Imagine an oasis of lush green rainforest across mountainous terrain; deep valleys and expansive fertile plains; staggering cliffs dropping dramatically into the sea; and beautiful bays and coves with soft white sandy beaches. This is Jamaica, a land rich in natural beauty, history and rhythm.
As the third-largest island in the Caribbean, Jamaica has a lot to offer for an unforgettable holiday.
Negril has the finest and longest beach on the island. It’s called Seven Miles Beach and, as the name suggests, the silky white sand and panoramic deep blue ocean views go on and on. From kayaking and jet skiing to glass-bottom boat rides, there’s plenty of activities to try here. You can even ride horses along the beach.
Holiday adventures in Jamaica
Port Antonio, a city on the east coast, is known as the gateway to the mountains, rainforest and waterfalls. Hiking through the lush jungle trails and taking a tour to the magnificent Reach Falls makes truly unforgettable holiday memories. You can even take a ride along the Rio Grande on a bamboo raft. Drifting down the river past bamboo and mango groves, while drinking refreshing coconut water and listening to the local rafters tell their tales is a truly unique Jamaican experience.
Jamaica’s only national park - the Blue Mountains National Park - has 100,000 acres of tropical rainforest. A great way to explore it is getting aboard the Mystic Mountain Rainforest Adventures’ Bobsled ride. This 1,000m long track whizzes through the rainforest at 40mph! For a more leisurely approach, and to enjoy the best views of the island, the chair lift ride through the trees offers a wonderful alternative.
No holiday to Jamaica is complete without climbing one of its national treasures, the 180 metre high Dunn’s River Falls. It’s described as a living and growing phenomenon, it continuously regenerates itself from the falls’ spring water deposits. The waterfalls slope gently and are terraced like giant natural stairs, with several lagoons along the way. It’s the ideal family day out filled with adventure.
Fancy visiting more than one Caribbean island? Or perhaps you would like to pair your laid-back holiday in Jamaica with the fast-paced fun of a city break. Whatever you’re looking for, call us today to chat with our Destination Specialists, who can help you create your dream holiday.
Great sample itineraries
Our destination experts can create a bespoke holiday in Jamaica, tailored to include your dream tours, visits and must-sees. Almost anything is possible, so please call to discuss all your options.
Our favorite hotels
Here are some of our favourite all-inclusive hotels and luxury resorts in Jamaica. If you can’t see something you like, please call us to chat to our destination experts who will be more than happy to help.
Zoëtry Montego Bay
Ocho Rios Jamaica Excursions
- PRICE: Please call for prices
- APPROX. 4 HRS
Explore rainforests and waterfalls such as the famous Dunn’s River Falls, hike the Blue Mountains and gaze over the island or try your hand at an array of watersports in the turquoise waters. Journey down the Great River on a Bamboo raft or dive with marine life in the surrounding ocean. You can also ride horseback along the white sand beaches or simply relax and soak up the sun’s rays; with many attractions to choose from on your holiday to Jamaica, there is something to suit the whole family.
Explore the beaches that the island of Jamaica has to offer for sun, relaxation and watersports. Head to the location where James Bond Golden Eye came from or snorkel and dive in the underwater world.
Dunn's River Falls
Visit the famous waterfall near Ocho Rios; Dunn's River Falls for one of Jamaica's most well known tourist attractions. Cold mountain water cascades 300 meters down the rocks which have been naturally carved by the water to form steps.
Best time to visit Jamaica
Puerto Rico’s tropical climate means that it is warm and sunny all year round, with average temperatures of 25°C to 28°C. The high season falls between December to April, when there is the least amount of rainfall. The hurricane season runs from June to November, peaking in August.
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“Rather than go directly to see Reach Falls, hire a local guide to take you on a trek up it! You’ll start at the bottom of the river and walk, climb and swim all the way to the top of Reach Falls. It’s the locals’ way to enjoy these magnificent waterfalls."
“Be sure to enjoy a sundowner at Rick’s Cafe in Negril. It’s one of Jamaica’s famous hotspots, drawing the crowds for its cliff jumping and incredible sunsets. You can enjoy a pina colada while watching the local daredevils jump off the nearby cliff into the sea. The dives and acrobats are incredibly impressive to watch."
“If visiting Dunn’s River Falls, remember to take sea shoes with you to avoid slipping over, also bring a waterproof camera as professional photos can be expensive there".
Events & Festivals
Jamaica offers a huge selection of fun events throughout the year and you can plan your holiday to ensure you experience them! Here are a few of our favourites:
Bob Marley Week
Every year, reggae fans gather during the first week in February to enjoy a variety of events to celebrate the life and music of Bob Marley. You can also visit Bob Marley’s Kingston home he lived in as an adult, which is now The Bob Marley Museum. There is also a small museum in Nine Mile Village near Ocho Rios, which is where Marley was born and buried. Both museums are open year-round.
Jamaica’s Ocho Rios Jazz Festival
This eight-day international jazz festival is hosted in the city of Ocho Rios in the north of Jamaica. Featuring the greatest names in Jamaican jazz, as well as delicious local fare and daily free concerts, it’s a great celebration of the island’s jazz scene. It usually takes place in June.
Portland Jerk Festival
This is the largest annual jerk festival in Jamaica. It’s held at the heritage site at Folly Ruins in Portland. The authentic Jamaican atmosphere is kicked off with live entertainment from locals. The real highlight of the event is tasting lobster, chicken, pork, fish cooked in the traditional Jamaican jerk way.
The colonial history of Jamaica has dramatically influenced its cuisine. From the indigenous people to the Spanish, Irish, British, Africans, Indian and Chinese people who have lived here, Jamaican fare is a melting pot of many different countries’ techniques and methods. It also mixes native crops with the many different crops that were introduced here. Here are a few of our favourite dishes:
This is the most famous Jamaican dish. It uses Jamaican jerk spice, which is a hot blend of herbs, spices, including pimento (also known as allspice) and scotch bonnet peppers. The Jamaican jerk spice is dry rubbed onto the chicken before cooking. It can be eaten by itself or it’s served with bread or Caribbean dumplings.
Ackee and Saltfish
This is Jamaica’s national dish, which is served at breakfast! The ackee fruit is cooked with salted fish and served with dumplings or breadfruit.
Jamaican Red Peas Soup
This hot and spicy soup is served all over the island. Its special ingredient is red kidney beans, which gives it its unique colour and flavour.
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The Hayes & Jarvis Way
We've been tailor making holidays for 65 years. With over 60 destinations to choose from, talk to us and we'll listen to your travel ideas to create unforgettable holiday experiences.