If you”re anything like me and want something more from your holiday than lying on the beach topping up your tan, Jamaica is an excellent place to visit. It might be famous as a Caribbean beach destination, but there are plenty of adventurous activities you can have a go at too.
So, here are a few suggestions of some unusual and adrenalin-pumping pursuits you can try on your holiday on the island.
Negril – scuba diving
I”m a bit of a water baby and something of a diving enthusiast, so getting underwater is normally on my list of things to do in any holiday destination. Like many of the Caribbean nations, Jamaica is home to some dazzling underwater life, from colorful corals and reef fish to eagle rays and turtles. Negril, on the western tip of the island, is a good place to go whether you are an experienced diver or a novice. There are several centers that offer PADI diving qualifications, so you can learn to dive in the warm, clear waters, surrounded by amazing marine life.
Ocho Rios – white water kayaking
For thrills above, rather than below, the surface, pay a visit to Ocho Rios where you can join a white water kayaking tour. You can even include a bit of sightseeing into your day out, as you”ll set off on your journey at the Old Spanish Bridge, which was built in the 17th century by the first European settlers to arrive on the island. From here, you”ll combine fast runs through rapids with periods of more leisurely paddling in lagoons, as you race past the forest and bamboo groves that line the White River”s banks.
Blue Mountain Peak – hiking
Blue Mountain Peak stands some 7,402 ft high in the south-east of Jamaica, not far out of Kingston, and the 14 mile trail that leads you to the summit and back down again is well worth following. It”s best to climb the mountain at night, so you can arrive at the top in time for an amazing sunrise. On a clear day, you can see as far as Cuba if you look to the north. Hiking with a torch sounds like it”d make the uphill part of the walk a bit more fun anyway – and you can always admire the forest on your way back down, so you get the best of both worlds.
Dunn”s River Falls – waterfall climbing
I”m pretty sure there aren”t many places in the world where you can go waterfall climbing, so a trip to Dunn”s River Falls near Ocho Rios is a must if you”re after a unique and exciting activity. This isn”t a completely vertical cascade – it is stepped and runs down a slope over around 600 ft, making it easier to scramble up to the top. You”ll need to follow a guide if you want to have a go and when you get to the bottom again, you can have a rest in the pool the water falls into or even head to the nearby beach.
It”s hard to pin down the best place to go for a canopy tour in Jamaica, as there are several destinations around the island where you can whizz between the trees attached to a harness. If you”re staying in a Jamaica hotel near Falmouth, Montego Bay or Ocho Rios, you”ll be within easy reach of one of these treetop excursions.
The basic idea behind them is to explore the forest via a series of ziplines, bridges and platforms suspended above the ground, allowing you to get a whole new perspective on the foliage – as well as enjoying some thrills along the way.
Have you been on an active holiday in Jamaica? What adventure sports did you try and what would you recommend?