Jamaica: Travel Days Needed

how many days to travel jamaica

Jamaica is a popular destination in the Caribbean, known for its tropical island fantasies, vibrant culture, stunning coastline, and unique flavours. The average vacation to Jamaica is 10 to 12 days, but some people stay for as little as 3 days or as long as 2 weeks. With its beautiful beaches, waterfalls, historical sites, and local culture, there is plenty to see and do in Jamaica.

Characteristics Values
Average vacation time 10-12 days
Minimum recommended time 5-7 days
Most popular attractions Dunn's River Falls, Rick's Cafe, Seven Mile Beach, Blue Lagoon, Blue Mountains
Most popular cities Montego Bay, Negril, Ocho Rios, Port Antonio, Kingston
Most popular airports Norman Manley International Airport, Sangster International Airport, Ian Fleming International Airport


Montego Bay: the best option for a short trip

If you're looking for a short trip to Jamaica, Montego Bay is the place to go. As the tourist capital of Jamaica, Montego Bay offers a range of attractions and activities that can be enjoyed in a limited amount of time. Here's why Montego Bay should be your top choice for a short getaway:

Accessibility and Convenience

Montego Bay is conveniently located on the north shore of Jamaica and is easily accessible thanks to the presence of the Donald Sangster International Airport. This makes it an ideal destination for travellers who want to maximise their time spent vacationing rather than travelling to and from their destination.

Natural Beauty and Outdoor Attractions

Montego Bay is renowned for its stunning natural scenery, featuring pristine white sand beaches and crystal-clear blue waters. The lush tropical vegetation and vibrant coral reefs provide the perfect backdrop for outdoor enthusiasts.

For those seeking adventure, Montego Bay offers a range of activities such as snorkelling, scuba diving, horseback riding, river tubing, and canopy ziplining. The famous Dunn's River Falls and Ocho Rios Blue Hole are also within easy reach and offer unique experiences that can be enjoyed in a day.

Cultural Offerings and Entertainment

Montego Bay has a vibrant cultural scene, with museums, art galleries, and historic sites to explore. The Montego Bay Cultural Centre, Rose Hall Great House, and Greenwood Great House provide insights into the history and architecture of the region.

The city also boasts a lively nightlife, with reggae music and dance venues, as well as the annual Reggae Sumfest, attracting enthusiasts from around the world. The "Hip Strip" along Gloucester Avenue offers a variety of restaurants, shops, and entertainment options for a fun evening out.

Accommodations and Amenities

Montego Bay has a wide range of accommodation options, from luxury resorts to budget-friendly hotels, ensuring that travellers can find something suitable for their needs and preferences. The area also offers excellent duty-free shopping, with local handicrafts and souvenir shops.

Short Trips and Day Excursions

Montego Bay is an excellent base for day trips and excursions to nearby attractions. The Montego Bay Marine Park, a protected area along the coast, is perfect for snorkelling and scuba diving enthusiasts. The Good Hope Estate and Plantation, located in Falmouth, offer a unique blend of history and outdoor activities, including bamboo raft tours and ziplining.

In conclusion, Montego Bay is the ideal destination for travellers seeking a short but fulfilling Jamaican experience. With its convenient location, diverse attractions, and range of amenities, Montego Bay offers a wealth of opportunities that can be enjoyed even on a tight schedule. So, whether you're looking for relaxation, adventure, or cultural immersion, Montego Bay is the perfect choice for a memorable short trip.


Kingston: a must-visit for music and architecture

When it comes to Jamaica, the island nation in the Caribbean, most people think of reggae music and the singer Bob Marley. But Jamaica has much more to offer, especially its capital, Kingston, which is a must-visit destination for music and architecture enthusiasts.

For music lovers, Kingston is a dream come true. It is the birthplace of many musical icons and forms of dance, and its vibrant cultural heritage and creative production are centred here. The city was declared a UNESCO Creative City of Music in 2015, and with good reason. From reggae to dancehall and everything in between, Kingston's music scene is thriving.

One of the most famous musical landmarks in Kingston is the Bob Marley Museum. Housed in the former residence of the reggae singer himself, this cultural landmark is a must-visit destination for any music enthusiast. The museum showcases a fusion of architectural styles, from colonial influences to traditional Jamaican design, and provides an insight into Marley's life and creative process. The colourful murals, photographs, and memorabilia celebrate the life and legacy of this beloved musician.

In addition to its rich musical history, Kingston also boasts a diverse range of architectural styles that reflect the city's cultural and historical significance. One notable style is Georgian architecture, which can be seen in the stunning Spanish Town Cathedral and the Old King's House. The Holy Trinity Cathedral, on the other hand, is a remarkable example of Gothic Revival architecture, with soaring spires, stained glass windows, and intricate stone carvings.

For those interested in colonial-era architecture, a visit to Devon House is a must. This grand mansion, built in the late 19th century, was once home to Jamaica's first black millionaire, George Stiebel. The house showcases exquisite Georgian architecture, with ornate ironwork, sweeping verandas, and finely crafted woodwork. Another notable example of colonial architecture is the Old Spanish Bridge, built in the 1770s, where local daredevils often swing from the bridge into the refreshing blue waters of the White River below.

When planning a trip to Jamaica, most people wonder how many days they should spend on the island. While there is no definitive answer, most travellers recommend staying for at least five to six full days, excluding travel days. However, some people suggest that 10 days to two weeks is a more ideal timeframe, as it allows for a more relaxed pace and the opportunity to explore beyond the resorts.

In conclusion, Kingston, Jamaica, is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in music and architecture. The city's vibrant cultural heritage, diverse musical genres, and unique architectural landmarks make it a fascinating place to explore. So, whether you're a reggae enthusiast, a history buff, or simply looking for a unique travel experience, be sure to add Kingston to your itinerary when planning your trip to Jamaica.


Port Antonio: for rafting and a hard-to-find restaurant

When it comes to how many days to spend travelling Jamaica, opinions vary. Some travellers suggest 5 or 6 full days (not including travel days) is enough, while others recommend staying for 10 days or more to truly experience the country.

Now, let's focus on Port Antonio, a town on Jamaica's northeastern coast, known for its natural beauty and diverse culinary scene.

Rafting in Port Antonio

Port Antonio offers a unique experience of rafting on flat, wooden rafts down the Rio Grande River. You'll get to enjoy beautiful valley scenery and minor rapids as your guide navigates the waters. It's customary to tip your guide for their hard work.

Port Antonio's Hard-to-Find Restaurant: Dickie's Best Kept Secret

Dickie's Best Kept Secret is a restaurant in Port Antonio that's definitely worth a visit. Described as "fantastical" and "delightfully ramshackle," Dickie's spills down a small hill towards the Caribbean Sea. The interior is filled with an eclectic mix of furniture and knick-knacks, creating a quirky and charming atmosphere. The restaurant serves up delicious, fresh seafood and Caribbean cuisine with a view of the blue Caribbean sea.

Other Dining Options in Port Antonio

Port Antonio offers a variety of dining experiences, from local jerk shacks to waterfront restaurants. Here are some notable mentions:

  • Boston Jerk Centre: Located in nearby Boston Bay, this lively spot offers a variety of jerk vendors serving mouthwatering jerk chicken, pork, and fish.
  • Frenchman's Cove Resort: Dine on a terrace overlooking turquoise waters while enjoying a fusion of Jamaican and international cuisine.
  • Errol Flynn Marina: A popular spot for seafood lovers, offering Jamaican favourites like escoveitch fish and bammy.
  • Anna Banana: Offering both indoor and seaside dining, this restaurant provides a relaxed and cozy atmosphere.
  • The Veranda at Trident Hotel: Reserve a table here for an elevated dining experience, combining Jamaican flavours with elegant presentation and breathtaking views.
  • Mike's Supper Club: Enjoy cabaret entertainment while dining on delectable dishes prepared with locally sourced ingredients.
  • Geejam Bushbar: This stylish and laid-back restaurant offers a fusion of Jamaican and international dishes, complemented by tropical cocktails and a view from the pool deck.


Falmouth: a pretty Georgian town with a new cruise port

Falmouth, Jamaica, is a coastal town with a rich history dating back over 200 years. Once a cosmopolitan metropolis due to its success in the sugar industry, it is now a charming and historic port town. Falmouth is a great place to visit for those interested in architecture—it possesses the largest collection of Georgian-style buildings in Jamaica.

The Historic Falmouth Cruise Port (HFCP), also known as the Port of Falmouth, is conveniently located between two other popular Jamaican cruise ports: Montego Bay and Ocho Rios. The Falmouth cruise port is a great starting point for ship-operated excursions. The port has a local Georgian vibe, with brick buildings designed in the style of British Georgian architecture, large squares, shops, boutiques, restaurants, bars, and cafes.

Falmouth is considered one of the safest and most hospitable cruise ports in Jamaica. While other ports may have a reputation for aggressive vendors, Falmouth is known for its civil and friendly local population, making it a pleasant place to walk around and explore.

Falmouth Court House and Albert George Market

When wandering outside the port gate, you may encounter busy streets and vendors. A guided tour is recommended for those who wish to explore beyond the port area. Popular landmarks to visit include Falmouth Court House and Albert George Market.

Braemar Tours

For those interested in the history and architecture of Falmouth, Braemar Tours offers a trolley tour that transports visitors back in time. The tour takes you through the town, past the dome structure that was once a foundry, the old Jewish cemetery, the Baptist Manse, St. Peter's Church, and other buildings from the historic period. The trolley ride adds a charming touch of authenticity to the tour, as it was a popular mode of transportation in the 18th century.

Chukka Good Hope Estate Adventures

About a 20-minute drive from the port, Chukka Adventures Park & Falls offers a range of adventure activities, including a zipline through the forest, rugged terrain drives, river tubing, Appleton Rum tasting, a historic Great House tour, and a bird aviary. The estate spans over 2,000 acres and includes the lush Martha Brae River, a country-style Great House property, and stunning views of the Cockpit Country mountain range.

Martha Brae River Rafting Village

Less than 15 minutes from the port, the Martha Brae River Rafting Village offers a tranquil escape into nature. The village features picnic areas, a bar, and souvenir shops. The bamboo raft ride, adorned with floral decorations, takes visitors on a peaceful 3-mile journey down the river, surrounded by lush greenery and the choir of birds echoing from the canopies.

Falmouth Restaurants

Falmouth offers a variety of dining options, including wood-smoked jerk dishes at Falmouth Jerk Centre or Pepper's Jerk Center, and flavourful patties fresh from the brick oven at Juici. For a taste of genuine Jamaican cuisine, visitors can also try Nazz Club and Restaurant in Town or the Restaurant at Glistening Waters, located just a few miles away from the port.

Falmouth Cruise Port Shopping

The cruise port in Falmouth offers a range of shopping options, from international brands and fine jewelry to local crafts and souvenirs. The Crafts Market, located close to Margaritaville, is a great place to find genuine, handcrafted items. The port also features duty-free shops and gift shops like Diamonds International, Tanzanite, Breitling, Colombian Emeralds, Cariloha, Pirana Joe, and Del Sol.

Day Trips and Excursions

Falmouth is a great base for day trips and excursions to nearby attractions. Popular choices include Dunn's River Falls near Ocho Rios, Swamp Safari (a crocodile farm), River Tubing on the Rio Bueno River, and the Hampden Estate Rum Tour.

Duration of Stay in Jamaica

When planning a trip to Jamaica, it is recommended to stay for at least 5-6 full days, excluding travel days. However, many travellers suggest that 10-14 days is ideal to fully explore the island and experience all it has to offer. Jamaica offers a variety of activities beyond Falmouth, such as hiking, mountain biking, snorkelling, diving, ATV riding, horse riding, zip lining, eco tours, cave tours, bird sanctuaries, and more.

So, when planning your trip to Jamaica, consider spending a few days in Falmouth to explore its beautiful architecture, enjoy the local cuisine, and discover the rich history of this charming Georgian town and its new cruise port.


Ocho Rios: home to luxury resorts and Dunn's River Falls

Ocho Rios is a popular destination in Jamaica, known for its luxurious resorts and the stunning Dunn's River Falls. The town is located on the north coast of Jamaica, where rivers wind through forests and waterfalls cascade over the landscape.

The Resorts

Ocho Rios is home to several luxurious resorts, including the Sandals Dunn's River Resort and the Marriott Renaissance. These resorts offer all-inclusive packages with access to fine dining, private beaches, and a variety of amenities and activities such as golf, SCUBA diving, and water sports. The Sandals Dunn's River Resort, in particular, is an adult-only resort known for its romantic atmosphere and proximity to the Dunn's River Falls.

Dunn's River Falls

Dunn's River Falls is one of Jamaica's top natural attractions and a must-visit when in Ocho Rios. The falls are known for their beauty and the unique experience of climbing up the terraced cascades. The falls are located just outside Ocho Rios, and many resorts offer organised trips to the site. However, some travellers recommend negotiating a price with a local cab driver for a more flexible and affordable experience.

When planning a trip to Jamaica, it is recommended to spend at least a few days in Ocho Rios. While some travellers suggest that two days is sufficient, others recommend spending more time to fully explore the area and enjoy the resorts.

In conclusion, Ocho Rios is a destination that combines natural beauty, luxurious accommodations, and a variety of activities. Whether you're seeking relaxation, adventure, or a romantic getaway, Ocho Rios has something to offer, and the nearby Dunn's River Falls is a highlight not to be missed.

Frequently asked questions

5 to 7 days is a lovely vacation in Jamaica. However, 2 weeks is a considerable number of days to visit a good number of spots and squeeze in a few rest days.

The average vacation to Jamaica is 10 to 12 days.

Jamaica has stunning coastline and vibrant culture. There are beaches, waterfalls, historical sites, music, local food and culture to experience.

You can swim at Doctor's Cave, visit Rocklands Bird Feeding Sanctuary, and explore the Rose Hall Great House.

You can visit Rick's Cafe, a bar and restaurant located on a 35-foot-high cliff, and relax on the Seven Mile Beach.

Written by
Reviewed by
Share this post
Did this article help you?

Leave a comment