The diverse terrain of Jamaica offers many active options for island explorers.
Spending time at the beach is one of the most popular outdoor activities for Jamaica's visitors, but hiking isn't far behind. Jamaica also draws in many visitors interested in diverse sporting opportunities such as horseback riding, or swimming with dolphins. One thing in certain, no matter what you choose to do on your Jamaica vacation, adventure awaits.
Cockpit Country, located in the central-northwestern portion of the island, is a truly wild region in Jamaica. Here there are few roads and little civilization. Here the descendants of the Maroons have lived for generations, though they are now venturing out into the tourism business. Tours are allowed, and hiking is suggested only with a local guide. Tour-based travelers will not have to make any further stops, but those looking to tour on their own will need to handle formalities with former Colonel Harris Cawley (876-909-9222). He will make hiking arrangements, including guides and food. Keep in mind that this is not an area suggested for those without plenty of hiking experience.
For equally intriguing hiking experiences, vacationers enjoy spending time in the famed Blue Mountains of Jamaica. Here travelers can choose between enjoying shorter excursions or hiking all the way to the peak, spending several nights camping along the way. The Blue Mountains offer a tamer experience than Cockpit Country.
Hikers can explore the lower regions of the Blue Mountains, but to truly experience the majesty of the mountains one must travel to Blue Mountain Peak. Interested hikers should check into camping opportunities on the island. Camping permits are necessary and must be obtained from Jamaica Alternative Tourism Camping and Hiking Association (JATCHA) and the Jamaica Forestry Department.
Dolphin Cove in Ocho Rios is a popular spot. The facility allows guest to swim with dolphins in an enclosed and supervised environment. Even those uninterested in swimming with the dolphins will enjoy hours exploring the natural habitats of stingrays, eels, "friendly" sharks, snakes, macaws, and other tropical animals. If sea life doesn't entice you, the surrounding tropical rainforest is reason enough to visit. Advance reservations are necessary.
Check out a game of netball, or take a horseback ride. Jamaica also offers plenty of other hiking and nature options, as well as historic site seeing for visitors.
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