Best Places to Visit in Jamaica
Jamaica is an incredible island full of culture with so many exciting adventures. From the beautiful beaches of Montego Bay, to the vibrant cities and the stunning rural sights like Mystic Mountain, you will get to discover an incredible country and experience an unforgettable vacation of a lifetime in Jamaica.
Top Reasons to Visit & Things to Do in Jamaica
Renowned for its pristine beaches, outdoor life, tantalizing food and amazing culture, Jamaica has it all. This is an island that offers countless sanctuaries, hidden coves, crystal clear waters, stunning beaches, pristine forests and lots of sports and activity adventures. There are a wide variety of Jamaica travel packages available all year round, from cruises which visit the island to all-inclusive luxury resorts to lower budget hostel and hotel accommodation. On a relaxing vacation to Jamaica you can refresh you mind and body by going for long walks on white sandy beaches, marvel at emerald green waters and discover secret coves.
If you want to get off the beaten tourist trail and escape the resorts you can explore Jamaica and enjoy the less traveled road where you will find forgotten shorelines, breathtaking waterfalls and magical natural mineral pools. For the adventurous traveller, you can discover the blue mountaintops that are filled with richest biodiversity sites in the world. And if time permits, don’t forget about the working plantations, art and culture, the music, Jamaican cuisine, historic landmarks and many other amazing escapades that await you arrival.
If you are wondering what are the best places to visit in Jamaica are view our recommendations below.
Montego Bay is one of the most popuar destinations for international visitors and there are so many amazing things you can do here not least explore some of the best beaches in the Caribbean.
Although many of the best beaches are lined with all-encompassing hotels, there are still some hidden treasures in Montego Bay. According to Trip Advisor, Montego Bay might be great for party enthusiasts but it is also has options for all interestes including ranquil surroundings, crystal clear waters perfect for swimming and water sports whilst there is also outstanding shopping venues and an energetic nightlife.
To stay close to one of the many beaches in Montego Bay you will need to stay at one of the many hotels that line the coastline. However, some of the best Jamaica beaches are off the beaten path and have access to the public, these include:
Aquasol Beach Park / Walter Fletcher Beach
This beach is the ideal spot if you are arriving on a cruise ship due to the fact it is closest to the local port. The beach is very close to the hip strip but it is lined with coconut trees that offer a barrier and some shelter from the road. It is one of the most unpopulated beaches in Montego Bay, especially during ship days. It is a unique beach that is geared toward family. The theme park offers go-carts, waterslides, tennis court, various water sports and other entertainment for kids. There are also many amenities like change rooms, gift shops, art and craft stores, places to eat, Internet and other conveniences.
Doctor’s Cave Beach
Located in Montego Bay’s popular hip strip about a 10-15 minute drive from Montego Bay airport. Although it is a private beach and there is an entrance fee, but it is well worth the price. It has been one of the most renowned beaches for over a century. Doctor’s Cave Beach or Doctor's Cave Bathing Club is known for its almost pure white sand and crystal-clear emerald waters. There are clean restrooms and you can also rent an umbrella and some chairs for the day. There are also many vendors trying to sell their wares. So if you want to take home some souvenirs from Jamaica, this beach is ideal.
Dead End Beach
This beautiful beach is located at the end of a dead end road. Since it is a public beach, there are no fees. Because it is located at the end of the hip strip, there is very little traffic. On the downside, there are no bars or restaurants. However, generally there are local vendors nearby offering snacks and drinks. The beach water is very pristine with some nice sand. Dead End Beach is the perfect location if you want peace and some privacy.
Although it has an odd name, it is a really fine beach. Dump-up Beach is actually where many of the locals hang out. This is because there is free access to the lovely beach. It is a great place if you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the crowds. However, it is best to go early in the day. The afternoons can be filled with many of the locals going for a stroll, playing football or swimming in the exuberant waters. In addition, the beach is utilized for free concerts and other great events.
Negril is an this area was once an underdeveloped fishing village but it has grown in popularity over the past decade and is now firmly on the tourist map. Negril has kept its local charm with a rustic ambiance which makes it one of the most romantic spots in Jamaica. Regardless if you have been married for 50 years or are newlyweds, or just exploing with a partner the romantic culture and things to do in Negril will inspire and rejuvenate your relationship.
Some of the top places in Negril to check out include the renowned 7 mile beach where you can find a variety of accommodation for all budgets. You can also find charming local shops, massages, yoga, music (reggae) and various cafes and restaurants for dining. One of the best romantic attractions in Negril is the Cave Resort that offers hotel accommodation including dinner by moonlight in a private secluded cave. The real address of the hotel is on 144 One Love Drive!
Falmouth is considered one of the best-preserved Georgian towns in the Caribbean. In fact, in the late 1700s when the sugar trade was at its peak, Falmouth was known as the “Paris of the Indies.” Located just 18 miles east of Montego Bay, you will find it to be an easily accessible location from anywehre in Jamaica. If you get the opportunity, Falmouth really is amust visit or stay destination if you are planning a break to Jamaica. These are some of the best attractions you should consider checking out in Falmouth:
The largest market on the island where traders from all over the island come together on the streets. The best day to go is on a Wednesday.
Georgian Style Buildings
Many claim that Falmouth has more Georgian style buildings than anywhere in the West Indies. Moreover, the beautiful architecture is well-kept with the help of the Falmouth Restoration Corporation.
Baptist Manse on Market Street
A striking stone building with a grand wooden staircase. It is a must see if you visit Falmouth.
From outstanding breakfast cafes to fine dining, you well find some of the best Jamaican cuisine in Falmouth. Tip: a local favorite are the Jamaican patty’s – popular dough wrapped meat pie seasoned with island spices.
Book a safari tour of a natural mangrove habit where there are conservation efforts to help the preservation of endangered species such as American crocodiles, the Jamaican Coney (similar to a guinea pig), Jamaican boa constrictor, rare birds and other protected species which you might be lucky to see.
Kingston is the capital of Jamaica and it is also the largest city with a population of 662,426 (2011). This city is sometimes avoided by a lot of international tourists who tend to stick to the large beach resort destinations but we highly recommend visiting if you would like to explore a vibrant city and get to see a different side to the country.
Kingston it is naturally protected by the Palisadoes which is a lengthy sand spit that joins the Norman Manley International Airport and the town of Port Royal to the remaining island. Kingston plays a major role in the islands economy with the largest industries include shipping, apparel manufacturing and tourism. Exports are comprised of coffee, sugar and bauxite.
Some of the top tourist attractions to check out in Kingston include the hope Gardens, Emancipation Park, Jamaica Defence Force Museum, and Bob Marley Museum. Some international and local travel operators offer overland tours of Jamaica which include Kingston in the itinerary - this a great way to experience a structured visit to the capital.
Best Beaches in Jamaica
Jamaica is well known for having some of the most breathtaking beaches in the Caribbean. There are over 55 beaches in Jamaica which all have their own beauty and uniqueness and choosing the best one is tough. Top places to check out some of the most beautiful beaches in the country include Montego Bay, Negril, Kingston, Port Antonio and Ocho Rios which is where most of the large tourist resorts and hotels are located.
Beaches you should try to add to your Jamaica itinerary include Pleasure Cove Beach, 7 Mile Beach, Lime Cay, Mallard Beach, James Bond Beach, Walter Fletcher Beach, Doctor’s Cave Beach, Blue Lagoon Beach and Boston Bay Beach. Other stunning beaches to consider include Puerto Seco in Discovery Bay (St. Ann), and Frenchman’s Cove Beach in Portland (as seen in “Lord of the Flies”).
Don't Leave Jamaica Without Visiting...
If you would like to travel to Jamaica and discover some hidden gems check out these places:
Mystic Mountain Jamaica
A favorite tourist attraction is Mystic Mountain Jamaica. It is a Rainforest Adventure park in Ocho Rios. The family-oriented park is filled with fun-filled action like the Canopy Zip Line, the Bobsled Ride, the Sky Explorer and the exclusive Mystic Waterslide.
Treasure Beach is a string of peaceful unblemished villages situated on the remote south coast. It features fishing villages, a sustainable environment, lots of sunshine, relaxing beaches, solitude yet some adventure such as para-sailing and an extravagant nightlife.
YS Falls has to be one of the most beautiful spots in Jamaica. YS Falls includes waterfalls, natural spring pools, relaxing gardens and even canopy rides. The falls themselves are 50ft high that offers seven river pools where you can wade in the cool refreshing waters. It is also surrounded by massive foliage, lavish gardens and impressive trees.
By Maxie DaCosta
Maxie is the owner and editor in chief of AJamaicaExperience, a joint venture between two Jamaican brothers, Robin Treston Sr. and Maxie DaCosta Sr. Maxie and his brother hail from Walkerswood St. Ann, Jamaica. He loves sharing authentic recipes that have been passed down for generations in his family. Maxie also enjoys writing about the rich culture and history of Jamaica (and the rest of the Caribbean islands for that matter). If you do ever make your way to Jamaica, Maxie and his staff highly recommend you check out his article about Irie Blue Hole Falls near Ocho Rios Port.