The Caribbean Sea is a real eye-catcher, and you would like to discover the West Indies and the paradisiacal landscapes associated with it? Today we take you to a mysterious and almost legendary island: welcome to Jamaica, the home of reggae!
Jamaica is an island of more than 10,000 km² – slightly larger in area than Corsica – located in the Caribbean arc, just below Cuba. Here, the landscapes are particularly magnificent and consist of mountains, lush tropical forests and splendid beaches bordered by reefs. In Montego Bay and Negril, two towns in the north of the island, there are a multitude of seaside resorts popular with tourists from all over the world for their crystal-clear waters and white sandy beaches, but also for all the nautical activities that can be enjoyed there, such as scuba diving and sailing.
Renowned for being the land of reggae where Bob Marley was born, it is also known for the legendary joie de vivre of its inhabitants and the beauty of some of its cities with their perfectly preserved English colonial architecture, reminding us that this English-speaking territory is the archetype of the cultural mix that is specific to the islands of the Caribbean Sea!
If you wish to discover more about this mythical island, we offer you a small guide presenting some of the most beautiful places to visit in Jamaica!
Ready to go? Let’s get going!
1- Dunn Falls
It is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Jamaica, if not the West Indies. Located a few kilometres from Ocho Rios, they are the end of the Dunn River and flow into the Caribbean Sea. The place is sumptuous and spectacular, and many tourists who come to visit Jamaica come to admire them. Take a trip to Dunn Falls if you don’t know what to do in Jamaica, whether you’re alone or with your family, you’ll understand why!
2- Dolphin Cove
One of our favourites – and there are many of them – in Jamaica, this small island in the West Indies. Here, close to Ocho Rios, you can swim in Dolphin Cove with dolphins and stingrays and get scared by… sharks, most of which are fortunately harmless! If you’ve come to visit Jamaica, on the north side of the island, you should visit Ocho Rios, a seaside resort that welcomes cruise ships and tourists from all over the world who come to admire the beauty of the place and bask on its splendid beaches!
3- Mystic Mountain
This natural park in the north of the island is a special place for those who love outdoor excursions, hiking and picnics in the wilderness, but there are many attractions and facilities for those who come to Jamaica to find what they want to do. You can, in fact, climb to the top with a cable car to the highest point of the hill. This will ensure you an extraordinary panorama, and you can even practice bobsledding on a track winding through the jungle. Fans of the Rasta Rockett movie will have plenty to remember!
4- Blue Mountains
The Blue Mountains are a large mountain range, whose altitude reaches, at Blue Mountain Peak, more than 2250 meters. In fact, the Blue Mountains are a must to visit in Jamaica since they occupy a third of the island, east side! The site was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2015, rewarding the beauty of the place, its exceptional preservation and the maintenance of the hiking trails winding through these mountains covered with tropical jungle. Go and have a look, it’s really worth it!
5- The green caves
Claustrophobic, abstain! The green caves? Yes, these amazing natural creations are an attraction not to be missed in Jamaica. Guided tours are regularly organised, speleologists can help you perfect your exploration technique in the narrow caverns connecting the caves and a lot of historical information is distilled from the signs, judiciously placed on the route you wish to take. Whatever your age or physical condition, it is possible to have fun in these caves when you come to visit Jamaica!
6- Mayfield Falls
Simply incredible: Mayfield Falls, is actually a set of 21 small waterfalls breaking the Mayfield River – a tributary of the Cabarita River, near Glenbrook Westmoreland. The reason we’re telling you this is because it’s nice, when you want to know what to do in Jamaica, to drop by and enjoy the small rock pools and waterfalls inviting young and old alike to take a swim that’s absolutely unforgettable! The water is rather fresh, but limpid and perfectly clean.
7- James Bond Beach
What a strange name! In fact, this stretch of beautiful sand can also be called Laughing Waters Beach and Roaring River Beach, but this beach takes its name from the movie “James Bond 007 vs. Dr. No”, where many scenes were shot. Situated on a micro peninsula in Oracabessa Bay, about 15 km from Ocho Rios, on the north coast of Jamaica, you don’t come here to spy on anyone but to swim in the turquoise water or enjoy the many small bars that are now set up there. Ideal when you come to visit Jamaica and want to enjoy a wild evening after admiring a splendid sunset!
8- Winnifred Beach
Less well known than the other beaches on the island, which are often invaded by myriads of tourists visiting Jamaica, Winnifred beach is located just outside Portland, in north-eastern Jamaica, in Surrey County. You come here to swim – the beach is one of the most beautiful on the island – and enjoy a typical Jamaican atmosphere, with its many fried chicken stalls and traditional accras and small tin bars where rum and fruit cocktails are served for a few Jamaican dollars. You will have understood it, the place is to be drunk and to be seen again! You can also go for a donkey or horseback ride, and excursions are regularly organized in the area, which will delight young and old alike.
9- Lime Cay
Lime Cay is an islet, the largest – with an area of two hectares, or 380 metres by 80 metres – of a mini archipelago of white sand islands off the coast of Port Royal. When you come to visit Jamaica, you may decide to take a trip there, if only to enjoy the extraordinary postcard landscapes of this wonderful place! Ferries allow you to arrive directly on the area but many smiling and helpful fishermen will take you there for a few dollars if you wish to share a moment of complicity with the local inhabitants, whose calm and kindness remain legendary!
10- Emancipation Park
Emancipation Park is located in the Jamaican capital, Kingston. The site is steeped in history as it was inaugurated on the day of the Jamaican Emancipation Celebration and the then Prime Minister, P. Patterson, himself declared that this splendid tree-lined park was in fact a place of remembrance, commemorating the end of the slavery from which almost all the island’s inhabitants came! Of course, these historical and political considerations are of little concern to visitors looking for what to do in Jamaica, but it can be interesting to go there to perfect its culture or to enjoy a squeezed fruit juice!
11- The Turtle River Falls & Gardens
Before, the place was called “the Enchanted Gardens”. Want to know why? Here, several waterfalls can be climbed and you can jump into the fresh, clear water, the depth of which is, for safety reasons, indicated on signs! Several renowned botanical gardens are also located here and an ornithological biotope reserved for many species of birds, such as peacocks or parrots, has also been set up here. Accustomed to the presence of humans, they can even rest on your shoulder against a treat! It’s not very expensive, and it’s well worth it when you come to visit Jamaica with your family.
12- The Country Cockpit
Cockpit Country is a very special place, and you should know this when you come to visit Jamaica. In fact, it is a self-governing region within the Caribbean island itself, and its very special geology – dense jungle, caves and rock domes – made it a territory where the “brown negroes” hid, fleeing the violence of their slave masters! Their descendants are still there today and celebrate their national holiday on January 6th. We particularly recommend the visit of Accompong Maroon, a village to visit to plunge you into the heart of this people with such an intense history, or to discover the fabulous caves.
13- The Bob Marley Museum
Even if we didn’t want to fall into clichés, we couldn’t ignore the museum dedicated to the man who alone embodies Jamaica: the famous singer Bob Marley is obviously a local legend, and a museum, the Island House in Kingston, is dedicated to him. If you’re a reggae lover and want to learn more about your favourite artist when you come to visit Jamaica, we hope you’ll drop by and take a look at this 19th century colonial house where the artist, who became a demigod in the eyes of fans around the world, lived. The area is also charming and it is very pleasant to walk around this part of Kingston.
14- Bloody Bay
Bloody Bay is still a beach you’re being introduced to, but what do you want, we’re on an island, right? Here, you can sunbathe on immaculate sand; you can take your mask and snorkel to splash around with fish and multi coloured starfish; you can drink a glass of punch, get married, dance and eat in the many establishments bordering this pretty beach, which is quite touristy but very clean. If you are still looking for what to do in Jamaica, we recommend you to discover this wonderful place which is a local institution for many Jamaicans!
15- Rafting Village
Thrill seeker? Adrenaline junkie? Not cold-blooded? Well, too bad for you. In spite of the name of this famous attraction in Jamaica, here you can follow the course of a calm river, installed on bamboo rafts piloted by a guide with the help of a pole. At the departure and arrival area, refreshments or snacks will be served to visitors looking for what to do in Jamaica. This unique attraction is located in the very north of the island, near Martha Brae, and is a great place to relax for the more stressed out visitor to Jamaica!