This green jewel basking among the warm blue waters of the Caribbean is a great place to take in exotic scenery and Old-World history. Jamaica has excellent facilities for tourists and great beaches and outdoor destinations. You can do a lot, from seeing remnants of the island’s history, to exploring the verdant jungle on foot and horseback, to working on your tan in one of the numerous beaches.
1.) Spanish Town
Visit the former capital of Jamaica, Spanish Town, and get an idea of what made Christopher Columbus enthusiastic about the beauty of the island. Check out the old buildings including the St. Jago de la Vega cathedral built by the Spaniards. Have your picture taken in the Spanish Town Square, a charming representation of colonial architecture brought over by the island’s colonizers.
Those who have a passion for activities such as scuba diving, sailing, fishing, and windsurfing are in for a treat when they visit this town 80 kilometers beyond Montego Bay. A bustling nightlife and many small shops are among the things tourists will encounter in this place where an alternative lifestyle was practiced in the past. Watch the sunset from West Point, the westernmost place in the whole of the island, then dance until sunrise in the many clubs along the beach.
3.) Ochos Rios
This town whose name means “eight rivers” in Spanish was once a sleepy village that now boasts of international-class resorts and hotels. Ochos Rios is a haven of gardens, such as the Shaw Park Botanical Gardens. See the sparkling beauty of Dunn’s River Falls, dine in one of the local restaurants and sample their varied cuisine, and visit Brimmer Hall, a plantation where, like in the old days, crops are still cultivated and harvested according to age-old methods.
4.) Montego Bay
This large, modern city is the second largest in Jamaica. While there, drop in at Rose Hall, a restored house belonging to an old sugar plantation. Gaze upon the blue Caribbean from the city avenues with that special someone and then take them frolicking on one of the city’s three main beaches.
Located 40 km west of Montego Bay, this resort town contains the Church of Saint Paul. Visit the Greenwood Great House, which was once owned by poetess Elizabeth Barrett-Browning and her husband. For the energetic, the Martha Brae can be rafted from Rafters Village.
Jamaica’s capital, Kingston offers a lot to see and do. Learn about the island’s past by visiting the White Marl Museum, dedicated to the Arawak Indians who lived on Jamaica, and the Port Royal, which features exhibits and information on the bad old days of the buccaneers. Sample the cuisine of the local restaurants and buy a souvenir from the Crafts Market, and if you’re feeling lucky, you can gamble on horse races in Cuyamas Park.
7.) Treasure Reef
Swim with marine life at this aquatic park located near the Dunn’s River Falls. Make some piscine friends while feeding the sharks and interacting with the dolphins at Dolphin Cove. Or, if getting wet doesn’t suit you, explore the lush greenery of the Jungle Trail Walk.
8.) Green Grotto Caves
Go exploring this cavern east of Discovery Bay. A sanctuary for people since prehistoric times, these caves have seen occupants such as the Taino Indians, refugee Spaniards hiding from the English, smugglers, and rum runners. Green Grotto is a kilometer and a half long and contains an underground lake, Grotto Lake.
9.) Water Sports
Outdoor activities of all kinds can be found on Jamaica, but among the most prevalent are water sports, which are available at myriad locations. Fresh and saltwater fishing is permitted without a license. Parasailing, scuba diving, surfing, rafting, and the like are also offered at many locations such as Negril.
Jamaica would be nothing without its beaches. The island offers many types to suit any person’s tastes. From the busy sand of MoBay and Ocho Rios to the private tranquility of the beaches of Port Antonio, Jamaica offers beachgoers of all type the blend of sun, fun and friendship that will suit them perfectly.