Oh, how we love Jamaica! A Caribbean highlight. The land of sweet reggae music, jerk chicken and parties to last a lifetime. A place where turquoise waters wash up on golden shores and natural sights take your breath away. As much as Jamaica is full of adventure and thrill-seeking fun, there’s a lot going on for the laid-back traveller too.
If you prefer your holidays to be all about down time and relaxing by the pool, Jamaica is full of great all inclusive resorts where you can sit back and chill. But if you’d love to explore during your Jamaica holiday, you don’t have to be ziplining through the rain forest or jet skiing through waves to do that. Jamaica offers visitors tons of easy-going activities too. Admire stunning views, taste delicious cuisine and soak up the sunshine on a peaceful beach. Here is the laid-back traveller’s guide to Jamaica.
Take a dip under beautiful waterfalls
Believe it or not, Jamaica is so much more than just white sand beaches. There is a great selection of waterfalls to visit too. In fact, there’s probably one for each day you spend on the island!
Dunn’s River Falls is perhaps the most well-known with small individual pools in between distinct steps and levels. It takes about an hour to climb to the top with a guide, but along the way, you can enjoy a relaxing time bathing in the plunge pools and enjoying exhilarating showers under the falls. The waterfall flows down to a beach, which is unusual but also what makes it so popular.
Another favourite is YS Falls which boasts a whole host of magical surroundings and great activities. The area is engulfed by lush gardens, tall trees and the soothing sound of tropical birds. The YS Falls are perfect for families too as there are shallow swimming areas as well as lifeguards. Ziplining is a sought-after activity here (as well as over Dunn’s River Falls), but you don’t need to worry about that! Just enjoy your time in the tranquil waters and take in the majestic atmosphere of this seven-tiered waterfall.
Cruise down Martha Brae River on a bamboo raft
Whether you’re staying in Montego Bay or Ocho Rios, it’s easy enough to get down to Martha Brae in Trelawny. Before you kick-start your tour, have a roam around Miss Martha’s Herb Garden which boasts a variety of Jamaica’s herbs known for their medicinal properties. Afterwards, get straight to it and have one of the most laid-back experiences you possibly can in Jamaica.
Sit on a thirty-foot long raft as an experienced raft captain guides you through twists and turns in the river. Explore the natural side to Jamaica as you learn more about Jamaican culture. Your guide will no doubt point out the local wildlife and fruits that you’ll come across during the journey. There are also bars where you can buy a drink and many of the guides will have crafts for sale too. Plus, if you bring your swimwear along, you can have a dip in these blue waters.
A typical trip lasts between 60 – 90 minutes and a raft holds two adults, but one or two small children can also fit if need be. As you can imagine, a bamboo raft down the Martha Brae River is perfect for a couples getaway in Jamaica, it’s made for the two of you after all!
Have a drink at Floyd’s Pelican Bar
The only way to get to this bar is by boat! Already interested? Well, we can tell you that it’s well worth a visit. Pelican Bar is built on stilts in the middle of the sea. As a result, you can enjoy a Red Stripe beer whilst taking in the tranquillity and serenity of the still Caribbean Sea. The nearest town is Black River where a boat can transport you to the bar. Treasure Beach and Parottee Point are also spots where you can catch a boat headed for Pelican Bar.
Aside from the beers and the views, there are other quirks which make Pelican Bar a worthy trip. Before visitors leave the bar, they make sure to carve their names into the wood. There’s no better way to prove you was there, right? Another way people like to leave a trace of their presence is by bringing a flag or license plate which Floyd personally hangs up in his bar for decoration. Finally, you’re going to want to make sure you have enough cash on you as credit cards aren’t accepted.
Taste the jerk chicken at Scotchies
If you’re a foodie, you’ll love Jamaica! One of the dishes the island is best-known for is jerk chicken. Usually served with rice and peas, jerk chicken is one of Jamaica’s most famous exports. But there’s nothing better than tasting it in one of Jamaica’s very jerk shacks. Jerk sauce is made up of a blend of various spices, herbs, hot peppers and pimento. The sauce is then smeared onto meat which is then barbecued for a smoky finish.
One of the most popular (and best) places to try some jerk chicken is at Scotchies. Located in Montego Bay and Ocho Rios, Scotchies has been identified as the best authentic jerk hut by various global chefs and travel experts. You’ll not only be able to sample the jerk chicken, but you can have just about everything else jerk. From fish and pork to ribs and sausage, you can have it all smothered in tasty jerk sauce with a bit of pepper sauce on the side!
Relive the legend – Bob Marley
As well as jerk cuisine, Jamaica is known for being the birthplace of Bob Marley. A musician for the ages, Bob Marley brought reggae music to the worldwide stage and won the hearts of the masses.
On a Jamaica holiday, you can visit the Bob Marley Museum which is based in his former home. It includes a variety of memories of Bob, ranging from his records to his awards. Much of the house has been kept the same over the years, offering visitors an authentic touch. Tours are available between Monday and Saturday which allows you to explore the various rooms of the house. Whether it’s Bob Marley’s bedroom or personal recording studio, there’s a lot to see and admire here. The tour isn’t just restricted to Bob’s house. In fact, there’s also a theatre, gift shops, exhibition hall and the One Love Café.
Get comfortable at the beach
It’s for certain that the beach features on every laid-back traveller’s holiday plans. Who doesn’t love spending a day in the blazing sunshine with the sea rolling in by your feet? Luckily, Jamaica has tons of beaches to love.
If you’re staying in Negril, a visit to Seven Mile Beach is a must. Not only is it one of the most visited beaches in Jamaica but it’s also the longest. So, the long stretch of powder white sands means there’s plenty of room for romantic strolls or building sandcastles with the kids. Whilst keen swimmers will find the clear waters more than tempting.
Boston Bay Beach in Port Antonio is another great choice, especially for avid surfers and foodies. After enjoying a swim in the sea, head to one of the food stands serving up delicious jerk (you can’t escape it!) and light bites. Plus, Cornwall Beach in Montego Bay is lovely for a day out, especially since its right next to the historical Doctor’s Cave Beach. If you visit Cornwall Beach on a Sunday, you can enjoy the party which is topped off with loads of Jamaica’s own Appleton Rum.