Once in a Lifetime: Montego Bay

By: Katie Manning

January 11, 2013

Once in a Lifetime: Montego Bay

A Sunset in Jamaica © mcclouds

The home of Bob Marley was always going to have spirit – and these once in a lifetime experiences reflect the unique Jamaican vibe that tourists travel from all over the world for. From its jaw-dropping landscape to the King of Reggae himself, these unique things to do will ensure you see the very best that this island has to offer.

Bob Marley Mausoleum

Bob Marley Mausoleum | Montego Bay

Bob Marley Mausoleum © Bob Marley Mausoleum

When we’re in Jamaica, we can’t get enough of Mr. Marley. One of our favourite experiences is to pay homage to the world’s great reggae maestro (and his favourite guitar) at his tomb. The recipient of Jamaica’s third highest honour, the Order of Merit, rests 6-ft off the ground in the village of his birth, Nine Mile.

Swimming in Frenchman’s Cove

Frenchmans Cove | Montego Bay

Frenchman’s Cove © Jamaica Tourist Board

With white-sand allure, this picture-perfect cove is secluded, pretty and packed with plenty of appeal. Crystal-clear waters, fed by the freshwater flow of Priestman’s River, are wonderful to swim in and at some point, someone strung a knotted rope over the water to allow kids a swinging time against an exotic backdrop of tropical blooms and mountains. Stay until nightfall and you can see the waters illuminated by shimmering glow worms (aka fireflies).

Mystic Mountain

Mystic Mountain | Montego Bay

Zipwire through the rainforest in Jamaica © Rainforest Adventure

Once of our favourite Jamaican experiences is the exhilarating view from high up in the inter-connecting canopy of zip wires in the bird-filled rainforest or go bobsledding down Mystic Mountain. This is must for all the speed freaks among us. But with white-knuckle thrills and adrenaline surges like no other – just be sure to hold on tight. Ocho Rios, Jamaica, +1 876 974 3990, Open: daily, 9am-6pm.

Tours of Mangrove Swamps in Jamaica

Mangrove Swamps | Montego Bay

The Mangrove Swamp Tour © Jamaica Tourist Board

For an ecological Jamaican experience, we highly recommend exploring the marshy ecosystem of the island’s wild South Coast, home to vine-tangled mangrove swamps, the peat-rich Black River, waterfall cascades and the rare Jamaican crocodile – plus over 100 species of butterflies and birds. Mandeville, Jamaica, contact the Jamaican Tourist Board, +1 20 7224 0505,

Horse Riding in Jamaica at Braco Stables

Braco Stables horseriding

Horseriding with Braco Stables © Braco Stables

If, like us, you’re a novice in the saddle, but want to go horse riding in Jamaica, never fear, help is at hand. In Trelawny (approximately 32 miles east of Montego Bay), the family-run Braco Stables offers lessons for all ages. Lessons equip riders with enough basics to allow them to clip-clop sedately through Jamaica’s scenic countryside to a sandy shore in order to swim bareback with horses on a beautiful, private beach. The Braco Estate dates back to the mid-17th century, when the property had its own sugar cane factory. Today old pimento fields, lime orchards and leafy trails ensure a resplendent setting in which to befriend the stable’s horses. Duncans, Trelawny, Jamaica, +1 876 954 0185,

Katie Manning

Katie is an author for the Virgin Atlantic blog. Despite her urban London residency, Katie can often be found exploring far-flung corners of the globe in search of exciting new experiences and stories. A self-confessed night-owl, she makes it her mission to search out the best cocktail bars and live music venues on each and every expedition. Follow Katie @kt_saramanning

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