Winter is coming. Actually, winter has come. The weather has us thinking beaches. Warm, sunny beaches.

Famed for its sun-kissed beaches, laid-back charm and luxury resorts, Jamaica provides exactly what we all need for a beach holiday. It may be popular for those looking to unwind, but there’s plenty more to this island than all-inclusive hotels. From hiking up mountains to exploring a rich, river ecosystem, Jamaica has more than a few surprises for its visitors.

Home to some of the most awe-inspiring natural wonders in the world, don’t miss these 8 stunning places to see in Jamaica.

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Doctor’s Cave Beach

Few beaches in Jamaica offer the allure of Doctor’s Cave in Montego Bay. Aside from its breathtaking beauty, visitors flock to this beach for its so-called medicinal properties. In fact, many have claimed that the crystal waters can rejuvenate the skin and even cure ailments. Whether you’re convinced or not, it’s worth visiting this golden stretch of coastline for a relaxing day of sun worshipping.

Martha Brae River

Meandering through Jamaica’s dense rural landscape, this picturesque river is best enjoyed aboard a traditional bamboo raft. An expert local will guide the way, taking you on an adventure through some of the islands most tranquil and scenic spots. Admire the passing flora and fauna, before stopping at one of the many lagoons for a cooling swim.

Mystic Mountain

Situated in Ocho Rios, this 700 foot mountain offers unrivalled views and a one-of-a-kind experience. After reaching the summit – accessible via the Rainforest SkyExplorer chairlift – visitors can hop aboard a single-person rollercoaster and shoot down the mountain on a 1000-meter metal track. Known as the ‘bobsled’ this hair-raising attraction is fun for the whole family.

Black River

Nature lovers shouldn’t miss a visit to one of the islands longest rivers which spans over 50km. It’s not suitable for swimming, but guided boat tours offer the chance to get up close and personal with the local predators. For those lucky enough, you may spot a crocodile or two, as well as the endemic bird species from spot herons to snowy egrets. Expert narration will be provided offering an insight into the local ecology as you drift along the murky waters.

Reggae Falls

Otherwise known as Damhead, the affectionately named Reggae Falls in St Thomas offers a peaceful escape in blissful surroundings. Overlooked by many visitors, this natural spectacle has retained much of its unspoiled beauty. Water cascades from a height of 30ft and visitors can take a swim in the surrounding lagoon.

Blue Mountains and John Crow Mountains National Park

This 200,000-acre expanse of verdant rainforest, lakes and crystal clear waterfalls are made even more impressive in the shadow of Jamaica’s highest peak – Blue Mountain. At a whopping 2,256 meters, the adventurous can hike to the summit, admiring the wildlife along the way. At the summit, unbelievable views await, stretching across the island and beyond.

Dunn’s River Falls

Often referred to as the 8th wonder of world, this spring-fed waterfall is a sight to behold. It’s also the island’s most popular listed attraction, where visitors can take a guided climb to the summit of the 600ft plunge. To avoid the crowds of tourists, be sure to arrive early. White river tubing can also be enjoyed nearby, as well as other white-knuckle attractions including cliff jumping.

Blue Lagoon

This enchanting crystal clear lagoon is located close to Port Antonia, best enjoyed on a full-day visit. Famed for its magical kaleidoscope of colors, the lagoon’s appearance actually changes throughout the day from a turquoise hue to sapphire and deep blue. It’s also famed for the streams of warm water which are fed from the Caribbean Sea.

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  • December 18, 2016

    I can imagine Jamaica would be a lovely place to visit!
    Dominique recently posted…Grindavík – A Visit to the Blue LagoonMy Profile

  • December 19, 2016

    I’ve long been toying with the idea of a long weekend in Jamaica but have often wondered if it would be too touristy for me. I love the smaller, more remote islands, but wasn’t impressed by some of the more resort-y ones like Dominican Republic. What was your take having been there?
    Kristin @ Camels & Chocolate recently posted…Planning an Epic Road Trip Through the AlpsMy Profile

  • December 19, 2016

    Great list! I am dying to visit Jamaica and these are just the kinds of things I was hoping to find to do as opposed to remaining on a resort all day.
    Kacy recently posted…Weekly B.S. Report + Local Gift GuideMy Profile

    • December 26, 2016

      Same here. We like to explore destinations rather than just sit on a beach at a resort for an entire vacation!

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