Jamaica Offers Family-Friendly Vacation Attractions
A wide variety of water parks, water-based petting zoos and beach and outdoor fun is available for families in Jamaica. In addition, many of the resorts and hotels offer special packages for families with supervised kids programs designed to delight youngsters and provide parents with worry-free vacation relaxation.
New for Summer 2006
Stingray City Jamaica, which opened in May 2006 and is located just a short drive from Ocho Rios, offers adventurous guests the chance to wade into the beautiful Caribbean Sea and feed and pet live Stingrays. Experienced guides are on hand to demonstrate the correct way to handle these creatures, and snorkels, masks and life vests are provided. For more information visit www.stingraycityjamaica.com.
Kool Runnings Water Park in Negril will delight visitors of all ages with water slides that tower as high as 40 feet, a lazy river that meanders under bridges and through cascading water falls, Captain Mike’s Coconut Island children’s play area, Go Kart track, carousel, rock climbing wall, bungee trampoline and so much more. Opening this summer, the Water Park’s mission is to bring attention to the plight of Jamaica’s endangered species with many of its attractions named after these animals, as well offering a rural life museum and conservation display featuring Manatees. Visit http://koolrunnings.com for more information.
Activities and Adventures
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 rides, mountain biking tours and much more. 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. Visit www.chukkacaribbean.com for more information.
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 are at 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Recommended for ages five and above. For more information, call (876) 954-0185.
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 4:00 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 4:30 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. Island Village also features an Internet Jungle, Jimmy Buffet's Margaritaville and duty free shops. Call (876) 675-8995 or visit www.islandvillageja.com for more information.
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. Suitable for ages six and above. Call (876) 940-4465 or visit www.mobayunderseatours.com.
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. Open daily from 9:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. For more information call (876) 979-9447 or visit www.aquasoljamaica.com.
For More Information About Jamaica
The Jamaica Tourist Board (JTB) is an excellent source of additional Jamaica vacation information. The Board is responsible for the worldwide tourism marketing and promotion for the island country of Jamaica. Details of upcoming special events, attractions and accommodations in Jamaica are posted on the Jamaica Tourist Board’s Web site at www.visitjamaica.com. To book a trip to Jamaica please contact a travel agent or call the Jamaica Tourist Board toll-free at 1-800-233-4JTB (1-800-233-4582), 305-665-0557 or go to www.visitjamaica.com.
Please remember that as of December 31, 2006, all U.S. citizens traveling to or from Canada, Mexico, Central and South America, the Caribbean, and Bermuda will need a valid U.S. passport. For questions regarding the new U.S. passport requirements for travel to the Caribbean, please go to www.travel.state.gov.