10 Best Attractions, Island Activities, and Outdoor Adventures in Jamaica

There is so much to see and do on a vacation to Jamaica, or you can relax, listen to reggae music and do nothing at all on a sun-soaked beach. The island has a mix of cultural attractions, natural wonders, adventurous activities, and water sports, as well as plenty of beach bars and nightlife hotspots!

When you first arrive, kick back on one of the legendary stretches of sand like the 7-Mile Beach in Negril or Doctor's Cave Beach in Montego Bay (MoBay). Embark on a catamaran cruise and spend a day snorkeling in the sparkling waters, or take a safari boat tour though the jungles and mangroves of the Black River (just keep an eye out for crocodiles).

Other popular natural attractions include Dunns River Falls and the Blue Lagoon, a mysterious spring-fed watering hole with a celestial color.

For thrill seekers, Mystic Mountain Rainforest offers zip lines through the rainforest canopy and bobsleds zooming down a track, while Ricks Cafe is a unique restaurant that allows patrons to go cliff diving into the Caribbean Sea.

For a bit of history and culture, visit the Bob Marley museum in the home of the musical legend, or explore a coffee plantation in Jamaica's famous Blue Mountains. Whatever you chose to do, this list of the 10 best attractions in Jamaica should make your decision easier.


You can't find a better beach destination in Montego Bay than Doctor's Cave Beach, and since everyone knows it, you may as well join the daily celebration on the sand. And there is plenty to celebrate. The beach is five miles long and is bordered by the city's best hotels and restaurants. Named after a local doctor who donated the land and a now-closed coastal cave, Doctor's Cave Beach helped establish Montego Bay as a resort town. The dressing rooms make it easy to go from your street clothes to a bathing suit, and the azure waters will definitely draw you in.

Dunn's River Falls is by far the area's most popular attraction with thousands visiting each year. Its 600-foot long waterfall (180 feet high) with several tiers and wading pools presents a striking centerpiece for the mountain-like setting. Visitors can hike to the top of the falls with an experienced guide for a modest price, or they can just opt for a picnic at its base and allow the cool mist to give them welcome relief from the heat. You can also get small snacks at the nearby restaurant if you forgot to pack a picnic, but don't expect anything too lavish.

Get away from the beach bars and explore one of Jamaica's natural wonders on a safari cruise up the Black River, Jamaica's largest navigable river. Over 100 species of birds have been found in the jungle along the waterway, as well as mangroves and thatch palms. Not to mention - the American crocodile lives in the river's wetlands. Several hotels will book the trips, and perhaps the most well known safari tour is J. Charles Swaby's. Tours include a lunch buffet of Jamaican cuisine, a visit to Jamaica's largest, and privately owned waterfalls (YS Falls) an-hour-and- a-half safari boat ride six miles up the river, and round-trip transportation.

Standing Spring Coffee Tours
Photo courtesy of Standing Spring Plantation

Blue Mountain Coffee is world famous, and several working farms are scattered throughout Jamaica. Fed by a mineral spring, Standing Spring Plantation has been around for over 100 years, but was only more recently re-established as a coffee grower and distributor. The owner, Prince Smith, leads coffee tours that usually run between two to four hours (depending on how in-depth of a tour is desired), but they can be extended if guests want to really immerse themselves. Highlights include learning about the production process, spectacular Blue Mountain views, the opportunity to wood-fire roast your own coffee, and a coffee sampling.

Dreamer Catamaran Cruises
Photo courtesy of Dreamer Catamaran Cruises

Dreamer Catamaran Cruises operates three vessels ranging from 53 feet to 65 feet in beautiful Montego Bay. With music playing in the background, the boat sails to the snorkeling location where sailors can take a dip in the water (snorkel equipment included). Next, the bartender onboard opens the bar for tropical cocktails and Red Strip, or passengers can head over to Margaritaville and act like a kid and play on their trampolines and water slides that empty into the sea. On the way back, the staff with teach passengers some of the latest dance moves that they can try later at the dancehalls.

About 60 miles front Kingston is Port Antonio, the home of the legendary Blue Lagoon, which was featured in the film (of the same name) that stars Brook Shields. Locals and visitors have been enjoying the healing waters at the Blue Lagoon ever since its discovery in the 1690s. Once thought to be bottomless, divers have now determined its depth to be around 180 feet. Warm currents from the Caribbean Sea enter the lagoon, but the most striking feature is the sublime color, which changes throughout the day from a cloudy blue to sapphire depending on the angle of the sun.

Bob Marley is synonymous with Jamaica, and it is virtually impossible to leave the island without hearing his music. Hits like "No Woman, No Cry" and "One Love," are known across the globe. The Bob Marley museum is situated on the site of his home, which he lived in until his death in 1981. The house features 19th-century architecture, and the main museum displays Marley's personal treasures. The property also has a 80-seat theater, a photo gallery, cafe, and gift shop with t-shirts, Bob Marley memorabilia and other Jamaican souvenirs. Tours are available almost every day and last just over an hour.

Mystic Mountain Rainforest Adventures
Photo courtesy of Mystic River Rainforest Adventures

Located near Dunns River Falls, travelers can easily spend a day at Mystic Mountain on the zip line or scenic tramway that floats 700 feet above the rainforest canopy. Stroll through the hummingbird and butterfly gardens and take a ride down a water slide or dip in the swimming pool. Inspired by the famous Jamaica bobsled Olympic team, the bobsled ride is the park's signature attraction. Soar through tropical landscape while controlling the speed with a special handbrake. Head to the look out tower for jaw-dropping views of the sparkling water, or stop in the pavilion for some historical information about Jamaica's culture, environment and sports.

Rick's Cafe
Photo courtesy of Rick's Cafe

Situated on the West End Cliffs of Negril, Rick's Cafe is known for its sublime sunsets, live reggae music, and cliff diving - right from the bar and restaurant. The highest platform jump is 35 feet and local divers perform a series of back flips and stunt dives, while patrons of the bar can experience the thrill of jumping into the aqua water as well. A main stage hosts numerous local and international bands and "Rick's After Dark" offers an upscale lounge experience next to the pool area. The menu ranges from chicken wings and tropical salad to entrees like broiled lobster and blackened tuna.

Seven Mile Beach
Photo courtesy of Visit Jamaica

Post card perfect, the fishing village of Negril boasts the world-famous, 7-Mile Beach, which erupts with parties during Spring Break. Each March, college students flock to the beach to soak in some sun, drink rum punch, and dance the night away. Hotels and restaurants line the sand and jet skis, speed boats, and glass-bottom boats are on hand for a day on the water. Every where you turn you'll find tranquil, turquoise vistas and beach bars that are just steps away. The sound of Bob Marley's peaceful music lingers in the air and after the sun sets, beach parties go late into the night.


Meet Amber Nolan

Originally from upstate New York, this restless traveler has a knack for befriending interesting characters. You can usually find her just about anywhere that has a hammock. Amber's favorite...  More About Amber