Dunns River Falls isn't the tallest or widest falls by any means. But one of the top attractions in the Caribbean draws large and steady crowds. The crowds are there not so much to view the falls but to climb them.
Visitors form a line and hold hands as they work their way up the cascading platforms of water to the top. It is a great Caribbean family excursion. We had a blast climbing them.
It is conveniently near the cruise and resort area of Ocho Rios. Note that crowds are often thick, so ask on cruise ships or at resorts about the best times to go.
The cost to enter the park at the time of this writing was $20 for adults and $12 for children. The park is a five to 10-minute drive from the cruise port. Adding to the fun is the ability for cruise visitors and others to take a catamaran cruise to the park and back again. Just watch out for the rum punch. $$
Royal Caribbean Cruise and the Port Authority of Jamaica have embarked on a project to restore the historic town of Falmouth and make it the first-ever thematic cruise port destination.
The Historic Falmouth Cruise Port is a 32-acre living museum with costumed guides and merchants. The Falmouth experience will include tours of historic sites along with shopping, dining and attractions in the surrounding areas.
Falmouth is a 40-minute drive from Montego Bay and a little more than an hour from Ocho Rios.
3) Dolphin Cove
Dolphin Cove is located next to Dunn's River Falls in Ocho Rios. Like other dolphin experiences, it allows visitors to swim with the dolphins. $$
Seven Mile Beach in Negril is among the best in Jamaica. Credit: Wikimedia (Creative Commons License)
The best beaches may be a matter of opinion, but a few names come up again and again.
Seven Mile Beach in Negril is the longest in Jamaica. Doctor's Cave Beach is the most popular one in Montego Bay. Treasure Beach on the south coast is popular with both locals and tourists.
James Bond beach near Ocho Rios is the site of the famous Golden Eye, where Ian Fleming wrote the James Bond novels.
5) Royal Botanic Gardens, Hope
The Hope Gardens is located on 60 acres of land in New Kingston. Highlights include the formal Botanic Garden, Sunken Gardens, Orchid House and Lily Pond.
6) Blue Hole and Secret Falls
Blue Hole and Secret Falls southeast of Ocho Rios are a good choice for people who prefer to avoid the crowds at Dunns River Falls.
Jamaica is home to at least 12 golf courses including three in Montego Bay, two in Rose Hall and one each in Kingston, Mandeville, Ocho Rios, Rio Bueno, Runaway Bay, St. Catherine and Westmoreland.
8) Rafting and River Tubing
Visitors who want to spend a relaxing time enjoying the landscape can raft on the Martha Brae or Rio Grande rivers. Local guides use poles to propel flat wood rafts.
The Martha Brae excursion is the more popular and accessible of the two. The rafting village is three miles from Falmouth, 20 miles from Montego Bay and 40 miles from Ocho Rios.
More adventurous river rafting and tubing is available on the Rio Bueno River near Ocho Rios. The rapids are Class II, which means they are mild enough for most families.
9) Green Castle Estate
Eco tourists may want to drive one hour east of Ocho Rios to one of the largest organic and orchid farms in the Caribbean. It covers 1,600 acres on the north coast of the island.
The Tropical Study Center provides support for nearby rural communities, while the organics and orchid tour allows visitors to see the work developed at the farm. The facility combines research and ecotourism in one location.
10) Greenwood Great House
Greenwood, located in Falmouth, is more than 200 years old and was owned by the family of the famous English poet Elizabeth Barrett-Browning. It is known as one of the best-preserved historic houses on the island.
11) Blue Mountains National Park
The Blue Mountains have become famous for Blue Mountain Coffee, which is one of the major attractions for this national park. It is an hour and 40 minutes southeast of Ocho Rios.
Energetic visitors can hike and camp in the park. The highly energetic ones can climb to the top of the Blue Mountain, which is 7,402 feet high.