Jamaica has a wide variety of natural gems and colorful attractions. White sandy beaches, emerald-green mountains, crystal clear turquoise water, cascading waterfalls, breathtaking coral reefs teeming with marine life, lush rainforests, meandering rivers, and luxurious mineral spas – these are just a few of the many enviable assets that the island has to offer.
A favorite among nature lovers, there is so much to explore, from horse riding to hiking and bird watching to scuba diving. Jamaica is well-known for its historical plantations where you can try tropical fruit and take tours of the great majestic houses.
With such an assortment of attractions, it is no wonder why Jamaica enjoys the title of Caribbean hotspot. The following are some of the best day trips you can do while you are visiting the island.
1. Rose Hall Great House
Located in Montego Bay, the Rose Hall Great House was constructed in 1770 and now stands as a refurbished plantation house that boasts an incredible ocean view.
The infamous Annie Palmer, who was also known as the White Witch, ran this homestead with a cruel and violent hand, and many of her slaves died under her rule.
Today, the Greathouse is filled with period pieces, and you can opt for either a tour during the day or a night tour which is made creepier by the candlelight and eerie stories of ghost sightings.
2. Negril Beach
More famously called Seven Mile Beach, this is one of the most stunning stretches of aqua water meeting the white sand. The beach starts at Bloody Bay and ends at the Negril Cliffs and Long Bay.
Lined by hundreds of palm trees, there are a lot of resorts, bars, and restaurants situated along the shoreline. There are plenty of watersports available, including snorkeling and surfing, making this the perfect relaxing day trip.
Possibly the most well-preserved Georgian town in the Caribbean, you will easily be able to fill your time in this amazing area. Surrounded by cattle land and sugar estates, the entire town offers prime examples of Georgian architecture from the 19th-century, including the refurbishment of the courthouse.
Another popular attraction is the Greenwood Great House. Richard Barrett built it in 1790, and it stands as a museum today, featuring period furniture as well as a rare assortment of
Wedgwood china and musical instruments.
Built in 1755, the Good Hope Estate is an old sugar and coconut plantation. The Great House has period furniture pieces, and you can also see the past slave residences as well as the hot water bath which was the first of its kind in the Caribbean in the 18th-century, and the waterwheel at the old sugar mill.
The Luminous Lagoon is something extraordinary, where a night swim will have you glowing in the dark due to its marine phosphorescence.
4. Martha Brae River
Floating on a raft along the Martha Brae River has long been one of the most popular activities for tourists. You will be able to gently drift down the river aboard a bamboo raft which is poled by a local expert on the area.
The relaxing tour is a brilliant way to soak in the Caribbean sunshine while enjoying the views of the local vegetation. Most of the guides will also enlighten you to the fauna and flora in the area.
5. Black River Safari Boat Tour and YS Falls
On this boat tour, you will have the opportunity to see crocodiles and over 100 species of birds, such as snowy egrets and herons, all of which have made their homes along the longest river in Jamaica – the Black River.
You will be able to enjoy a guided boat tour where your guide will give you a commentary about the area’s history and ecology.
At YS Falls, which is Jamaica’s most significant yet least commercialized waterfalls, you can swing on a rope Tarzan-style and take a dip in the natural springs below.
6. Zipline Adventure Tours
If you are a fan of outdoor activities, you will love these adventures where you can try zip-lining or kayaking as you explore the Great River. A two hour guided tour will see you kayaking through rapids and calm water. Or you can zip line over the water for a bit of an adrenalin rush.
Your tour guide will provide the equipment needed as well as a safety briefing. You will also be told about the vegetation and wildlife that lives along the river.