When you think of Jamaica, you often think of the comfortable all-inclusives of Montego Bay, Negril or Ocho Rios, but also to beautiful beaches, like Seven Mile Beach, or to reggae music. However, we must not forget that the island has a lot to offer in terms of excursions and outdoor visits.
Jamaica was called by its first inhabitants “Xaymaca,” which means “land of wood and water” because of its rich vegetation, forests, rivers and waterfalls and its vast coastline bordered by reefs.
In addition to diving excursions and the discovery of Kingston, the capital that vibrates to the rhythm of reggae music and is home to the Bob Marley Museum, there is no shortage of outdoor activities in Jamaica. Here are some suggestions for you.
Getting to and staying in Jamaica with the points
You can easily travel to Jamaica using Aeroplan points. For example, a round-trip economy flight from Montreal to Montego Bay from March 27 to April 3, 2023 would cost you 23,400 points and $236 in taxes and fees.
For accommodations, Marriott Bonvoy members can enjoy an all-inclusive stay at Royalton branded resorts. To give you an idea of prices, the Royalton Blue Waters Montego Bay ranges from 50,000 to 60,000 points per night in May 2023.
Activities during a trip to Jamaica
Visit a waterfall
Visitors to Jamaica should explore at least one of the country’s waterfalls on a day trip.
One of the most valuable tourist attractions in the country is Dunn’s River Falls & Parka spectacular complex system of waterfalls and springs that flows 180 feet high.
Visitors can approach the falls, led by experienced guides, stopping to feel the soothing effects of the water. They can swim, lay on the beautiful beach below or explore the park. For the adventurous, there is a series of seven zip lines and four suspension bridges above the waterfall.
Also in Ochos Rios, you can visit Island Gully Falls a well-kept local secret where visitors accompanied by a guide can swim in the pristine turquoise waters, climb behind waterfalls, jump off cliffs or explore small caves.
Other waterfalls in Jamaica include Laughing Waters in Ocho Rios, a small but picturesque waterfall popularized in the first James Bond movie, Dr. Seuss. No. ; YS Falls (south coast) has a seven-level waterfall with zip line rides, a natural spring pool and relaxing gardens to explore; and Reach Fallsin Port Antonio, another waterfall with picnic area and the possibility of a guided tour inside an underwater cave.
Enjoy spa and yoga experiences
In Jamaica, to recharge your batteries, several wellness activities are available. For example, you could experience the bush bath or receive a treatment based on indigenous plants.
A bush bath at Fieldspa
Located in a quaint cottage on the edge of GoldenEye Lagoon in Ocho Rios, this restorative spa offers a variety of authentic Jamaican bush baths. Each bush bath takes place outdoors and begins with a dry brush exfoliation and includes a scalp massage followed by a full body hydration treatment.
Yoga at Jakes Resort
Jakes Resort is a charming and relaxed resort located on the south coast of Jamaica. The hotel hosts daily yoga during the week on a shaded outdoor platform overlooking the Caribbean Sea.
Jakes also offers treatments at its Driftwood Spa, with products made from garden ingredients.
Get pampered at Fern Tree Spa at Half Moon
In Montego Bay, this award-winning spa offers guests many treatments to rejuvenate during vacations. The treatments feature native plants, herbs and fruits. Here, popular options include a soothing coconut milk soak or a coffee scrub, inspired by local Blue Mountain Coffee.
A retreat at Jackie's On the Reef
This charming, eco-friendly wellness center is ideal for a rejuvenating retreat in Negril. Every morning, you can enjoy free yoga and meditation on the veranda overlooking the sea, followed by a healthy breakfast. All fruits and vegetables come from the hotel’s organic garden or from local farmers.
Taste the best Jamaican specialties
Jamaica is known for its culinary traditions, delicious seasonal fruits and spices. But underneath it all, there’s nothing like eating fresh jerk cooked on pimento wood with a cold Red Stripe beer on a hot summer day!
Among the best dining experiences at destination:
A short drive from Kingston, the Jamaica Blue Mountain Culinary Trail offers a series of restaurants along a 19.5-kilometre route that climbs high into the foothills of the misty Blue Mountains. Along the way, you can discover charming cafes, coffee tasting sessions and locally inspired dishes while admiring the majestic view.
Just 40 minutes from Ocho Rios, Stush in the Bush serves farm-to-table multi-course lunches made with seasonal, locally grown ingredients. In addition to enjoying the rustic gourmet cuisine that this 15-acre property offers, visitors can also participate in farm tours and plant a tree as a contribution to the ever-growing landscape.
Located in the lush jungle outside Negril, Zimbali Retreat offers mouthwatering Jamaican cuisine and tropical mountain accommodations. Guests can tour the seven-acre organic farm before participating in a live cooking demonstration.
Discover Treasure Beach
Nestled on the south coast of Jamaica, Treasure Beach is a 6 km stretch of sandy, coral-colored and sometimes black beach with private coves and rocky shores. Treasure Beach’s main bays – Billy’s, Calabash, Great, Fort Charles (also known as Starve Gut) and Frenchman’s – are ideal for travellers looking for unspoiled beaches.
The abundance of beachfront cafes gives Treasure Beach even more charm.
Swimming in a luminous lagoon
A small natural wonder in Jamaica, Luminous Lagoon glows at night. In the mangroves, the waters of the lagoon are home to microscopic organisms that give off a blue phosphorescent light when disturbed, giving off a magical light effect.
Once in the middle of the lagoon, visitors can jump in and discover the true beauty of this natural wonder. We recommend a night snorkelling trip for a successful experience. Private tours are available.
Visit an art gallery in nature
Located above the hills overlooking Montego Bay, you’ll find Ahhh Ras Natango Garden & Gallery, a tropical retreat with an art gallery and botanical garden. The garden contains over 50 species of ferns, unique plants and beautiful trees in themed sections.
Under the song of the birds, visitors can discover the garden and learn more about the different plants. Visitors end the tour with the gallery, which features works by local artisans as well as resident artists.
Rafting on the Martha Brae
Rafting on the Martha Brae is a must for nature lovers.
Aboard bamboo rafts, guided by local river captains, you will cruise along the slow river through the jungle. Departing from Rafter’s Village, the tour includes a visit to Miss Martha’s Herb Garden where you will learn the secret of Jamaican herbs, renowned for their medicinal and healing properties.
Exploring a cave
Green Grotto Caves is surrounded by lush vegetation and pristine waters. You will explore the large limestone labyrinth cave, with its unique rock formations, stalactites, stalagmites and its abundance of air ceiling pockets.
The tour takes tourists deep into the 1525m long and 12m deep cave for a fascinating experience underground.
You can book many of these experiences and tours online with Viator:
Jamaica offers an oasis of opportunities for rejuvenation and outdoor activities, including visits to beautiful waterfalls. In addition to discovering a tropical territory dotted with mountains, sugar cane and coffee plantations, banana and coconut trees, you will enjoy discovering its exotic cuisine through its authentic restaurants, jerk huts and street corner stores and stalls.
Where to party in Jamaica?
You will find many places to party in Jamaica:
Why choose Jamaica?
We usually go to Jamaica to :
- its music, especially reggae made famous by artists such as Bob Marley and Peter Tosh.
- its gastronomy: come and taste the jerk chicken, the braised fish for example.
- its culture: museums, art galleries and historical sites will teach you more about its history.
- its beaches: the white sandy beaches and crystal clear waters will seduce you
- its activities: as we have mentioned above, there is everything to spend a wonderful stay.
What is the currency of Jamaica?
In Jamaica, you pay in Jamaican dollars (JMD).
When is the best time to travel to Jamaica?
The high tourist season in Jamaica is from December to April, with temperatures between 25°C and 30°C. This is the period when there are the most tourists, so prices can be higher and the beaches more crowded.
The low tourist season in Jamaica is from May to November, and is more humid, with temperatures ranging from 27°C to 32°C. Occasional rains mark this period.
It is essential to consider the hurricane season, which runs from June to November. So watch the weather forecast before you go.