Did you know that the reason they say “No problem Mon” in Jamaica is because they only have situations which need to be resolved…not problems.
I like it! People don’t seem to think it makes sense when a white girl in Colorado says it, but still just imagine I’m muttering it in my head each time a “situation” arises.
On this short weekend getaway with my husband, we both agreed it was about finding a balance of catching a few rays on a sugar-white-sand beach, while also exploring, breaking a sweat and creating some memories! Fortunately, Jamaica offers plenty of exciting activities in addition to its world-famous beaches.
While we didn’t have time for them all on our short trip, here’s a few things to do in Jamaica that will work for any level of adventurer in your group! You’ll feel relaxed, re-energized, and whistling a tune to “Don’t Worry, Be Happy” before your vacation is even over.
Things to do in Jamaica
Climb Dunn’s River Falls
Located near Ocho Rios, these spectacular falls are one of Jamaica’s top attractions. Because they are naturally terraced into giant steps, they are also a popular place for adventurers who want to challenge themselves with a vigorous climb through cascading water.
The ascent up the 600-foot-long Dunn’s River Falls is definitely a bit of a workout, especially at the beginning, but it is a climb that most reasonably fit people can easily accomplish.
Important notes to remember:
- It’s cold…seriously cold. So go on a nice hot day if you can! It will make it much more worth it.
- If you have the room, bring a layer of dry clothes to throw on after.
- You MUST wear water shoes. If you don’t have some you can rent them there.
- It’s a popular spot, so it’s going to be crowded. Between visitors and locales we never found a quiet spot per say, but we were able to enjoy moving about freely.
- You can rent a locker for your things, but I loved having my iPhone in my LifeProof case to be able to snap some pics. Bring a waterproof camera if you can.
Zipline and Bobsled at Mystic Mountain
Anyone who has ever wondered what it would feel like to be a bird and fly through the rainforest canopy needs to head over to Mystic Mountain and go zip lining. Unfortunately we didn’t have a chance to do this in Jamaica, but absolutely loved the experience in Costa Rica.
Located near Ocho Rios, this high-flying activity consists of seven platforms connected by six lines that average about 328 feet in length. Of course, heights aren’t for everyone, so for those who prefer to get their adrenaline rush lower to the ground, Mystic Mountain also offers a thrilling bobsled ride that was inspired by the world famous Olympics team. If you want to feel the rhythm, feel the rhyme, this is definitely an adventurous activity for you! Cool Runnings anyone??
Jamaica’s waters are warm, clear and teeming with sea creatures. So it’s not surprising that snorkeling is a very popular activity in Jamaica for all ages. While there are some reefs that swimmers can access directly from the shore, others require a boat trip. Luckily, there are several tours that will take travelers to snorkeling hot spots and also provide their guests with all of the necessary equipment, such as fins, mask and a snorkel, that they will need.
Horseback riding may not be the first activity that comes to a traveler’s mind when they are looking for a fun excursion in Jamaica. But this little island actually has several equine outfitters that offer scenic rides through the mangroves or the Jamaican countryside.
On some of these tours, riders can even take their mounts into the ocean. Riding a swimming horse is a thrilling, perhaps once-in-a-lifetime experience for most people. Sounds unbelievable, right? This was on my list, but David seemed a little hesitant, so I watched a group from shore and thought “oh someday honey, I’ll get you on a horse!”
Blue Mountain Biking
Jamaica’s Blue Mountains contain the island’s highest point, the 7,402-foot Blue Mountain Peak. These mountains are one of the prettiest areas in Jamaica, and one of the best ways to really get to see them is on a bicycle tour, which takes riders down a winding road through small villages.
This was absolutely our favorite experience and definitely the most comical.
After a very rough bus ride to the top, we strapped on our helmets and pads – as (thankfully) required for the steep downhill ride we were about to embark on – riding a bike that was probably older than me. I had forgotten how lovely a banana seat can feel and that you peddle backwards to stop, no brakes!
While biking down we stopped at a number of beautiful waterfalls for photos, then at a small spot for a provided lunch while overlooking much of the mountain. Here they provided the world famous Blue Mountain Coffee and talked more about the production process.
Finally, the tour finishes in a waterfall at the bottom of the mountain. Where riders are free to take a quick dip to cool off after a day in the sun. It was the best reward after a steep ride down.
All in all it was the perfect weekend combination of time on the beach and time exploring. One of the things we love the most about Caribbean getaways are the all-inclusive resorts. They take the hassle out of finding places to dine after excursions, trying to figure out what everyone wants to eat or worrying about additional budgeting!
My previous trip to Jamaica was with college friends in 2002…and to say that was a weee bit of a different experience is an understatement. Yet both trips absolutely left me wanting to come back and explore even more!
Planning a Jamaican adventure soon? What activities would be on your list?
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