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25 Aug

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Top 10 Things for Families to Do in Jamaica

August 25, 2014 | By |

With its postcard-perfect beaches, lush jungles, and vibrant culture, it’s easy to see why so many vacationers crave the laid-back “Island Vibe” of Jamaican paradise. Jamaica offers many unique experiences for both seasoned adventurers and first-time travellers. Choose from exciting activities like zip-lining down mountainsides or rafting down jungle rivers. Alternatively, relax on the beach, find a local treasure at a street market with friends, and take advantage of the luxuries offered at your all-inclusive resort! With so many things to do and see, Jamaica has become one of the most visited vacation destinations in the world. But what does Jamaica have to offer for families looking for the ultimate vacation experience?

The answer: A lot!

At resorts such as the Beaches Negril Resort and Spa, families can enjoy fun kids clubs, adventure excursions, and beautiful beaches. Parents, why not leave the kids in the hands of a capable babysitter while you take some time to relax at the spa or check out a nightclub? Jamaica also offers multiple family-friendly cultural tours and historical sights. Best of all, all of them are doable as a day trip, no matter which Jamaican city your resort is located in.

If you have a limited amount of time to spend sightseeing, it can be a bit tricky to pick just a few excursions out of the many available. To make your selection easier, here are our top 10 family adventures to have in Jamaica.

1 – Take a Canopy Tour 

Fly through the jungle like a tropical bird with Ocho Rios’ Canopy Tour.

Canopy-tour-ocho-rios

See the sights and sounds of the canopy as your tour guide introduces you to the various species of flora and fauna unique to Jamaica and the Caribbean. Both kids and adults are sure to come away having had the time of their lives with this exhilarating and educational adventure.

2 – Try Jamaican Bobsledding

Ever heard of bobsledding in a country where temperatures rarely dip below 23 degrees? Since the movie Cool Runnings, bobsledding has become the ultimate Jamaican experience.

Bobsledding-Jamaica

If your family is ready to race down the mountain track through the jungle, head to Ocho Rios’ famous Mystic Mountain Rain Forest Adventures – a kid’s dream come true. In the meantime, why not get a preview to see what all the fuss is about?

3 – Take the Family Dog-Sledding… Without the Snow

Jamaica is full of surprises, like Chukka Caribbean Adventures. Another Ocho Rios adventure, this dog-sledding outfit is perfect for the animal lover in every kid. All of the dogs at Chukka Caribbean Adventures are rescue dogs, and are eager to lavish affection on every visitor to walk in. Families can choose from either the “Encounter” or “Experience” options. Spend time playing with the sled dogs and watching them run a course or two, or hop in a buggy and experience full-scale Jamaican dog-sledding for a few minutes. Due to the heat, expect to spend much less time in the buggy than you would in a colder climate. 

4 – Don’t Miss Dunn’s River Falls

Dunns-River-Falls-Ocho-Rios

Without a doubt Jamaica’s most popular sight, Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios attracts thousands of visitors a year. Take a tour up to see the river! There are multiple fun ways for a family to make their way up the river depending on the ages of their children. Excursions to Dunn’s River are most easily done with kids aged 6+, as most tours consist of hikes, buggy rides, or ATV adventures. Families with very young children might enjoy taking a bus tour.

5 – Raft the Jungle Rapids

Best suited for families with kids aged 9+, river rafting has always been a fantastic family adventure. Suit up in your life vests, grab a paddle, and hit the rapids! Braco Adventure Tours in Falmouth offers multiple river adventure tours, from the original fun of river rafting, to other experiences such as river boarding and kayaking. What better way to get up close and personal with Jamaica’s natural beauty?

6 – Join the Adrenaline Junkies at Rick’s Cafe

If you can’t decide between relaxing with a cold drink and hitting some adrenaline-inducing adventure sports, why not head over to Rick’s Cafe, near Negril? This popular restaurant on the coast is known world-wide for the cliff-jumping that takes place there. Perched on the edge of a 30-40 ft cliff, Rick’s draws in adrenaline junkies from around the globe. Sip an ice-cold drink and watch locals and foreigners alike leap from incredible heights to plunge into the turquoise waters below, or try your own hand at it. Teens are sure to enjoy spending an hour or three at Rick’s Cafe.

7 – Go for a Family Ride Along the Beach

The Montego Bay Shore Excursion is a dream come true for young equestrians in the making. Saddle up and take an afternoon or evening ride along the beach, enjoying the sights along the way. Watch the sun set on the ocean as your guide takes you on a tour across the bleached white sands. Could anything be more perfect?

8 – Explore the Local Culture with John Hall’s Adventure Tour

John Hall’s Adventure Tour is well known for being extremely family-friendly. Babies are more than welcome on this tour. Your guide will take you out of Montego Bay and into smaller, less-visited towns and villages around Jamaica. You’ll experience local dance, foods, and customs. Kids will enjoy playing games, learning interesting facts, and meeting local children. If your family wants to get away from the crowds and see Jamaica from a new perspective, the John Hall’s Adventure Tour is perfect for you.

9 – Swim with Dolphins and More at Dolphin Cove

Swimming-with-dolphins-Jamaica

Dolphin Cove is not to be missed, especially if there’s a marine life fan in your family! Swimming with dolphins is a bucket-list item for many travellers, and where better to finally tick it off the list than in beautiful Jamaica? Dolphins aren’t the only marine life at Ocho Rios’ Dolphin Cove. Visitors can also meet the local stingrays, feed wild sharks, snorkel with colourful tropical fish, and take a kid-friendly walk through a portion of the jungle.

10 – Rusty’s X-Cellent Adventures

Recommended primarily for teens, Rusty’s X-Cellent Adventures in Negril is an adrenaline-packed mountain bike tour that leads participants over rocky, muddy, and wild terrain for a unique look at Jamaica’s wild side. Teens are sure to have a blast. Expect to return to your resort muddy and exhilarated!

Jamaica has a lot to offer, whether you’re into adventure sports or simply want to finally take the time to relax. With so many options to choose from, you’re sure to find a tour which perfectly suits your needs!