The Adventure Lover’s Guide To Jamaica
Locals might tell you to ‘take it easy, man’, but you don’t have to listen to them. If you’re after an active holiday, here are the best ways to get physical in Jamaica…
Ride horses in the sea
Forget lilos and inflatable crocodiles. In Jamaica, they like to go one better by throwing horses into the mix, Bo Derek-style. After getting saddled up at a ranch, you’ll trot through the countryside and down to the sand. Channel Lady Godiva – maybe keep your swimming gear on, though – as you ride through the surf, heading further out until your horse is actually swimming. As paddles go, it’s pretty unforgettable.
Zoom through the jungle
Mystic Mountain has been transformed into a playground for adrenaline junkies – the best way to see this patch of jungle is by zip wire. You’ll strap yourself into a harness, clip on to a zip-line course and hurl yourself off a series of raised platforms. Or you can go all Cool Runnings and snake through the forest on a Rainforest Bobsled. Lycra onesie optional.
Tackle river rapids
Forget white-water rafting (although you can do that here, too), because in 2014 it’s all about white-water tubing. Think waterpark lazy river, but with coconut palms and bamboo groves. You can pick from more sedate rides to wet ‘n’ wild courses filled with rapids. If tubing isn’t your bag, you can switch your rubber ring for a calmer ride on a bamboo raft. In fact, the Queen herself gave this mode of transport the royal seal of approval during one of her visits.
Scale a waterfall
Dunn’s River Falls is as much a Jamaican icon as rum and reggae. As well as cropping up in tons of holiday brochures and postcards, the 600-foot waterfall has cracked Hollywood. It starred alongside Sean Connery and Ursula Andress in Dr No, and shared screen time with Tom Cruise in Cocktail. It’s easy enough to scramble up – just form a conga line with fellow climbers – and make sure you stop and wallow in lagoons along the way.
Freewheel down a mountain
Forget the Tour de France. In the Blue Mountains, it’s all about the Tour de Jamaica. You’ll be driven up to the highest point possible – 5,600 feet above sea level – and then pedal downhill all the way. As you cruise down through tropical forests and banana plantations, you can stop at historical sights and local markets. Don’t forget your camera to capture the killer views.