Jamaica is one of those Caribbean islands that you simply must visit at least once. And why exactly is that, you may ask? Well, this 4,244 square mile island is one of the largest and most beautiful in the Caribbean (comparable in size to the US state of Connecticut). Jamaica is divided into parishes, one of which is Trelawny, home to the popular town of Falmouth.
Falmouth has a rich history filled with stories that have been preserved in its Georgian-style buildings, its people, and its traditions. In this post, we’ll share the 19 best things to do in Falmouth, including visiting its white sandy beaches, hidden caves, and bioluminescent lagoons.
If you’re ready for an exciting adventure, let’s dig in!
One of the first activities you might want to get into once you arrive in Falmouth, Jamaica is a culinary walking tour of the town. This guided walking tour offers you a chance to learn about Jamaican history and its delicious cuisine. You will get to sample various dishes prepared by locals who have used culinary traditions and practices, as well as local herbs and seasonings, to prepare scrumptious dishes that’ll be the perfect introduction to this tropical isle. By way of the culinary walking tour, you can also find out more about what life was like on the sugar plantations and how this crop was produced.
The culinary walking tour in Falmouth will take you through this historic town where you should look out for sites such as the Falmouth Courthouse, and museums like the Greenwood Great House. The courthouse, which was erected in 1815, is a concrete example of Georgian architecture that has been preserved on the island.
Rio Bueno is a small village along the north coast of Jamaica with a river that runs through it and into the Rio Bueno Harbor. The lush vegetation surrounding the Rio Bueno River creates the perfect ambiance for a nature-oriented tour. While in Jamaica, you’ll be able to explore this area by way of river tubing half-day tours led by guides that’ll share more about the history of this island along the way.
If you’re up for a thrill, you can make a few stops during the river tubing tour to swing from ropes or jump off different ledges into the cool water below. Ensure that you carry your swimsuit, a towel, cash, and even a camera if you’d like. Mosquito repellent will also come in handy!
This rum tour takes place at the Hampden Estate Rum Distillery in Trelawny, Jamaica. This distillery, which was established in the 1950s, produces a Pure Single Jamaica Rum, using a process that has been around for more than 260 years.
During the Hampden Estate Rum Tour, you’ll be able to see more of Jamaica’s countryside, tour the Hampden Great House, and get to enjoy a bite to eat and rum samples as well. The tour duration is about two hours and each tour accommodates ten people at a time. You must be 18 years or older to take part in this tour and remember to wear enclosed shoes!
Don’t miss out on some exhilarating ziplining while in Falmouth. The adrenaline rush you’ll get while zipping through the lush vegetation in this area is comparable to none, and definitely worth signing up for. Falmouth has many different locations to choose from for ziplining, so if you’re not afraid of heights, you’ll be in a great position for some adventure!
Your ziplining fun can begin with the Mystic Mountain Zipline Canopy Tour, which is about an hour from Falmouth. When you zip through this rainforest, you will be rewarded with a view of Dunn’s River Falls, near the town of Ocho Rios. Other amazing tours include the Good Hope Estate Pass & Adventure Falls excursion which takes place in Trelawney about 20 minutes away from Falmouth.
Bamboo rafting in Jamaica is definitely something that should be at the top of your bucket list. The 30-foot rafts, which are made of 100% bamboo, are led into the waters of the Martha Brae River by any of the 80+ licensed raft captains who are very knowledgeable about this area. The tour lasts about an hour and takes you down more than three miles of river with an awe-inspiring view of Jamaica’s beautiful flora and fauna.
Before you even board the raft, you will first meet the guides in the embarkation area, known as “Rafters Village”. This spans six acres of land and is exciting enough by itself, thanks to souvenir shops, a bar, picnic area, and Miss Martha’s Herb Garden. Be sure to check it out before or even after you go rafting.
Expert tip: Want to stay at a Sandals Resort, but are you interested in visiting Falmouth for the day? Stay at Sandals flagship all-inclusive resort in Montego Bay or at the more intimate Sandals Royal Caribbean. Falmouth is located just a 30-minute drive from both resorts.
An ATV tour in Falmouth is an exciting way to explore the outdoors, see amazing sites and buildings, and visit the hotspots of the island. You’ll get to ride through the rugged terrain and experience many of the nature trails, wildlife, and vegetation in its midst.
ATV tours are a great thrill and ideal for anyone looking for some fun in the sun. You may need to bring some bug repellent and a change of clothes, just in case, as the trails can sometimes get muddy. No worries, though, the sites that you will see and the new places you will visit will make it all worth it!
Horseback riding through Falmouth is an incredible way to experience the town. What’s even better, is that horseback riding is suitable for both beginners and experienced riders, so no one ever feels left out. Plus, many companies offer horseback riding tours so you’ll have plenty of options to choose from while in Jamaica. One of the popular horseback riding tours you can try while on this Caribbean isle is the Falmouth Jamaica Horseback Riding tour. This tour will take you from the cruise ship port to the stables then out on horseback. The guides will take you to the beach, past sugar cane fields, and through rugged and beautiful green spaces.
The Great Houses in Jamaica carry a history with them that tells the tale of slavery and triumph and they are known as intriguing historical buildings. Two of these include the Rose Hall Great House in Montego Bay (about 30 minutes from Falmouth), and the Good Hope Great House in Trelawny.
A visit to Good Hope will teach you more about its history as a sugar plantation in the 18th century, and you’ll see its modern-day transformation to an adventure center. At Good Hope, you can embark on a historical tour, go river tubing, try horse and buggy rides, or go ziplining. Meanwhile, at the Rose Hall Great House, you can learn more about the famous Annie Palmer who was rumored to have killed her husband within those very walls. Don’t worry, it's not all grim though; you can also get a tour of this 4,000-acre estate complete with its 18-hole championship golf course.
If you’d like to spend a nice relaxing day at a private beach, you may want to head down to Red Stripe Beach in Falmouth. A beautiful coastline borders the calm, blue waters of this charming beach. A visit to Red Stripe Beach grants you access to the amenities offered, such as the restaurants and bar, beach chairs and umbrellas, as well as changing rooms.
Red Stripe Beach is well protected by security and lifeguards and is usually also kept very clean, and free of nuisances like seaweed. This beach is also easy to access, as it is only a few minutes away from the cruise port. A visit to Red Stripe Beach is included in many of the excursions offered by the cruise sector, so if you’re in Falmouth, be sure to ask your tour guide about visiting Red Stripe Beach.
Burwood Beach is a popular public beach that is situated close to the cruise port in Falmouth. This publicly accessible beach is frequented and loved by many, so if you don’t mind the crowd, you should definitely stop by.
Burwood Beach has lifeguards on standby as well as changing rooms, bathrooms, and showers. To maintain these amenities, there is a small entrance fee that must be paid to gain access to the beach. Local vendors also sell fish and other treats and snacks for you to munch on while lazing in the sun. Don’t forget to bring a friend or two with you, so you can all enjoy the beach together.
Some should already be familiar with the Green Grotto Caves, thanks to the 1973 James Bond spy film “Live and Let Die”, which was filmed here. If you’re not, you should stop by to visit these caves that are regarded as one of Jamaica’s most fascinating attractions.
The Green Grotto Caves are revered for the amazing natural formations that set it apart, including the limestone structures, stalagmites, and its very own lake known as the Grotto Lake. While there, you can keep a lookout for the snakes, snails, and bats, such as the Jamaican fruit-eating bats, that all live within the cave. A visit to these caverns is bound to be a mysterious but interesting one, ending with lots of stories you can share with your friends and family.
Doctor’s Cave Beach is one of the most popular beaches in Montego Bay and attracts visitors and locals alike. A short trip from Falmouth can take you to this gorgeous beach that stretches about 5 miles across the coast. This beach, which is named after Doctor James McCatty, is equipped with facilities such as bars, changing rooms, and a gift shop and it is ideal for a fun day with families or friends.
Doctor’s Cave Beach requires a small entrance fee and gives you opportunities to enjoy water sports such as kayaking and parasailing at an additional cost. There is also a coral reef very close by that is an ideal location for snorkeling. Overall, if you’re looking to create some great memories on the white sands of Jamaica, don’t hesitate to visit Doctor’s Cave Beach.
Expert tip: Will you be staying in or near Montego Bay while in Jamaica? Here are the top things to do in Montego Bay for an exciting getaway!
Dinoflagellates are small marine plankton that can be found at the Luminous Lagoon in Jamaica, one of the most interesting nocturnal attractions you’ll be able to see in Jamaica. The presence of this marine plankton causes the water to light up at night illuminating the pool itself and any other marine life in the water.
The Luminous Lagoon is very unique; it is located at the meeting point of the Martha Brae River and the Caribbean Sea. It stands out because it is one of only five locations in the world where bioluminescent plankton can be seen, with three of the other locations being in Puerto Rico. In Jamaica, the dinoflagellates can be seen all year round and you’re free to take a guided boat tour of the lagoon to experience it for yourself.
Remember that James Bond movie we spoke about earlier? Well, another one of the scenes from ‘Live and Let Die’ was filmed at a swamp safari in Jamaica! If you’re an animal lover or just a little more daring than most, then this is a tour you simply must try.
Your swamp safari adventures in Jamaica can begin with the wetlands that make up Charles Swaby’s Crocodile Farm, home to more than 70 crocodiles. As part of this excursion, you’ll be able to feed the crocs, hold their babies, or just watch them be fed by their caregivers. At the swamp safari, you’ll also get a chance to see some other animals such as the Jamaican coney, gray fox, and capuchin monkey.
Like many other islands in the Caribbean, Jamaica has rugged terrain with many majestic mountains. Jamaica offers a unique experience where you can go bobsledding through mountains such as the 700-foot Mystic Mountain in Ocho Rios.
This ride starts at the top of the mountain and runs through Mystic Mountain’s 100-acre park. Just imagine how exhilarating it would be to travel down this 1,000-meter track, surrounded by amazing views and a rich tropical climate. If the thought of this excites you, then this is definitely the adventure for you.
When the Falmouth cruise port reopened its doors in 2011, large cruise ships could finally dock there and the local businesses thrived. A walk through the port will take you to the many restaurants and the various shops in this area. Many of these shops also sell souvenirs that you can take home to your loved ones.
Some of the notable attractions near the cruise port include Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville, which is a restaurant, shop, and bar all in one. Margaritaville’s menu features local cuisine and other food options to suit almost all preferences. Pepper’s Jerk Center is another popular restaurant in the cruise port area that sells authentic Jamaican cuisine.
Jamaica’s top attractions that are a bit further out of Falmouth:
The Blue Hole is a deep sinkhole that gets its name from the turquoise waters that fill the pool. This natural attraction can be found a short distance from Falmouth, in the town of Ocho Rios.
The Blue Hole is an attractive natural wonder to those who love the outdoors, swimming, climbing, and thrill-seeking. You can also cliff dive and jump into the pools using ropes swings in this area. While the Blue Hole is one of the most stunning attractions in Jamaica, there isn’t usually much traffic there. Rest assured you’ll have enough space to enjoy this magical area however you’d like.
A list of things to do in Jamaica is incomplete without mentioning Dunn's River Falls. Why exactly is that, you might wonder? Well, Dunn’s River Falls is one of the most famous waterfalls in Jamaica, and rightfully so, as it is one of few in the world that flows into the ocean below. Not only is Dunn’s River Falls quite a stunning sight to see, but there is also so much to do while there.
If you’re looking to simply relax, then feel free to lounge at the beach or take a swim. If you’re up for some adventure, then you should definitely climb the waterfalls and take in the view from the top. If thrill-seeking is more your style, why not try out a zip line tour that will give you a panoramic view of the rainforest? Don’t forget to make a quick stop at the shops to get some souvenirs.
Not far from Falmouth, Nine Mile in St. Annes will take you to the place where Reggae legend Bob Marley lived and is buried. His mother, Mamma Marley, and his half-brother, Anthony Booker, are also buried there. Throughout the years, this mausoleum has been visited by many.
Guided tours of Bob Marley’s residence are rife with Rastafarian symbols and memorabilia, and the guides will show you his favorite spots in the house. A visit to Bob Marley’s home is truly an experience that will make you feel connected to the renowned artist who shaped Jamaican culture and inspired many.
Picture: Just 30 minutes from Falmouth, Jamaica, Sandals Montego Bay embodies the same care-free and adventurous spirit. Unlimited food and drinks, day and night entertainment, and an exclusive white-sand beach make this resort the perfect home base for your Falmouth experience.
Falmouth in Jamaica has lots to offer the bold and adventurous traveler, the peace-seeking visitor, the passionate couple, and all other varieties of people. Whether you want to go ziplining through the forest, swimming on a beautiful beach, bobsledding, or on an ATV excursion through a scenic nature trail, you can do it all in this charming Jamaican town. There really is something for everyone in Falmouth, so you’ll simply have to take your pick.
Before you plan your itinerary of must-do activities while in Falmouth, you should think about which area of Jamaica to stay in. Falmouth is near some of the best all-inclusive resorts in Jamaica, which is great if you’re looking for a vacation that’s luxurious and stress-free.
Sandals all-inclusive resorts offer quality inclusions and activities, including day and night entertainment. Guests of this resort also have access to land and water sports, anytime meals at some of the best restaurants of the island, beach bars and swim-up bars, an award-winning spa, and more, which will add that extra something to your Caribbean getaway.
For an amazing adventure in Falmouth, Jamaica, all you’ll have to do is to show up. The experiences you’ll have along the way will be memorable, to say the least!