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Things to Do & Must-See Attractions in Jamaica

From the open-air markets and colonial landmarks in Kingston and Montego Bay to the laid-back vibe on Negril’s Seven Mile Beach, Jamaica has an activity for every traveler’s style. Vacation in true Caribbean fashion by lounging on the miles of beaches along the Ocho Rios coastline. You’ll want to take breaks to taste some local rum, sip a Red Stripe or some famous Blue Mountain coffee, or dig in to a plate of traditional jerk chicken. The entire azure coastline offers myriad opportunities to swim and snorkel among the coral reefs and the abundance of marine life. A tour guide is the best way to gain insight into the island’s musical history, with a visit to the Bob Marley Museum or even Marley’s hometown, Nine Mile. Adventure-seekers can take their pick of activities such as ziplining through the jungle canopy; whitewater rafting down the Black River; climbing the terraced Dunn’s River Falls; hiking to the top of Blue Mountain; or spelunking in one of the many limestone caves that dot the island nation. Don’t miss a visit to the Luminous Lagoon, one of the few places in the world where the conditions are just right for swimming and boating in a bioluminescent bay lit up by tiny, harmless dinoflagellates.
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Club Mobay Departure Lounge
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Don’t let your Jamaica vacation end when you get to the airport. Continue the island relaxation and fun by spending your last hours in Jamaica at Club Mobay Departure Lounge in Montego Bay’s Sangster International Airport.

Club Mobay is an airport lounge to rival all airport lounges. Feel like you’re flying first class as you step into the nearly 12,000 square foot lounge and take in the comfortable chairs, stylish bar, large televisions and well-stocked snack bar. There is also a business center with computers for those that need a peaceful place to catch up on work emails or do other online projects before heading up into the air. High-speed Wi-Fi is available throughout the lounge. Club Mobay also has a great area for kids called Pickney Place that has arcade games and other activities. There are also shower facilities if you’d like to freshen up before your flight.

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Rick's Café
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A local institution, Rick's Cafe was the first public bar and restaurant of its type on the West End cliffs.

Opening its doors in 1974 when Negril was still a sleepy fishing village, Rick's is now a popular spot to view the sunset, which regularly provokes a round of applause from an appreciative crowd.

It's a touristy but laid-back spot on cliffs that plunge 33 ft (10 m) into the ocean. Local cliff divers and foolhardy visitors often make the jump from several platforms into the sea below.

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Blue Hole
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Blue Hole is a natural wonder located near Ocho Rios. A deep cavern within the tropical mountains of Jamaica, Blue Hole gets its name from the deep hue of the water here. This site isn’t just pretty water, though. There are also waterfalls pouring into the hole from the sides and thick vegetation growing around the edges and from crevices in its rocky perimeter. Vines hang down into Blue Hole as well, giving it an even more exotic appearance. It is an excellent place to go swimming and cliff jumping.

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Seven Mile Beach
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Seven Mile beach is 11 km (6.75 mi) of golden sandy loveliness. It's a paradise setting of azure waters, soft, warm sand and palm trees swaying in the tropical breeze, things you take in all before you see the resorts, the hustlers and the (gasp!) nudity.

Seven Mile beach maybe one the best beaches in the Caribbean (as voted by several travel publications) but it is also one of the most hedonistic. Topless sun baking is a given along its entire stretch and there is even a section (and several hotel-specific beach sections) for those chasing an all over tan.

Resorts line the beach and everything is on tap to indulge your every whim. If you can tune out (or embrace) the hawkers, constant reggae and exhibitionists, then this may just be your idea of paradise. More conservative-minded folk and families seeking a little more solitude and a tad less nudity may wish to park their beach towel elsewhere.

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Greenwood Great House
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Take a walk through an unique piece of Jamaican and literary history with a tour of the Greenwood Great House, built in the late 1700s by Richard Barrett, a cousin of poet Elizabeth Barrett-Browning, whose family was among Jamaica’s original colonial settlers. Nearby Rose Hall often overshadows Greenwood Great House, but in fact Greenwood is better preserved, with many of the original furnishings still intact, including the library, a collection of Dresden china, and haunting relics from the original owner’s slave holding past, like a 6-foot-long, steel man-trap for catching runaways.

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Martha Brae River
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The Martha Brae River is the tranquil home of river rafting in Jamaica, the best way to discover the country's tropical interior. Guided tours include refreshment, lunch and lagoon swim stops, and quite often the guided rafting trips pass riverside crafts stalls. Rafts are ecologically friendly, made from bamboo, and the trips along the river pass Luminous Lagoon, where a natural phenomenon causes the water to glow. While you're here, pay a visit to the port of Falmouth on the river estuary, known for its seafaring heritage.
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White River
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White River Valley prides itself on its eco credentials, offering all manner of outdoor adventures. The white limestone rocks give the White River its name, causing the water to tumble over rapids and forming tranquil lagoon pools for rafting.

You can go tubing or kayaking in the White River, or even saddle a horse for a ride along trails leading through tropical rainforest! Visit the landscaped Village of Flowers, and seek out the old Spanish Bridge dating back to the 1600s.

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Negril Lighthouse
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Lighting up the westernmost point of Jamaica, Negril's Lighthouse stands at 20 meters (65 feet) tall and is one of the earliest concrete lighthouses, having warned ships away from the promontory since 1894.

Originally powered by kerosene, the Lighthouse switched to solar power in 1985 and flashes every two seconds.

You can still climb its 103 steps today for unparalleled views over the Caribbean. It's a popular spot at sunset.

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Negril Cliffs
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Even by themselves, the black hued cliffs outside of Negril are natural sites to behold. Rising 40 feet above turquoise waters and pockmarked by sea caves and coves, the cliffs form a defining natural icon for Jamaica’s far western coast. It isn’t just their beauty, however, that draws visitors here in droves. Rather, it’s the deep waters immediately offshore and the presence of cliffside beach bars—which all combine to form perfect conditions for throwing yourself off the edge. The cliff diving here on Negril’s cliffs is some of the world’s most famous, where locals and visitors regularly drop over 40 feet down to the sea. Professionals will often put on shows and perform daring flips and flops, and occasionally visitors will join in the show in a fit of Caribbean bravado. The cliffs are a popular spot for snorkeling tours to stop en route from the dive site, and are a short distance from the laidback guesthouses towards the southern end of Negril.

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Sam Sharpe Square
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Named after the abolitionist hero, Sam Sharpe, who encouraged a non-violent means to ending slavery, Sam Sharpe Square in downtown Montego Bay now serves as a point of interest for all who come to learn about Jamaica’s rich history or simply enjoy the pastime of people watching.

Here you’ll find the Montego Bay Civic Centre, a reconstruction of the 1803 Montego Bay courthouse, The Cage, and the fountain. At the northwest corner you’ll also find the bronze sculpture that is the National Heroes Monument, honoring the leaders and the fallen of the Christmas Rebellion of 1831.

A busy hub of the popular and charismatic Montego Bay, Sam Sharpe Square is the perfect meeting place to jump off your excursion into this fascinating and party-driven city.
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More Things to Do in Jamaica

Doctor's Cave Beach

Doctor's Cave Beach

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Occupying a spot of Montego Bay’s “hip strip,” Doctor’s Cave Beach is the best-known beach in Jamaica. It's a top party destination with plenty of sand-and-sea-centric activities available at good rates. Its white sand descends into the turquoise of the Caribbean, as beachgoers soak up sun in a tropical paradise.

Rent a beach umbrella and unwind with a can of Red Stripe, or grab some snorkel gear and marvel at the stunning variety of marine life in water so clear you can see all the way to the bottom. Doctor’s Cave Beach provides easy access to the 15-acre Montego Bay Marine Park, and you can also rent Jet skis, parasailing and glass bottom boat rides from private operators located nearby. When you’re done with all your sea and shore activities, you’re just a short walk from the restaurants and bars in one of Jamaica’s hottest entertainment districts.

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Bob Marley Museum

Bob Marley Museum

46 Tours and Activities

Jamaica’s most famous son is Reggae musician Bob Marley, who came from the island’s capital of Kingston. And in the uptown part of the city, the Bob Marley Museum, which occupies the singer’s former home and recording studio, in the most popular tourist attraction on the island. Marley lived and recorded music in the colonial-era home from 1975 until he was killed in 1981, and the home-turned-museum remains much as he left it, including bullet holes in the wall from an assassination attempt. A visit to the museum includes an hour-long tour of the home, during which you can see Marley’s gold and platinum records hanging on the walls, articles of his clothing, and his favorite guitar still resting beside his bed. Behind the home is his recording studio where you can see photos of the legend and watch a short film. The on-site One Love Café serves some of Marley’s favorite food and drink, and you can pick up souvenirs in the gift shop.

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Trench Town

Trench Town

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Nine Mile

Nine Mile

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Nine Mile is synonymous with one of Jamaica’s most famous sons, the late great master of reggae Bob Marley.

Thanks to guided tours led by Rastafarian guides, you can visit the former home of Bob Marley, as well as the musician’s beloved Mt. Zion Rock and his mausoleum. Many of the guides are Bob’s fellow musicians, relatives, and friends.

You can admire Bob’s gold and platinum records on display, along with musical instruments, his favorite chair and other personal effects.

Another highlight of a visit to Nine Mile is the Jamaican scenery you’ll see on the drive from the coast.

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Fern Gully

Fern Gully

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Take a step back into the wilds of Jamaica with a drive through the incredibly lush and tropical Fern Gully. A towering tunnel of ferns and tropical overgrowth, this rainforest is so full and green that it has become one of the most noteworthy attractions in all of Jamaica.

See water falling over canyons, beautiful gorges, tropical birds of paradise and more than 300 varieties of fern. Along the way visitors can stop to haggle with roadside vendors for wooden arts and crafts, or, if they’re lucky, they’ll spot Fern Man, who wears a robe of pure fern. With so much green vegetation, this shady forest canopy is a great spot for a quick drive or a leisurely walk.

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Konoko Falls and Park

Konoko Falls and Park

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Jamaica’s tropical trees and flowers surround a colonial-style home at the Coyaba River Garden and Museum, backed by stupendous views of the Ocho Rios harbor. Water is one of the main features of the gardens, with tumbling streams and the Mahoe Falls.

With plenty to do, you can choose to sip locally grown coffee in the cool courtyard cafe, take a guided tour of the gardens, have a swim in the falls, and even shop for local crafts in the courtyard boutique.

The site also has a small museum exploring the history of Jamaica’s original inhabitants, the Arawaks and Tainos.

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Hip Strip (Gloucester Avenue)

Hip Strip (Gloucester Avenue)

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If you’re looking for shopping and nightlife action in Montego Bay, then you can’t miss the Hip Strip. The stretch of Gloucester Avenue between Aqua Sol Theme Park and the airport is the main hub of tourist activity, with thumping music, tasty rum drinks and shopping of all stripes. Whether you’re looking for a Red Stripe t-shirt or high-end duty-free shops, you can find it here, and all just steps from popular beach hangouts like Doctor’s Cave Beach and Cornwall Beach. Street vendors are plentiful and pushy, so don’t hesitate to haggle. While there, Margaritaville is a must-visit to order a drink at the double-level bar, play on the giant water trampolines, or take a ride on the 120-foot water-slide into the warm Caribbean. And the strip really heats up after the sun goes down at spots like Blue Beat Jazz Lounge, with serves martinis alongside live jazz and blues overlooking the ocean.

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Mystic Mountain Adventure Park

Mystic Mountain Adventure Park

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Thrill seekers who visit Ocho Rios, Jamaica, must make time to visit Mystic Mountain for some stomach jumping and gravity defying adventures. Mystic Mountain is a nature park located in Jamaica’s lush rainforest. You’ll see and experience the island from different vantage points through three different types of excursions.

Mystic Mountain’s zipline course sets you racing through the rainforest as you slide down thick cables while strapped to them via a harness. As you reach each new platform that is part of the zipline course you’ll not only get a rush of adrenaline, but you’ll also see gorgeous views of the rainforest as the zipline course takes you through a distance of over 550 feet.

The Rainforest Bobsled Jamaica will get you feeling like an Olympian as you race around twists and turns on the bobsled track – no snow or ice required. You can speed up for thrills or slow down to enjoy views of the rainforest and Caribbean Sea as you slide around the track.

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Emancipation Park

Emancipation Park

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Take a break from the hustle of Kingston with a visit to Emancipation Park, a seven-acre swath of green space in the New Kingston area of the Jamaican capital. It’s a popular spot for local to have lunch or walk the track around the park’s perimeter. Within the park you’ll find fountains and gardens of native and imported plants. Art pieces also dot the scenery, including the “Redemption Song” statue at the park entrance, honoring native son Bob Marley, and there are also African Adinkra symbols incorporated in the scenery, like the Futumfrafo, a two-headed crocodile, on the sides of the benches, and the Wafa Aba, seed of the Wafa Tree, decorating the top of the perimeter fence.

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Harbour Street Craft Market

Harbour Street Craft Market

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National Gallery

National Gallery

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Jamaica’s National Gallery is the biggest and oldest public art museum in the British Caribbean. Opened in 1974, the gallery features an impressive collection of Jamaican art. Visitors explore the works chronologically, starting with exceptionally rare woodcarvings from the Taino people who lived in the Caribbean before Columbus, moving through the colonial eras into the modern day. There’s an entire exhibit devoted to the works of sculptor Edna Manley, considered the mother of modern Jamaican art. Temporary exhibits showcase contemporary artists.

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Ahhh...Ras Natango Gallery and Garden

Ahhh...Ras Natango Gallery and Garden

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This unique destination in the heart of Jamaica was once an empty stretch of land that a wealthy accountant and art collector purchased only to preserve its stunning view. In 2009, Ahhh…Ras Natango Gallery and Garden, a unique collection of this businessman’s paintings and other art works became the perfect place to see the beauty of both nature and art in a single place. Visitors who venture into the back roads of Jamaica in search of Ahhh will find a well-kept garden and hillside terrace that’s perfect for walking, wandering and exploring. Colorful tropical flowers, brilliant orchids, rare plants and indigenous flora are proudly displayed in this beautiful natural landscape. Guests will likely spot some of the 18 species of Jamaican birds that call Ahhh home on a visit to this gallery and garden. And while the outdoor beauty is something to behold, the collection of paintings in the gallery are also worth checking out.

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National Heroes Park

National Heroes Park

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Kingston’s largest green space is National Heroes Park, a 50-acre former horse track that now features monuments to important figures from Jamaican history. Among them are monuments and tombs to people like Marcus Garvey, Normal Manley and Sir Alexander Bustamante, among many others. There’s also a war memorial to Jamaicans who died in WWI, which was relocated here from an earlier locations, and it’s the site of memorial gatherings on Remembrance Day.

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Montego Bay Marine Park

Montego Bay Marine Park

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Like the Great Barrier Reef in Australia or the Everglades National Forest in Florida, the Montego Bay Marine Park is a national nature preserve accessible to the public. It's also a snorkeler's paradise.

Bring your own gear or rent from a vendor on the Hip Strip or Doctor's Cave Beach and experience a snorkeling experience of a lifetime as you swim along with a huge variety of tropical fish and coral. Private companies provide glass bottom boat excursions and catamaran rides, allowing you to make the most of this unique marine environment. You could easily spend the better part of day in the marine park and finish up under an umbrella on Doctor's Cove Beach or any of the other white sand beaches stretching eastward.

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