Most travelers to Jamaica seek out the tranquility of Negil or the tourist port of Ocho Rios, but located halfway between both on the country’s North Coast is the ideal, but perhaps not as well-known destination of Falmouth.
The area is home to Dunn’s River Falls, a must-see for all first-time visitors to the island. Starting at the bottom, explorers climb the giant limestone stairs up the waterfall, stopping to take a dip in many of the tiny pools along the way before reaching the top to see amazing views of sea from 180 feet up. Nearby is the Irie Blue Hole, a 20-foot waterfall where you will spot the fearless diving, while kids take advantage of the Tarzan Rope Swing below.
The Green Grotto Caves can be found just over a mile where Christopher Columbus landed in 1494 and features lots of interconnected tunnels of stalactites and stalagmites.
There are many other fun things to take advantage of here, too, like quietly drifting down the Martha Brae River in a tube, kayak, or a 30-foot raft, snorkeling, swimming with dolphins, visiting former sugar plantations Richmond and Llandovery, or going for a romantic ride on horseback along Chukka Beach.
If you are a foodie (and who isn’t?), there are no less than 300 different jerk recipes to sample in the neighborhood, and don’t forget about the rum cake and locally grown coffee.
Greenwood Great House offers the largest collection of rare musical instruments on the island, and St Peter’s Anglican Church is one of the oldest houses of worship in Jamaica. Another must-stop is the Good Hope Estate that recreates Falmouth’s sea trading past and 18th century life, complete with tea sandwiches and scones.
Fun fact: Falmouth boasts not one but two Olympic champion sprinters, Usain Bolt and Ben Johnson. And speaking of the Olympics, you can actually visit Bobsled Jamaica, which takes visitors through 3.280 feet of twists and turns in the middle of a rainforest and is reminiscent of the training the famed Jamaican bobsled team completed to participate in the 1988 Winter Olympics.
Check out many of these sights with Emmy Winner Travel Guru Ashley Colburn in Paradise Found: Jamaica!
Where to stay
The best place to stay in Falmouth is the soon-to-open Melia Braco Village. The completely renovated resort sits on a pristine private beach with clear, turquoise water and offers 226 newly renovated rooms plus 61 private suites. There’s also a welcome gift in the room, daily turn down service, and fruit skewer and ice cream service. With two pools overlooking the sea, a Kids Club and YHI Wellness spa, and Japanese, Chinese, and Peruvian fusion cuisine at the two on-site restaurants, you may never want to leave the property.
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