With Jamaica’s year-round popularity among families, we have put together the very best places to see, things to do and where to stay, so you really can take advantage of the best vacations for kids in Jamaica.
1. Montego Bay
Doctor’s Cave Beach
Part of the Montego Bay Marine Park, this is one of Jamaica’s most famous and popular beaches, with crystal clear waters and white sand. Snorkelers come from far and wide to see some of the many marine species found here, and the beach is well served by facilities including changing rooms and showers. A family-friendly restaurant is close by.
Walter Fletcher Beach
This action-packed beach is where you’ll find Aquasol Theme Park. The great access and facilities found here make it particular ideal even for babies and toddlers. With ocean trampolines, go-karting and water sports, this is the ideal day out for kids and adults alike.
Experience true Jamaican culture at one of the numerous Handicraft Markets, where the hustle and bustle makes for a really memorable experience. It’s the perfect place to practice some bargaining, securing the best possible price on a range of souvenirs including Jamaican dolls and drums!
Where to Stay
Hyatt Ziva Rose Hall
This high-end, all-inclusive resort is only 11km away from the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, and has an extensive food offering with 8 on-site restaurants. This extensive resort also boasts 4 bars and a café, 2 outdoor pools, a fitness center and day spa.
Round Hill Hotel and Villas
Another famous family-friendly resort in Montego Bay, Round Hill Hotel & Villas is 18km from the Sangster International Airport. Opened in 1952, the resort is located on what was originally a sugar plantation, and has hosted a number of celebrities and politicians over the years. Guests have included John F. Kennedy, Paul Newman, Bob Hope and Ralph Lauren.
2. Ocho Rios
Many families flock to this popular attraction each year to see the many dolphins, sharks and stingrays in their natural environment. The Jungle Trail Walk is also a popular attraction here with iguanas, snakes and a variety of birds just some of the species found here. Named the “number one attraction in Jamaica” is considered to be the world’s largest natural dolphin lagoon.
Dunns River Falls
These popular waterfalls empty into the Caribbean Sea at the end of a beautiful beach. Standing at around 180 feet high and 600 feet long, there are opportunities to climb the waterfalls with the help of local tour guides.
Turtle River Park
Miles away from the hustle and bustle of Ocho Rios, Turtle River Park draws a varied and mixed crowd. With a wealth of breath-taking views, there are several areas where children can paddle in the naturally formed pools, as well as climbing rocks under cascading waterfalls. This is the spot to capture some incredible family photographs that will last a lifetime, ideal for anyone seeking out the best vacations for kids in Jamaica.
For those with a head for heights, the 700-foot high mountain peak offers three exhilarating ways to see Ocho Rios from a different perspective. Three different excursions provide differing levels of height and speed.
Where to Stay
The Jamaica Inn is one of the Caribbean’s most luxurious hotels, with a series of intimate suits and comfortable cottages offering far reaching views of the Caribbean Sea. While this hotel has many romantic qualities, it is family-friendly, and is popular among families with older children. The Ocean Spa is an ideal place to wind down, with either a treatment or massage, while the children take advantage of the on-site entertainment options.
This premium lagoon resort is a 9-minute walk from the Goldeneye estate, and consists of a number of wooden cottages in private docks over the lagoon. Free wi-fi and flat-screens keep the kids occupied, allowing the social media savvy to remain connected, and the well-equipped kitchens and living rooms provide a self-catering option for families. A chic spa, tennis court and fitness classes including yoga also make this a favorite among travellers.
Seven Mile Beach
Beach activities come as standard in this part of the world, and the Seven Mile Beach is the perfect playground for adults and kids alike. In addition to the numerous water and beach sports on offer, first-class amenities, and plentiful dining options means something for everyone can be found here.
Glass Bottom Boat Rides
Available at great prices, taking a ride in one of the glass bottom boats is definitely one for the “to-do” list. Be sure to negotiate the very best offer with the boat captains before you head out to the scenic reef. This attraction is great for families traveling with babies and toddlers.
When it comes to the best vacations for kids in Jamaica, snorkeling is
one of the most popular activities. In Negril, snorkeling gives a very unique perspective of the natural world, with many local boat operators carrying snorkeling equipment and life jackets.
Horse Back Riding
Whether opting for a ride along the beach, or a trek through the countryside, seeing the sights from horseback can be spectacular. A number of reputable companies operate locally, and these are preferred to beach vendors, to ensure safety is paramount.
The Kool Runnings Water Park has over 5 acres of thrilling water rides, as well as a number of dry park attractions, perfect for a family day out while in the Caribbean. Whether it’s a 40ft water slide or a more relaxing lazy river glide, there’s something for every member of the family. A water park has to feature on anyone’s list when seeking out the best vacations for kids in Jamaica.
Where to Stay
The Cliff Hotel
Located on the cliffs of Negril, the sea views, sunsets and intoxicating Jamaican culture come as standard. The popular on-site Zest Restaurant and KiYara Spa allow for true indulgence, and the resort offers a true escape from the world.
This luxe hotel is situated on limestone cliffs overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Bringing natural glamour, adventure and enchantment together, the resort features 12 cliff-side accommodations, as well as a Private Cave Dining facility, and The Blackwell Rum Bar. For parents that value a little pampering, a spa, Jacuzzi, sauna, hot tub and saltwater swimming pool offer a truly luxurious escape from life back home.
4. Port Antonio
With a unique blend of comfort, relaxation and adventure, this exotic waterfall cascades down a rock face before gathering in a serene emerald river pool. A picnic area as well as a guided tour upstream, offers one of the most unique and beautiful picnic sites in the Caribbean.
The setting for the Brooke Shields’ movie, The Blue Lagoon, the water appears to change colour throughout the day, according to the position of the sun.
Where to Stay
This high-end villa hotel is well-equipped with free Wi-Fi, flat screen TVs, mini bars and rain showers, as well as offering 24-hour room service, plunge pools and hot tubs. With an open-air restaurant, bar and lounge/games room, this is a luxurious destination for families.
Situated in San San, close to Port Antonio, this luxury resort offers a number of different accommodation offerings from elaborate woodland villas to ocean-fronted cabins. While part of the resort, each of the accommodation offerings create a unique and individual experience.
5. St Ann’s Bay
Bob Marley Mausoleum
Located in Nine Mile, the Bob Marley Mausoleum is managed by members of Marley’s family. Near the site where Bob Marley’s musical career began, a number of guitars, awards and photographs can be found here, and the singer’s body lies buried in a marble mausoleum inside a small church.
As the first attraction to bring zip wires to Jamaica, a number of lines among the mountains now exist. A number of valley-crossing zips are available, from a 500ft to 1200ft crossing distance. A “speedy” option is one for the thrill seeker, and “The Screamer” is another not for the faint hearted. The giant swing is for one, two or three people who fancy a swing 60ft in the air.
This Georgian-style great house allows families to travel back in time, witnessing a collection of 19th century antiques from Jamaica and the Caribbean. The Devon House mansion was home to Jamaica’s first black millionaire, George Stiebel, and is located within 11 acres of serene, lush greenery. A number of restaurants, confectioneries and souvenir shops are now also on site.
A jewel in the heart of Kingston, Emancipation Park is a tribute to Jamaica’s freedom, providing an oasis for travellers who visit. The seven-acre landscape has a number of tropical flowers and trees, along with an 11ft bronze sculpture known as the “Redemption Song”.
The Bob Marley Museum
Dedicated to reggae musician Bob Marley, this is a family-favorite, located in the singer’s former place of residence – 56 Hope Road. The location is iconic as it is also the place where Marley recorded many of his songs.
The Blue Mountains
As the longest mountain range in Jamaica, the Blue Mountains have a height of 2256m. From the summit, the north and south coasts of the island can be seen easily.
Where to Stay
Spanish Court Hotel
This Spanish Colonial-style building is a modern hotel, with a range of rooms and suites that meet a host of family requirements. Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs, iPod/iPhone docks, minibars and coffeemakers give this historic building a modern twist, and a rooftop bar and infinity pool add to the appeal of this hotel. Kids 11 and under go free with a parent – another attractive advantage of this hotel.
Just 2.3km from the Bob Marley Museum, this hotel is surrounded by lush greenery, and is referred to as Jamaica’s most luxurious boutique hotel. Families are assured of a friendly welcome, and many return year after year. The hotel has a grand feel throughout, and an on-site gym, entertainment and spa provide more attraction to this classic all-suite hotel.
And those are the best vacations for kids in Jamaica
Jamaica is a popular place for people of every age. With so much to see and do, it’s not hard to see why. We hope our handy guide has filled you with inspiration on how to discover the best vacations for kids in Jamaica.