7 of Jamaica’s Best Hidden Gems
Many people travel to Jamaica for the typical Caribbean experience: white sandy beaches, tanning under the hot sun, and cooling off in the clear turquoise waters. However, an increasing number of travelers are seeking out a more authentic visit. Before venturing off the beaten path, know where you’re headed. The following landmarks, activities, and restaurants are some of Jamaica’s most amazing hidden gems to experience.
1. Glistening Waters in Falmouth Lagoon
Despite its prime location on the north coast of Jamaica, Glistening Waters is still mostly unknown to visitors. This is one of the most spectacular sites the country has to offer; each night, the lagoon completely lights up in a luminous display. The light is created by the merging of the micro-organisms when the inland river meets the Caribbean Sea. If you would like to experience this phenomenon (that happens in only four places in the world), take a boat into the lagoon once the sun has set, and go for an evening swim. This is the only luminous lagoon that lights up every night, all year round.
2. Tacky Falls
A true jewel of Jamaica, Tacky Falls has not been commercialized, making it one of the most natural waterfalls on the island. Due to its location, it is not the most popular spot among tourists; it requires visitors to hike for 15 minutes up a steep and narrow pathway through the jungle – without any guidance from signs or proper trails. But the effort is worth it! The spectacular waterfall is 200 feet high, and cascades down a rock wall into a cool pool below. You can enjoy a refreshing swim while taking in the secluded natural wonder, soaking up the peace and tranquility of this unique place.
3. Blue Hole Mineral Spring
A short 25-minute drive from western town of Negril lies the Blue Hole, a natural mineral spring that is situated in a limestone grotto. The cool waters are said to have rejuvenating powers, and the white mud that surrounds the spring is said to contain therapeutic properties. Spend an afternoon wallowing in the mud to calm and refresh your skin, or leap into the turquoise blue pool below the cliffs. If you would prefer not to jump, there is a ladder that descends into the refreshing pool below. The Blue Hole is not often populated by tourists due to its out-of- town location, meaning you can enjoy your natural spa appointment in a calm environment.
4. The Blue Mountains
Although Jamaica is predominantly known for its white-sand beaches and crystal clear water along the coastline, traveling inland offers a pleasant surprise to visitors willing to go off the beaten path. Home to the highest peak in Jamaica, the 2256 meters-high Blue Mountains are a true sight to behold. This is also the longest mountain range in Jamaica, and visitors can enjoy hiking and biking along long stretches while witnessing some of the most breathtaking views to be found on the island. Both the north and south coasts of Jamaica can be seen from the summit, which is a popular spot to climb for a view of the sun rising over the Caribbean Sea.
5. Treasure Beach
This little gem is off the beaten track, making it the perfect place for those wanting to get away from the hustle and bustle of tourist traps and city life. The laid-back seaside village has no resorts or large hotels to speak of; here, you’re free to mingle with locals, ex-pats, and the village goats. Offering some of the most impeccable stretches of white-sand beaches, you can enjoy some quiet time in the sun. The quirky accommodations, charming restaurants, and inviting vibes of the locals make this the perfect spot for some authentic Jamaican experiences.
6. Little Ochie Restaurant
This is one of Jamaica’s most well-loved restaurants, where you’ll find fish, lobster, and crab cooked to perfection. Located in the small fishing village of Alligator Pond, Little Ochie will charm you with its rustic seating – literally boats on the beach – where you can enjoy your delicious food with a view like none other. If you would like to try a traditional Jamaican dish, order the conch soup, which is made with a snail-like mollusk fresh from the ocean. Enjoy an evening with a cold drink under the stars as you get to know the locals.
7. Negril’s West End
As you will discover, Negril is one of the bigger tourist hotspots in Jamaica, due to the famous Seven Mile Beach and the popular restaurants dotted along it. However, if you are looking for a more relaxed experience of Negril, take a trip to the West End, where you can enjoy a different type of vibe altogether. Home to the renowned Rick’s Café, where you can take a daring leap off the giant cliff, all of the restaurants and hotels here are located on the cliffs. This is the perfect spot to move your holiday off the beach and onto the mountainside, with views, food, and experiences that are truly remarkable.
Jamaica is a country rich with culture and beautiful natural wonders ready to be explored by those prepared to leave the comforts of the resort areas and immerse themselves in the true Jamaican life. For more information, have a look at Jamaica’s top attractions.
Did we miss your favourite spot in Jamaica? Share it with us in the comments below!