« activities & attractions « travel planner
Topographically the most complete and varied of all the Caribbean islands, Jamaica offers lush vegetation, waterfalls, and mountain trails, in addition to sun-drenched beaches and golf courses. Jamaica's natural beauty can be experienced at a number of attractions around the island.
The Blue Mountains
The high peaks of these magnificent mountains are often covered in mist this is why the mountains are often seen as having a bluish colour. The range of the Blue Mountains spans 28 miles in length and 12 miles in width and it is located at the eastern portion of the island. The mountain rises steeply from the plain so it is possible for you to reach an elevation of over 7000 feet in under an hour.
If you're thinking of hiking to the peak of the mountains it will take you roughly 3 to 4 hours to reach the summit via the mountain trek. Most Jamaicans who undertake this journey prefer to reach the peak just before sunrise so that they can experience the clean crisp morning as the dawn unfolds. The expansive view of the mountains allows its visitors to experience seeing both the north and south coasts. On leaving the top you will have the opportunity of experiencing the botanical treasures of the mountain. The trail will take you through the elfin forest where there is stunted rodwood and soap wood trees. The low canopy is as a result of the extreme climatic conditions. As you descend further down the mountain, gradually the forest will be overtaken by shaded undergrowth which consists of lichens, mosses, lianas, ferns, and lesser trees that will eventually reveal primeval tree ferns, shrubs and enormous bamboos that fade out at the forest line which lies just above Whitfield Hall.
Green Grotto Caves
The Green Grotto caves are located between the two towns of Runaway Bay and Discovery Bay. The cave was named for the fact that the walls were covered by green algae. The cave has been long associated with the island history as it once served as a home for the first inhabitants of the islands and then later as a hiding place for the Spanish troops. It's a popular attraction for both tourists and locals alike as many come to hear of the caves history and see the different geological formations as well as animal and plant life in and around the caves. There are currently 21 species of bat on the island nine of which have made these caves their home. As you enter the cave you will see these bats carrying on their daily activities. The cave descends some 60 steps or 37 meters into the inner most cavern where there is a crystal clear underground lake.
One of Jamaicans defining tourist attractions the Dunns River falls has for many years been accepting visitors for all over the world. Dunns River falls is more that just a water falls it is an identifying landmark, cultural icon and scientific wonder. The falls is approximately 1,000 feet or 300 m the water falls is set almost like a giant stair case which has had several man made improvements done over the years. There are several pools in which you can sit and enjoy a relaxing massage by the flowing water and areas where you can climb.
Negril "7-Mile" Beach
Seven Mile Beach is found along the bustling coast of Negril. This is the longest stretch of beach in Jamaica and is world-famous for its powdered-sugar sand. Much of the beach is lined with hotels, restaurants and bars which creates a lively atmosphere though there are some calmer spots for a relaxing soak. There are ample watersports available for the more adventurous.
If you are looking for a nice hang out spot to visit while in Jamaica Negril's West End cliffs may just be the place you're looking for. The cliffs are approximately 30' to 40' high from the ocean floor. It gradually increases in height starting from the west of downtown Negril and continues south from the ocean front for 6 miles then it drops back sharply to the ocean level. The area is also called the west end and it offers and authentic experience for the traveler who is searching for the true Jamaica. While travelling to the location special care should be administered as there are deep curves and twists. The road leading to the cliff is very difficult to drive and walk on so beware pedestrians and cyclists.
How about a touch of magic. Glistening Waters has been attracting for many years tourists from all over the world the water literally glows in the dark. Glistening waters can be found between Falmouth and Trelawny. Many visitors opt to take a boat ride during the nights when the phosphorescence is most magnificent. If you jump in the water your body will literally glow in the dark. Information from one of the leading universities has shown that the light which comes from the bay is created through bioluminescence, which is light produced by microscopic living animals known as dinoflagellates.
Blue Hole Mineral Spring
The blue hole is another prime attraction that can be found in Negril. It is 25 minutes to the southeast of Negril. The resort can be found in the hills of a local community. The blue hole is categorized as a mineral spring that can be climbed into or dived into. For the more adventurous you can join the locals in diving from platforms and trees down into the water. Some trees are 60 feet above the level of the water. You will be completely invigorated by the rich mineral crystal clear waters of the blue hole. The waters will even bubble up once they are stirred around. The inner cavern of the hold is extremely large so there is much room for swimming.
Wherever you decide you are sure to awed by Jamaica's natural beauty.