5. Green Grotto Caves
The Green Grotto caves, known at various times as the Runaway Bay Caves, Cave Hall Caves, Discovery Bay Caves, Dry Harbour Caves… is among Jamaica’s most prominent attractions. They are situated on the island’s North Coast, and located between the resort centres of Ocho Rios and Montego Bay.
Experience a journey into an underworld of mystical caverns, surrounded by thick vegetation and supplied with pristine waters flowing from its secret depths. The Arawak Indians (Tainos) were its first inhabitants, who used the caves for various reasons. Proof of this is evident in the many fragments of pottery and artifacts that are unearthed from time to time. During the 17th century the Green Grotto Caves were used as a hideout for the Spaniards who were being driven out of the country by the English. In the mid 20th century, between the two world wars, they were used by smugglers running arms to Cuba. In the latter years during the Second World War, the Government of Jamaica used the entrance of the cave as a storeroom for rum in barrels.
The Government of Jamaica has placed this historical landmark in the ownership and operation of the Urban Development Corporation. Since that time, the Green Grotto Caves have been transformed into a world class attraction. It has won Green Globe 21 Certification since 2003 and in 2009 achieving platinum-status certification. Green Grotto Caves and Attractions are now the first tourist attraction in the history of Jamaica to receive Platinum Certification. Platinum Certification represents 10 years of continuous certification with EarthCheck.
4. Doctor's Cave Beach
A pretty arc of sugary sand fronts a deep-blue gem sea studded with floating dive platforms and speckled with tourists. The water which is crystal clear has a temperature range, winter and summer from 78 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit, 22 to 28 degrees Celcius. This is Doctor’s Cave Beach, Montego Bay’s most famous beach and the one with the most facilities.
It began in 1906 when Dr. Alexander James McCatty generously donated his beach property to found a bathing club in Montego Bay. The Club got its name because it was used by Dr. McCatty and his friends, who were mainly from the medical profession. At that time they entered the beach through a cave, which was later destroyed by a hurricane. Doctor’s Cave earned its name when English chiropractor Sir Herbert Barker claimed the waters had healing properties. People flocked to Montego Bay, kick-starting a tourism evolution that would culminate in the appearance of Margaritaville decades later. There are lots of facilities on hand, including a restaurant, a grill bar, an internet cafe and water sports, and many things to rent (beach chairs, towels, snorkeling gear).
3. Bob Marley Museum
The large, creaky, colonial-era wooden house on Hope Rd, where Bob Marley lived and recorded from 1975 until his death in 1981, is the city’s most-visited site. Today the house functions as a combined tourist attraction, museum and shrine, and much remains as it was in Marley’s day.
Housed in the former home and recording studio of reggae king Bob Marley, this museum is among the most popular attractions in Jamaica. Here you can see Marley’s gold and platinum records, and articles of his clothing.
The hour-long tour provides fascinating insights into the reggae superstar's life after moving uptown. His gold and platinum records are there on the walls, alongside Marley’s favorite denim stage shirt, and the Order of Merit presented by the Jamaican government. One room is entirely wallpapered with media clippings from Marley’s final tour; another contains a replica of Marley’s original record shop, Wail’n Soul’m. Marley’s simple bedroom has been left as it was, with his favorite guitar still resting beside his bed. Next to the bedroom is the kitchen were he'd fix healthy fresh juices. At the rear of the house you'll see the spot where gunmen attempted to kill him in 1976.
The former recording studio out back is now an exhibition hall with some wonderful photos of Bob, and a theater, where the tour closes with a 20-minute film. Photography isn't allowed inside the house, but you'll almost certainly be instructed to sing 'One Love' at some point. It's possible to buy a joint ticket that includes entry to the Tuff Gong studios.
Bob Marley Museum, Kingston, Jamaica
2. Dolphin's Cove Marine Park
Dolphin Cove is a marine attraction offering dolphins, sharks, stingrays, glass bottom boats, pirates, parrots, and many other things to see and do. You can watch or interact with the dolphins, or animals at a few locations in Jamaica.
With 4 locations in Jamaica, Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, Half Moon Resort, visitors are able to swim with dolphins and intereact with exotic birds or just relax on the site’s pristine white sandy beach.
When it opened in 2001, Dolphin Cove Ocho Rios was the first attraction of its kind in Jamaica. The second park opened in Montego Bay in 2005 at the Half Moon Resort and is reserved for guests of the resort. The third facility at Lucea opened during 2010. In March 2019, Dolphin Cove announced its fourth habitat in Jamaica called "Dolphin Cove Puerto Seco", a place surrounded by crystal water beaches and size of 2,926m2 where four bottled nose dolphins live. These dolphins will be protected by the highest standards of Grupo Dolphin. In this new habitat, the guests will be able to enjoy a relaxing day in one of the best beaches of Jamaica inside the beach club "Puerto Seco Beach", which is with no doubt the perfect place for unforgettable vacations.
For your convenience and comfort, the guests of all ages will find a wide range of amenities such as a restaurant, bar, beach chairs, umbrellas, palapas, dressing rooms, showers, a huge pool, snorkel, and a floating aquatic park.
"Dolphin Cove Puerto Seco is built in a privileged place, the beach club Puerto Seco Beach has a wondrous scenery and many aquatic activities that the guests can enjoy during their stay in the home of our dolphins, learning important information about their care and conservation.", said Eduardo Albor, CEO of Grupo Dolphin (the management Group that runs Dolphin Cove).
The Project was developed by taking care of each detail to make a unique place with the purpose of being the best and most exclusive beach club of the region.
1. Dunn's River Falls
Dunn’s River Falls is one of Jamaica’s must-see natural treasures and is one of the most beautiful spots on the island. Dunn’s River Falls is Jamaica’s most famous water attraction and is also renowned worldwide. Join in on the fun and join hands to be part of a human chain to ascend the slopes of this magnificent 600-feet waterfall. This is a perfect tour to help you relax and unwind in the refreshing water of the waterfall and create lasting memories. With this tour, you can be splashing in the gorgeous lagoons and waterfalls of Dunn's River while enjoying diving off into the deeps of the river.
Dunn's River Falls is a spectacular White River waterfall near Ocho Rios in Jamaica, where cold mountain water cascades 1,000 feet (300 meters) down naturally terraced steps. Those interested in geology will be fascinated with the way the world-famous falls renew themselves via regular deposits of calcium carbonate and sodium, while movie buffs will recognize them from films such as ‘Dr. No’ and ‘Cocktail.’ While there’s plenty of swimming, sunbathing, and sightseeing opportunities at the falls, many visitors make it a goal to climb the 600-foot (182-meter) terraced falls. You can do so independently or with a waterfall guide on a Dunn's River Falls tour.
On the climb, stop at one of the lagoons, admire the natural wonder from the top, and be sure to take a dip to cool off. Families will enjoy the swim; the water is mountain runoff and fairly cold, which is perfect on particularly hot days. The site is also close to Ocho Rios' land and sea attractions, restaurants, and the Caribbean coast. Many Dunn's River Falls tours combine a visit to the falls and park with river tubing, a shopping tour in Ocho Rios, a party cruise, or a stop at the Blue Hole or Luminous Lagoon. Those who don’t wish to climb the falls can hang out at the observation deck, made for sunning and viewing. You’ll find a snack bar and souvenirs for sale on the premises. Wear water shoes or sandals suitable for the slippery rocks. Bring cash for entrance fees (if visiting independently) and a waterproof camera.
How To Get to Dunn’s River Falls - Dunn's River Falls are about three miles (4.8 km) west of Ocho Rios and about 70 miles (112 km) east of Montego Bay. While it's a rapidly growing resort area and a popular cruise line excursion stop, the falls are relatively unspoiled, the hiking is spectacular, and both the wildlife and the rainforest foliage are abundant. When to Get There - First thing in the morning is your best bet at this popular tourist attraction. While partying vacationers are sleeping off last night’s tropical cocktails, you can get a jump on the hike to the top without huge crowds. If you can avoid a day when cruise ships are in town, you'll be glad you thought ahead.
Jacqueline Cameron is a writer with decades of writing experience running the gamut from blogging to reporting. She lives in Kingston, Jamaica and is the chief writer for the Jamaica So Nice Blog. She is a trained engineer and musician and loves to see people transformed through her work.