Trekking and Adventure Activities in Jamaica

Get your kicks in Jamaica by heading up mountains and zooming back down, seeing predatory wildlife up close or sinking to the depths around old plane wrecks.

You can also relax in exotic locations with natural hot tubs and clifftop cascades, or be paddled along the jungle waterways on a raft. Read on to find where to go to get your adventure on.

Reef diving

A section of protected coral reef skirts much of the coast of Jamaica, so you don’t have to go far to spot exotic fish and other sea creatures.

Head to diving centres at places like Negril’s Seven Mile Beach and you can dive in the warm and crystal clear Caribbean waters to spot eels, starfish, lobsters, octopus, stingrays and numerous colourful tropical fish.

Runaway Bay has about a dozen dive sites of varying difficulties, where you can drift around ledges or above the coral. Two of the more interesting dives are plane wrecks where barracudas and turtles swim.

Or head to the members’ club at Doctor’s Cave Beach where non-members can pay a fee to hire equipment and head out into the beautiful Montego Bay Marine Park for wall diving, viewing rainbow-coloured sponges and swimming around a DC-3 aircraft wreck.


You don’t have to head far into the countryside to reach beautiful cascading waterfalls.

Around a half an hour drive from Runaway Bay, Dunns River Waterfalls are set in lush jungle. You can climb the 180-metre rock to reach the thundering falls and lagoons, or there’s an alternative route up some stairs.

Once up there you might recognise the scene from The Bond film Dr. No or Cocktail starring Tom Cruise.

And only five minutes’ drive from Negril, Reggae Style Mayfield Falls is beside a Rasta Village with huts. It has gushing waterfalls, the largest of which is the three-metre-tall Washing Machine cascade, plus dozens of mineral pools and natural hot tubs.

Mountain adventures

If you like your coffee rich and exclusive, take a tour of The Blue Mountains from Montego Bay to see where some of the world’s finest beans are grown, harvested, roasted and ground, and get a chance to try a delicious cuppa.

As well as finding out all about Blue Mountain Coffee you can see exotic birds in abundance, such as parakeets, egrets and Jamaican doctor birds.

For hilly thrills, Mystic Mountain, near Ocho Rios and Runaway Bay, could be for you. Take the 215-metre cable car up only to whizz back down on the kilometre-long bob-sled track, Cool Runnings style.

If you’re not too cautious with the hand brake it takes just under two minutes to make the swift descent, or another way down is via a high-speed zipline. Before you leave the summit, pause for views of Dunns River Falls, soak in the infinity pool or wander through the butterfly and hummingbird gardens.

Rivers and lagoons

For a chilled out adventure, sit back on a bamboo river raft that floats along the Martha Brae River, 10 minutes by car from Falmouth. As you wind through tropical jungle keep an eye out for crocodiles and capuchin monkeys.

Also near Falmouth is the magical water-based experience of the luminous lagoon. The unique ecosystem in the water is home to a type of marine plankton that makes the surface glow, so it’s best viewed at night.

Either gaze in awe or take a boat across the surface from The Glistening Waters Marina – don’t worry, you won’t harm the plankton, but the boat wakes it up and makes it glow, making it the perfect way to see the spectacle.

Wildlife havens

Cockpit Country might feel like a world away from the big resorts of Falmouth and Montego Bay, but this undulating landscape topped with dense vegetation is only a 45-minute drive inland.

Dubbed a ‘country within a country,’ the forests house turkey vultures and countless other exotic wildlife, as well as rare wild orchids. You’ll definitely need a guide to explore here as the terrain is difficult, but they’ll help you discover limestone valleys and caves, and some of Jamaica’s oldest villages hidden away.

If you want to get up close with Jamaica’s wildlife but in a controlled environment, Swamp Safari village is five minutes down the road from Falmouth in Salt Marsh. Set in mangrove swamps, you can see endangered American Crocodiles and Jamaican Boa Constrictor, as well as the Jamaican Coney, which was once thought extinct.

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