Looking to start a new bucket list for things to do in Jamaica? I have a great list to start things off! We have the top 10 things to do in Jamaica in partnership with the Jamaica Tourist Board – you know, the know-it-alls when it comes to Jamaica. The experiences below include both well-known and under-the-radar experiences and you can guarantee that accomplishing the list will create wonderful memories with friends and family for years to come.
Top 10 Things to Do in Jamaica
Swim in the Luminous Lagoon
Also called Glistening Waters, this phenomenon is truly a bucket list item. Microorganisms thrive in the waters where salt and fresh water combine, and emit a bluish glow. Visitors can jump into these waters off of the coast of Falmouth at night, and experience an otherworldly marvel.
Connect with Bob Marley
No bucket list is complete in Jamaica without a little reggae. Kingston is home to the Bob Marley Museum, located on the site of the legendary musician’s former home. Visitors can experience that as well as a tour of the Jamaican Music Museum, a visit to the Rockers International record store and a hands-on experience at the Dynamic Sounds studio. Here, guests can make their own vinyl record.
Bike in the Blue Mountains
Jamaica’s Blue Mountains are home to a lush, cool environment. Biking is the best way to experience the mountains, and possibly get a glimpse of life on a coffee farm, where some of the most delicious coffee in the world is grown.
Swim with the Dolphins
Travelers of all ages can befriend a dolphin at Jamaica’s Dolphin Cove. The Dolphin Encounter will give visitors an introduction to dolphins in shallow waters, while the Ultimate Swim will allow visitors to swim with two trained dolphins. To make it a day trip at Dolphin Cove, visitors can enjoy the live reggae music, glass-bottomed boat tours, and shark and stingray excursions.
Be one with 007
Ian Fleming made his home in Jamaica where he wrote the very first of the famous James Bond novels. Guests can stay in GoldenEye Resort’s villa where Fleming found his inspiration for the famously smooth spy character. To truly summon the spirit of 007, visitors are encouraged to stake out the spots where some of the main Bond movies were filmed.
In Jamaica, there are plenty of ways to accomplish a caving adventure. Cockpit Country’s Windsor Caves are best suited for the spelunking type of traveler, with helmets, flashlights and ropes. In the most extreme of subterranean tours, one can be underground for four hours in pure darkness, with only a large group of bats for company. To experience caves at a leisurely pace, or with the family, Green Grotto in Discovery Bay is the best bet. These caves are a prominent natural attraction, known for the algae-covered green walls and a sparkling lake in the innermost cavern. There is one more way to go “caving” in Jamaica, but it may not be the most traditional – The Caves Resort in Negril. To stay in pure luxury at The Caves may not be anywhere close to spelunking, but the cliff-side accommodations and cozy in-cave dining definitely counts for a check off the bucket list.
Meet the First Female Master Rum Blender
The Appleton Estate is home to Jamaica’s oldest sugar factory and rum distillery and is where some of the best Caribbean rum is made. Visitors can take a tour and sample rum blended by Joy Spence, the industry’s first female Master Blender. Her creativity and expertise in chemistry are what make Appleton Rum stand out in the industry, with its iconic orange and cocoa notes. When the grand tour concludes, visitors can enjoy one of the best rum punch drinks, right from the source.
Find the Nicest Jerk
The best and most delicious jerk chicken, pork, and seafood is found in Jamaica. Boston Bay in Port Antonio is the birthplace of jerk, the flavor that sets tongues on fire with the iconic pimento and scotch bonnet pepper seasoning combination. The Boston Bay Jerk Centre is where one can sample the best jerk on the eastern end of the island. On the west end, visitors can try Murphy’s West End Restaurant. Murphy provides tours of his property, showing diners the exotic fruit trees. Visitors will also get the chance to witness jerk cooking in a drum grill in the back yard. He’ll never divulge his secret jerk recipe, so diners must savor it while they have the chance. These are just two of the many stops where visitors can enjoy Jamaica’s jerk trail experience across the island.
Shiver Your Timbers in Port Royal
In the 1600s, visitors would have been prey to infamous pirates in Port Royal, known at that time as “The Wickedest City on Earth.” However, a major earthquake sunk most of the city of Port Royal deep into the Caribbean Sea. The underwater city that resulted is a pending UNESCO World Heritage Site and the many shipwrecks make the area an incredible scuba diving location for those who gain permission. In addition, The King’s Royal Naval Dockyard has museums that showcase relics from the underwater city for all to enjoy. Here’s a great list of Port Royal hotels in the area.
Go Bamboo River Rafting
The Martha Brae River provides the ultimate opportunity for relaxation. Two people can sit pretty on a bamboo raft while they glide along, catching all the sights at the edges of the tropical river banks. Originally used to transport produce such as bananas to various markets, the rafts are now used for guests who want to experience Jamaica’s natural landscape in style. Plus, lucky rafters may have the chance to see how the rafts are actually built.
The ultimate bucket list items were hand-picked for seasoned Jamaica travelers as well as those making their very first trip to the island. To plan your Bucket List trip, and to add even more adventures, go to www.visitjamaica.com.
Originally published on December 20, 2014. Last Updated on January 21, 2019 by Pattie Cordova