Natural Attractions in Jamaica

Jamaica is an excellent location for tourists more interested in nature than beach resorts


Nature lovers looking for more than just a beautiful beach resort should consider Jamaica an excellent opportunity to view the spectacular beauty of Caribbean flora and fauna.

The island offers a great variety of outdoor activities, ranging from hiking in the amazing Blue Mountains to spelunking along the unexplored caves of Cockpit Country. Here are some highly recommended natural attractions that promise to inspire and astonish.

Nature Preserves and Hiking

The Blue Mountains National Park

Do you want to enjoy part of your vacation under the open sky? You might be happy to find out that the island has a few interesting nature preserves on it.

Negril Watershed Protection Area is a popular nature preserve the vicinity of Negril, in western Jamaica. This area of the island was set aside for the preservation of a tropical environment and visitors often hike through for a view of the Great Morass.

Those wanting to locate a another great natural attraction will enjoy exploring sites like The Blue Mountains National Park. The peaks of the Blue Mountains rise to an altitude of 7402 feet above sea level, with dangerous terrain typifying the area. Though camping and hiking are permitted, these activities are best done with a knowledgeable guide.

Review this table for information on more nature preserves.

Nature Preserves and Hiking On Jamaica
Name Type Location
Crocodile Reserve & Bird Sanctuary Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 0.6 mi. Northwest of Central Orange Bay
Mount Zion Sanctuary Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve Ocho Rios
Negril Watershed Protection Area Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 1.7 mi. South-Southwest of Central Negril
The Blue Mountains National Park Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 11.2 mi. Northeast of Central Kingston

Waterfalls and Caves

Green Grotto Caves

Although most vacationers come for the beaches, that isn't the only way to enjoy the natural wonders available. Jamaica offers multiple choices, including 10 waterfalls and 3 caves.

You should consider visiting Green Grotto Caves, which is northern Jamaica. As you first pass the deceivingly small cave entrance, you will stumble into the large cavern, full of complex stalagmites, pocketed walls, and a ceiling inhabited by the bats that call the caves home. During your forty-five minute tour, you will learn how the the limestone rocks were, over decades, slowly carved by gently flowing water, until it created the cave that now stands.

A second attraction worth considering is Reach Falls. It is eastern Jamaica. This is a very famous waterfall and is easy to get to. On the east coast of the Island there is the main road, A4.

The following chart enables you to learn more details on waterfalls and caves.

Waterfalls and Caves On Jamaica
Name Type Location
Croydon Waterfalls Waterfall Central Jamaica
Dunn's River Falls Waterfall 1.9 mi. West of Central downtown Ocho Rios
Green Grotto Caves Cave 1.8 mi. North of Central Dumbarton
Joseph's Cave Cave 1.8 mi. South West of Central Negril
Mahoe Falls Waterfall 1.2 mi. South of Central downtown Ocho Rios
Mayfield Falls Waterfall 3.3 mi. South-Southeast of Central Cascade
Milford Falls Waterfall 1.8 mi. West of Central Ocho Rios
Reach Falls Waterfall 1.8 mi. West of Central Williams Field
Shaw Park Garden Falls Waterfall 1.8 mi. West of Central Ocho Rios
Somerset Falls Waterfall 2.4 mi. Northwest of Central Hope Bay
Tacky Falls Waterfall 3.1 mi. West of Central Hope Bay
Two Sister Cave Cave 6.7 mi. South of Central Portmore
YS Falls Waterfall 1.1 mi. Southeast of Central Redgate

Parks and Botanical Gardens

Barney's Hummingbird Garden

Travelers can experience one of the many parks, or 11 botanical gardens on Jamaica.

Dunn's River Park is found within the vicinity of Ocho Rios, Jamaica. This park features Dunn's River Falls, a recreational center and lush tropical vegetation surrounding a 600 foot waterfall that attracts thousands of people each year.

A second popular attraction in this category is Barney's Hummingbird Garden. Explore a beautifully flourishing and well-maintained tropical garden that promotes all that is naturally beautiful about Jamaica, all the while interacting with friendly and busy hummingbirds.

The parks and gardens worth considering can be seen right below.

Parks and Gardens On Jamaica
Name Type Location
Neville Antonio Park Park 0.1 mi. South of Central Port Antonio
Abeokuta Paradise Nature Park Park 1.9 mi. North of Central Cave
Addison Park Park 0.5 mi. East of Central Browns Town
Apple Valley Park Park 5.9 mi. North of Central E Lacovia
Barney's Hummingbird Garden Botanical Garden 0.5 mi. Northwest of Central Negril
Blue Hole Mineral Spring Park 0.8 mi. East of Central Revival
Cave Hill Estate Community Park Park 5.6 mi. South-Southwest of Central Portmore
College Green Communtiy Park Park 2.8 mi. East of Central Kingston
Cranbrook Flower Forest and River Head Adventure Trail Botanical Garden 3.4 mi. North of Central Bamboo
Discovery Falls Park 3.1 mi. Southeast of Central Negril Beach Hotel Zone
Dovecot Memorial Park Park 4.4 mi. West of Central Spanish Town
Dunn's River Park Park 1.9 mi. West of Central downtown Ocho Rios
Dunrobin Acres Private Park Park 1.3 mi. North-Northwest of Central Kingston
Emancipation Park Park 0.8 mi. Southeast of Central Kingston
Emmett Park Park 0.7 mi. Northeast of Central downtown Kingston
Fonthill Beach Park Park 6.0 mi. West of Central Black River
Founders Park Park 3.4 mi. East of Central Kingston
Hope Gardens Botanical Garden 3.3 mi. East of Central Kingston
Hope Pastures Park Park 3.0 mi. East-Northeast of Central Kingston
Long Bay Beach Park Park 0.8 mi. North of Central Negril Beach Hotel Zone
Mahoe Gardens Botanical Garden 8.8 mi. Southeast of Central Lionel Town
Mandela Park Park 0.1 mi. North-Northeast of Central Kingston
Mandeville Park Park Mandeville, Central Jamaica
Meadowrest Memorial Gardens Botanical Garden 4.3 mi. West-Northwest of Central Spanish Town
National Heroes Park Park 2.0 mi. South of Central Kingston
Oaklawn Memorial Gardens Botanical Garden Mandeville, Central Jamaica
Parade Square Park 0.3 mi. Northwest of Central Spanish Town
Rose Duckan Park Park Linstead, Central Jamaica
Sabina Park Park 0.8 mi. Northeast of Central downtown Kingston
Saint William Grant Park Park Downtown Kingston
Sam Sharpe Square Park Downtown Montego Bay
Shaw Park Botanical Gardens & Water Falls Botanical Garden 0.7 mi. South West of Central downtown Ocho Rios
Sonneville Gardens Botanical Garden Portmore
Struan Castle Garden Botanical Garden 4.4 mi. North of Central Kingston
Sunset Burial Park Park 5.7 mi. East of Central downtown Kingston
Turtle River Falls and Gardens Botanical Garden 1.9 mi. West-Southwest of Central Ocho Rios
Vin Lawrence Park Park 1.4 mi. Northwest of Central downtown Kingston
Water Square Park 2.7 mi. West of Central White Bay
Watson Taylor Park Park 2.0 mi. East of Central Esher
West Palm Memorial Gardens Botanical Garden Westmoreland Parish
Whoopie's Hammock Park Park 2.0 mi. South-Southwest of Central Negril

Zoos and Aquariums

If the concept of spending some time at the zoo tickles your fancy, you should visit Dolphin Cove Ocho Rios. For many, swimming with Dolphins is a life long dream. At Dolphin Cove Ocho Rios, that dream can become a reality.

Another similar attraction is Rockland Bird Feeding Station. The Rocklands Bird Sanctuary is the perfect place for bird-watchers, children, and anyone interested in something different. The sanctuary is home to various birds including hummingbirds, which you can feed by hand.

Be sure to look through this table to learn more.

Zoos On Jamaica
Name Type Location
Dolphin Cove Ocho Rios Zoo 1.7 mi. West-Northwest of Central downtown Ocho Rios
Rockland Bird Feeding Station Zoo 3.9 mi. South-Southwest of Central Montego Bay

Farms and Planations

If the concept of experiencing life on a tropical plantation sounds intriguing, you really should consider visiting Croydon in the Mountains. Tour guides explain about the cultivation of local produce as they take guests around the property, and even go so far as to offer samples of pineapple, citrus, and sugarcane.

Another local site to visit is Rhodes Hall Plantation. A horseback tour around Rhodes Hall Plantation takes you to the interior of the property where there are plants indigenous to the island, a fish pond, a mangrove and crocodile reserve, and ends up on the beach.

The chart directly below provides you with more details on the farms and plantations on the island.

Farms and Plantations On Jamaica
Name Type Location
Croydon in the Mountains Plantation 2.9 mi. South-Southeast of Central Cambridge
Rhodes Hall Plantation Plantation 1.1 mi. North of Central Orange Bay
Terravale Estate Farm 1.7 mi. Northwest of Central Bethel Town

Land Formations

Another fun idea is to visit some of the more popular area land formations. Other options like these on Jamaica are displayed in the following table.

Land Formations On Jamaica
Name Type Location
Black River Spa Hot Spring Black River, Western part of Jamaica
Bogue Lagoon Lagoon 2.5 mi. South West of Central Montego Bay
Central Range Mountain The Blue Mountains, Central Jamaica
Discovery Bay Bay 3.1 mi. Northwest of Central Dumbarton
Grotto Lake Lake 1.8 mi. North of Central Dumbarton
Martha Brae River River 1.7 mi. West of Central White Bay
Ocho Rios Bay Bay Downtown Ocho Rios
Oracabessa Harbor Bay 1.4 mi. East-Northeast of Central Boscobel
Port Esquivel Harbour 2.4 mi. West-Southwest of Central Moores Pen
Port Henderson Harbour 2.4 mi. South of Central Portmore
Port Kaiser Harbour 2.9 mi. South of Central Junction
Port Royal Mountains Mountain 3.7 mi. North of Central Grant's Pen
Rio Bueno Bay Bay 1.2 mi. East of Central Rio Bueno
Rio Grande River 0.9 mi. East of Central St. Margarets Bay
Rio Nuevo River 1.2 mi. West of Central Nuevo Rio
San San Bay Bay 1.9 mi. East of Central Turtle Harbour
St. Ann's Bay Bay 6.6 mi. West-Northwest of Central downtown Ocho Rios
Trelawney Luminous Lagoon Lagoon 1.1 mi. West of Central White Bay
White River Valley River 3.7 mi. South-Southeast of Central Ocho Rios
Yallahs Pond Pond 1.5 mi. West of Central Pomfret

Fortunately, Jamaica has other attractions. To get more information about other attractions, visit this page.

The Blue Mountains

Attractions Map

Behind the city of Kingston are the Blue Mountains, aptly named for their appearance. The Blue Mountains are home to some of the world's rarest flora and fauna, as well as some of the best biking, hiking and eco-tourism on the island.

The Blue Mountains themselves actually consist of two ranges, the Central Range and the Port Royal Mountains. One thing that they both share, however, is a stunning variety of rare and unusual nature. The first is home to both the highest point in Jamaica at 7,402 feet, and also to the world's second-largest butterfly, the pterourus homerus, formerly known as the papilio homerus (commonly called the great Jamaican swallowtail). Additionally, Jamaica is home to an unusual tree called chusquea abietifolia which blooms once every 33 years. The next scheduled date for bloom is 2017.

One of the most exciting things to do in Jamaica is cycle down and see the scenic nature surrounding the mountains. Cycle tours start at an elevation of 5,060 feet and head downward, stopping along the way to see coffee plantations and rain forest sights. Local tour guides proudly share information on local wildlife and history. Tours include lunch, snacks and bike rental and generally cost about $89(USD) per person. Additionally, the Blue Mountains offer secure and enjoyable camping, which may be a fantastic way to enjoy your visit to the mountains.

A vacation to Jamaica spent indoors is a vacation wasted. Whether on land or in water, the natural beauty that Jamaica has to offer is astounding. Get out doors, breath in the fresh air, and let the surrounding beauty inspire you.


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