Top 5 Things To Do In Jamaica
1. Visit The Pelican Bar
If you’re looking for a fun day trip in Jamaica and are up for the adventure getting there (couple hour drive and a boat ride) definitely put the Pelican Bar on your Jamaica itinerary. It’s the coolest bar in Jamaica located in the middle of the ocean on the South Coast of Jamaica. If you like fresh seafood make sure to call have your taxi driver call in your lobster order so it’s ready for you when you arrive, they have to arrange a local fisherman to drop off a fresh catch. Make sure to check out our Pelican Bar video on YouTube we got some amazing drone footage of the bar that will make you wish you were there.
2. Visit Some of the Best Waterfalls in Jamaica
There are some amazing waterfalls in Jamaica from YS Falls, Mayfield Falls, Reach Falls, and the most famous Dunns River Falls. No matter which part of Jamaica you are staying in there is a waterfall day trip within a short distance. We personally have visited YS Falls, Mayfield Falls, and Dunns River Falls. We suggest weekdays and going early in the day or later in the afternoon to avoid the crowds. If you can find out what days the Jamaica cruises will be in port try and avoid those days too.
3. Watch The Sunset
One of the main reasons we keep coming back is for those Jamaican sunsets. There is no better way to end the day then in a hammock on the beach with a drink in your hand watching the sunset. Some of the best sunsets in Jamaica are on Seven Mile Beach in Negril.
4. Listen to live Reggae
Reggae music can be heard around the world but it sounds the best where it was born. We love finding a local beach bar with live Reggae music. If you’re staying at an all-inclusive resort in Jamaica they most likely will have a live reggae band come throughout the week otherwise ask some of the staff if they know of any nearby bars with live music. If you’re staying in Negril we suggest going to Drifters Bar on Tuesdays from 3pm-7pm where Hiyah Grade plays. We love the vibe at Drifters Bar and Hiyah Grade reggae band played at our destination wedding in Jamaica.
5. Enjoy the Island Life
Remember you’re on vacation. If you want to sleep till noon, do it. If you want to start drinking at 9 am, do it. If you want to do nothing but lay on the beach and soak up the sun, do it! Sometimes we all need a day of nothing and Jamaica is a great place for that.
Other Fun Things To Do In Jamaica
6. Watch the cliff jumpers at Ricks Cafe
Jamaica’s most popular bar is Rick’s Cafe located on West End of Negril on the cliffs is home to some amazing cliff jumping. Anyone can jump at their own risk, there are two platforms to jump from and a tree you could climb if you want to get some more height (local Jamaican’s do this). There are several local cliff jumpers that will get the crowd going and jump from the tree. After this jump, they will come around collecting tips, bring some extra cash to give to them.
Many of the snorkel tours in Negril and sunset cruises stop by Rick’s so you can get off the boat and jump. It’s a full restaurant and bar so plan on spending a few hours here people watching, drinking, and enjoying the view.
7. Drink Blue Mountain Coffee
Make sure to start you’re morning off with a freshly brewed cup of Jamaica’s finest coffee, Blue Mountain Coffee. If you really want to get the day started put a little coconut rum cream in your coffee. Make sure you get the real stuff, lots of hotels in Jamaica say it’s Blue Mountain coffee but it really isn’t. We suggest picking up a bag at the airport as a souvenir from Jamaica on your way home.
8. Indulge in a Jamaican Rum Punch
You can’t escape Jamaican Rum Punch, odds are it will be the welcome drink when checking in to your hotel. We still remember our first rum punch experience…it was hot hot pink and strong! It’s often made with Overproof Rum which is 126 proof so proceed with caution.
9. Appleton Estate Rum Tour
Keep up with the boozing trend take a tour of Jamaica’s famous Appleton Rum. If you like rum you already know that the best rum in the world comes from Jamaica! Appleton Rum started back in 1749, it’s safe to say with over 265 in the rum business they know what they are doing. After a guided tour of the estate have fun sampling all the different rum varieties they have and some tasty rum cocktails.
10. Go Parasailing
One of the best views of beaches in Jamaica is from above soaring high above. Parasailing in Jamaica is relatively affordable compared to other Caribbean Islands, average $30-50. It’s best to negotiate a price and agree in advance. Several of the parasailing companies can even dip you in the water at the end of your parasailing adventure.
For more amazing views consider getting a travel drone, the aerial photos and videos from drones in Jamaica are amazing. Make sure to pick up an ND filter for drones in order to get the tropical water to really pop in your photos.
11. Visit The Bob Marley Museum
Bob Marley’s music will live on forever. We’ve been in some of the remotes islands in Thailand and found ourselves at a reggae bar playing “One Love.” If you’re into music make the day trip to Kingston and visit the Bob Marley Museum which at his old home. Make sure to pick up a Bob Marley record from the gift shop.
12. Eat a Jamaican patty
Jamaican patties are the perfect snack or meal depending on how many you eat. It’s a flaky pastry shell filled with spices, vegetables, and chicken/ beef/pork. You can find local beach vendors selling them either from the shops or the locals who are selling their homemade patties. If you don’t spot them on the beach you can get they at the Montego Bay airport past security there is a local shop that sells them, they are around $1-$2 depending on the filling and size. We love the patties from the man in the above picture that sells them from his bike on Seven Mile Beach in Negril.
13. Get a massage on the beach
Skip the resort’s spa and overpriced massage and take a walk down the beach and support the local masseuses. You can typically find an hour full body massage on the beach for $60 USD. If you’re staying in Negril check out Natasha’s One Love Massage, she has raving reviews on TripAdvisor and includes free hotel pickup & drop off.
NOTE: In almost all of the tourist places in Jamaica you can pay in USD or Jamaican if you pay in USD and the listed prices are in Jamaican confirm what the exchange rate is.
Unique Things To Do In Jamaica
14. Stay In An Overwater Bungalow in Jamaica
One of the best hotels in Jamaica is Sandals Resorts South Coast which features the famous overwater bungalows in Jamaica. The rooms are amazing, jump right into the ocean from your deck, watch the fish swimming by through the glass floor in the room, have a butler bring filet mignon to you, and much more. You’ll never have to leave your room!
NOTE: Sandals Resorts has two properties with overwater bungalows in Jamaica: Sandals South Coast and Sandals Royal Caribbean in Montego Bay. We stayed at the Sandals South Coast property.
15. Bamboo Rafting down the Martha Brae River
Bamboo rafting down the Martha Brae River is one of the best day trips in Jamaica and easily accessible from Falmouth, Montego Bay, and Ocho Rios. Jump on a 35-foot bamboo raft and head down the three-mile stretch on Martha Brae River, the raft captain will tell you some history and old legends about Martha Brae. If it’s a hot day jump in and cool off.
16. Get Married In Jamaica
If you’ve always dreamed of a destination wedding there is no better place to get married than on the beach in Jamaica. We first visited when we were dating and our love for travel, beaches, and Jamaica meant a destination wedding in Negril was perfect for us. We got married on Seven Mile Beach at sunset.
Non-Touristy Things To Do In Jamaica
16. Visit a local bar
Get off the resort and visit a real local bar. Some of our favorite bars are located on the back roads where we are the only tourists. It’s a great place to see how local Jamaicans live and chat with them. Local bars take USD and Jamaican.
17. Eat Jerk Chicken from a local street vendor
A plate of jerk chicken is a must in Jamaica. Some of the best jerk chicken in Jamaica isn’t found at a fancy resort or a resort it’s out on the street. You won’t see the vendors out on the street til after 7 pm, the good stuff takes a while to cook and do remember everything is on island time in Jamaica. Get in a taxi and tell the driver you want to go to the best local jerk chicken place and a street vendor is okay with you.
18. Donate To Pack For A Purpose Foundation
Many of the resorts and hotels in Jamaica have teamed up with Pack for a Purpose which donates backpacks filled with school supplies to local schools. Their website lists all the resorts that you can bring a filled backpack and they will bring it to the local schools. It is also possible to visit the schools as well. More details here on their website.
Dealchecker put together a fun infographic here are a few more Jamaica travel tips, where to go in Jamaica and the best time to visit Jamaica.