5 Top-Rated Destinations in Jamaica You Need to Visit

So, you’ve booked that dream vacation to Jamaica, but you aren’t sure which destinations in Jamaica are the best to visit.

Well, we’ve got you covered!

From the country’s lively reggae scene to its stunning white sand beaches, waterfalls and exotic dishes, we’ve selected some of the best locations that you’ll definitely want to have on your itinerary when you visit!


Image credit: © 2018 Toni-Ann (The Bob Marley Museum)

Kingston, Jamaica: Birth City of Reggae

It goes without question that Kingston is one of the top-rated destinations in Jamaica to visit. Not only is Kingston the capital city of this small Caribbean island but it is also the birthplace of the world-renowned music genre, reggae.

Exploring this city turns up many musical treasures that you won’t want to miss. At the top of this list should be, of course, the Bob Marley Museum. Where’s better to learn about this legendary Jamaican musician than from his own home? Other choices of musical tours range from the Tuff Gong Studios to the Jamaican Music Museum.

If you think Kingston is only home to musical experiences, you’d be dead wrong. The city is also great to experience some of the island’s best outdoor nature and beach adventures. Indeed, enjoying a pleasant beach day is possible in Kingston. For that, a trip to a local’s favorite beach, Lime Cay, is exactly what you should plan. This small cay off the coast of Kingston is like a secluded island beach getaway.

Lime Cay Beach

Image credit: © 2018 Toni-Ann (Lime Cay Beach)

Kingston is also home to the majestic Blue Mountains. Nature lovers and coffee addicts alike will enjoy a day trip to these famous mountains. Choose from an early morning hike to the peak to catch a breathtaking glimpse of Kingston or a coffee tour to see the process which produces the famous Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee.

Maybe you could even do both!

Portland: The Island’s Hidden Gem

Portland is arguably Jamaica’s best kept secret. Popular for backpackers and luxury seekers alike, Portland is the parish you’ll want to visit to enjoy lush Jamaican fauna, rivers and beaches.

Some of the activities you can indulge in are rafting along the famous Rio Grande or taking a swim in the stunningly beautiful Blue Lagoon.

For beach lovers, a visit to either the Winnifred Beach or Frenchman’s Cove is a must on your itinerary. Boston Beach is also a great option for thrill-seekers who care to learn some surfing.

Boston Bay Beach

Image credit: © 2018 Toni-Ann (Boston Bay Beach)

Negril, St. James: The Lively Tourist Hub

Seeking lively nightlife and a place to meet other travelers? Then you won’t want to pass up a visit to Negril!

Negril is the heartbeat of Jamaica’s west coast and is one of the most popular spots for tourists. And all for good reason! Combine high energy nightlife and parties with exciting daytime adventure tours and you’ve got yourself a great time! Make your choice from any of the clubs on the town’s hip strip for a wild nightlife experience.

Not only does Negril have a thumping nightlife scene but it is also home to two of Jamaica’s most popular events:

  1. Reggae Sumfest: A 2-day reggae & dancehall festival featuring line-ups with some of Jamaica’s best musicians
  2. Dream Weekend: A weekend series of high energy vibe parties hosted by Jamaica’s most popular artists & DJs.

Negril’s vibrant nightlife and parties are just one allure to this popular destination in Jamaica. Yes, the parish is also a one stop shop for daring outdoor adventures as well as lazy beach bum days. Can you imagine cliff diving into the magically blue waters of the Caribbean Sea? Well, that’s exactly the experience you can indulge in at Rick’s Cafe, a popular restaurant and cafe in the area.

If you’re not the thrill-seeking type, head to the popular 7 Mile Beach where you can spread out your towels and a full day of sun and sand.

Reggae Bay Beach

Image credit: © 2018 Toni-Ann

St. Mary: The Peaceful Parish

St. Mary is by far one of the quietest and relaxing places to visit in Jamaica. Escape the hustle and bustle of Jamaica’s cities by planning a trip to this humble parish.

Keeping in theme with much of Jamaica’s attractions, you’ll find many beaches and rivers to explore. At the top of the list of beaches to visit in St. Mary are:

  1. James Bond Beach: a stunning white sand beach where one of the famous James Bond films was shot.
  2. Reggae Beach

However, even better, are its waterfalls. One of the island’s least visited but most beautiful waterfalls, the Kwame Falls resides in this beautiful Jamaican parish. A long hike with a local guide will lead you straight to this natural gem. Another noteworthy waterfall in St. Mary is the Turtle River Falls and Gardens.

St. Elizabeth: Adventures Off the Beaten Path

A bit off the tourist beaten path is the parish of St. Elizabeth. Although the parish is less popular for its beaches it still provides a range of great things to do.

Ever been to a bar in the middle of the sea? No? Then you’ll get that once in a blue moon opportunity here in St. Elizabeth at the famous Pelican Bar. Travelers from far and wide are slowly learning about this unique attraction and restaurant and are eager to experience this eclectic bar.

Other activities to indulge in are a visit to the world-famous Appleton Rum Estate where you’ll catch a glimpse of how this world-famous rum is made. It doesn’t hurt too that you get to sample some rum too!

A visit to a small town known as “Little Ochi” will also be worthwhile as it’s popular for its fantastic seafood meals.

Now, that you’ve found out these top-rated destinations in Jamaica, which will you choose? We’re sure whichever you choose, you’re in for a trip of a lifetime! Enjoy!

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in any guest post featured on our site are those of the guest author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions and views of Beauty that walks as a whole.

Author: Toni-Ann | The Swiss Freis

About the Blog: The Swiss Freis is a fun & informative travel blog created by photographer, Toni-Ann Owens. Hailing from Kingston, Jamaica, she created her blog to share her first-hand travel advice, tips and reviews based on her home island of Jamaica and her newly adopted home, Switzerland.

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1 Comment

  • Melanie

    We have only been to Jamaica once, on a cruise. We were only in port for a day, but loved the beauty we saw! I would love to go stay in Jamaica so that we had more time to truly explore. These spots all look stunning!

    May 17, 2018 at 2:15 pm Reply
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