Beyond the beaches, reggae music, jerk chicken, Red Stripe, rum, Bob Marley and Usain Bolt, Jamaica has an undeniably interesting history and culture. Among her interesting features are historic plantation estates like Devon House, Rose Hall, Greenwood and Seville Great Houses, as well as excursions to some of the island’s most off-the-beaten-path, historical trails and tours through tropical rain forests overlooking rolling green countryside.
“Jamaica has a very storied history that is influenced by a variety of cultures and reflected in our national motto, Out of Many, One People,” said Jamaica’s Director of Tourism Paul Pennicook. “Throughout the island, visitors and locals alike can explore the various historical attractions that showcase our rich and diverse history. Whether it is our museums, art galleries or historical sites, visitors can learn about Jamaica’s heritage by visiting these attractions or participating in guided tours.”
Blue and John Crow Mountains
In 2016, the cultural and natural heritage of the Blue and John Crow Mountains National Park were designated the first UNESCO World Heritage site for Jamaica. The Blue Mountains offer travelers a one-of-a-kind cultural experience and is an adventure-lovers paradise. The Blue Mountain Peak Trail/Portland Gap is a 3.5 mile hike and ends at the famous Blue Mountain Peak, the highest peak in the island (2,256m). Holywell is the largest recreation area within the National Park – just an hour’s drive from New Kingston.www.blueandjohncrowmountains.org
Blue Mountain Downhill Bicycle Tour
This 3-hour downhill guided bicycle tour in the Blue Mountains operates daily. Visitors will learn about Jamaica’s colorful past, making short stops at historical sites along the way. The highlight of the tour is a stop at an open-air restaurant located 2,600 feet above sea level, serving a sumptuous Jamaican brunch with real Blue Mountain coffee. After brunch the group will be fitted with protective gear in preparation for a thrilling downhill ride. www.bmtoursja.com
Falmouth Historic Walking Tour
Founded in 1769, Falmouth is a historic port town located between Ocho Rios and Montego Bay on Jamaica’s north coast. Perfectly laid out to be explored by walkers, Falmouth boasts the finest collection of Georgian architecture in the Caribbean and has been listed as one of the world’s 100 most endangered monuments. In fact, it is one of the first towns in the western hemisphere to have running water. Lasting for one and a half hours, the Falmouth Heritage Walking Tour gives travelers a glimpse of the 18th century town on the coast. www.falmouthheritagewalks.com
Cockpit Country Adventure Tour
The Cockpit Country is an enticing nature lover’s paradise and photographer’s dream. Located in the hills of Trelawny, less than one hour from the coast, it is where the Maroons, descendants of Africans who resisted English captivity, still live in the town of Accompong. The cave tour, which covers part of the Cockpit Country, is a medium impact hike that involves a climb up a 45-degree slope to the cave entrance. www.stea.net
Kingston Music Tour
Designated a UNESCO Creative City of Music, Jamaica’s capital Kingston is the cultural, economic and social center of the island. Visitors can embark on a tour of the Bob Marley Museum where Marley lived before he died. In addition, visitors can tour Tuff Gong, the world’s famous reggae studio, and the Peter Tosh Museum.
To plan your trip or your vacation to Jamaica, go to www.visitjamaica.com.