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Plan Your Trip to Jamaica: Best of Jamaica Tourism

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PLAN YOUR TRIP
Jamaica
Is there anything better than swaying from a hammock in a warm patch of Jamaican sun? If you're seeking laid-back vibes, you've come to the right place. But Jamaica offers plenty of outdoor adventure for those that want it, too. Consider diving into Blue Hole, rafting on Martha Brae River, even bobsledding down Mystic Mountain. Fuel up on delicious, stick-to-your-ribs food like jerk chicken before exploring. It's also worth visiting the authentic music clubs of Kingston, especially for fans of reggae.

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Essential Jamaica

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Best outdoor activities in Jamaica

My first trip to Jamaica was all about romance—I had my honeymoon here. Since then, I’ve been back several times and have discovered the island’s more adventurous side. Beyond swimming and snorkelling, there’s everything from rafting down Martha Brae River to hiking the famous Blue Mountains. These are my favourite outdoor adventures in Jamaica.
  • Rick's Cafe
    5,621
    You wouldn’t expect one of Jamaica’s most legendary hangouts to be tucked away in Negril, a sleepy beach town on the western end of the island. But for 50 years, people have flocked to Rick’s Cafe to catch the sunset and see the gravity-defying local cliff divers. You can get in on the action, too—there are several jumping spots for both experienced and novice divers.
  • Blue Mountains
    420
    Jamaica’s beloved Blue Mountain coffee isn’t the only thing this area is known for—it’s a haven for hikers as well. The most challenging trail ascends the 7,500-foot Blue Mountain Peak, the highest point in Jamaica. (On a clear day, you can even see Cuba!) The seven-mile trek is steep; expect it to take about seven hours. Tip: The hike is best done with a guide during the dry season from December to April.
  • Martha Brae River
    1,957
    Few things are as calming as floating on a bamboo raft down the Martha Brae River, between Ocho Rios and Montego Bay. Each raft is equipped with cushioned seats and comes with a guide who will expertly paddle your raft down the river. Bring a swimsuit and towel if you want to add on a limestone mud massage (it’s worth it). I suggest setting aside two hours total for the experience.
  • Dunn's River Falls and Park
    20,138
    Tourists and locals alike come to Dunn’s River Falls to soak in the natural pools and climb the rocky cascades (make sure you wear water shoes). While children play at the splash park, adults can get an adrenaline rush on the zipline that soars above the falls. By late afternoon, Dunn’s River gets crowded with cruise ship passengers, so plan to arrive earlier to have the place to yourself.
  • Green Grotto Caves
    701
    Cool off by exploring the Green Grotto Caves, on the northern coast. The caves have a fascinating history—they were once a hideout for Jamaican Maroons (a community of escaped African slaves) and Arawak Indigenous people. Today, you can spend an hour or two exploring the stalagmites and stalactites with an experienced guide. You may even get an up-close encounter with the bats living in the caves.
  • Seven Mile Beach
    8,104
    Not to play favourites, but it’s pretty hard to beat Seven Mile Beach in Negril. You can spend a whole day lounging on this pristine stretch (don’t forget cash to rent chairs and an umbrella). The powdery white sand and tranquil water also make this beach ideal for snorkelling right off of the shore. Keep an eye out for angelfish, pufferfish, and stingrays.
  • Blue Hole
    7,112
    It’s obvious how this swimming hole in Ocho Rios got its name. The eye-popping limestone pool has some of the clearest turquoise water I’ve ever seen. Jump in from three staggered platforms, swing off a vine, or step right into the 20-foot deep natural pool. Or, hike 10 minutes to Secret Falls, which has a thundering cascade and shallower sections for wading. Just watch your step—the ground is quite slippery.

How to do Jamaica in 2 days

Beachfront snorkelling, wild river floating, and limestone mud spa treatments
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Jamaica Is Great For

Beachside drinks and late-night dancing

Soaking up Jamaican culture

Surfing, sunbathing, and long naps on the beach