Jamaica is an ideal destination for families seeking a getaway that can be enjoyed by the whole family. A diverse range of activities throughout the island are available for the choosing, and many of the resorts and hotels offer special packages for families with well managed and supervised kids programmes designed to delight youngsters and provide parents with worry-free relaxation.
Many activities, such as biking through the countryside, going on safari, horseback riding or cultural and historical tours in one of the island’s museums, are experiences that the whole family can enjoy together. Chukka Caribbean Adventures has it all for the adventurous family, where visitors can choose between river tubing, rainforest canopy tours, ATV (All Terrain Vehicle) rides, mountain biking tours and much more. The company has two locations in Jamaica, Chukka Cove located in Ocho Rios and Chukka Blue located in Montego Bay. Chukka’s adventurous activities offer visitors a unique opportunity to enjoy Jamaica’s natural beauty, wild animals and exotic plant life native to the island. www.chukkacaribbean.com.
Braco Stables offers two-hour horseback riding tours with awe-inspiring views on the rugged hillside trails of the North Coast towards Montego Bay, as well as beach trails where riders can swim with their horse in the sea. Rides begin at 10:30 a.m. and the final ride of the day starts at 2:30 p.m. Recommended for ages five and above. For more information, call (876) 954-2565.
The Wilderness Resort is a 477-acre petting zoo property located in Goshen, Ocho Rios where families can fish for lunch in more than 30 well-stocked ponds. Guides are on hand to offer assistance, and will also cook the day’s catch for lunch for the whole family. Samplings of various fried, jerked or steamed recipes are also available. The resort is open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and closed on Mondays, good for ages six and over. Call (876) 974-5189 or (876) 974-4613 for more information.
Dunn’s River Falls in Ocho Rios, St. Ann, is one of Jamaica’s most famous attractions, allowing visitors to climb the dome-shaped cataract waterfalls or enjoy a swim or ‘hydra-therapy’ massage in one of the cool plunge pools. Dunn’s River Falls is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Call (876) 974-2857 for more information or visit www.dunnsriverja.com.
Dolphin Cove, located just down the street from Dunn’s River, is an unforgettable experience the entire family can enjoy. Dolphin Cove’s feature activity is a 30-minute intimate swimming encounter with the dolphins, supervised by trained staff. They also boast a Jungle Trail tour that meanders through 4-acres of tropical rainforest, in which visitors will find indigenous animals and birds. Dolphin Cove is open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. A beach grill and bar and a Jamaican buffet are also available. Visit www.dolphincovejamaica.com for more information.
Island Village in Ocho Rios is an open-air shopping and entertainment attraction featuring Reggae Xplosion, a museum outlining the history of Jamaica’s indigenous music - from ska to dancehall and reggae. Special exhibits feature the likes of Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer. It is open from 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. daily. Island Village also features an Internet Jungle, Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville and duty free shops.
Prospect Plantation Tours in St. Mary provides educational plantation tours, offering visitors the opportunity to learn about the history of sugarcane, coffee and pineapple in Jamaica, as well as a coconut demonstration stand where cultivating techniques are illustrated. For additional information contact the plantation at (876) 994-1058.
The Calico Under Sea Tour in the Montego Bay Marine Park allows visitors to explore unique coral formations and sea-life in Jamaica’s first marine sanctuary from the safety of a semi-submarine. The tour leaves from Pier One at 11:00 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. everyday except Wednesday. Call (876) 940-4465 or visitwww.mobayunderseatours.com . Suitable for ages six and above.
Aquasol Theme Park on Walter Fletcher Beach in Montego Bay features playground equipment for kids three years old and up, go-cart racing, tennis courts, video games and pool tables. For more information call (876) 979-9447.