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8 Best Outdoor Experiences in Jamaica

8 Best Outdoor Experiences in Jamaica | CosmosMariners.com

Visiting Jamaica can feel as if you've fallen into an advertisement for the good life: palm trees sway in the Caribbean breeze while reggae music plays in the background. With a year 'round average temperature of 80° and more than 250 days of sunshine, a visit to Jamaica is meant to be spent outdoors.

Aside from the incredible snorkeling, hiking, and scuba diving that can be done all around the island, there are several outdoor experiences in Jamaica that focus on the beautiful rivers and waterfalls that dot the island.

So, when you're planning your next time to the Land of Wood and Water, add a few of these outdoor and water attractions in Jamaica into your itinerary.


Dunn's River Falls

8 Best Outdoor Experiences in Jamaica | CosmosMariners.com

When we visited Jamaica last year, this was one of the places that my husband and I visited. We were a bit wary since it's one of the major tourist attractions in Jamaica, and we usually shy away from places like that. Now that I've gone and climbed the falls, I'm really glad I did! It was busy, but not super crowded even in late May, and there were more locals than tourists climbing the falls with us. Dunn's River Falls are a fun challenge, but even kids can make the climb, so it's not super strenuous.

YS Falls

8 Best Outdoor Experiences in Jamaica | CosmosMariners.com
{via flickr user Alberto Bondoni | creative commons}
This attraction is another favorite among visitors and Jamaicans alike. Although the falls aren't quite as steep as those at Dunn's River, the experience is still a fun one for all ages. There are also natural pools to splash about in, a zipline tour through the lush canopy, and picnic tables in the well-maintained gardens for a mid-day break.

Martha Brae River

8 Best Outdoor Experiences in Jamaica | CosmosMariners.com
{via flickr user Cesar | creative commons}
There aren't many times in your life when you have the opportunity to be pushed down a river on a bamboo raft, but this is one of them! There are dozens of guides available for hire, and each will be happy to push you downriver using a sturdy bamboo pole: it's a gondola ride Jamaica-style!

You can also rent tubes along the river for a relaxing, scenic ride through the heart of Falmouth. This is a popular stop for visitors since it's so close to the cruise port in Falmouth.

Mayfield Falls

8 Best Outdoor Experiences in Jamaica | CosmosMariners.com
{via flickr user Gerald Azenaro | creative commons}
Located in Montego Bay, Mayfield Falls offer nearly two dozen small cascades along the Mayfield River. These smaller falls might be less dramatic than the other waterfalls on this list, but the slower currents and gentle pools are fantastic for families with younger kids or people who aren't up to climbing Dunn's River Falls or YS Falls.

Many Montego Bay excursions include this on their itineraries, and it makes for a relaxing moment compared to the more intense water sports in the area.

Green Grotto Caves

8 Best Outdoor Experiences in Jamaica | CosmosMariners.com

Another favorite from our trip last year, the Green Grotto Caves are both a peek into the geological history of Jamaica and a great way to learn about the colonial history of Ocho Rios and the surrounding area.

You'll don a stylish hard hat for your tour as you weave in and out the multiple cave structures on property. The Grotto, one of the highlights of the tour, is where the Bond film Live and Let Die (1973) filmed a pivotal scene.

Reach Falls

8 Best Outdoor Experiences in Jamaica | CosmosMariners.com
{via flickr user Tach_RedGold&Green | creative commons}
Although the waterfall often takes center stage, there are many other reasons to visit Reach Falls. Keep a look out for a glimpse of the wild pigs that call the surrounding forest home, take a hike up the river to go into the underwater cave, or relax in the naturally heart-shaped jacuzzi for a refreshing end to your visit.

Cave Valley

Located in the very heart of Jamaica, Cave Valley centers around a series of limestone caves. Although the caves are the focus of the area, Cave Valley historically has been a meeting spot for animal traders and sellers, a function that remains (in a smaller iteration) today.

Explore the historic village of Vera Ma Hollis Savannah, where freed slaves based while fighting the English during the colonial period. Then, head out to take a peek at the bats inside Rat Bat Cave or hike to nearby Noisy Water Cave.

Cliff diving

8 Best Outdoor Experiences in Jamaica | CosmosMariners.com
{via flickr user Chris Ford | creative commons}
Not for the faint of heart, cliff diving at Rick's Cafe on the West End Cliffs is a heart-racing experience of a lifetime: it's easy to see why it makes so many lists of must-do Jamaica points of interest. There are multiple platforms from which to jump, the highest of which tops out at 35 feet. Some daredevil locals will often climb to the tops of nearby trees to showcase their most dramatic jumps--definitely not something that's recommend for the first-timer!

Cliff jumping is free, but it's always nice to buy a drink or burger (that's overpriced) from the cafe.



When you're done exploring the best of Jamaica's outdoor activities, head to one of the country's stunning beaches for the perfect end to a busy day. With over 50 public beaches on the island, you'll be sure to find one nearby!

Which of these outdoor experiences in Jamaica would you like to try on your next trip to the island? Which have you already done on past visits?

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8 Best Outdoor Experiences in Jamaica | CosmosMariners.com


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