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Tropical Treasures: 7 Attractions in Jamaica You HAVE to Check Out!

A young woman in blue lagoon in Jamaica
Written by Tali Love

This blog post was updated on July 12, 2021.

When most people think of Jamaica, they think of all-inclusive resorts, beaches, and sunny days. The island certainly has plenty of beachfront to satisfy any water-loving group, but there are also plenty of other reasons to start looking for cheap flight deals to this Caribbean hot-spot. Jamaica’s Caribbean culture is unique, so it’s only logical that you also dive into some cultural tours on your visit. We’ve rounded up some key attractions in Jamaica that feature the island’s amazing natural beauty, delicious food and drink, colorful history, and vibrant culture so that there’s something for everyone who visits. Let’s take a look at seven great options to consider as you plan your Jamaican vacation.

Boston Beach

Jamaica beautiful sea

If we’re talking about Jamaica, we have to get started with a beach! Close to Port Antonio, Boston Beach boasts crystal clear waters and white, soft sand. If you’re interested in surfing, this is definitely the beach to visit. However, because it’s a surfing beach, the waters can get a little rough, so it might be best to find another beach if you’re planning a day out with the kids.

While you’re at Boston Beach, you’ll want to visit the Boston Jerk Center. This is considered the birthplace of jerk seasoning. With seven jerk pits, the center is home to some of the earliest pits in the world, run by the descendants of people who made jerk famous. Come hungry and ready for a true cultural experience!

Blue Lagoon

Bamboo ride in blue lagoon on Jamaica

Also near Port Antonio, you can visit one of the most famous natural attractions in Jamaica — the Blue Lagoon (which you might recognize from the Brooke Shields movie of the same name). During your day at the lagoon, you might see the water transform into several colors as the position of the sun changes over the course of the day. It often goes from a beautiful turquoise to a deeper royal blue — just gorgeous!

If you choose to visit the lagoon, consider taking a boat tour. Your tour guide can tell you much more about the history of the lagoon (and the legend of the dragon that lives there!). For safety’s sake, if you don’t want to do a tour, it’s a good idea to visit with a group. The lagoon is very deep and secluded, so always make sure you’re swimming with friends.

Bob Marley Museum

reggae background

If you’re in Kingston and you’re a fan of reggae, you have to visit the Bob Marley Museum. The museum encompasses two locations: one set up at his former home where you can learn all about his life, and the other at his recording studio where you can dive into the world that is his music. This is, understandably, a very popular attraction, so if it’s on your list, make sure you book your tickets early. Make this a full-day event and plan to visit the on-site One Love Café between your time spent at both locations. Don’t miss out on their delicious stews, sandwiches, drinks, and more! You can also visit the museum’s theatre, record shop, photo gallery, and a gift shop stocked with all of the nostalgic Bob Marley memorabilia you can ever want.

You can choose from three awesome tours, including the “Making of the Music Tour” to see the iconic Tuff Gong studio. It’s one hour long, and you’ll get to see how the man himself perfected his music. You might even get a glimpse of Bob Marley’s very own grand piano! Don’t forget to book your tour in advance to get the most out of your experience.

You may also enjoy: How to Experience the Best of Jamaican Food and Culture

River Falls Party Cruise

Dunn's river Falls, Jamaica. A couple under the waterfall

The River Falls Party Cruise is a fun way to explore Dunn’s River Falls, especially if you’re in Jamaica on a girls’ trip! Before you get on your catamaran, there’s a traditional Jamaican lunch waiting for you at the launch point. Then you’ll head out into Caribbean waters where you’ll get to snorkel among coral reefs with tropical fish.

Back on the boat, you’ll travel up the shoreline to Dunn’s River Falls, where your expert guide will lead you up to the waterfall. Afterward, the boat will bring you back to shore, but not before an onboard party complete with a DJ and open bar.

Appleton Estate Rum Tour

What would a Jamaica to-do list be without a rum tour? The oldest distillery in the country, Appleton Estate, is also Jamaica’s oldest sugar estate. In fact, they’ve been in production for over 265 years! Not only do they make and age their own rum, but they also grow the sugarcane that goes into it. It’s interesting to note that their Master Blender Joy Spence is also the first female master blender in the world.

If you’re interested in touring the estate, you’ll learn about rum in general, as well as Appleton’s process, and you’ll have plenty of chances to taste their wares. Make your reservations early to secure your spot.

Devon House

Devon House in Kingston Jamaica.. Nowdays is a museum, opening its gardens for public and famous for its ice-cream

For a different type of heritage site, consider visiting Devon House, a Jamaican national landmark. The house is a mixture of Georgian and Caribbean architecture, designed by Jamaica’s first black millionaire George Stiebel. Built in 1881, Devon House has changed hands a few times and was named a national monument in 1990.

Now, people visit Devon House to not only tour the mansion but also to try the world-famous ice cream from the I Scream shop. The area has become a major attraction, with 24 restaurants and shops just waiting for you to stop by.

Rose Hall Great House

At the Rose Hall Great House, you can learn about Jamaica’s longest-lasting local legend — the White Witch of Rose Hall. Enjoy the beautiful gardens on the property and learn about how life was lived here back in the day. If you’re feeling brave, buy your tickets for a night tour. But, beware! You just might see the White Witch wandering through the sugar plantation!

So there you have it — our list of seven great attractions in Jamaica. Whether you want to enjoy the water or learn more about the local culture, there’s something for everyone on this beautiful Caribbean island.

So tell us below — when are you planning your Jamaican vacation?

About the author

Tali Love

Tali Love is a seasoned solo traveler, trip planner and travel writer. She owns and operates the blog, there she writes about all things lifestyle and travel. Tali loves spending time in nature, good wine, theatre and documentaries. Find her on Instagram and say hello @with_love_tali

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