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The best things to do in Falmouth, Jamaica, come courtesy of the north coast’s abundant nature. Turquoise rivers afford tranquil rafting, emerald forests conceal hummingbirds, and sugar-like sands invite sunbathing or snorkeling.

Falmouth, Jamaica’s best-preserved Georgian town, is also rich in history and culture, with 18th-century heritage buildings, plantation museums, and nearby galleries. It’s also an excellent gateway to Montego Bay’s beaches and Ocho Rios’ world-famous waterfalls.

Whether you prefer rum tasting or tubing, craft shopping or crocodile safaris, these are the top things to do in Falmouth, Jamaica.

Raft Down the Martha Brae River

Man rafting in Martha Brae River

Martha Brae River

For an utterly serene experience, board an elongated bamboo raft to meander along the jade-tinted waters of the Martha Brae River. Once used to transport sugar from the plantations, these rustic rafts now provide one of the most soothing things to do in Falmouth, Jamaica.

Throughout the three-mile rafting route, you’ll be cocooned in Caribbean scenery. Mangroves, palms, tropical fruits, and crimson-flowering trees line the riverbanks. Keep your eyes out for the national bird of Jamaica, the swallow-tailed hummingbird, locally referred to as doctor birds. The long, tail-like feathers help to identify the species in the canopy.

Along the one-hour journey, you’ll learn about the river’s legends. As the story goes, Martha Brae, a Taíno (Jamaica’s first inhabitants) witch, was tortured by Spanish settlers seeking gold. After sharing the treasure’s location, she cursed the river and reversed its flow. The invaders were left trapped in a cave, never to be seen again.

Head Underground at the Green Grotto Caves

View inside the Green Grotto Caves, Jamaica

Green Grotto Caves

East of Falmouth, the Green Grotto Caves are an underground marvel. A network of limestone grottos with a subsurface lake, the caves are both a popular attraction as well as a historically important site.

Archaeological finds have confirmed these tunnels housed Taínos. In later years, pirates, freedom-seeking slaves, and Spanish settlers all used these chambers as a hideaway. But it’s the impressive stalactites and stalagmites that draw visitors these days.

Don a hard hat and descend the stairs that lead into the underworld. Natural skylights and artificial lamps illuminate your way inside the 5,000-foot-long cave. It’s a spellbinding sight. However, it’s the pristine waters of the mirror-like underwater lake that shine brightest.

Tour the Great House Museums

Lush landscape of Greenwood Great House

Greenwood Great House

During British colonial rule, Jamaica became one of the world’s leading sugar exporters. Plantations were plentiful around Falmouth, and some of their mansions remain, like time capsules.

Taking a tour of one of the estates is one of the most insightful things to do in Falmouth, Jamaica. Not only will you see the grand houses, but also learn about the harrowing conditions of enslaved workers and the Jamaican Slave Revolt.

The nearest Great House to Falmouth is Greenwood. Constructed at the turn of the 18th century, the former Barrett Family’s estate retains hundreds of original items. There’s even an old-fashioned pub. Slightly further from Falmouth is Rose Hall, with a similarly decadent, storied decor. But we warned, a white witch reportedly haunts this estate, a legend your guide will happily recount.

Discover Dunn’s River Falls

Clear waters of Dunn's River Falls

Dunn’s River Falls

Around an hour from Falmouth, one of the Caribbean’s most famous falls are found at Dunn’s River. Crafted by shifting sedimentary rock, this cluster of cascades is both gorgeous and a grand adventure.

Scrambling into the river and splashing over the natural rock ledges as you climb up is unforgettable. As is wading through the pistachio-hued waters, deliciously cooling on a hot day. Small lagoons, shaded by lush, low-hanging trees, provide peaceful pauses en route to the last set of falls.

At the base of these cascades is a soft, sandy shoreline. With the waterfalls spilling into the Caribbean Sea, this is arguably one of Jamaica’s prettiest beaches.

Make a Beeline for the Beach

Bamboo Beach, one of the best things to do in Falmouth Jamaica

Bamboo Beach

No trip to Jamaica is complete without some beach time, and Falmouth has no shortage of fantastic shorelines nearby.

One of the closest to town is Jobson Bay Eco Beach, anchored around Half Moon Bay and backed by dense forests. Sinking into these soft sands with a soundtrack of birds chirping and waves lapping is one of the most enjoyable things to do in Falmouth, Jamaica. Further east, Burwood Beach’s coral reef is an excellent place to snorkel.

For a more lively atmosphere, venture to Bamboo Beach. Ivory-colored sands and impeccably azure waters abound. But it’s the beach club with its accompaniment of reggae and steel drums that makes this bay hard to beat.

Tube Down the White River

Aerial view of the White River

White River

A little over an hour from Falmouth, Jamaica’s adventurous soul is best appreciated on a White River tubing adventure in Ocho Rios.

Balance yourself on the tire-like rings and let yourself be bobbed along by the currents for an hour. For the most part, it’s a serene experience along jade-tinted waters; gentle white water rapids periodically pick up the pace.

Cool Down at the Blue Hole

Blue Hole, one of the best things to do in Falmouth Jamaica

Blue Hole

If you’d prefer your water adventure in Ocho Rios a little more laid-back, forgo the tubing. Instead, take yourself for a dip in one of Jamaica’s mineral-rich natural sinkholes.

Island Gully Falls, with a squat but roaring waterfall, is one of the best places to visit in Jamaica. Relaxing in the refreshing waters of the luminous turquoise pool is a treat. And if you’re feeling adventurous, you can even dive in from the rocks above.

Stroll Through Falmouth’s Heritage

White facade of St. Peter’s Anglican Church

St. Peter’s Anglican Church

Falmouth is the best-preserved Georgian town in the country and as such, a walking tour is one of the most insightful things to do here. While hopping between a handful of heritage buildings, you’ll learn more about the Trelawny Parish’s capital.

St. Peter’s Anglican Church is Falmouth’s oldest building, dating back to 1795. The weather-beaten exterior and clock tower look like relics. But step inside, and you’ll find a well-kept interior with impressive stained glass.

The Georgian-style courthouse, with its four imposing columns, has a much grander facade. Originally built in 1815 and destroyed by a fire 100-odd years later, the new courthouse is a reconstruction. Still in judicial use today, it’s open on certain days but do check before visiting.

Shop for Local Crafts

Souvenirs in Jamaica

Souvenirs in Jamaica

Jamaica’s artisans are experts in crafting goods from the island’s natural materials. Alabaster carving, calabash tree woodwork, and fabrics from plant-based dyes are all common and make for fantastic souvenirs.

Inside Falmouth Port, you’ll find dozens of boutiques selling handicrafts, cigars and high-end jewelry. Performances of Jamaican folk songs and steel drums in the plaza add a local soundtrack while shopping.

Another fantastic choice is the Albert George Shopping Center. Many local craftspeople operate independent stalls in this open-sided space, while there’s a new Artisanal Village to explore, to. This brings independent boutiques, craft demonstrations, and dance troupes together in a modern, outdoor market setting.

Join a Rum Tasting

Jamaican rum in a glass

Jamaican rum

In the 18th century, Falmouth’s fortune came from processing and exporting sugar. Not all sugarcane traveled abroad, though; some went into distilling the island’s signature rum.

If you fancy a sampling at source, Hampden Sugar Estate is one of the closest—and oldest—Caribbean rum producers near Falmouth. Reaching the plantation is an adventure in itself. Rugged countryside roads and dirt tracks weave through the sugarcane fields.

On arrival, a one-hour guided tour will take you around the estate. Visually, little has changed here since its founding in 1753. The old-style distillery still uses the same natural spring water.

At the end of the visit, you’ll be able to sample some of Hampden’s own rums before being served an equally delicious lunch of jerk chicken.

Try Proper Jerk Chicken

Jerk chicken on a platter

Jerk chicken

Trying jerk chicken is one of the tastiest things to do in Falmouth. The legendary dish that Jamaica is known for is credited to the Taíno, who later taught their jerk method of seasoning to the Maroons, Jamaica’s freedom-fighting former slaves, who refined the dish. The liberal use of scotch bonnet peppers and the smoky flavors from firewood have made it a firm favorite.

In Falmouth, Pepper’s Jerk Center and Yaad Style are two great spots to try true, foil-wrapped jerk chicken. Or dine at Scotchies in Montego Bay for a more trendy setting, sitting atop beer barrels under thatched umbrellas.

Read: Best Caribbean Islands for Food

Spot Crocodiles on a Swamp Safari

Crocodile spotted in Jamaica


If you’re looking for one of the more unusual things to do in Falmouth, Jamaica’s swamp life is thrust into the spotlight on this unique experience.

During a guided “safari” through this former crocodile farm and surrounding mangrove habitats, you’ll spot crocodiles, anacondas and endemic birds. Many of the current residents have been rescued, and the site now doubles as a wildlife sanctuary. Once recovered, the younger crocodiles are released back into the wild.

Hike in Cockpit Country

Lush landscape of Cockpit Country

Cockpit Country

Trelawney may be the birthplace of Olympic-winning Usain Bolt, but there’s no need to sprint to explore the magnificent nature near his childhood village. In fact, slowing down is encouraged on these laid-back trails through overgrown hills.

Inland from Falmouth, Jamaica’s Cockpit Country spreads across a handful of parishes. A wild and untouched realm, this treasured landscape is home to Maroon communities (the descendants of former slaves), croaking frogs, and kaleidoscopic parrots.

Hiking tours are spearheaded by the local environmental agency. Local guides will take you deep into nature to discover native fauna and flora en route. Crossing farmlands, waterfalls, and overgrowth, you’ll have the chance to meet local farmers while exploring the untouched Caribbean.

Relax at Konoko Falls and Gardens

Konoko Falls and Gardens, one of the best things to do in Falmouth Jamaica

Konoko Falls and Gardens

Hidden away in Ocho Rios’s interior, Konoko Falls is the perfect leafy escape, set in one of Jamaica’s original Taíno settlements. A visit is as much about the history of the location as its splendor.

Take a guided tour through the herb gardens, where red gingers and jade vines add a pop of color, to hear more about the ground’s history. Then, learn more at the compact but informative museum. Finally, follow the ponds and streams of koi carp to pretty Konoko Falls to rest and relax to the rhythm of the cascades while enjoying a chilled Red Stripe beer.

Slip Away to Montego Bay’s Beaches

Turquoise waters of Doctor’s Cave Beach

Doctor’s Cave Beach

Some of the best beaches on Jamaica’s north coast are found in and around Montego Bay, just a 30-minute drive from Falmouth.

Doctor’s Cave Beach, with its nearly five miles of soft sweeping sands, is a standout. With upscale beach bars, excellent snorkeling, and kayak rentals, this is a crowd-pleasing choice.

On the other side of Montego Bay, practically at the tail end of the airport’s runway, the fittingly named Dead End Beach is a more novel spot to sunbathe. Pocket-sized and popular with locals, it’s the thrill of watching planes coming into land so close overhead that gets everyone cooing with excitement.

Visit the National Gallery West

While there isn’t a dedicated cultural space or museum in Falmouth, Jamaica’s National Gallery has an outpost in Montego Bay. Set inside a 19th-century courthouse, the Montego Bay Cultural Centre also hosts exhibitions as part of the National Museum.

The works of Jamaican artists are well represented inside the National Gallery West. Every three months, the exhibition changes, rotating items with the main gallery in Kingston, Jamaica’s capital city.

Across the building, you’ll find the National Museum West. Rastafari religion and culture are covered in the permanent collection, which also shares stories of emancipation, artifacts and traditional household items.

Sip Blue Mountain Coffee

Jamaican coffee beans in a cup

Jamaican coffee

Smooth, soft, and devoid of bitterness, Jamaica’s Blue Mountain Coffee has an almost cult-like following worldwide. It’s harvested in a diminutive mountain region with considerable care and the coffee’s quality can be credited to the unique blend of soil and climate.

Sampling a cup of this precious coffee is, therefore, one of the best things to do in Falmouth. But finding it is hard. It’s worth asking if the local coffee shops currently stock the certified beans to make you a brew. If not, pick up a pouch at JaBlum’s Falmouth Port outlet to take home.

Zipline Through the Forest

With a landscape abundant in towering trees and dense forest, there’s hardly a better way to connect with nature than flying over the canopy.

View from Good Hope in Jamaica

Good Hope

One of the best places to zipline is at Good Hope, a former sugar estate that became a community village after emancipation. The entertaining zipline is one of the many attractions inside the Chukka Adventures Park, now housed on the site.

Whizz between the trees to get warmed up before enjoying the other available activities: swimming pools, waterfalls, and ATV adventures.

Read: Best Caribbean Islands for Adventure

Bamboo Beach, one of the best things to do in Falmouth Jamaica

Bamboo Beach

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