Best 15 Things to Do in Jamaica, Land of Reggae

Top Things to do in Jamaica - Heart-shaped Sandals Resort in Jamaica

Updated On: June 07, 2024 by   Marwa AlaaMarwa Alaa

Would you like a fantastic holiday in a quiet place with breathtaking views and many tourist attractions? Why don’t you think of travelling to Jamaica to have a peaceful mind? Bob Marley, the legendary Reggae Jamaican singer-songwriter, said about Jamaica, “Love the life you live, live the life you love.” So let’s explore Jamaica, the Land of Reggae!

Also known as Jamrock, Jamdown, or Jamdung in Jamaican Patois, Jamaicans refer to their homeland as “The Rock.” This magnificent island is the third-largest island in the Caribbean Sea. It is best known for its stunning beaches, majestic waterfalls, luxurious all-inclusive resorts, Blue Mountain coffee, jerk dishes, and Reggae music. This article will discover the top things to do in Jamaica.

Jamaica’s Language

Best 15 Things to Do in Jamaica, Land of Reggae

Jamaica’s official language is English. However, the national language is Jamaican Patois, which most Jamaicans speak. It is an English-based creole influenced by the West African language and culture. 

Time in Jamaica

Jamaica’s time is always five hours behind Coordinated Universal Time (UTC -5). Since it is only a one-time zone, Jamaica has the same UTC offset all year. It does not adjust for Daylight Saving Time.

The Flag of Jamaica

Top Things to do in Jamaica - Jamaican Flag
Jamaican Flag

Jamaica’s flag was adopted when the country gained independence from the West Indies on 6 August 1962. The flag is divided into four sections, one of which includes a yellow saltire. Two sections are black, and two are green. 

The black colour represents the nation’s difficulties, strength, and creativity, while the green colour represents agricultural resources and hope. The yellow colour depicts Jamaica’s natural wealth and the beauty of its sunlight.

Jamaica Currency

Jamaica’s monetary unit is the Jamaican Dollar, divided into 100 cents. It has been issued since 1969. To distinguish it from other dollars, its symbol is J$ or JA$. To convert currencies, $1 equals around J$155, and €1 equals J$176. 

Which Continent is Jamaica In?

Located in the Southern Hemisphere, Jamaica is one of the Caribbean Islands, part of North America

Where is Jamaica?

Jamaica is an island in the Caribbean Sea that forms the Greater Antilles. It is located northeast of mainland Central America, south of Cuba, and west of Hispaniola (now Haiti and the Dominican Republic). 

The Capital of Jamaica

Kingston is the capital of Jamaica. It is located on the southeastern coast, backed by the Blue Mountains. It is the largest city in Jamaica. After Spanish Town and Port Royal, Kingston is Jamaica’s third capital.

Weather in Jamaica

Jamaica has tropical and sunny weather. With only a few degrees differentiating between summer and winter, It is hot all year round. The average temperature fluctuates between 20°C and 30°C in summer and winter. Sometimes, the heat is sweltering. 

The best time to visit Jamaica is from January to April. If you would like to visit Jamaica in the summer, see it in July because there is a decrease in precipitation. Also, the risk of hurricanes is lower in July. Hurricanes occur more likely between August and October.

Top 15 Things to Do in Jamaica

Jamaica is famous for its stunning natural destinations and beautiful attractions. Tourists worldwide come yearly to enjoy the breathtaking turquoise seas and coral reefs, explore the birthplace of reggae and soak up the African atmosphere. In the following lines, we will provide you with the top 15 things to do in Jamaica.

1. Seven Mile Beach

Best 15 Things to Do in Jamaica, Land of Reggae

Once you land in Jamaica, you will hear about Seven Mile Beach several times daily. That is because it is Jamaica’s most famous beach. Visiting it is one of the top free things to do in Jamaica. Appreciate the tree-lined beach, white sand, and crystal-clear turquoise water. 

Seven Mile Beach is also known as Negril Beach. With infinite magnificent views, you can relax on one of the beach loungers and get a tan. You can also enjoy swimming or strolling along the stunning beach. Other exciting activities include scuba diving, jet-skiing, snorkelling, and parasailing. 

2. Blue Lagoon

The Blue Lagoon in Jamaica is worth a visit. It is located six miles east of Port Antonio. The lagoon is a mix of saltwater and freshwater fed by a mineral spring near it. Enjoy the magical views of its breathtaking water, which is different shades of cobalt blue and surrounded by lush green spaces.

Exploring the fabulous Blue Lagoon on a boat or rafting tour is one of Jamaica’s most exciting things to do with family. Capture the moment and take as many pictures as you can. Swimming around the lagoon is relaxed and entertaining, too. However, doing so in a group is recommended because the lagoon is deep, secluded, and dangerous.

3. Blue Hole

“A little piece of Heaven!” This is how the visitors described the Blue Hole in Jamaica. Also known as the Cool Blue Hole, the Irie Blue Hole, the Secret Falls, or the Island Gully Falls, it is located in Ocho Rios in Jamaica’s White River Valley between the parishes of St. Mary and St. Ann. It gets its name from the deep azure hue of its water.

Among the most thrilling things to do in Jamaica is visiting The Blue Hole. With a surrounding Jamaican jungle, this deep cavern within Jamaica’s tropical mountains comprises stunning cascades flowing into a series of sinkholes. 

Jumping off the cliff into one of its magnificent refreshing freshwater pools is a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Enjoy the breathtaking views while hiking its nature trails. Clambering the cliffs over the falls is enjoyable. The higher you go, the more stunning views you will see.

4. Martha Brae River

From the Blue Hole, make your way to the Martha Brae River. It takes one hour to drive from Ocho Rios to Martha Brae River. On Jamaica’s north coast, Martha Brae River in Trelawny is about three miles south of Falmouth. The driving distance from Lucea to Martha Brae River is 74 km, which takes approximately one hour and 20 minutes. 

Rafting on the Martha Brae River is one of the top things to do in Jamaica with toddlers. Also, if you are a newly married couple, the Martha Brae River bamboo raft will take you on a romantic adventure along the outstanding trail of the river. 

Enjoy gliding down the river on a bamboo raft while soaking up the tropical atmosphere at Martha Brae Rafter’s Village. In the Martha Brae River excursion, the guide will show you many recreational facilities, including a swimming pool, a picnic area, and a bar. There are also shops where you can purchase souvenirs and refreshments. 

During the trip, the guide will entertain you by singing reggae songs or sharing interesting facts about Jamaican flora and fauna. Additionally, you will learn about the legend of Martha Brae.

The Martha Brae River rafting entrance fee starts at $35 per person and varies depending on the pickup location and the selected type of transportation. The rafting weight limit is 300 lbs (136.078 kg), and the minimum age is two. The raft accommodates two adults and an eight-year-old child or younger.

In addition to the Martha Brae River Rafting Excursions, enjoy an exhilarating swim with your companions. Taking an educational and entertaining guided Martha Brae River tubing tour is a unique experience you will never forget.

5. Bob Marley Museum Kingston

In the Land of Reggae, visiting the former home and studio of the legendary reggae singer Bob Marley will excite you. Snooping around the Bob Marley Museum is one of the best things to do in Jamaica. It is dedicated to the Jamaican singer-songwriter Bob Marley. Explore Marley’s recording studio, bedroom, and more. You will also find some artefacts that belong to Marley. 

Things to do in Jamaica - Bob Marley
Things to do in Jamaica – Bob Marley

Located at 56 Hope Road, the Bob Marley Museum is in Kingston. It takes approximately one hour and 15 minutes to reach the museum from Ocho Rios, and approximately two hours and 47 minutes to reach it from Montego Bay.

The Bob Marley Museum‘s opening hours are 9:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., every day except Sundays. The Bob Marley Home Tour costs $25 for adults and $12 for 4—to 12-year-old children. Children under the age of three have free admission. Online reservations are recommended. 

Additional tours are available at different prices at the museum. Choose one of the other Bob Marley Museum tours, Tuff Gong International’s Bob Marley’s “Making of the Music” Tour and Combo’s “One Love” Tour, and enjoy!

After you complete your Reggae-inspired tour, relax at One Love Café and enjoy your meal. There is also a gift shop where you can purchase souvenirs.

6. Nine Mile Bob Marley Museum and Mausoleum

The Bob Marley Museum and Mausoleum Trip are Jamaica’s best things to do. After you visit the Bob Marley Museum in Kingston and explore the home and studio of the legendary Jamaican singer-songwriter, it is time to visit Nine Mile to check out the Bob Marley Museum and Mausoleum. 

Take a guided tour in Nine Mile to explore the farming village where Bob Marley and his wife grew up. You will also see the home where he spent his childhood. In a small traditional-Ethiopian-style church, visit the two marble mausoleums of Marley and his mother. You will find that Marley’s body is buried along with his guitar.

7. Dunn’s River Falls and Park

For a beautiful day trip, why don’t you try the Dunn’s River Falls and Bob Marley’s Nine Mile tour?! Your guided tour will start from Nine Mile, where you will delve into Bob Marley’s life and explore where he was born. Then, you will continue to Dunn’s River, enjoying the mesmerising views. 

Having fun at Dunn’s River Falls and Park is also among the best things to do in Jamaica. Less than 10 minutes away from Ocho Rios, hike the naturally-tiered rocks to the top of the famous Jamaican falls, but be cautious! The stones are a little bit slippery due to the algae. So, make sure you wear water shoes that fit appropriately.

Attracting thousands of visitors yearly, this magical area offers a place to recline and relax. Cooling off with a swim in the natural terraced pools at the bottom of the waterfalls is one of the refreshing things to do in Jamaica. With the surrounding greenery, enjoy the mesmerising views of the water tumbling over the limestone ledges and pouring into the Caribbean Sea.

The ticket includes lunch and all entrance fees. Pickup and drop-off in Ocho Rios, Negril, or Montego Bay are also included. With dinner at Joe James, you can add a night boat ride in the Luminous Lagoon to your tour.

8. Glistening Waters Luminous Lagoon

You can visit the magical luminous lagoon of Glistening Waters as an optional part of Dunn’s River Falls and Bob Marley’s Nine Mile tour or in an independent tour. Located east of Falmouth in Trelawny Parish, enjoy the marvellous views of Glistening Waters Luminous Lagoon on Jamaica’s north coast.

Imagine the water shining like glamorous stars! In Glistening Waters, the water lights up with a bright blue colour around you. This phenomenon occurs only in four places in the world. Jamaica has the brightest luminous lagoon due to its consistent climate. 

When the freshwater from the Martha Brae River and the salt water from the ocean meet, they form this breathtaking, luminous lagoon. Its marine phosphorescence occurs since the lagoon has billions of bioluminescent microorganisms that glow in the dark when you touch it or splash the water.

Taking a boat at night around this incredible bioluminescent lagoon is one of the most beautiful things to do in Jamaica. Also, swimming in this luminous lagoon is a unique experience you will never forget. You will be surrounded by a magical glowing light that moves with you.

9. Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park

Sprawling around the eastern edge of Jamaica, visit Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park. The area was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2015 for its cultural and natural heritage. Taking a guided or bicycle tour in Jamaica’s only national park is one of the best things to do in Jamaica. 

Enjoy hiking, trekking, and camping in Jamaica’s most extended mountain range, which has the island’s highest point, Blue Mountain Peak, at 2,256 metres. The higher you climb, the craggier the terrain and the cooler the weather. So dress in heavy clothes and bring water to stay hydrated during your hike.

At the summit, appreciate the mesmerising views of the perpetually mist-shrouded mountains, the scenic rock formations, the lush flowering vegetation, the colourful birds, and the cascading waterfalls. Also, explore the endemic plants and bird species. The wildlife there is impressive, too.

Exploring the fantastic waterfalls on John Crow Mountain, especially Nanny Falls, is lovely. These falls are named after Nanny of the Maroons, a Jamaican heroine. In addition to the breathtaking views, you can delve into Jamaica’s history and learn more about the Maroons, the descendants of Africans in Jamaica.

Among the most enjoyable things to do in Jamaica is sip coffee in the Blue Mountains. Home to its namesake, well-known coffee, explore the area’s coffee fields and smell the distinctive aroma of fresh coffee. Enjoy roasting some coffee there, then take samples home.

10. Rose Hall Great House

Paying to Rose Hall Great House in Montego Bay is among Jamaica’s best things to do. It is a Georgian plantation house turned into a historic house museum. With spectacular views of the Caribbean Sea, the grand house, along with the surrounding magical tropical gardens and historic ruins, will enchant you.

Also known as the House of Horrors of Jamaica, legend states that the famous White Witch, Annee Palmer, haunted the house. If you have enough courage, explore the mystery of the place by taking a spooky 45-minute tour at night. The night tour is available from Thursday to Saturday from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. It costs $30 for adults and $12 for children ages four to eleven. 

In the morning, explore the beauty of Rose Hall Great House with its beautiful gardens. From Monday to Thursday, take a day tour of the house and garden in any 45 minutes from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. It costs $25 per person and $10 per child from the age of four to the age of 11. 

Another tour of Rose Hall Great House is Annee’s Escape Bundle. Available daily From 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, take a tour in the house and a tour in the championship golf. Shopping at Main Street Jamaica and having lunch is part of the bundle. It costs $129 per person and $99 per child from four to 11 years old.

Rose Hall includes two of the Caribbean’s most widely acclaimed golf courses with 54 holes of the championship. There is also Cinnamon Hill Great House, the home of Johnny Cash and his wife, June Carter-Cash. Visiting this house costs $25 per person and $10 per child from four to 11 years old. It is open from Monday to Friday from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm.

If you are a couple and want to plan a wedding in a beautiful place, Rose Hall offers many wedding venues with outstanding landscapes. In Rose Hall, you can also plan your events, from pool parties and mega concerts to corporate dinners. The team will organize the event according to your preferences and plans.

11. Doctor’s Cave Beach

Best 15 Things to Do in Jamaica, Land of Reggae

In Montego Bay’s Hip Strip, one of the best things to do in Jamaica is to visit Doctor’s Cave Beach. Appreciate the sea’s clear turquoise water and the white sandy beach with green palm trees. With an entry fee, enjoy swimming and playing in soothing waves. You can enjoy many water sports, including kayaking, snorkelling, and riding water scooters. 

The beach’s name has an interesting story. Dr. Alexander James McCatty and his friends, who were working in the medical profession, owned and used a beach property. They used to pass through a cave to reach the beach. A hurricane destroyed the namesake cave in 1932. In 1906, Dr. McCatty donated this property to found a bathing club. 

In 1920, a well-known British osteopath named Sir Herbert Barker claimed that the water had curative power and could cure various ailments. This boosted the popularity of the beach and attracted more visitors from around the globe to experience it themselves. Soon after, the place was full of several hotels and became one of Jamaica’s most fantastic tourist attractions.

12. Tryall Club Golf Course

If you love playing golf, Tryall Club, with its luxury villas and stunning landscapes, offers a golf course alongside the Caribbean Sea. Located close to Montego Bay, Tryall Club Golf Course provides one of the most challenging courses in the area with an 18-hole par-71 championship green. Accept the challenge and experience one of the world-class golf courses!

Tryall Club Golf Course hosts several golf championships. However, this does not mean it is only suitable for experienced players. Everyone can play there: beginners, amateurs, and experienced players. If you are still a beginner, don’t worry! There is a Golf Academy with expert instructors to help you improve your game.

13. Rio Grande River

In the parish of Portland, the Rio Grande River rafting is one of the best things to do in Jamaica. It is one of the largest rivers in Jamaica; however, it is less crowded than the Martha Brae River. Lasting for two hours, a licensed guide will take you on a bamboo raft tour and share exciting stories about the area with you. 

This means that the Big River, Rio Grande, was named after the Spanish who occupied Jamaica in the 15th and 16th centuries. In 1911, rafting began on this grand river. Banana farmers used rafts to transport their bananas from the Rio Grande Valley to other areas along the river. Rafting in the Rio Grande River has become a popular tourist attraction.

Enjoy rafting on the river and taking in the sights along the way. The beautiful views of the lush green rainforests along the crystal clear water help you relax and unwind throughout your trip. To enjoy your vacation to the full, take some refreshments with you on the raft. The guide will stop at a local restaurant, and you will try some delicious local food for lunch.

14. Black River

Best 15 Things to Do in Jamaica, Land of Reggae

Like the Rio Grande River, the Black River is one of the longest rivers in Jamaica. At more than 53 kilometres, it is located in St. Elizabeth parish in southwestern Jamaica. The river got its name from the thick layers of decomposing vegetation that caused the river bed to have a black hue. It also houses a complex ecosystem that thrives in a tropical, damp climate. 

Taking a guided boat tour along the Black River is one of the top things to do in Jamaica. Immerse yourself in nature and enjoy the spectacular views of the greenery. Spotting crocodiles creeping on the riverbanks is enjoyable. There are also many species of birds, including snowy egrets and herons. Besides learning about the species that inhabit the area, you will learn all about the area’s ecology, geography, and history. 

15. YS Falls

Best 15 Things to Do in Jamaica, Land of Reggae

Ys Falls is usually combined with the Black River in one tour. It is in St. Elizabeth, a short drive from the Black River. With many exciting activities, visiting YS Falls is among Jamaica’s best activities. 

YS Falls is open from 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. It costs $20.00 for adults and $12.00 for children under 15. Considered Jamaica’s largest waterfall, I appreciate its excellent views and beautiful surrounding gardens.

Seven outstanding falls are cascading over lush vegetation into natural pools in the area. With your kids, cool off by taking a dip in one of these pools or relax while enjoying the mesmerising views. River tubing and ziplining over the falls are also adventurous activities you can do there. 

Jamaican Food

Jamaica has irresistible food and drinks that you should try when you visit it. The seasoning and spices added to the food will make your experience unique. Here is a list of the best Jamaican cuisine.

1. Ackee and Saltfish

Ackee and Codfish is Jamaica’s national dish, more popularly known as Ackee and Saltfish. It resembles scrambled eggs, made of the ackee fruit sautéed with stewed salted codfish, tomatoes, onions, spices, and herbs. Another recipe calls for ackee to be curried and served with rice. 

To have a tasty dish, there is a trick in cooking this dish. It is that the ackee should be ripe. When its pod bursts open, it reveals the yellow fruit suitable for eating. Ackee and Saltfish is served mainly at breakfast and sometimes at dinner with coleslaw, hardo bread, or Jamaican dumplings.

2. Jerk Chicken

Another popular Jamaican dish is Jerk Chicken. The chicken is marinated in allspice, cinnamon, clover, ginger, garlic, nutmeg, thyme, and scotch bonnet pepper. Alternatively, it can be seasoned using the dry rub method. 

After the chicken soaks in the flavour, it is slow-smoked on an open grill. The grill is made of green pimento wood and placed over burning coals. 

Jerk chicken is usually served with rice, bread, peas, and steamed cabbage. You can also try jerk fish, seafood, beef, goat, and vegetables using the jerk cooking style.

Things to do in Jamaica - Jerk Chicken
Jerk Chicken

3. Jamaican Dumplings

Made of only three ingredients, Jamaican Dumplings are also a popular side dish in Jamaica. They are mainly served beside Ackee and Saltfish. All-purpose flour, a pinch of kosher salt, and water make the stiff dough. 

After shaping the dumplings or spinners, they are cooked in boiling salted water, soup, or stew. A different recipe calls for deep-frying them.

4. Blue Mountain Coffee

Do not miss out on trying a cup of Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee while you are in Jamaica. Sipping your coffee on one of Jamaica’s beautiful beaches is relaxing. This world-class coffee is highly sought-after, and it is one of the most expensive coffees in the world. Chris Blackwell once said, “Jamaica has the best coffee, sugar, ginger, and some of the best cocoa in the world.” 

Flights to Jamaica

To visit Jamaica, you can travel on a cruise ship. On the other hand, flying is the quickest and cheapest way to reach Jamaica. Jamaica has three international airports: Norman Manley International Airport in Kingston, Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, and Ian Fleming International Airport in Ocho Rios. 

The flight from Cuba to Montego Bay in Jamaica takes around one hour and 22 minutes. Many flights from Jamaica to The Bahamas take around four hours, and travelling from Jamaica to Barbados takes two hours and 35 minutes. 

There are a lot of UK to Jamaica flights. To travel to Jamaica from the UK, you can take a plane from London, Birmingham, Manchester, Belfast, or Aberdeen. Nine hours and 45 minutes are the estimated flight duration from London to Kingston. However, it takes 10 hours and 15 minutes from Manchester to Jamaica.

Enjoy a four-hour flight from Canada to Jamaica. It takes only three hours and 40 minutes from New York to Jamaica. However, it takes three hours and 20 minutes from Mexico City to Jamaica.

Pieces of Travel Advice for Jamaica

Before you travel to Jamaica, you should take into consideration the following pieces of advice:

  • Convert some of your money into the local currency (Jamaican Dollar J$). You can get it from most ATMs or any local bank on the island. Many airports also provide currency exchange services.
  • Keep your money safe. Do not take a lot of money with you when you are out. Just take what you need for the day. 
  • Wear sunscreen when out in the Caribbean, as the sun is scorching. Sunglasses and a hat are also recommended.
  • Use insect repellent all the time to avoid insect and tick bites. There is a risk of Zika Virus in this country, which mosquitoes transmit. If you are pregnant, avoid travelling to Jamaica until after the pregnancy.
  • Do some research before travelling. Then, list all the things to do and see in Jamaica and prioritise them. 
  • You can use credit or debit cards in Jamaica. There are many ATMs across the country, and this is easy and fast. However, check with your bank that your card can be used abroad before you travel. Also, ask about the fees for overseas withdrawals.
  • Take an adapter with you. Jamaica’s standard electricity is 110 volts with two-pin sockets. 
  • When visiting waterfalls and parks, keep your phone inside a waterproof case. You can then use your mobile to take amazing photos without damaging them.
  • Avoid hitchhiking and travelling at night. If you must, travel in pairs and tell someone about your destination. 
  • Avoid wearing camouflage clothing or accessorising with anything with a camouflage print. This is illegal in Jamaica and may be confiscated at the airport. 
  • Ride the taxi that has a red number plate. It is licensed and authorised to operate.
  • Learn some Jamaican patois before you travel to Jamaica because it is part of the national identity. Get used to the famous Jamaican phrases and sayings. 
  • Tipping is customary and appreciated in Jamaica. However, do not tip shared taxi drivers or leave tips in restaurants with automatic service charges.
Things to do in Jamaica - Waterfalls
Things to do in Jamaica – Waterfalls

There are many things to do in Jamaica. It is full of incredible natural spots and dazzling tourist attractions. If you have not travelled there, you missed a lot. Why don’t you consider a holiday in Jamaica this year?! We wish you a pleasant trip to Jamaica!

Other blogs that might interest you: Superb Tourist Destinations in Haiti | Exciting Spots in Barbados | Mesmerizing Destinations in Puerto Rico

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *