Jamaica - The Top 10 Attractions - Global Storybook

Jamaica: The Top 10 Attractions

Richard Edwards

Richard Edwards

Richard is the Local Contributing Writer at Global Storybook (Jamaica).

I was born in Jamaica and I've lived here all my life. Like all Jamaicans, I enjoy a good party. I am also a sports fanatic, and you will find me watching a cricket, soccer and basketball match at the same time!

My favorite local thing to eat is Ackee and Saltfish with dumplings, and anyone should try it.

I've traveled to every corner on Jamaica and seen everything that my wonderful Island has to offer. Hence I can't wait to share these experiences with you!
Richard Edwards

Latest posts by Richard Edwards (see all)

The island of Jamaica is the largest country in the English speaking Caribbean, with a population of over 2.6 million.  It is known worldwide for its reggae music, as well as its exploits in track and field, with Jamaican Usain Bolt, leading the athletic field.

The top contributor to our economy is tourism, and it is not surprising that Jamaica does so well here, since there are a number of amazing and fun attractions offered on the island.  So let’s examine the top 10 sights in Jamaica that you should definitely check out on your next visit to this spectacular Caribbean gem.

1. Dunn’s River Falls

The Dunn’s River Falls, located in the picturesque town of Ocho Rios, is probably the most popular attraction in all of Jamaica.  It is a sprawling waterfall extending for over 600 feet (183 meters) across and is one of few waterfalls in the whole world that flows directly into the sea.

The Falls were also the sight of the battle of Las Chorreras in 1657, that resulted in the Brits capturing the island of Jamaica from the Spaniards.  The Dunn’s River Falls is a fascinating natural wonder that attracts millions of visitors annually, so you should definitely add it to your bucket list.

  • Location: Ocho Rios
  • Opening hours: 8:30am – 4:00 pm; 7:00am – 4:00pm on cruise ship days
  • Price: adults $20; children $12
  • Website: http://www.dunnsriverfallsja.com

2. Dolphin Cove

The Dolphin Cove is Jamaica’s largest and most popular marine attraction with two locations: one in Ocho Rios and another in Montego Bay.  The primary allure of this amazing sight is the interaction with dolphins – whether you want to touch, watch or even swim with one.

There are three main programs available to the public, which include: the Dolphin Encounter, the Swim Adventure, and the Royal Swim.  The Dolphin Encounter allows guests to touch, caress and kiss the dolphins in the shallow waters, though this is the least adventurous of the three available options.

The Swim Adventure allows guests to interact with dolphins while swimming in deep waters.  The Royal Swim is the most intense of the three – you can swim in deep waters plus enjoy a number of unique experiences, like the foot push where a dolphin would raise you above the water by… pushing you from the sole of your feet.

Dolphin Cove Jamaica - Global Storybook

  • Location: Ocho Rios and Lucea which is 30 minutes outside of Montego Bay
  • Opening hours: open daily 8:30am – 5:30pm
  • Price: prices start from – adults $69; children $45
  • Website: https://www.dolphincoveja.com

3. Mystic Mountain

The Mystic Mountain provides Jamaica’s ultimate nature experience, with over 100 acres of unspoiled rainforest stretching 700 feet vertically, right from the Caribbean Sea.  It is located in Ocho Rios, close to the Dunn’s River Falls (sight #1) and the Dolphin Cove (sight #2).  Some of its major attractions are the water bobsled, zip lining, and the sky explorer.  This is truly the place to enjoy one of the best outdoor experiences in Jamaica.

Ocho Rios, Mystic Mountain, Jamaica - Global Storybook

Another benefit of visiting the Mystic Mountain – are its spectacular panoramic views!

  • Location: Ocho Rios
  • Opening hours: open daily 8:00am – 5:00pm
  • Price: Tranopy Tour (combination of bobsled, ziplining and sky explorer) – $137.50; Sky explorer only – $46.20; Sky Explorer and Bobsled – $69; Sky Explorer and Canopy zip line – $114.40
  • Website: http://www.rainforestadventure.com/jamaica-mystic-mountain/
New Year’s Eve Celebrations in Jamaica

4. Green Grotto Caves

The Green Grotto Caves is a distinct collection of cavernous caves with a long, rich history.  It is also one of the lesser known treasures in Jamaica.  The Green Grotto Caves is actually a huge limestone cave with unique rock formations, including stalactites and stalagmites.

The cave is also home to nine species of bats, which constitutes approximately 50% of all bat species found in Jamaica.  It is said to have been used by the Spaniards as a hideout spot, when the Brits invaded Jamaica in the 17th century.   The Green Grotto Caves also offer informative guided tours that explain its history, as well as the unique and hidden features located inside the cave.

Green Grotto Caves, Jamaica - Global Storybook

  • Location: Discovery Bay, St Ann (35 minutes outside of Ocho Rios)
  • Opening hours: open daily 9:00am – 4:00pm
  • Price: 13 and older $20; children ages 4-12 $10
  • Website: http://greengrottocavesja.com

5. Glistening Waters

If you want to experience one of the World’s most fascinating wonders of nature – a visit to the Glistening Waters should be high on your bucket list.  This luminous lagoon is known for the countless number of microscopic organisms which light up once agitated during the nighttime.  The resulting illumination gives a weird extra-terrestrial feeling – a true nature’s miracle.  Consider hopping on a boat tour to experience this unique spectacle, which is said to only occur in three places around the world.

If you are an adventurous type, you can also go for a swim inside the lagoon to get even closer to these magnificent live organisms.  For those who are curious – the phenomenon which causes the organisms to light up is known as bioluminescence.  A number of scientist have confirmed that the light emitted by these organisms is in fact one of the brightest in the world.

Glistening Waters, Jamaica - Global Storybook

  • Location: Falmouth, Trelawny (25 minutes outside of Montego Bay)
  • Opening hours: Monday – Saturday: 10:00am – 9:00pm; Sundays: 12:00pm – 9:00pm
  • Price: around $25 for a lagoon boat tour

6. Doctor’s Cave Beach

The Doctor’s Cave Beach is one of the oldest touristic attractions in Jamaica.  It was founded in the 1880’s by Dr. James McCatty and was donated to the community of Montego Bay in 1906.  The beach got its name from the fact that it was frequented by a large number of doctors in the early days, and because at that time it could be accessed through a cave.

The waters of the Doctor’s Cave Beach are said to have curative powers, which resulted in numerous people from all over the world rushing in to verify that claim.  In addition, this sight is largely credited with the development of the Montego Bay as one of the major touristic attractions.  For that reason, all the early hotels in Montego Bay were constructed close to the Doctor’s Cave Beach.

7. Rio Grande River

The Rio Grande River is located in the tranquil and picturesque parish of Portland, in Eastern Jamaica.  One of its most popular attractions is rafting on Rio Grande.  The tour involves one sauntering down the river on a bamboo raft, which is about 4 feet wide and 25 to 30 feet long.  The raft can accommodate two adults and a small child, plus the captain.

The duration of this activity is approximately 3 hours.  While on the tour, you will have a chance to explore the amazing natural sights of Portland, which is Jamaica’s best-kept secret.  Rafting on the Rio Grande was popularized by the noted actor Errol Flynn, who was fascinated by the beauty of this parish and decided to sail down on bamboo rafts just for fun.  This activity is very relaxing and is suited for all age groups.

Christmas Traditions in Jamaica

Rafting on the Rio Grande River, Jamaica - Global Storybook

  • Location: Port Antonio, Portland
  • Opening hours: open daily: 8:00am – 2:00pm
  • Price: adults $95

8. Blue Mountains

Hiking or cycling around the mysterious Blue Mountains is another must do adventure found in the parish of Portland.  These stunning mountains feature the highest peak in the English-speaking Caribbean.  You can enjoy one of the best panoramic views of the misty peaks, as well as of the enchanting valleys spreading down below.

If you decide to go on a guided tour – you will have a chance to learn about the local herbs and spices growing in the mountain range, visit a coffee plantation, or soak in under a sprawling waterfall in a hidden location.  The bicycle tour is available to persons up to sixty years old, and the duration is approximately four and a half hours.  If you are older than sixty, you might consider going on a bus tour.

Blue Mountains, Jamaica - Global Storybook

  • Location: Portland
  • Opening hours: Mondays – Saturdays: 7:00am – 5:00pm; Sundays: 9:00am – 5:00pm
  • Price: tour price varies

9. The Bob Marley Museum

The reggae music is one of the most recognizable Jamaican creations worldwide.  This is largely due to the huge popularity of Bob Marley – an iconic reggae singer, who became famous across the entire globe.  The Bob Marley Museum was created to commemorate the singer, as well as to preserve his legacy.  It is located at 56 Hope Road in Kingston, in the original home of Bob Marley, where he lived until his death in 1981.

The museum displays a number of Bob Marley’s personal items, a photo gallery, an 80-seat theatre, plus a gift shop selling souvenirs and CDs of the singer’s many albums.  You can also go on a guided tour where you will learn about the many achievements of this reggae legend and other aspects of his personal life.  This is an amazing place to visit and learn about the history of reggae music in general, as well as about the contribution that Bob Marley has made to the development of this popular genre.

The Bob Marley Museum, Jamaica - Global Storybook

  • Location: 56 Hope Rd, Kingston 6
  • Opening hours: Mondays – Saturdays: 9:30am – 4:00 pm; closed on Sundays
  • Price: adults $25; children 4 – 12 $12
  • Website: http://www.bobmarleymuseum.com

10. Port Royal

Port Royal is one of the most historic places in Jamaica.  It dates back to 1692, when it was one of the most prosperous cities in the Caribbean.  At that time, Port Royal was the center of shipping and commerce and was home to some of the… most notorious pirates of the Caribbean.  The city was regarded as one of the wickedest in the Western hemisphere, due to the infamous actions of its pirates.

In 1692, there was a massive earthquake that sunk about half of the city, which resulted in Port Royal losing its appeal, and the city of Kingston rising on top of its demise.  Visitors to Port Royal will find a number of engaging attractions, such as the historic St. Peters Church, the Giddy House, the Fort Charles as well as the Historic Naval Hospital.  Port Royal is one of the most important archaeological and cultural sites in Jamaica where you can easily spend an entire day.

Port Royal, Jamaica - Global Storybook

  • Location: East of Kingston (regarded as part of the municipality of Kingston)
  • Opening hours: Tour of Fort Charles: open daily: 9:00am – 5:00pm; closed on Good Friday and Christmas day
  • Price: adults $15; children $8

Please note all the prices and the opening hours are valid  for 2017 only.

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