I know what you’re thinking, Jamaica has pretty beaches, but that’s about it! We are here to tell you that you’re wrong! Though Jamaica is small in size, it packs quite a big punch when it comes to the experience it has to offer and the amount of things you can do there. Don’t believe us? Here is a list of 60+ things to do in Jamaica.
Anything with a star (★) is one of our favorite things to do in Jamaica.
Things to Do in Negril and Surrounding Areas
Seven Mile Beach
Negril’s Seven Mile Beach is Jamaica’s most popular beach. It boasts miles of white sand, only to be interrupted by the turquoise blue water. Even though Seven Mile Beach is crowded, populated with vendors, and spoiled with shops, hotels, and bars, the majestic blue water and white sand are truly a must-see.
Royal Palm Reserve
The 300-acre Royal Palm Reserve is home to 300 animal species and 114 plant species, including the Morass Royal Palms which can only be found in western Jamaica. Visitors can walk the mile long boardwalk through the forest or climb the 40-foot observation tower for a great view of the Silver Spring Mountains. Either way, this is a great things to do if you want to break away from the addicting Seven Mile Beach in Negril for a few hours.
This small island, named after the booby birds, is a great getaway from the chaos of Negril, as it’s only a short boat ride away. The most popular things to do on the island are snorkeling, sunbathing, and picnicking, but there are many other things to do if those don’t tickle your fancy :-) Be sure to eat a fresh grilled lobster or fish from one of the local vendors while you’re there.
Grab a drink or a meal at the popular cliff-side bar, Rick’s Cafe. The cliff-hanging cafe is a popular spot in Negril to watch courageous people jump off of the 35-foot cliff into the turquoise blue waters below. For a real treat, visit while the sun is setting or at nightfall when it’s not crowded and you can enjoy a drink while listening to the waves crash on the rocks.
This hidden waterfall has 9 natural jacuzzis and a series of 21 small, spaced out cascades. The “Washing Machine” is the tallest of these falls, at about three meters. The beautiful mountain drive to the falls, and the lack of huge tourist crowds makes Mayfield Falls a nice alternative to Dunn’s River Falls.
Things to Do in Montego Bay and Surrounding Areas
Croydon Plantation is a working farm nestled in the foothills of the Catadupa Mountains in Montego Bay. One can sample a variety of pineapples, citrus fruits and other exotic fruits while enjoying a breathtaking, panoramic view of the surrounding countryside.
Doctor’s Cave Beach
White sand and turquoise, crystal-clear and calm waters, need I say more?
Rose Hall is a very impressive Georgian mansion that sits on the hillside of Montego Bay. The popular Jamaican Great House offers visitors the opportunity to see the beautiful interior of the house, as well as learn about the history of the plantation on their tour. If you want a different experience, do the night bewitched tour which focuses on the legend of the “white witch”, Annie Palmer who murdered her three husbands.
Gloucester Avenue (Hip Strip)
Take a stroll down Montego Bay’s most hip and trendy street lined with cafes, art galleries, souvenir shops and more. Some popular places along the strip are Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville and Doctor’s Cave Beach.
Reggae Sumfest is a week-long festival held in mid-July where big time Jamaican reggae artists come to to perform.
Aquasol Beach Park
Aquasol Beach Park, which is along the hip strip in Montego Bay, is a great attraction to visit with the entire family. The theme park has a wide selection of water activities, a go-cart racing track, a kid’s snack bar, sports bar and of course the beach.
Indigenous Rastafarian Village
Learn about the Rastafarian way of life by visiting the Indigenous Rastafarian Village just outside of Montego Bay. The guided tour takes visitors throughout the village including the village kitchen where one can learn about the Ital diet and different vegetables, as well as the herb library where guests can learn about the medicinal benefits of plants. The tours always end with a traditional drum and chanting session.
Things to Do in Ocho Rios and Surrounding Areas
Dunn’s River Falls
Dunn’s River is by far one of Jamaica’s most popular attractions. Visitors get the opportunity to climb the breathtaking waterfall that cascades directly into the ocean. After climbing the falls you can relax and soak up the sun at the beach.
Want a day of fun-filled adventure that is suitable for both kids and adults? Then head to Mystic Mountain to do one or all the activities the park offers. Go bobsledding through the mountain, fly through the top of rainforest with the canopy zip line or soar 700 feet above the rainforest with the Sky Explorer chairlift.
The beaches are great and all, but why not jump into a tube and float down the crystal clear and refreshing White River in Ocho Rios. Take in the sights of the lush rainforest and experience the river’s alternating moods.
Shaw Park Garden
Situated high up in the hills of Ocho Rios, this 25-acre lush botanical garden is a great attraction for nature lovers and families. Stroll through the garden, take in nature’s beauty, get a spectacular view over Ocho Rios and admire the beautiful waterfall surrounded by tropical flowers and other plants unique to Jamaica.
This beautifully located attraction is a waterfall and a swimming hole attraction in Ocho Rios. It’s a great alternative to the crowded and touristy Dunn’s River.
Turtle River Falls and Gardens
This 15-acre tropical garden paradise in Ocho Rios houses not only 14 natural waterfalls, but also a wide variety of plants, a lily and Koi pond, and an aviary filled with exotic and tropical birds, including some of the 27 species endemic to Jamaica.
The Coyaba Garden, located in Ocho Rios, offers visitors an array of activities in just one location. Stroll through the botanical gardens, climb the smaller and less touristy Mahoe Falls for a great view over Ocho Rios and the Caribbean Sea or see some Taino artifacts at the Arawak Museum.
Green Grotto Caves
Take a journey through the 12-meter deep limestone caves to explore an underground lake and see majestic stalactites and stalagmites, bats and other exquisite dripstone formations.
Take a beautiful scenic ride along the three-mile long road shaded by the towering ferns forming a lush green tunnel. If you don’t have a car, no worries, just find a route taxi willing to take you there. No need to do a tour.
Bob Marley Mausoleum
Bob Marley fan? Visit the birthplace and final resting place of the reggae legend. In the small village of Nine Miles you’ll learn more about his home and childhood. The small museum is ran by Bob Marley’s family.
Harmony Hall is one of the most recognized arts and crafts gallery in Jamaica, with international recognition. Here, art lovers get to admire paintings, sculptures, and ceramics created by some of Jamaica’s finest artists.
Things to Do in Treasure Beach and Surrounding Areas
Appleton Estate Rum Tour
Take an interactive and informative tour of how Jamaica’s most popular rum, Appleton Estate Rum, is made. Of course, you also get to sample a wide variety of rums, raw sugar cane, and rum creams.
Pondside Lake (Wally Wash Pond)
Wally Wash Pond, as known by locals, is Jamaica’s largest freshwater lake, located about six miles from Black River. The morass surrounding the lake is home to a variety of birds and fishes. Wally Wash is not yet popular among tourists as it’s not the easiest attraction to get to.
This small village just outside of Black River is known throughout Jamaica for selling one of the tastiest snacks on the island, “Pepper Shrimp”. The female peddlers lining the street are more than happy to sell their delicious spicy Pepper Shrimp to any and every bypasser.
The YS Estate offers visitors not only a beautiful seven-tiered cascading waterfall surrounded by the lush jungle, but also a wading pool fed by underground springs, canopy rides, beautiful views and river tubing. It’s easy to spend all day here if you’re looking for things to do in Jamaica with great views and lots of activities.
Treasure Beach is not a beach. Rather, it’s the name of an unspoiled, sleepy fishing village in the south of Jamaica. The village is home to four beaches – Frenchman’s Bay, Calabash Bay, Billy’s Bay and Great Pedro Bay. Unlike the popular beaches in Jamaica, these black sand beaches are practically deserted and are truly a place to lay back and relax.
The beautiful area east of Treasure Beach, known as Lovers’ Leap, is a 1700-foot cliff overlooking the gorgeous Caribbean Sea. If you don’t want to just admire the beautiful surroundings, you can take the 3-hour hike down the cliff to Cutlass Bay and enjoy the beach. Legend has it that two enslaved lovers jumped to their death together to escape being separated from each other.
Take a boat safari through Jamaica’s largest freshwater wetland on the south coast of Jamaica. The 33-mile long wetland is a great place to spot varies species of birds, learn about a variety of plants including mangroves and of course, see crocodiles.
Located half a mile off the coast of Treasure Beach, Pelican Bar is a rustic, wooden bar built in the middle of the ocean. Here you can literally spend the entire day doing absolutely nothing besides drinking a few cold ones, sunbathing, and swimming in the shallow waters. If you make it to the south coast of Jamaica, you don’t want to miss visiting Jamaica’s most unique bar.
Take a drive along the two and a half mile stretch of road lined with giant bamboo plants forming a shady tunnel known as the Bamboo Avenue. Bamboo Avenue is located in the Holland area of St. Elizabeth.
Things to Do in Kingston and Surrounding Areas
Emancipation Park offers a very peaceful, relaxing and green oasis alternative to the very busy and bustling Kingston. Relax under the palm trees, have a picnic with friends, jog around the 500m track or admire the beautiful 11-foot sculpture in the entrance of the park, which symbolizes Jamaica’s emancipation from slavery.
Blue Mountains & John Crow Mountains National Park ★
Jamaica’s UNESCO World Heritage Site, Blue Mountains, is unspoiled and a preserve paradise for nature lovers offering drop-dead gorgeous mountain vistas, hiking trails, waterfalls, and exotic plants and animals. This 200,000-acre tropical rainforest is home to over 200 birds, 800 species of endemic plants, and the home of the famous Blue Mountain Coffee. Popular things to do here are hiking up to the highest peak (7,402 feet) of Jamaica to watch the sunrise and a tour coffee plantation.
Bob Marley Museum
Get an insight into Bob Marley’s life as you explore his Kingston home and recording studio. Walk through his bedroom to see his favorite guitar, or check out the room filled with media clippings of his final tour and so much more.
Paint Jamaica ★
Head over to Fleet Street in Kingston to witness how street art is not only transforming abandoned buildings and street corners to exhilarating and vibrant murals, but also bringing life and hope back to their community. Once you are done, head across the street to Life Yard, the first sustainable garden in the area to have a delicious farm-to-table meal cooked by young Rastafarian community members.
Coronation Market ★
Coronation Market, which is located in the heart of Kingston, is what we like to consider the essence of the real Jamaica! The market has everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to clothes and electronics. If you are not in the buying mood, you can always just stuff your face with some delicious street food or bask in the unique and crazy ambiance that is Coronation Market. The best day to visit the market is Saturday.
Devon House Mansion
This national heritage site in Kingston was the home of Jamaica’s first black millionaire,
George Stiebel. Today, the residence is a museum open for public tours and private events, such as weddings. The other buildings on the property host several shops, including the popular Devon I Scream shop where one can cool off with a nice, tropical flavored ice cream.
Hellshire Beach (Fisherman’s Beach) ★
Also known as Fisherman’s Beach, Hellshire Beach is a popular weekend getaway for Kingstonians to lay back and relax while eating at some of the best fish restaurants in Jamaica. If you are looking for an authentic local beach and good fried fish you must put this on your “things to do in Jamaica” list.
Learn and appreciate the works of the founder of Pan-Africanism and Jamaica’s national hero, Marcus Garvey, at this multimedia museum.
Hope Gardens is the largest public green space in Kingston, occupying 200 acres of land. This oasis of tranquility is home to a collection of endemic and exotic botanical collections, a forest garden, an ornamental pond, a cactus garden, an orchid house and so much more.
Things to do in Falmouth and Surrounding Areas
Luminous Lagoon ★
You have probably swam in turquoise blue water before, but have you ever swam in glowing water? Well, this is your chance! This natural phenomenon is made possible because of the millions of dinoflagellates (microorganisms) that glow and illuminate the lagoon water.
Half Moon Golf Club
Half Moon Golf Course has consistently been ranked one of the top golf courses in the world and has a reputation for being both challenging and breathtaking. The course’s difficult yet playable nature, makes it a popular place to visit for golfers. If you’re a golfer, you should put this at the top of your “things to do in Jamaica” list. If you are not near this golf course have no worries, you can visit one of the eleven other golf courses scattered around the island.
Martha Brae River
Take a trip to Falmouth for a beautiful bamboo rafting experience along the legendary Martha Brae River surrounded by lush rainforest. Before going on the bamboo raft, be sure to stop at the Herb Garden.
Greenwood Great House
The 200-year old house, formerly owned by the famous English poet, George Greenwood, is one of the best preserved great houses in Jamaica. Take a step into Jamaica’s past and take a tour of the house that remained unharmed by the slave rebellion of 1831.
Cockpit Country ★
Cockpit Country is what many would consider a goldmine for nature lovers! With hundreds of rivers, streams, caves and the highest diversity of plants and animals anywhere on the island, one can easily spend hours, if not days exploring this one of a kind natural gem in Jamaica.
Jamaica Zipline Adventure
Enjoy the gorgeous view of Jamaica as you zip through the tropical forest on the longest zipline in the Caribbean. See Jamaica from another perspective.
Things to Do in Port Antonio and Surrounding Areas
Blue Lagoon ★
Take a dip in the 200-feet deep natural emerald lagoon in Portland that not only changes color during the day, but also gives visitors a unique swimming experience with constant changes of temperature due to the mix of warm Caribbean water and cold water from the underground streams. You might also recognized this attraction, as it was the lagoon featured in Brooke Shields’ movie, “The Blue Lagoon”.
Village of St. George
Located in Port Antonio, Village of St. George is said to be the most unique shopping mall in Jamaica. Built as a tribute to European architecture, its interior and exterior feature sections of Georgian, Gothic, Tudor and Art Deco architectural styles.
Go bamboo rafting where it all started, on the Rio Grande. Previously, locals used the raft to transport bananas from the plantations to the harbor in Port Antonio. Today, one can take a 2-3 hour leisurely float down the river, with stops along the way to grab something to eat or to jump into the river for a swim.
San San Beach
San San Beach is a private, half mile beach near Frenchman’s Cove. Even though you do have to pay a fee, it’s one of the best spots to go snorkeling, due to the reefs off the coast. From San San Beach, one can also swim to the neighboring island, Pellew Island.
Reach Falls ★
The cool, refreshing and crystal clear falls nestled in the lush tropical forest of the John Crow Mountains is a breath of fresh air compared to the crowded and touristy Dunn’s River and YS Falls. Swim in the sparkling turquoise water pool caused by the 22-foot cascade of the Driver’s River, explore the underwater cave, or trek upstream the Driver’s River.
Frenchman Cove Beach
This private, secluded beach, often referred to as paradise, is located in the underrated parish of Portland. What makes this beach stand out from the rest is not just its lack of tourists, soft white sand or crystal clear waters, rather it is its location. The beach is located in between two huge vegetated rocky cliffs and one can choose whether they want to swim in the freshwater river that feeds into the ocean or the salty Caribbean sea!
Winnifred Beach ★
Spend the day relaxing on the beach and hanging out with locals at one of Jamaica’s most authentic and local beaches! Be sure to grab a delicious Jamaican dish from Cynthia’s Restaurant!
Navy Island, located just half a mile from Errol Flynn Marina once owned by the famous actor Errol Flynn, is now an unspoiled island densely covered in vegetation. Here you can find a few hiking trails, the ruins of an old hotel and deserted beaches.
Boston Bay (Boston Beach) ★
No trip to Jamaica is complete without a visit to the birthplace of jerk! Head over to Boston Bay to eat authentic jerk chicken, jerk pork, jerk fish and so much more. After stuffing your face with jerk meat, head over to Boston Beach for a swim or go surfing.
Nanny Town & Nanny Falls
Hike to the remote Nanny Town to learn about the history of runaway slaves (known as Maroons) who successfully established free communities in the mountains of Jamaica during the 18th century. Travelers who chose to make this adventurous trip to the self-governing village can meet the leader and colonel of the village, see the grave site of Maroons’ and Jamaica’s only female national hero, Queen Nanny and hike to the nearby falls.
Morant Point Lighthouse
Morant Point Lighthouse, located on the furthest tip of the east coast of the island, is Jamaica’s oldest lighthouse and the first cast iron lighthouse built in the western hemisphere. If you climb the 100-foot tall lighthouse, you can get a beautiful, uninterrupted view of Jamaica’s eastern coastline and the Blue Mountains.
Portland Jerk Festival
When considering things to do in Jamaica, plan your trip around the largest jerk and food festival in Jamaica to sample and indulge in different jerked foods and other tasty Jamaica dishes. This music and food festival is family friendly.
Enjoy strolling through nature, then head up to Cornwall Barracks. This off-the-beaten-path attraction will have you walking over a swing bridge, discovering caves, trekking, swimming through the river and so much more.
Head to the center of Port Antonio to bask in the unique ambiance of the Musgrave Market. Browse the stalls with vendors selling fresh fruit, vegetables, clothes, raw meat and cooked food. If you are looking for a place to shop for an authentic Jamaican souvenir, be sure to visit the Craft Market in the back.
Restoration Village Farm
Spend a day on this 36-acre restoration farm in the hills of Portland to learn about tropical fruits, herbs, medicinal plants, cacao trees and the chocolate making process. Once done learning, spend the rest of the day exploring the lush landscape, hiking the area or relaxing and swimming in on-site waterfalls. All proceeds from the farm go to supporting the Tom Hope community by providing food and employment.
Monkey Island and Folly Ruins
Monkey Island is a small, uninhabited island covered in vegetation off the coast of Port Antonio. There, you can enjoy the shaded beach, snorkel the shallow waters, walk a few small walking trails, or explore the Folly Ruins.
Errol Flynn Marina
Take a stroll through the beautiful and world class marina located in the center of Port Antonio. The marina is home to several shops, including a Devon I Scream shop, a diving school, a bar and a beach! If you are up to it, swim to the deserted island and explore the hotel ruins and vegetation, or just relax on the secluded beach!
Things NOT to Do in Jamaica
- Dolphin Cove
- Horseback riding in the ocean
- Rocklands Bird Sanctuary
These three activities are some of the most popular things to do, not only in Jamaica, but in most Caribbean islands. We, however, find it strange that no one bats an eye to the fact that we are encouraging the maltreatment and captivity of animals for our own pleasure and entertainment. Why must others suffer just for you to have a few hours of fun and selfie shots?
If you really want to see dolphins, or any animals for that matter, visit them in their natural habitat. Not in cages, zoos, or enclosed pools. I hope on your trip you make not just the ethical choice, but the right one. Don’t go swimming with dolphins, go horseback riding in the sea, visit a zoo or feed birds sugar and water from a bottle, it’s not natural.
There are so many things to do in Jamaica, so don’t be afraid to explore and discover Jamaica beyond our short list of things to do in Jamaica because Jamaica is way too beautiful to be limited to just a list!
Visiting Jamaica soon? Plan your trip with our travel guide to Jamaica.