Dreaming of a Jamaican vacation this summer?
We don’t blame you. From sea and surf to rum and reggae, this beautiful Caribbean island has a whole lot to offer, whether you prefer the all-inclusive resort experience or trekking through the jungle.
Plus, it’s still open to tourists from the US and many other countries.
With that in mind, we decided to highlight some of the best places to visit around Jamaica. There’s something here for everyone, no matter how long your trip or big your budget.
Jamaica’s bustling capital is the perfect place to take in the culture, whether it’s munching on jerk chicken or jammin’, jammin’ at the Bob Marley Museum, where you can explore the icon’s life in his former home.
Take in local art at the National Gallery of Jamaica, the largest in the English-speaking Caribbean, or learn more about the country’s history at the Devon House, built in 1881 by Jamaica’s first black millionaire.
Kingston’s also one of the best places to try a glass of one of the country’s other famous exports, Jamaican rum.
Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park
Any hikers in the house?
Then make sure to take a “peak” at Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park, home to Jamaica’s longest range, the Blue Mountains, and its highest point, Blue Mountain Peak. In fact, at 7,402 feet, there are only a few mountains in the entire Caribbean that are taller,.
They get their name from the cool mist that makes the mountain tops look blue – and offers some welcome relief from the heat!
If you want to escape the tourist crowds and all-inclusive resorts to experience a slice of Caribbean paradise that’s a little more unspoiled, we’ve got just the place.
Located just 60 miles from Kingston, Port Antonio has less than 1% of the capital’s population – and receives a fraction of the visitors that port cities like Montego Bay and Ocho Rios do.
And yet it’s absolutely packed with some of the country’s most beautiful, most pristine locations.
At Boston Bay Beach, you’ll find clear, tropical waters – and some of the best surfing the country has to offer. While Frenchman’s Cove provides equally gorgeous scenery in a slightly more idyllic, laid-back environment, with powdery white sand you can dig your feet into.
Reach Falls and Blue Lagoon are great inland, fresh water swimming holes. And rafting down the Rio Grande (“Big River”) is another cool way to experience the local nature.
Kingston may be Jamaica’s political capital, but Montego Bay is its tourist capital.
The city is home to the country’s largest international airport, a busy port for cruise ships, and plenty of resorts. Plus, it gives easy access to some of Jamaica’s most popular attractions, from Martha Brae River to Doctor’s Cave Beach, plus some interesting historical sites, like Rose Hall.
Dunn’s River Falls
You may recognize the next site from a scene in the classic Bond film, Dr. No, which was filmed here.
Or maybe it’s just familiar from all the other recommendations around the internet. After all, Dunn’s River Falls is one of the most popular tourist sites in Jamaica. Because not only is it beautiful, the falls form a set of natural stairs which you can climb to the top.
The 600-feet-long hike can take over an hour, but fortunately, there are numerous lagoons along the way for you to take a break and cool off in.
Blue Hole got its name from being, well, a swimming hole with beautiful turquoise-blue water. And “Turquoise Hole” doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, though it does go by other names, including Island Gully Falls.
You’ll find it hidden in the lush rainforest about 20 minutes outside Ocho Rios, with multiple pools to see as you climb higher through the jungle. Take in the scenery, take a dip… or take a jump.
That’s right, there are cliff jumps and rope swings ranging from 5 to 20 feet, for those of you seeking a hit of adrenaline.
Negril is your prototypical Jamaican beach destination, home to arguably the country’s most famous stretch of coast, Seven Mile Beach. Negril Cliffs is another big draw that shouldn’t be missed.
Of course, there are lesser known – and less crowded – beaches in the area, including Half Moon Beach. While you’re there, try the horseback “ride n’ swim”. Not only can you ride horses on the beach, you can ride them right into the water.
Don’t worry, the horses love it! And you will too.
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories