Jamaica things to see and do

Tourist offices

Jamaica Tourist Board in the UK

1-2 Prince Consort Road, London, SW7 2BZ, United Kingdom
Tel: (020) 7225 9090.
www.visitjamaica.com

Jamaica Tourist Board in the USA

5201 Blue Lagoon Drive, Suite 670, Miami, FL, 33126, Jamaica

Things to see and do

Blue Mountains

Follow one of many hiking and climbing trails up the Blue Mountains to heights above 2,100m (7,000ft). Shrouded by mists that give the peaks their bluish tinge, the Blue Mountains are home to more than 200 bird species and 800 species of plants.

Bob Marley Museum, Kingston

As the heart of ‘true’ Jamaica, Kingston beats the island’s rhythm. That rhythm is reggae, and as such, a visit to 56 Hope Road is a must for most, and a pilgrimage for many. This is the city’s most visited address. Formerly the home and studio of the legendary Bob Marley, the modest wooden house now serves as both museum and shrine.

Carnival time

Be sure to take to the streets to witness Jamaica's riotous fun-filled carnival. Parading musicians, skimpily dressed dancers and floats typify this world famous street party. Expect outlandish behaviour to the sound of soca, steel bands and beating drums.

Columbus Park

Pop into the 24-hour open-air museum and see relics of Jamaican history at Columbus Park, a commemorative park to mark the 1494 landing of Christopher Columbus in Discovery Bay.

Dolphin-spotting

Surrounded by tropical rainforest, Dolphin Cove in Ocho Rios is the largest dolphin natural lagoon home to numerous bottle nose dolphins. The chance to interact and swim with these magical creatures is sure to make for an unforgettable experience.

Explore the mountains

Ride a bicycle downhill through an elfin forest of stunted soapwood and redwood trees, home to hundreds of species of bird and blossoming plants. Speed through the world-famous Blue Mountain coffee plantations or meander at a leisurely pace along hedgerow-flanked lanes.

Explore the Rio Grande

Hop aboard a bamboo raft to explore the Rio Grande for a thrilling trip through banana and sugar cane plantations. Set sail from the peaks of the Blue Mountains at Berrydale before winding down to Margaret's Bay along one of Jamaica's largest rivers.

Kingston

Kingston’s reputation may include crime crowds and shanty-towns, but for a real insight into Jamaica’s island life nowhere else will do. Stay smart and you’ll enjoy a fascinating and authentic experience encompassing grand historical sights, a beautiful harbour-front, frenetic markets and pulsating street-life.

Limestone caves

Check out a huge labyrinth of limestone caves on Jamaica's north coast, a stunning natural phenomena. Characterised by stalactites, stalagmites, overhead crags, tunnels light holes, and in its depths a subterranean lake, the Green Grotto was once used as shelter by the Arawak Indians (Tainos).

Lover's Leap

Head out to Lover's Leap, a sheer 518m (1,700ft) cliff overhanging the sea east of Treasure Beach. It was here that two slave lovers leaped to their deaths rather than to be separated. Those with vertigo should stand well away from the edge - the view is terrifying.

Milk River Spa

Take a rejuvenating dip in the curative waters of the aged Milk River with a visit to the unique government owned spa located here, and enjoy a naturally radioactive mineral bath. Discovered in 1794, these spring-fed therapeutic waters reach temperatures of 33°C (86°F).

Montego Bay

Chill-out or party hard Jamaican-style in Montego Bay, the island’s most buzzing city. Whether lounging all day on laid-back Doctor's Cave Beach or cruising through the gaudy delights of Gloucester, this is the spot where Jamaica lays its ‘big sell’ on the world’s tourists. Many never make it any further.

Port Royal

Don't miss a chance to visit the Port Royal in Kingston, a fine museum on top of the peninsula bordering Kingston Harbour. It honours Jamaica's ancient capital city, submerged under the sea after an earthquake in 1692.

Shaw Park Botanical Gardens

For truly vibrant blooms check out the exhibits at Shaw Park Botanical Gardens, a 10-hectare (25-acre) collection of exotic Caribbean flora in Ocho Rios. Situated high on a hilltop overlooking the Caribbean Sea, the gardens has a waterfall as a centrepiece.

Spanish Town

Stroll around the ancient streets of Spanish Town, Jamaica's former capital, on a historical walking tour. It was once a magnificent and impressive metropolis and some fine stately red-brick homes and grand monuments remain, including a resplendent plaza.

Treasure Bay

Comprising three golden sandy bays on the south of the island, where palm fronds sway, azure waters lap, and local fisherman cruise their colourful boats to fish amongst the cays on the horizon. This is the Jamaican paradise you saw in the brochure before you came.

Underwater gardens

Dive in some of the best underwater gardens Montego Bay Marine Park, located along the west and north coasts where sunken wrecks, black coral and rope sponge host a multitude of multicoloured tropical fish. Montego Bay’s waters are protected, and here you’re likely spot nurse sharks, eagle rays, upside down jellyfish, tobacco fish and snapper in shallow spurs and grove reefs amidst an assortment of caverns.

Walking paths

Explore the hundreds of paths connecting villages and settlements around the mountains, including several non-tourist utilitarian paths around Newcastle on the Kingston to Buff Bay Road where trails lead to Catherine's Peak and Mount Horeb.

Edited by Jane Duru
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