Adventure travel in Jamaica goes far beyond zip lining through the rainforest. From biking through the misty Blue Mountain tops, to farm-to-table culinary experiences and historical walking tours, Jamaica offers a plethora of activities for any traveler to find their own type of adventure.
“Adventure travel means doing something that pushes you out of your comfort zone or challenges you to do something that you haven’t done before,” said Paul Pennicook, Jamaica’s Director of Tourism. “Whether that means meeting the locals, sampling the local cuisine or immersing yourself in a cultural experience, Jamaica offers an array of adventures through its history, people and cuisine.”
Below is a sampling of adventures in Jamaica for nature lovers, foodie fanatics and history buffs:
- Blue Mountain Bicycle Tour is a remarkable way to see the lush, tropical countryside and the world-famous Blue Mountains, recently named a UNESCO World Heritage site. On this downhill bike tour, riders will take in over 500 species of flowering plants, cascading waterfalls and coffee plantations.
- Martha Brae Bamboo River Rafting in Montego Bay is an experience that is distinctly Jamaican. Originally used as a means of transporting banana crops from the local plantations to the bustling harbor, bamboo river rafting has become a popular leisure activity in Jamaica. The ‘Captains’ or experienced guides man the bamboo rafts and impart their knowledge about the river and its ecosystem as guests take in the serene environment.
- Nestled in the hills of Jamaica’s Cockpit Country, the River Bumpkin Farm takes you off-the-beaten-path to a 59-acre plantation marked with rivers, forests waterfalls, limestone caves, tropical foliage and birdlife. The plantation offers exciting eco-excursions ranging from river tubing, kayaking, historic biking, walking tours, and more.
- Stush in the Bush is a local culinary experience located on the 15-acre organic Zionites farm in Ocho Rios where guests can embark on an organic farm tour and farm-to-table lunch or dinner in the Rastafarian (Ital) diet of fresh fruits, vegetables and spices. It’s a great way to learn about the flora of the island, and have a home cooked meal while taking in the beauty of Jamaica’s lush landscape.
- Jamaican Jerk Outback Adventure is a hands-on cooking experience offered at the historical Great House at Prospect Plantation in Ocho Rios. Guests will tantalize their senses with a variety of herbs and spices, as Chef Irie guides them in the preparation of a traditional Jamaican dish. The cooking class takes place on a verandah with a panoramic view of the Caribbean Sea.
- Falmouth Food Tour offers a delicious blend of Jamaican food and history on a guided walking tour of the historic town of Falmouth. Through various food tastings, visitors will learn how Jamaicans have used a fusion of cooking methods and practices from different cultures to develop dishes that sustained Jamaican people through slavery, colonialism, wartime and independence.
- Jamnesia Surf Club in Bull Bay is a true cultural experience established by the Wilmots, Jamaica’s first surfing family. Jamnesia not only provides surf lessons but budget-friendly accommodations, exposure to live music sessions and local vegetarian meals.
- For visitors looking to explore the Jamaican way of life, the Jamaica Tourist Board’s “Meet the People” program coordinates a meet-up experience with a Jamaican of similar interests, hobby or profession. The meet-up can take place at a school, home, church, hiking trail, local craft market or even at a coffee shop. Over 500 Meet the People ambassadors have volunteered to provide this opportunity at no cost to visitors.
- Located at the cobble-stoned Sam Sharpe Square on the site of the historic Montego Bay Court House, the Montego Bay Cultural Centre houses the National Art Gallery West. Among the highlights are exhibits that trace the history of Jamaica from the Arawak era to present day. The centre also has a space for the performing arts.
For more information on Jamaica or to book a Jamaican Adventure, please visit www.visitjamaica.com or contact your local Jamaica Travel Specialist.