Best 20 Places To Visit In Jamaica - Updated 2024

best places to visit in jamaica
| 9 min read

Whatever your main draw is to Jamaica, your stay is bound to be interesting. This quaint Caribbean island is a world’s top tourists’ destination, known for its adventure, fun, and warmth. The small island is blessed with several magnificent natural wonders, a vibrant culture, music, beaches, food, and lots of historical and notable landmarks. While touring this country, you will discover lots of distinctive activities and attractions in all its 14 states and provinces. Where to begin exploring might be your biggest challenge. To help you plan your holiday and make it a one to remember, we have compiled a list of the best places to visit in Jamaica.

1. Portmore

Drone Pic Portmore, Jamaica Drone Pilot: CM Photography and Creative Videos

Posted by CM Photography and Creative Videos on Monday, 5 June 2017

Portmore is another excellent location in the country, which has an all-round vacation fun and excitement for you. Also called “the Sunshine Community,” this place is famous for its soft sand beaches, crystal-clear waters, and year-round favorable weather. Hang out with the locals at Hellshire Beach, unwind in the magnificent Gunboat Beach, or tour the historic Fort Clarence Beach. There is more to the beaches of this area; Port Royal, which lies across the place, features a vibrant nightlife, over 100 shops, and dining options for you to enjoy.

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2. May Pen

#Jamorning May Pen Jamaica

Posted by Kaboom - Jamaican Culture & More on Tuesday, 17 January 2017

May Pen is a laid-back town perched on the Rio Minho river. It is located approximately halfway between Mandeville and Kinston, in the heart of a significant agricultural parish, Clarendon. Even before the bridge over the Rio Minho was constructed, many traders flood this place to sell their farm produce. And even today, May Pen is primarily a bustling market location, with vendors and buyers from neighboring areas, especially on Fridays and Saturdays. There are also few landmarks worth your time – including May Pen Clock Tower, built in honor of Jamaican soldiers who fought during WWII.

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3. Old Harbour

Old harbour jamaica

Posted by Try jamaica on Monday, 7 November 2016

Old Harbour is an important Caribbean port, famous for shipping coffee, tropical fruit, sugarcane, and bauxite. This place never sleeps, with a host of clubs, restaurants, and other establishments, bubbling till early morning hours. That’s not all; this location is blessed with lots of historical sights for you to explore. See the famous House of Assembly, spend some time touring Courthouse Ruins or have a quiet time at the sacred St. Jago de la Vega Cathedral. There are more things to keep you engaged in this beautiful port town.

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4. Ocho Rios

Town of Ocho Rios
Source: Photo by user Patricia Edwards used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Ocho Rios is a modernized region, characterized by many shopping options, upscale resorts, incredible landmarks, beautiful scenery, and roars of nearby waterfalls in many of its corners. You will never fall short of things to do in this place. If you are in for some adventurous activities, you can tour Mystic Mountain Rainforest, or feel the grooves of Dunn’s River Falls, which flows into the Caribbean Sea. If you are interested in catching some fun close to the beach, then head to Margaritaville, where there is also a lot to eat and drink. For the history buffs, you can visit Goldeneye estate of James Bond fame, Rio Nuevo battle site, and more.

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5. Mandeville

For an entirely different experience, visit the historic town of Mandeville, an English-like settlement, perched on the hills. You will love the sight of the beautiful flowers at its center, as well as its colder climate and magnificent mountain scenery. Unwind in the beautiful Cecil Charlton Park, featuring a war memorial, fountains, busts of national heroes, and more. Close to this park is the St. Mark’s Anglican Church, featuring touches of Gothic architecture, which is rare on the island. Also, see the oldest structure in the region, the Mandeville Courthouse, built in 1871 by slaves. Interestingly, Mandeville is centrally placed in the western part of the country, in proximity to several other places of interest.

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6. Spanish Town

Spanish Town, Jamaica 2003
Source: Photo by user James Willamor used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Experience undiluted history in the quaint Spanish Town, the longest continuously occupied region in the country. It was initially the capital of the island until 1655 when England conquered the land. This place is still home to several old sites and buildings – including the two-story Old House of Assembly and the Old King’s House – both built around 1762. Also, tour the Old Barrack Building, which was constructed in 1791, as well as the Emancipation Square, arguably the most incredible in this part of the island. A historical time awaits you in this location.

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7. Linstead

Linstead is a laid-back town in the parish of Saint Catherine, which was made famous by the song, “Linstead Market,” a Jamaican folk song. The song was about a woman who couldn’t sell her farm produce in the region’s busy marketplace so that she could feed her family. Till today, this market attracts sellers and buyers of fresh farm produce from neighboring villages and towns. If you are traveling from the south side of Jamaica to Ocho Rios, then you should check out this place and experience a typical Caribbean life. The region is also filled with many old churches – including Jericho Baptists Church and Anglican Church.

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8. Morant Bay

best places to visit in jamaica | morant bay
Source: instagram

If you want to experience how busy an authentic Caribbean town can be, then drive to Morant Bay. This welcoming region, which is the capital of St. Thomas parish, is a hidden gem, not usually crowded by tourists, but yet, promises a great time. Start by shopping for souvenirs at the Morant Bay Market, then check out the historic Paul Bogle’s statue, a national figure who dies in the failed 1865 Morant Bay Rebellion. And If you feel like unwinding, then the nearby Prospect Beach or Lyssons Beach will compliment your visit to this colorful location.

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9. Port Antonio

Port antonio2
Source: Photo by user Chaoleonard used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Port Antonio is another nature zone of the island, characterized by its sailing adventures and hiking its beautiful greens and marvelous mountainous regions. This place is also filled by old Georgian structures, most of which lie in ruins, as well as street vendors in its streets. You should not miss touring the historical Folly Ruins or rafting the stunning Rio Grande. That’s not all about this charming location; it is also home to the most exceptional varieties of crafts, arts, and jewelry the country has to offer.

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10. Saint Ann's Bay

St Ann's Bay is the capital of St Ann, and houses branches of most national entities and government agencies. Ocho Rios...

Posted by Jamaica Gleaner on Friday, 2 May 2014

Saint Ann’s Bay is famous for being the landing site of Christopher Columbus while making his voyage to the Americas in 1494. Today, the main draws of this location are its myriads of historical places to explore and tons of outdoor activities to enjoy. If you love scuba diving, then you will enjoy exploring the magnificent coral reefs of Saint Ann’s Bay. You can also book a horseback riding tour and explore the mountains, beaches, the ruins of Heritage Park, featuring the tropical fruit gardens and Arawak village area, and much more. A lot of excitement awaits you at this location.

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11. Buff Bay

Spend some alone time in this vibrant but laid-back town of Buff Bay, which is mostly crowded by banana and coffee farmers from the neighboring regions of the Blue Mountains and Buff Bay River. The city is also frequented by passers-by to Part Antonio, via the north coast road. You will, however, love the quietness of this place, as well as its historic buildings. One notable structure is the famous Anglican Church, a wooden, Georgian-style building, constructed in 1750.

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12. Negril

Ricks Negril Jamaica Photo D Ramey Logan
Source: Photo by user Don Ramey Logan used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Are you thinking of a beach getaway? If yes, look no further than the lovely Negril, a laid-back region, perched on the western end of the country and surrounded by rocky cliffs and crystal-clear waters. This place is home to one of the best beaches on the planet, The Seven Mile Beach, perfect for a relaxing time. When on this beach, don’t make the mistake of leaving before the evening, less you will miss the most dramatic and colorful sunset. For another exclusive experience, rent the incredible floating bar, Tiki Pon Da Sea, which comes with unlimited beverages. There is nowhere as romantic as Negril on the whole island.

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13. Bath

From time immemorial, humans have harnessed the therapeutic, relaxing, and soothing effects of mineral springs on the skin, and Bath is home to one of the most revered. The hot spring water in this region has both thermally heated and cold waters, rising from the deep earth’s surface, via two rocks, and it’s also part of the country’s history. A runaway slave found it in 1690, who, after being healed of his many wounds of years, returned to his masters and revealed the great discovery. Today, it is a Jamaica National Heritage Trust, and it is worth checking out. Although the path leading to the site is unkempt and will require a 300-feet (91.44-meter) hike, it promises an experience you will live to remember.

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14. Albert Town

Albert Town, Jamaica ,Trelawny Parish

Posted by Fãs da Jamaica on Friday, 15 November 2013

This small farming town doesn’t have much to offer in terms of attractions, but it is a getaway to an adventure-packed experience in Cockpit Country – which lies close to the west of the region. It is also famous for the Trelawny Yam Festival that takes place every Easter Monday, featuring the crowning of the Yam Queen and King, and competitions – including best-dressed donkey and goat and yam-balancing races. While making your journey to Albert Town, you will experience the beauty and calmness of thick pine forests, agricultural plantations, and rolling mountains on every side. Also, the country features a myriad of mountains and lush vegetations, and it’s a haven for hikers and cave explorers.

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15. Nine Mile

Bob Marley house in Nine Mile
Source: Photo by user david_e_waldron used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Are you a fan of the reggae legend, Bob Marley? If yes, you must have probably heard of his birthplace – Nine Mile, a rural location in Cockpit Country. In this place, you will meet many other visitors who come from far and wide to pay their respects at the tomb of the iconic musician. You can also tour the community where he grew up and learn more about his music art at the Bob Marley Museum. And as you might already guess, cannabis is in abundance in this region, and you can have it all you want, but its possession is also illegal.

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16. Black River

Black River is a port town, named after the beautiful river that transverse it. It is the capital of St. Elizabeth and was established in the 17th century. Aside from being a hub of sea trading, the region features lots of natural and human-made attractions that will interest you. Start by soaking in the natural pools and waterfalls of the YS Falls, then head to Treasure Beach and experience the 6-mile (9.7-kilometer) long seashore featuring stunning rocky outcrops, little coves, and beaches. Finally, end the exciting day at Appleton Rum Estate, savoring some of the best rums that it produces.

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17. Falmouth

Falmouth ,Jamaica port
Source: Photo by user Nev ena used under CC BY-SA 4.0

Falmouth is a beautiful cruise port situated between Ocho Rios and Montego Bay. It features many landmarks, recreational centers, seafood restaurants, and shopping options to give you a fulfilling stay. Right in the 120,000-square-feet (11148.4-square-meter) port, you will encounter a swam of restaurants, retail shops, and recreational sites to cool off. If you are a history buff, then you can’t miss the Green Grotto Caves, which was used during WW II to preserve rum, as well as a hiding place for slaves. For nature lovers, the wildlife at Swamp Safari will completely mesmerize you.

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18. Runaway Bay

Beautiful Jamaica runaway bay 2016
Source: Photo by user Aaronmorin88 used under CC BY-SA 4.0

This list won’t be complete without including the magnificent Runaway Bay, a haven for divers, snorkelers, and worshippers. The region features beautiful beaches with white sands and warm waters, perfect for a beach getaway. The inhabited part of this place is a one-line street packed with local shops, homes, and all-inclusive resorts. It is also host to the famous Dolphin Cove, where you can spend the day watching and playing with the beautiful sea mammals.

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19. Montego Bay (from USD 185.0)

best places to visit in jamaica | montego bay

If you plan to enjoy the best of Jamaica’s exciting nightlife, lovely beaches, and sunny weather, then Montego is your best bet. There are lots of activities in this location to keep you engaged throughout your stay – including scuba diving, zip-lining, historical tours, and much more. Start by relaxing on one of the best beaches in Montego Bay, Doctor’s Cave Beach. If you are a history enthusiast, you might want to tour the Rose Hall, the country’s most historic plantation buildings. Yearning for more adventure? You can book a horseback riding tour and explore the untamed beauty of the area.

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Montego Bay Catamaran Cruise and Snorkeling Tour

Duration: 4.0 to 5.0 hour

2 reviews

20. Kingston (from USD 82.0)

best places to visit in jamaica | kingston

Apart from popularly being the capital of the island, Kingston is a densely populated place, bounded by a coastline to the south and beautiful mountains to the north. It is the business hub of the country, which is also known for its leisure, educational and cultural richness. This beautiful location has the most significant number of events, nightlife, dining, and museums than anywhere else on the island. Tour the Hope Gardens, a 2000-acre (809.4-hectare) land, housing Palm Avenue, Maze, Lily Pond, Orchid House, Sunken Gardens, Coconut Museum, as well as a variety of native plants. Other places of interest include the historic Devon House and Lime Cay.

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From Lucea: Kingston Day Tour

Duration: 8 hour

Enjoy your next best vacation in Jamaica

This island country is packed with everything you need for an exciting holiday. From beautiful landscapes, waterfalls, historic landmarks, beaches, world-class resorts, and more, every activity or tour makes for an unforgettable holiday. Each of these places to visit has some unique charm and feel attached to them to suit your tastes. Use this write-up as a road map to your next best vacation.

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
Disclosure: Trip101 selects the listings in our articles independently. Some of the listings in this article contain affiliate links.


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Ibrahim is a passionate writer with a keen interest in traveling. He not only travels to discover the world but also himself. And when it comes to writing, Ibrahim loves to keep it simple with a...Read more

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