Of course it’s nice to take a family trip that involves sitting by the pool and letting the staff at your hotel’s kids’ club entertain the kids. However, I think it’s important to exposure children to some local culture and outdoorsy activities beyond resorts when on vacation.
Here’s what my research has turned up for planning a Jamaica trip. If you’ve been I would love any further suggestions!
Dunns River Falls Hike – a hike up the Dunns River falls is most appropriate for teenagers. Dunns river Falls is a six hundred feet high waterfall that flows directly into the ocean. The guided hikes offered are a great activity for the whole family to enjoy. This is also a great way to introduce infants and toddlers to the wonder of nature; the whole waterfall is surrounded by viewing areas that have safety rails, for safe viewing.
Rafting on the Black River Safari – this is one is best for older children through teenagers, this guided raft will take you down a beautiful river surrounded by lush, tropical forestry packed with exotic birds, iguanas, and other creatures that will surely excite the kids.
Aquasol theme park – located at the Walter Fletcher Beach is a watersports themed park with all the water sports the kids will ever need. From wave runners to banana boat rides your kids will love the magnificent ocean and thrill of being so close to the sea creatures. Most appropriate for ages five to teenagers, this theme park is located right on a beautiful stretch of white sand beach. One other attraction is the go-kart racing facility that the theme park also has. For the kids, there is also the convenience of a kiddie’s snack bar.
Doctors Cove Beach – has trampolines for the kids. Perfect for ages four to ninety nine, these large water trampolines add a magic touch to a day at the beach.
Columbus Park museum – great for kids from eight years old and up. Your teenagers will love the lesson on Jamaica’s past, and the younger ones will love the ancient artefacts like the old Arawak (the indigenous Jamaican people) canoe, and earthen vessels.
Horseback riding in the Ocean – the horseback tours will lead your family through Jamaica’s countryside and straight into the ocean. Jamaica has many companies that offer these packages. It is also a great idea to check with your hotel for their recommendations.
Family cruise – Island Routes Reggae Catamaran Cruise is a way of seeing the island from a different perspective. Family cruises (offered Wednesdays and Fridays) include snorkeling, a 120-foot waterslide, and giant water trampolines.
A safari on the Chukka River – Chukka operates various adventure activities around Jamaica. This activity is suitable for children 6+, it involves riding (gentle) rapids in a comfortable river tube down the Rio Bueno is one of them.
“Meet The People” – is a program designed for those of who want to get to know some of the locals. After filing an application and getting approved, you’ll be connected (for no fee) with one of the approximately 500 ambassadors who have been vetted by the Jamaica Tourist Board. Meet The People is apparently quite popular with families.
Scotchies Restaurant (Montego Bay) – if you are in or near Montego Bay, you can choose eating out as an activity for your family. Along with the great local cuisine, kids will love the rustic and kid-friendly atmosphere. This is a little café which serves traditional Jamaican favourites, like jerk chicken, pork, fried plantains and peas and rice. For kids, they have fried chicken and specialty burgers, like salmon and veggie. No reservation is needed and a meal for a family costs around £18 if you pay in the local currency, it not you’ll be charged an extra 20%.
While I’d mostly been thinking of Jamaica as just a beach and resort destination, there are far more things to do on family holidays to Jamaica than just hang out at the hotel!