense vegetation of the Mystic Mountain rainforest in North-Central Jamaica and turn your hand to thrilling pursuits like ziplining and bob sledding – a favourite pastime here. While at Mystic Mountain take the area’s cutting-edge Sky Explorer chairlift with your loved ones and enjoy birds-eye views of Dunn’s Falls. Take off-road vehicles across Negril’s rugged terrain, go inner tubing down the island’s Great River and more.
Fun for all the family awaits in Jamaica, with various parks to explore. Raise your heart beat with a trip to Kool Runnings Adventure Park on the island’s western tip, where you can paintball, go-kart, canoe, undergo ‘astronaut training’, play laser tag and ride tubes down water slides. For gentler fun head to Apple Valley Park, where there’s a man-made pond ideal for pedal boating, picnic areas, a rope swing, pools and a cold-water whirlpool tub. Make sure to check out Dolphin Cove on the northern coast, where you can swim with dolphins, interact with stingrays and even ride camels!
Jamaica has a diverse culinary scene for you to check out. For authentic local food head to Miss T’s Kitchen in Ochos Rios, which is renowned for serving meals such as curried goat and honey-fried chicken. Enjoy the national dish – ackee and saltfish served with ‘johnnycake’ fried dumplings – at Murphy’s West End Restaurant. Savour a unique meal at Rick’s Café in Negril, where you can taste Caribbean food while watching people jump from nearby shallow cliff edges into the sea!
When the sun goes down, Jamaica comes alive. Try something unique by spending your day at Montego Bay’s Margaritaville, where you can enjoy a 120-foot water slide and aqua trampolines, before sampling authentic jerk dishes and ice-cold drinks in the restaurant. Cap off your night by dancing along to reggae beats in Margaritaville’s nightclub by the sea. Other night hotspots include reggae club The Jungle in Negril, Floyd’s Pelican Bar – a tiny venue made of driftwood located a mile out to sea and Montego Bay’s Pier 1, where you can taste seafood and cocktails by the water.