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Top 5 Things to Do in Jamaica

Top 5 Things to Do in Jamaica


With a wealth of luxury resorts and secluded beaches it’d be tempting to spend your time in Jamaica laid out on a beach for every day of your holiday. Make sure you don’t miss out on the best that Jamaica has to offer with this handy guide. These are just a few of the wonderful experiences you can have in Jamaica.

Have a once in a lifetime experience in Ocho Rios

If ticking “visit Jamaica” off of your bucket list isn’t enough, then fulfil another wish and swim with dolphins in Ocho Rios’ aptly name Dolphin Cove. Surrounded by 5 acres of luscious rainforest, this natural cove has all bases covers with warm waters, beautiful dolphins and talented instructors.

Once a fishing village, Ocho Rios radiates the laidback vibe that the island is famous for. It’s the perfect place to kick back on your Jamaica holidays with a plate of Ackee and saltfish and indulge in some sun filled relaxation.


Image by Chad Sparkes used under CC license
Image by Chad Sparkes used under CC license


Pay a visit to the spectacular Luminous Lagoon

Famous for its incredible bright glow when the water is disturbed, the Luminous Lagoon is one of those rare tourist attractions that genuinely lives up to the hype. The glowing is actually a form of bioluminescence — the same thing that makes glow worms glow!

A number of tours and boat trips are on offer from various providers but the best way to experience these ethereal waters is to swim in them beneath a dark, starry sky and watch the water light up beneath you.


Luminous Lagoon Jamaica Image by Matt Holden used under CC license
Luminous Lagoon Jamaica Image by Matt Holden used under CC license


Treat yourself to a unique dinner at Zimbali’s Mountain Cooking studio

While only a 20-minute trip from the white sands of Negril, Zimbali’s peaceful farm and grounds will make you feel as though you’re in the middle of nowhere. Operating a farm to table policy, the 5 course meal that Zimbali will cook right in front of you is as fresh (and delicious) as it gets.

Before your meal you’ll tour the grounds where the food is grown and gain a newfound appreciation and respect for the food you’re eating. Offering hotel pick up and a truly exceptional 4-hour experience, Zimbali’s is a must for your Jamaica holiday.


Image by Leonora (Ellie) Enking used under CC license
Image by Leonora (Ellie) Enking used under CC license


Swing through Jamaica’s treetops on a canopy tour

Embrace your adventurous side and glide through the trees on an exhilarating zip line tour! A combination of zip lining and walking, this tour will reward you with unforgettable views of the Great River, Limestone Cliff and the Inter-parish Express. There’s truly no better way to see Jamaica’s natural beauty and imagine what life’s like as fabulous bird soaring through the jungle.


Jamaica Canopy Tour Image by Meghana Kelkar used under CC License
Canopy Tour Image by Meghana Kelkar used under CC License


Go ghost hunting at Rose Hall

Rose Hall’s grand grounds are infamous for being haunted by the White Witch of Rose Hall. According to legend, she married and murdered her three husbands and was eventually murdered by a slave who worked on her plantation. After meeting such an unfortunate end she’s believed to haunt the grounds and thousands of visitors every year attempt to spot a glimpse of the wicked White Witch.


Rose Hall Jamaica Image by Common Sense Architect used under CC license


Note: This article was written by Rhiannon O’ Shea a retired travel journalist who has always enjoyed the finer things in life. She likes nothing more than to sit out on a porch looking over a beautiful bay in the Caribbean with a cocktail.

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About the author

Carmen Edelson is the Founder of Carmen's Luxury Travel. Carmen has been traveling the world for over a decade. Her travels allow her the opportunity to pursue her itch to travel to the best luxury destinations, and experience those first class tastes from around the world.


  1. LeAnna Brown
    August 6, 2016 at 1:26 pm

    WOW! Is the Lagoon the same thing as Phytoplankton? We swam in the ocean filled with Phytoplankton in Thailand and it was like swimming in millions of sparkling diamonds, it was out of this world!
    LeAnna Brown recently posted…Learn How to Use Your Frequent Flyer Miles with This Brilliant ToolMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      August 8, 2016 at 9:05 am

      It’s incredible when you put your hands in the water and whirl it around to see the bright blue sparkles in the water.

    • Anabel
      October 24, 2019 at 11:07 am

      Hi Carmen.
      We were definitely on the fence about where to visit next but now it’s even more complicated with Jamaica on the list! You had me at luminous lagoon – it looks so beautiful!

  2. Prasad Np
    August 6, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    such a fun filled destination and looks so green in all the pictures.. I do hope to visit some time soon.
    Prasad Np recently posted…August 2016 Calendar Desktop Wallpaper – Marina Bay Sands SingaporeMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      August 8, 2016 at 9:08 am

      Jamaica is very green. If you love the outdoors and are an avid thrill seeker there are a lot of activities to keep your busy throughout the day.

  3. noel
    August 6, 2016 at 2:07 pm

    Jamaica looks wonderful, I would love to visit and check out the cultural treasures

    • Carmen Edelson
      August 8, 2016 at 9:09 am

      We’ve been to Jamaica a few times. Each time we discover something knew to see and do. It’s a fun island to explore.

  4. Lindsay Nieminen
    August 6, 2016 at 2:11 pm

    Jamaica is at the top of my list for 2017!!! thanks for all the great info!
    Lindsay Nieminen recently posted…Tips to Consider When You Book an All Inclusive HolidayMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      August 8, 2016 at 9:12 am

      I hope you get the opportunity to go and visit soon.

  5. Linda
    August 6, 2016 at 4:21 pm

    Dang I would totally go ghost hunting at Rose Hall! I saw that place on Ghost Adventures! It’s crazy!

    • Carmen Edelson
      August 8, 2016 at 9:14 am

      We love ghost tours and this one is especially an interesting one.

  6. Hugo Cura
    August 6, 2016 at 4:37 pm

    This is a different side to Jamaica I hadn’t seen. Would love to go to the luminous lagoon and try the canopy tour. That zip line looks pretty cool!
    Hugo Cura recently posted…5 must-visit colonial towns in CubaMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      August 8, 2016 at 9:16 am

      Most people think Jamaica is only a place to go to lay by the pool and beach. It’s has a lot of other fun activities to do too.

  7. Fiona Maclean
    August 7, 2016 at 12:24 pm

    I love the luminous lagoon! And, would I dare go to Rose Hall? IDK
    Fiona Maclean recently posted…Masterchef Challenge – Picahna Beef Cap with ChimichurriMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      August 8, 2016 at 9:29 am

      The luminous lagoon is a must when you go. The Rose Hall house is said to be one of the most haunted places to visit.

  8. Stephanie
    August 7, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    Swimming in the Luminous Lagoon sounds like a dream. In another life, I would have become a marine biologist, it’s so amazing what the ocean is capable of!
    Stephanie recently posted…The Ultimate Guide to Effortless Travel HackingMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      August 8, 2016 at 9:32 am

      I’m amazed by all the creatures that live in our waters. My daughter is studying to be a marine biologist and she finds it fascinating.

  9. travelling chingrita
    August 7, 2016 at 2:19 pm

    Luminous lagoon is something I want to check out anywhere in the world. Seeing anything light up at night is pretty amazing.

    • Carmen Edelson
      August 8, 2016 at 9:33 am

      Jamaica is one of a few places that have a luminous lagoon. Puerto Rico is another island that also has one.

  10. Erika Bisbocci
    August 7, 2016 at 2:43 pm

    I visited a similar luminous lagoon in Puerto Rico and remember hearing that there was one in Jamaica as well. I’d love to go, as I remember kayaking through bioluminescence was such a magical experience!
    Erika Bisbocci recently posted…Visiting Borobudur and PrambananMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      August 8, 2016 at 9:35 am

      We took the family to the luminous lagoon in Puerto Rico at night on the kayaks. I remember my kids being a little spooked when we rode through the mangroves in the dark. It was a wonderful experience.

  11. Natasha Amar
    August 7, 2016 at 4:09 pm

    The Luminous Lagoon looks incredible. I’ve seen glowworms in NZ and the first time I saw them, I was left speechless. I imagine this would be a similar experience.

    • Carmen Edelson
      August 8, 2016 at 9:37 am

      We went to the luminous lagoon in Puerto Rico too, and really enjoyed it too. I’ve never been to New Zealand but would love to experience the glowworms.

  12. anna
    August 7, 2016 at 10:37 pm

    The luminous lagoon looks awesome! We have them here in Thailand and in Cambodia and seeing them in the open Ocean is amazing. Are the dolphins kept in captivity within the bay?
    anna recently posted…Europe Festivals Guide: 7 Awesome Festivals Not to Be MissedMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      August 8, 2016 at 9:47 am

      Unfortunately, yes the dolphins are kept in captivity within the bay but compared to some of the other facilities I’ve seen. This was one of the largest bays that allows them plenty of space to swim around in.

  13. Mar Pages
    August 7, 2016 at 11:03 pm

    I’ve been seeing many zip line videos being shared and can’t wait to try one myself! Probably one of the closest thing to flying through a forest 😀
    Mar Pages recently posted…Albet i Noya Pioneer organic winemaking in SpainMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      August 8, 2016 at 9:50 am

      It’s quite the feeling when you’re traveling above forest trees and admiring the views below from your zip line.

  14. Rosemary
    August 8, 2016 at 12:04 am

    Never been to Jamaica and had really no idea there was so much to do. The luminous lagoon looks very interesting. Certainly worth a visit. The Zimbali cooking experience sounds like fun too. I have a new perspective on Jamaica now. Thanks for sharing the various fun activities.
    Rosemary recently posted…The Best Dulce De Leche In Argentina Expert InterviewMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      August 8, 2016 at 9:52 am

      When you think about Jamaica the first time that comes to mind is a beach vacation. We really enjoyed discovering some of the other things that Jamaica has to offer.

  15. Megan
    August 8, 2016 at 12:19 am

    I think my top choice would be the cooking class. But only because I got to do the luminescent bay in Puerto Rico. Hope to make it to Jamaica one of these days.

    • Carmen Edelson
      August 8, 2016 at 9:54 am

      It’s fun to go with a chef and pick out herbs and fruit from the garden and then see them prepare it.

  16. anto
    August 8, 2016 at 1:19 am

    Great suggestions. Not sure if I’ll ever make it to Jamaica (though it was just suggested to me by a friend) but I will definitely keep this post in mind for the future 🙂
    anto recently posted…Free alternatives to the Blue Lagoon in IcelandMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      August 8, 2016 at 9:56 am

      Well if you do now you know that the island has plenty of things to keep you busy.

  17. Salini
    August 8, 2016 at 5:44 am

    Great places to see in Jamaica. I loved the luminous lagoon and the canopy tour in special. The rose hall looks quite mysterious.
    Salini recently posted…UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India – Part 2My Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      August 8, 2016 at 9:58 am

      Our favorite things to do was the zip-lining and going to the luminous lagoon.

  18. Castaway with Crystal
    August 8, 2016 at 7:00 am

    Sounds fun! Would love to do some of those. Would also love to do something cultural too, is there rum tasting? Beach hopping? Bob Marley remising? He he
    Castaway with Crystal recently posted…Photos from the VIVID Festival of LightMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      August 8, 2016 at 10:01 am

      Jamaica has all of the above that I mentioned plus everything on your list. We loved the beaches as well, lots of rum tastings, and if you’re a Bob Marley fan you need to go check out the museum.

  19. Emily
    August 8, 2016 at 7:13 am

    Rose Hall looks spooky – exactly the kind of place I’d like to visit! Thanks for sharing Carmen 🙂
    Emily recently posted…Patarei Prison – the abandoned prison in TallinnMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      August 8, 2016 at 10:09 am

      Rose Hall is very spooky and worth a visit. The white witch was a very evil person, and it was awful what she did to her slaves.

  20. Evan Kristine
    August 8, 2016 at 10:04 am

    Seems like a lot of fun stuff to do in Jamaica!
    Evan Kristine recently posted…Parisian New Years Eve of 2012 and The After EffectMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      August 8, 2016 at 10:13 am

      Yes, Jamaica is filled with a lot of things to keep you busy.

  21. Maria
    August 8, 2016 at 11:18 am

    These look like some fun activities. I especially would love to see the luminous Lagoon. It looks so beautiful.

    • Carmen Edelson
      August 8, 2016 at 12:24 pm

      Jamaica has a lot of fun activities for the whole family to do. We especially enjoyed the luminous lagoon and the zip lining.

  22. Laura @ Sometime Traveller
    August 8, 2016 at 3:15 pm

    Wow, that luminous lagoon looks amazing! I’ll definitely put that on my must-do list if I ever get to Jamaica!
    Laura @ Sometime Traveller recently posted…Wanderlust Wednesday: Therasia ResortMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      August 11, 2016 at 6:44 pm

      The lagoon was so much fun to see, it really made our vacation special.

  23. Paul
    August 8, 2016 at 6:06 pm

    We have wanted to visit Jamaica for a while now, especially the lagoon as I have heard before that it certainly lives up to all the hype!
    Paul recently posted…Camping memories in the UK: Some of our highlights of our adventures in the British Isles!My Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      August 11, 2016 at 6:41 pm

      The lagoon was a huge hit with my family. It’s magical when you see the water sparking like diamonds.

  24. Karily
    August 8, 2016 at 10:17 pm

    I am dying to do a canopy tour! I love this list of things to do. So often we give in to the the stereotypes of places and think that is all there is to do there (lay on the beach at an all inclusive!). Would love to check out the lagoon too.

    • Carmen Edelson
      August 11, 2016 at 6:45 pm

      I’m one of those people that really enjoy a beach vacation, but my husband has to always be doing something adventurous. Jamaica was the perfect island for him.

  25. Monika
    August 9, 2016 at 12:16 pm

    Recently I’ve been looking for plane tickets to Jamaica, but couldn’t find any good fare, so I guess this destination has to wait for me.
    Pity, as I see there’s lots of things I’d love to do. Also diving, I guess 😉
    Monika recently posted…A murder in Saudi ArabiaMy Profile

    • Carmen Edelson
      August 11, 2016 at 6:46 pm

      I hope you’re able to find some good fares and get the chance to go and explore the island soon.

  26. Janna
    August 9, 2016 at 1:54 pm

    Ive never been to Jamaica yet but I’m glad that there’s a bunch of activities to do during ur stay. Im quite intrigued about the luminous lagoon! So cool

    • Carmen Edelson
      August 11, 2016 at 6:50 pm

      There’s plenty of activities to keep you busy during your stay. You can also hike Dunn’s River Falls which I need to add to the list.

  27. Karla
    August 9, 2016 at 10:36 pm

    Love the beach , Jamaica seems to be interesting. I want to try the diving in Jamaica.

    • Carmen Edelson
      August 11, 2016 at 6:52 pm

      Jamaica is the perfect island to go lay by the beach with a good book or spend your day diving.

  28. Rio
    November 28, 2016 at 5:15 pm

    OMG I just booked my trip to Jamaica and I can not wait! Thanks for sharing these awesome spots!

    • Carmen Edelson
      November 29, 2016 at 4:34 pm

      I’m glad to hear that you are traveling to Jamaica soon. I hope you enjoy your time on the island. The Dunn’s River falls hike was one of our favorite things to do.

  29. David
    April 25, 2017 at 11:10 am

    Great stuff on your visit did you get a surf board or a SP board into the water? Jamaica is becoming known as one of the top surfing locations in the world. 100% worth doing if you get to Jamaica.

    • Carmen Edelson
      April 28, 2017 at 7:37 am

      I’ll definitely try surfing next time I’m in Jamaica!

  30. miller
    December 12, 2019 at 12:03 am

    fascinating place would go there and i have just started learning surfing

    • Carmen Edelson
      December 30, 2019 at 11:50 am

      I hope you get to!

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