Welcome to Jamaica
Jamaica is a vibrant and picturesque island country located in the Caribbean Sea, known for its stunning beaches, delicious cuisine, and vibrant music scene. From the lively capital city of Kingston to the lush rainforests and waterfalls of Ocho Rios, there is no shortage of exciting destinations to explore. Whether you’re interested in soaking up the sun on the beach, immersing yourself in Jamaican culture, or trying new and delicious foods, Jamaica is the perfect destination for travelers of all interests. In this Jamaica guide, we’ll explore the best that Jamaica has to offer and help you plan your perfect trip.
Visit Some of Jamaica’s Breath taking Waterfalls
While Dunn’s River Falls (pictured above) may have earned some international fame, there are so many other great waterfalls on the island that are just as beautiful and less crowded. Blue Hole is near Ocho Rios and gets its name from the beautiful blue pool of water at the bottom. Visitors can swim or dive in the watering hole that surrounds Blue Hole.
YS Falls is another great place that is near Saint Elizabeth Parish. There are seven waterfalls that make up YS Falls, and all are on a local estate that also homes a cattle and horse farm. If you really want to get away from the touristy area, then head over to Mayfield Falls in Westmorland.
The Mayfield Falls has many waterfalls of different sizes and twenty-one natural swimming pools surrounding the falls. And last, Turtle Falls is fourteen waterfalls that are located in a 15-acre tropical garden in Ocho Rios.
Visitors can explore these waterfalls on their own or can seek out tours like the Blue Hole, Secret Falls, and Dunn’s River Combo Day-Trip from Montego Bay.
Take a look at this Blue Hole Private Tour.
For more, check out our Jamaica Waterfalls Guide.
There are other great ways to explore nature besides waterfalls. In Negril, visitors can explore the Royal Palm Reserve, a six-thousand acre protected area of wetland and flora. Or if you want more of a relaxing day, then you can go floating down the Rio Grande.
Those wanting to see more rare tropical plants can walk around the Hope Botanical Gardens, also called the Royal Botanical Gardens. Finally, those wanting even more of a rugged adventure can head out to the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park in south-east Jamaica.
Check out this fun River Tubing Tour from Ocho Rios.
Hit The Beach!
As Jamaica is an island, there are numerous beaches to claim as your new favorite. Seven Mile Beach in the Negril area is probably Jamaica’s most popular beach. It is claimed as the longest and most beautiful in the area.
If you staying in the Montego Bay Area, Sandal’s private beach is known to be the best in that area with the white sand and turquoise water. Another popular beach is Bamboo Beach (pictured above) or Reggae Beach in Ocho Rios area. Here you can snorkel in the clear waters or relax on the cool sand while listening to Reggae tunes playing all day from one of the three beach bars close by.
Be sure to check out our Best Jamaica Beaches Guide!
Go Diving or Snorkeling
With Jamaica’s crystal blue water and popular marine life, it is no wonder snorkeling and diving are a go-to pastime on the island. One of the best places to snorkel or dive is in Negril. The top place here is Negril Coral Reef (pictured above), which is about two miles offshore. Here you will see jellyfish, urchins, conch shells, and so much more.
Montego Bay Marine Park also has some great snorkeling since efforts were made to protect this area’s coral reefs and marine life. You will find numerous colorful fish from angelfish to stingrays.
There are many areas right off the beach to explore the waters, but if you would rather a tour you can check out Reggae and Snorkeling Catamaran Cruise from Montego Bay.
Scuba diving options abound in Jamaica thanks to the crystal blue water. Check out these scuba diving tour options.
Take in some Culture and Reggae Music
Reggae music and culture in Jamaica is one of its most important institutions. Explore neighborhoods and find local watering holes for music, drinks and lively conversation. Tourists can also learn more about reggae music and the king of reggae at the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston where you can visit Marley’s home and recording studio.
Take a look at this Bob Marley Experience tour. Afterward, head over to Coronation Market, one of the biggest local markets in the Caribbean. Last, you can visit the Rastafari Indigenous Village to meet Jamaica’s Rastafari people and maybe learn a little about their culture and values.
Check out this Jamaican Music History Tour that explored Kingston the birthplace of reggae.
Get Your Glow on at Luminous Lagoon
The bioluminescent Luminous Lagoon near Montego Bay is famous for its millions of dinoflagellates, or microscopic organisms, that glow blue when disturbed. Be sure to check this bioluminescent phenomenon at night, either on your own or on one of the many boat tours. There are many boat tours that you can find once on the island, but if you would like a suggestion you can check out Mystic Luminescent Lagoon Night Cruise and Swim in Jamaica.
Eat some Jerk
Jamaica is known for its Jerk seasoning. Be it chicken, fish, shrimp or pork, no visit to the island is complete without a taste. While you can find some amazing jerk all over the island, Boston Bay is said to be the home of the illustrious spice mix.
Here are a few places that are known to have some of the best; Sweetwood Jerk Joint, Ocho Rios Jerk Center, Boston Jerk Center, or Peppewood Jerk Center, just to name a few. If you are in Jamaica during the first weekend of July, you can also check out the Portland Jerk Festival.
Take a look at this Taste Of Jamaica Food Tour.
Visit Morant Point Lighthouse
Built in 1841, the Morant Point Lighthouse is named as a National Monument by the Jamaica National Heritage Trust. Visitors can climb to the top to get some breathtaking views.
People from all over the world come to Jamaica to enjoy the rum. There are so many great rum tours to choose from but we recommend the famous Appleton Estate Rum Tour or the Hampden Estate Rum Tour. You are in paradise, cheers!