While planning any trip, Anush and I love a good mix of R&R as well as some fun filled activities. Being a big planner, I honestly hate to book attractions last minute in-person, after arrival as they can can be risky – there’s no reviews to read, there’s no “big picture” overview of what’s available, some attractions may be unavailable at short notice or come with an hours-long line. TripAdvisor has always been my go to help plan my itinerary for any trip. I love going through and researching the top things to do, best places to eat, read hotel reviews etc. Now it’s also super convenient to even book your attractions, tours and experiences via TripAdvisor! I used it for the first time to book tours for this trip to Jamaica and absolutely loved it. It was so easy to read reviews, compare attractions and then actually book the tours that we wanted online in advance so that our itinerary was smooth sailing. You can also book via their app!
The best part is their 24/7 customer service as well as their low price guarantee. If you find a lower price for the same tour or activity within 72 hours of booking, or if you arrive in your destination and find your activity offered at a lower price by their operator, they will refund the price difference! Overall TripAdvisor is the world’s largest provider of tours, activities and attractions, and now has more than 56,000 bookable experiences in 2,500 destinations worldwide! There’s really something for everyone, so next time definitely give it a try. Look for “tours and tickets” on the page of your destination on the TripAdvisor website.
Here are my 3 Fave activities we did in Jamaica with Tripadvisor :
This was definitely the no 1 thing I wanted to do in Jamaica! Since this is a popular attraction with multiple tour operators offering it, TripAdvisor tours and attractions really helped me secure a spot for this trip in advance as well as choose the best company to do it with. Martha Brae Rafting Village and the raft ride itself is all controlled by one main organization so the actual tour that you book will most likely be your transportation to and from the village + the cost of doing the raft tour. Since we booked this tour in advance, on the actual day of the activity everything was so seamless. We were picked up from our hotel, dropped at the rafting village where we did our tour and then dropped off at our hotel with no hassles at all.
Cruising down the emerald Martha Brae river on a bamboo raft was such an incredible experience! The raft ride takes about 90 minutes over 3 miles on the legendary Martha Brae River. The lush tropical foliage including ferns, bamboos, flowers, etc and the balmy breeze just made our ride all the more sweet. I also tried my hand at rafting a couple of times and it was so fun!
For activities 2 and 3 we booked a private waterfall hopping tour in Ocho Rios. We booked a private tour via TripAdvisor with Your Jamaican Tour Guide and loved being able to totally customize our itinerary for the day – we got to call the shots on where we wanted to go, how long we could spend there etc! This was seriously so convenient for us especially since we love having the time to spend at every location and not feel rushed especially when being part of a group tour. Also the drive from Montego bay to Ocho Rios is about 2 hours so we loved having a private car for our ride as well. Technically yes you could drive it on your own (which is what we do at most places), but after reading reviews online on how we would be better off with a driver+car in a place like Jamaica I am so glad we opted for this tour. It was also so fun to have a friendly local guide with us throughout as he gave us insightful tidbits all along the way and showed us the best photo opps that only locals would know of ;).
First up we stopped at Blue Hole and the azure blue water was a sight to behold! The hole is 20 ft deep and we did see some adventurous souls jumping into the water which looked so fun yet scary haha! Anush and I would totally admit that we were too chicken to cliff jump in, but we did get in the safe way – through the steps. The cold water was super refreshing and rejuvenating! A short hike from Blue Hole in the lush jungle leads you to another blue watering hole called Secret Falls.
3 ) Dunn’s River Fall Hike :
Our next stop in our chasing waterfalls tour was the famous Dunn’s River Falls. It is one of Jamaica’s national treasures. Quoted from their website : “Dunn’s River Falls is unique, it is described as a living and growing phenomenon, it continuously regenerates itself from deposits of travertine rock, the result of precipitation of calcium carbonate from the river, as it flows over the falls. The small dome-shaped cataracts are usually associated with thermal spring activity found in limestone caves. This, combined with its location near to the sea, gives Dunn’s River the distinction of being the only one of its kind in the Caribbean, if not the world. ” Another remarkable point is that the Dunn’s River is one of the few waterfalls in the world that flows directly into the sea. So you basically hike down to the beach level and start the hike from the beach level to the top of the falls, along the falls.
Admittedly this was super crowded but the whole experience of getting to hike the waterfall was so thrilling and none like anything we have done before. Climbing up the falls and then hanging out in one of the several lagoons or pools along the way while being massaged by the natural force of the gushing water was ah-ma-zing. I highly recommend adding this to your itinerary if you ever visit the island! And if you do plan on doing it, you would need water shoes. They are available to rent at the park but the thought of wearing “used wet” water shoes totally grossed me out so I bought these cheap ones on Amazon (they were comfy + durable).
Thanks for stopping by! xoxo
**This post is in collaboration with TripAdvisor but all thoughts and opinions are my own.