Visiting Jamaica for the first time is exciting but what are the best places to visit in Jamaica? We share just that and more in this post.
Grab your travel case and your camera, because we’re going to show the best this Caribbean paradise has to offer. Our article will include places to visit, eat and shop.
Did you know that Jamaica has been named one of the happiest places on the planet? Many people choose Jamaica as their next holiday destination mostly because it has been described by many as a tropical paradise.
There are so many things to do and see in Jamaica that it would take a lifetime to visit all of them. But, as time is of the essence, we will present the best things to do in Jamaica for your first-time visit:
Rose Hall Great House
On a small hill overlooking Montego Bay, lies Rose Hall, a superb Georgian-style mansion with a history to match. Those in love with great storytelling that mixes romance with the supernatural will surely want to visit the home of the White Witch.
The residence was built in the 18thcentury by John Palmer, a man who had crossed the ocean to seek fame and fortune. Apparently, Palmer spent 30,000 pounds to construct this elegant house. By today’s standards, the house’s price could seem trivial, but, at that time it was built, it cost a fortune.
Legend has it that Annee Palmer, John Palmer’s late wife, still walks the hall of the mansion after making a pact with the devil.
Doctor’s Cave Beach
Probably Jamaica’s most popular beach, Doctor’s Cave has everything a lazy, sun-loving tourist would need to enjoy his vacation. The cave was named after Dr. Alexander James McCatty, a physician who founded a sanatorium in the late 19thcentury.
Doctor’s Cave Beach is renowned for its turquoise waters, and, of course, for the Montego Bay Marine Park, the home of several species of corals.
Remember Blue Lagoon, the 1980 romance flick featuring Brooke Shields and Christopher Atkins? Well, the love story between Emmeline and Richard took place right here.
Jamaica’s Blue Lagoon is one of the best places to visit, especially during the summer. Moreover, its waters are thought to have healing properties. All those who visit the Blue Lagoon are immediately hypnotized by its pale blue colors which tricks the eye into thinking that the lagoon is bottomless.
Appleton Rum Estate
Did you know that rum exportation is one of Jamaica’s primary sources of income and its national beverage? If Jamaica’s your next holiday destination, you should definitely try out the Appleton Rum Estate tour. Founded in 1916 by J. Wray and Nephew LTD, the rum plantation produces some of the best beverages available on the market such as V/X, Master Blender’s Legacy, and Blackwell Rum.
The estate’s grounds are actually a giant museum, filled with antique rum distillation equipment. If you’re lucky enough, you can even see the peacocks unfolding their tails.
For more information about popular Jamaican attractions or family-friendly activities, be sure to check out A Jamaica Experience. There, you will find additional information on activities, local cuisine, and fun facts gathered and written by two Jamaican brothers that want to share their heritage with the world.
Fun activities in Jamaica
Fun fact: Jamaica has 14 spectacular waterfalls and over 100 rivers and lagoons. However, the most popular waterfalls are Dunn’s River Falls and Saint Elizbeth. So, be sure to book a guided tour when you get there.
As far as activities are concerned, there are far too many things to do in Jamaica. Still, here’s our choice in fun outdoor activities.
Sandy Bay ATV Off-Road Adventure
Off-road journeys might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but you should definitely try to take the scenic route to Sandy Bay. Everything about this road was meant to fascinate the traveler: lush citrus groves, quaint traditional Jamaican hovels, the open road, and endless forests.
For a truly breathtaking experience, you should climb all the way to the top. From there, you will be able to see the village of Smithfield, the Blue Hole Estate, and, of course, the island’s oldest church.
Tour Jamaica on Horseback
What could be more enticing than seeing the island on horseback? In Jamaica you can do just that – rent a horse and tour the island, discovering the beauty of this sun-bathed country – endless beaches, old sugar cane farms, lavish Georgian-style manors, and ravishing natural landmarks, like waterfalls.
Ocho Rios Shopping Session
If you’re looking for a great memento or just to take a breather, you can always indulge in a little shopping. Ocho Rios’ bustling streets are filled with vendors that sell handcrafted items. You can also check out the many duty-free shops. While there, don’t forget to visit the Coyaba Botanical Gardens, the Wassi Art Factory, the Fern Gully, or Dunn’s River Falls.
As we’ve said before, there’s so much stuff that you can do during your first time in Jamaica, but, unfortunately, so little time. While there, do bear in mind that the purpose of your visit is to unwind, grab a tan, and maybe have a beer or two on the beach. Don’t try to race against the clock to see everything, because you’ll surely miss what Jamaica is all about – taking it easy.
- We LOVE this camera for our travel photography.
- For a cheap, easy, and compact camera, we use this to vlog and take photographs.
- We use this travel drone (but make sure to check drone laws in your chosen destination first).
- This is our favorite travel insurance because it covers so many activities and travel situations that could arise on longer trips but also offer year coverage.
What to pack
- No matter where we travel, I always take these trusty hand sanitizers and a mini first aid kit.
- We love these toiletry bags (especially great for smaller bathrooms) and choose a laptop bag like this as our hand luggage.
- We keep our devices charged on long travel days with these lightweight battery packs and bring these worldwide travel adaptors on all our trips.
- I still struggle not to overpack so stick to using an expandable suitcase like these and always take my trusty luggage scales to avoid being charged at the airport.