This one is for all you adventure junkies out there!
Jamaica is known for its beauty, beaches, and beer, but this Caribbean gem has lots more to offer, some of which is seriously surprising!
The island has an impressive pop cultural legacy—James Bond author, Ian Fleming, set up shop here—and who can forget Ursula Andress emerging from the ocean at Dunn’s River Falls? Globally acclaimed reggae artist, Bob Marley hailed from the village of Nine Mile in Saint Anne Parish, part of Jamaica’s fantastic, fauna-filled, North Coast. The Bob Marley museum is located in the capital city of Kingston on the actual site where Marley once lived. And of course, Jamaica’s Olympic history is the stuff of legend. Usain Bolt, Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce and—a bobsled team? (More bobsledding later!)
Fame and beaches aside, the third largest island in the Greater Antilles chain is also “Jam”-packed with wild and crazy activities! Let’s get going!
Zipping through the jungle – not just for the birds!
First up – is literally UP! Ever wonder how it’d feel to fly?
With its perfect skies and lush tropical rainforests, Jamaica is ideal for ziplining! Leave your cares behind (or below) as you find yourself up amongst the lush leaves of the jungle, where your nearest neighbor could be a Jamaican Parakeet or a Red Billed Streamertail. Don’t worry – they’re friendly!
After a short safety demo, climb up, clip on, and zip off through tunnels of indigenous foliage, before soaring high above the forest canopy for an adrenaline inducing experience of a lifetime. This is how you should experience nature – up close and personal!
There are numerous operators of zipline tours in Jamaica with several around Ocho Rios and Montego Bay (locally “Mo Bay”) in the north. Most are open year round and will prohibit kids under ten, as well as expectant moms, so check your tour provider for specific details. And of course, be prepared to hike a little!
Dolphin Cove – dolphin-itely worth a visit!
With locations in Mo Bay, Ocho Rios, and Lucea in the northwestern parish of Hanover, you have plenty of options to experience the Dolphin Cove parks.
Frequently considered to be one of the top attractions in Jamaica, start off by browsing the beautiful park surroundings, taking in snakes, iguanas and other native species, before embarking on unforgettable experiences, including swimming with dolphins, interacting with sharks, or becoming a “sea-keeper” for the day! Maybe you’d prefer to snorkel with stingrays or captain your own glass bottomed kayak—no matter which park you visit or activity you choose, it’s sure to be a day you’ll never forget.
Book these activities at least a few days in advance, and prepare for a Jamaican experience like no other!
Jamaican Bobsledding – Cool Runnings!
You’ve heard the story or seen the movie, but Jamaicans really do love bobsledding! Despite an annual snowfall of zero inches which, for any metric users out there, converts to ZERO centimeters (the only ice you’ll find here is in your Coconut Rum!), this Caribbean nation pulled off the audacious goal of qualifying for the 1988 Winter Olympics and still continue to compete.
No trip to Jamaica would be complete without paying tribute to these sledding pioneers, so head uphill to the top of Mystic Mountain in Ocho Rios, and hop onto your bobsled (Lycra bodysuit optional!) to go hurtling down the tropical rainforest track. The ride is short but thrilling! Tour operators offer transportation to and from hotels, and the views on the way up to the bobsled run are just as good as they are on the way down. Once again, expectant moms and those with medical conditions are encouraged to spend the day in more leisurely pursuits.
Rick’s Café – Coconut Rum and Cliff Diving?
If all this excitement has tired you out, how about sitting back with a cold drink—before jumping off a cliff into the sea? Rick’s Café, in beautiful Negril, home of “seven mile beach” (a frequent entry in various lists of “top world beaches”), has been luring adventurous visitors for years. Grab yourself a cold beer or a rum cocktail, and watch locals and tourists alike literally throwing themselves from the café’s cliffs!
This western tip of Jamaica is renowned for having the island’s best beaches and best beach life with plenty of rocky spots to hurl yourself from, but iconic Rick’s café is unique, in that it encourages its boisterous patrons to fling themselves out of the bar!
Complete with viewing areas, and a variety of levels to jump from, Rick’s can get busy, but is always fun—just make sure that if you do literally “take the plunge,” that your swimsuit is secure – there’s always a crowd and plenty of cameras. Yikes! Of course, there is no shortage of alternative fun-filled restaurants and bars in the area should you prefer to stay dry while you relax.
Jamaica is a paradise not only for adrenaline junkies, but also for those who want to enjoy this scenic island at a gentler pace, and can think of nothing better than a private beach, infinity pool and spa, your own private villa, oceanfront dining—all wrapped up in warm Jamaican hospitality. To experience all of this and more, check out renowned resort, Round Hill Hotel and Villas, located near Montego Bay, for that elegant and luxurious stay—far from the shrieks and screams of bobsledders and zipliners!
Phew! If you still have the energy, tell us about your most exciting, adrenaline rushing, daring vacation experience ever in the comments section below!