Things to do in Jamaica

Things to do in  Jamaica

The island with a reggae beat

Waterfalls, mountains, palm-lined sands, reggae, and buzzing resorts: Jamaica is a paradise for beach-, party-, and adventure-seekers. When you’re not on sandy Seven Mile or Turtle Beach, grab yourself some of the best things to do in Jamaica on multi-stop day trips from resorts like Montego Bay and Ocho Rios. Visit Dunn’s River Falls and the Blue Lagoon, watch Rick’s Café cliff-divers, and enjoy river rafting, ziplining, snorkeling, party cruises, shopping, and Blue Mountain hikes. Slower-tempo attractions include the capital, Kingston, plantation houses, rum distilleries, and Bob Marley’s hometown of Nine Mile.

Top 15 attractions in Jamaica

Dunn's River Falls

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Dunn's River Falls is a spectacular White River waterfall near Ocho Rios in Jamaica, where cold mountain water cascades 1,000 feet (300 meters) down naturally terraced steps. Those interested in geology will be fascinated with the way the world-famous falls renew themselves via regular deposits of calcium carbonate and sodium, while movie buffs will recognize them from films such as Dr. No and Cocktail.More

Blue Hole

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The Blue Hole—alternatively known as the Cool Blue Hole, Secret Falls, or Island Gully—is a natural limestone sinkhole near Ocho Rios. A deep cavern within the tropical mountains of Jamaica, the Blue Hole gets its name from the deep azure hue of the water. Travelers visit to swim, cliff dive, and make their way through the lush rain forest to Secret Falls.More

Rick's Café

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High on the cliffs outside Negril, Rick’s Cafe is one of Jamaica’s most enduring institutions. Negril was a sleepy fishing village when Rick’s opened in 1974, and travelers and locals alike still make a pilgrimage to the restaurant and bar for strong cocktails, tasty Jamaican dishes, death-defying cliff divers, and sunset viewing parties.More

Club Mobay Departure Lounge

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Start your Montego Bay vacation as soon as you get off the plane at Club Mobay, and then linger in island vibes until the minute you board your flight back home. This luxury lounge in Montego Bay’s Sangster International Airport combines professional services with Jamaican hospitality, making your airport experience part of your vacation.More

Appleton Estate

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Largely regarded as one of Jamaica’s best rum distilleries, the Appleton Estate has been producing the liquor since 1749. With its sprawling sugarcane plantations and facilities, the estate covers an 11,000-acre (4,452-hectare) plot and makes about 10 million liters of rum per year.More

Greenwood Great House

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Take a walk through a unique piece of history with a tour of the magnificent hilltop Greenwood Great House. A national landmark, the house was built in the late 1700s by Richard Barrett, a cousin of poet Elizabeth Barrett-Browning, whose family was among Jamaica’s original colonial settlers.More

Bob Marley Museum

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Housed in the former home and recording studio of reggae king Bob Marley, this museum is among the most popular attractions in all of Jamaica. Here you can see Marley’s gold and platinum records, articles of his clothing, and his favorite guitar still resting beside his bed, as well as reminders of a 1976 attempt on his life.More

Martha Brae River

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Winding 20 miles (32 kilometers) through Jamaica’s tropical inland rain forests, the turquoise Martha Brae River is an essential stop for nature lovers traveling in this Caribbean country. Visit for a quick rafting trip or take advantage of its privileged position close to other natural attractions and diverse wildlife during your Jamaica vacation.More

Hip Strip (Gloucester Avenue)

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Buzzing with activity and music day and night, the Hip Strip is the beating heart of Montego Bay. This stretch of Gloucester Avenue—between Aquasol Theme Park and the airport—is the epicenter of tourism entertainment, where the town’s most popular shops, nightclubs, restaurants, bars, and beach hangouts pulsate with fun-seeking travelers.More

Rose Hall Great House

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The Rose Hall Great House is a grand estate built in the late 18th century in Montego Bay, Jamaica. One of the area’s most popular historic attractions, the Georgian mansion is the centerpiece of a 650-acre (263-hectare) plantation that is most notable for its famous occupant, Annie Palmer—better known as the White Witch of Rose Hall.More

Bob Marley's Nine Mile

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A visit to Nine Mile, a sleepy town high in the Jamaican mountains of St. Ann Parish, is a must for die-hard Bob Marley fans. Home to the birthplace, house, and mausoleum of the legendary king of reggae, Nine Mile offers visitors insight into Bob Marley’s everyday life and his music, and a deeper understanding of his roots.More

Devon House

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The 19th-century Devon House is a Georgian-style home once owned by George Stiebel, Jamaica’s first black millionaire. Rooms furnished with Caribbean antiques still retain original features; highlights include an English chandelier in the ballroom. Located in Kingston, the 11-acre (4-hectare) estate now has shops, art boutiques, and cafés.More

Seven Mile Beach

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Swaying palm trees, gentle azure waves, and dazzling white sands make Negril’s Seven Mile Beach a postcard-pretty classic. With a nearly permanent spot on myriad “best beaches in the world” lists, you won’t be alone in paradise—but with miles of beach and nearly every water sport available, you’re sure to find what you’re looking for.More

YS Falls

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YS Falls comprises seven waterfalls on the YS River, located in St. Elizabeth Parish on the lush south coast of Jamaica. Often overshadowed by Dunn’s River Falls, YS is worth a visit for its more secluded location and the promise of a less-crowded experience of Jamaica’s natural beauty.More

Rio Bueno

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Reportedly the place where Christopher Columbus first set foot on Jamaican soil, Rio Bueno is a small village east of Montego Bay. People come to the area to take part in water sports on the river.More

Trip ideas

Top activities in Jamaica

Bamboo Rafting and horseback

Bamboo Rafting and horseback

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All about Jamaica

When to visit

Jamaica enjoys near-constant sunshine. The weather is best from December through April, when temperatures linger around the 71°F (22°C) mark and trade breezes brush the sands. This season is also busy, so expect everything to be relatively crowded. The island’s festivals also draw visitors; the most popular include January’s Rebel Salute concerts, March’s Carnival season, July’s Reggae Sumfest, and late summer’s Dream Weekend music festival. For quieter experiences, consider the post-hurricane period of November and early December.

Getting around

Public buses reign supreme in Jamaica, but if you take them, be prepared for crowded vehicles and lots of transfers if you need to go a long distance. Taxis (marked by red license plates with PPV or PP on them) can be expensive but are easy to find. If comfort is your priority, your best bet is to rent a car. That said, if you’re only planning occasional sightseeing trips, the best options might be to book guided tours that include transportation or hire a private car and driver.

Traveler tips

Make sure to pack electrical adaptors when heading to Jamaica; the island’s sockets vary from 110 volts to 220 volts, and not all hotels will have appropriate connectors. You should also be prepared for the island’s somewhat limited banking hours. Most banks are open from 9am to 2pm Monday through Thursday and from 9am to 4pm on Fridays. Foreign exchange stands in resorts and supermarkets are often more convenient.

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People Also Ask

What is Jamaica known for?

Some of Jamaica’s major claims to fame include turquoise seas, beaches, mountains, waterfalls, rainforests, coral reefs, sunshine, and reggae—the latter linked to the island’s favorite son, Bob Marley. Also popular are the bustling capital of Kingston and entertainment-packed tourist hot spots of Montego Bay, Negril, and Ochos Rios.

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Is there a lot to do in Jamaica?

Yes, Jamaica has plenty to do, including sunbathing, snorkeling, and diving in the Caribbean. Tour a rum distillery or plantation house, go river rafting, climb Dunn’s River Falls, swim in sinkholes, play golf, and visit the Bob Marley Museum. Kingston’s colonial-era sights beckon, while foodies enjoy the local Creole cuisine.

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What is the number one attraction in Jamaica?

Most tourists visit Jamaica for its beaches and near-endless sunshine, but it boasts other draws. Topping the most-visited lists are the terraced Dunn’s River Falls where visitors climb upwards through the cascades, Blue Hole sinkhole, and Kingston and Montego Bay—the latter popular for its white sand, golf, diving, and restaurants.

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How many days in Jamaica is enough?

A week is enough for experiencing Jamaica’s essentials: lazing on the beach, getting out on the water, and visiting must-sees like Kingston or Dunn’s River Falls. However, two weeks lets you dig deeper. Explore the interior, try experiences like river rafting and rum tasting, and wallow in the mellow vibes.

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What is the nicest part of Jamaica to visit?

The nicest part of Jamaica depends on your interests. For beach lovers, Negril’s Seven Mile and Montego Bay’s Doctor Cave beaches are ideal with their swaying palms, beach bars, and reggae parties. For tropical scenery, peace, and adventure, the Blue Mountains, Martha Brae River, and the island’s forested waterfalls are best.

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Is Jamaica safe to travel to?

Jamaica is relatively safe, providing you stay vigilant. Crime is high in parts of Montego Bay and Kingston, but wherever you are, exercise caution and take steps to protect against pickpocketing and scams. Don’t flaunt cash or high-value items, and avoid using public transport or walking alone at night.

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Frequently Asked Questions
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